How Long Cocaine Lasts Depends On Several Variables
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant that is made from the coca plant. People use it by:
- snorting it
- rubbing on their gums
- injecting into the bloodstream
It has a short-lived effect and temporarily speeds up how your body and mind works. So to maintain the high, people tend to do it in binges. Bingeing is taking the drug repeatedly, in a short period of time, at increasingly higher doses. Different chemical processes produce two primary forms of it:
Powdered cocaine can be snorted or it can be dissolved in water and injected.
Crack is processed into small rocks for freebasing. Smoking it delivers the effects to the brain faster.
- Smoking is the riskiest and strongest form of using this drug.
- Addiction develops more rapidly when it is smoked.
- This term refers to the crackling noise it makes when it is ignited.
Taking even small amounts of the dug makes one feel euphoric, mentally alert, talkative and hypersensitive to touch light and sound. it temporarily decreases need for sleep and food.
Short term physiological effects include;
- Increased body temperature
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Tremors and muscle twitches
The effects of cocaine happen almost immediately. They generally peak after two minutes.
- It lasts between 10 to 20 minutes.
Continued use of this drug and the brain starts adapting. Tolerance develops with regular use. Larger doses or more frequent use is needed to produce the same level of pleasure. Tolerance does increase the risk of overdosing.
- Taking cocaine in binges leads to restlessness, panic attacks, and paranoia and in some cases full blown psychosis.
Full blown psychosis is where an individual loses touch with reality and they tend to experience auditory hallucinations.
- Snorting can cause loss of smell, problems swallowing and nose bleeds.
- Cocaine reduces blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract which could lead to ulcerations and tears.
- Users lose their appetite and significantly lose weight and become malnourished. User gets chest pains that resemble a heart attack and many go to the emergency room.
- Regular use increases the risk of a stroke, the inflammation of heart muscles and deterioration of the hearts ability to contract.
- Long term use can lead to neurological problems such as bleeding within the brain. Movement disorders might occur after many years of using.
- Former users are at a high risk of relapse even after long periods of abstinence. Memory of the experience leads to strong craving leading to relapse.
Withdrawal happens when the user cuts down or quits using completely. It does not usually have any physical symptoms such as vomiting and shaking. It has a number of unpleasant side effects which includes;
- Depressed mood, some might even contemplate suicide
- Agitation and restless behavior
- Increased appetite
- A general feeling of discomfort
- Unpleasant dreams
After stopping from heavy long term use the cravings and depression can last for several months. Withdrawing from chronic substance use is serious due to the risks of suicide and overdose involved.
- People going through withdrawal will often turn to sedatives and alcohol to treat their symptoms hence shifting dependence from one drug to another.