A Five Year Explosion
The opioid epidemic has gotten a lot of the press in recent years and for good reason, with over 46,000 deaths per year. However, as we pointed out in our blog on the resurgence of crystal meth, opioids and opiates are certainly not the only lethal drugs out there. After falling in 2018, fatal overdoses were on the rise again in 2019 and up almost 12% in the first four months of 2020. Furthermore, while stimulants accounted for 35% of overdose deaths in 2017, they made up 45% of drug fatalities in 2019. Part of that is due to the aforementioned comeback of methamphetamine. However, cocaine use has also been on the rise nationally since 2012 and it has exploded in the last five years.
Powerful and Highly Addictive
Cocaine, derived from the coca leaf, has been used by humans for over a thousand years, infamously making its way into both a popular soda and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud around the turn of the last century. It is a highly addictive drug that can be snorted, smoked, or injected to produce a euphoric high with increased energy and alertness. However, with such a powerful high comes severe adverse effects. Excessive or prolonged use can cause tachycardia, anxiety and paranoia, hallucinations, and cardiac arrest or death. Furthermore, chronic use can cause insomnia, depression, pulmonary issues like asthma and lung trauma, dental problems, and a host of cardiovascular conditions.
Some Common Signs of Cocaine Abuse
In addition to the euphoria, paranoia, and other previously listed effects, cocaine use and abuse come with a number of telltale indicators. Here are a few of the most common.
- Dilated pupils – This is probably the quickest way to tell if someone is presently experiencing cocaine intoxication. While heroin and other narcotics usually constricts pupils, cocaine dilates them, sometimes making the iris appear completely black. As cocaine can cause blood vessels to expand, users may also have bloodshot eyes.
- Runny nose – Users who snort cocaine irritate the mucus membranes in the nostrils, making runny noses and sniffles quite common.
- Long Periods of Wakefulness – As cocaine is a stimulant, users will often be awake for long periods of time. This usually results in a “crash,” or hypersomnia.
- Drug paraphernalia – Because cocaine can be taken a number of different ways, the paraphernalia can vary. Common items include cut straws, hollowed-out pens, and rolled up dollar bills. Also, mirrors, glass, pipes, and needles. These items will generally have white powdery residue on them.
Build a Foundation for Success
Ocean Recovery has been successfully treating cocaine and other substance use disorders, as well as co-occurring disorders since 2002. With facilities in sunny Newport Beach, California, we take a holistic approach to substance abuse treatment. We offer individual and group counseling, addiction education, yoga, and more. Ocean Recovery attacks addiction from all angles by treating the whole person. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please consider giving Ocean Recovery a call today. Our admissions specialists are standing by and ready to help you start building your foundation for success.