If you were to start using cocaine and you had unlimited financial resources, there’s a good chance you would keep taking the drug until you die. The drug is so incredibly addictive that the only thing that prevents people from overdosing is that they run out of money.
In fact, in the 1980’s there was an experiment that seemed to solidify our understanding of drugs and addiction. The experiment took a rat and placed it alone in a cage. It then placed two bottles of water from which the rat could drink – plain water and water injected with cocaine. Once the rat tasted the water with cocaine, it continued to go back again and again and again, until it was dead.
In fact, there was a television ad in the 80’s that highlighted this experiment, sponsored by a Partnership for a Drug-Free America that explained: “Only one drug is so addictive, nine out of ten laboratory rats will use it. And use it. And use it. Until dead. It’s called cocaine. And it can do the same thing to you.” Just like the rat, people will continue to return to cocaine again and again until something stops them. For many people, this is the lack of money to buy more. And for others it’s death.
Cocaine and crack are the same addictive drug ingested in different ways. You snort cocaine and you smoke crack. The intoxication of ingesting either one includes feeling very alert, excited, powerful, and happy. Some users of cocaine describe its euphoria as equivalent to orgasm. However, the euphoria of being high on cocaine can also bring feelings of suspicion and paranoia. In fact, after awhile the high might produce anxious feelings, compulsive behaviors, and flashes of light or hallucinations. Cocaine/crack has a dependence rating of 2.82 on a 3 point scale.
Cocaine/crack is derived from the leaves of the cocoa plant. It can be taken into the body in a variety of ways, as mentioned above. It can be snorted, injected, or smoked. When the drug is injected directly into the bloodstream, it can deliver the drug faster to the brain and leads to a more intense high. Because of this, these methods also have more dangerous effects. Extended use of crack/cocaine can lead to thickening of tissues in the heart, heart attacks, and heart failure. If used over a length of time, cocaine can lead to sores in the lungs, throat, and mouth, among other significant physical impairments. Of course, other dangers of cocaine use are criminal activity, such as stealing money to maintain an addiction. Over time, a cocaine addiction could even lead to long-term life of crime.
Also, if someone were to continue their use of cocaine or crack, it’s incredibly easy to fall into an addictive prison. According a recent study, the time it takes to go from experimentation to weekly use of the drug is less than 3 months. The significant changes that occur in the brain are likely responsible for the rapid path towards addiction. Sadly, the euphoric high of cocaine/crack leads to the use of them despite their dangers. And the high dependency of the drug catches people in the prison of addiction.
With the right support, treatment, and commitment to get sober, it’s been done by thousands, if not millions of people before. Of course, it will be incredibly necessary to get an extensive amount of support including:
- -Living at a residential treatment center
- -Working with a therapist/psychologist
- -Working with a doctor
- -Attending Cocaine Anonymous meetings
This list is not exhaustive. Gather whatever support you need to help yourself break out of the prison of a cocaine addiction. If you’ve been captured by the spell of cocaine and you’re ready to put an end to your substance use, contact a mental health professional today.
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