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Cocaine Abuse

more about Cocaine Abuse

Some of the common street names for cocaine include "big C," "blow," "nose candy," "coke," "flake," "snow," "lady," "rock," "ice," and "crack."

  • When cocaine (in the hydrochloride form) is treated with Ammonia or baking soda it is called "crack".  Medically, cocaine is used at low doses as a topical anesthetic in some procedures.  As an illegal street drug, it can be inhaled, snorted, injected, smoked, or swallowed.
  • Cocaine is a stimulant.  In general, it causes euphoria, although repeated, excessive use can result in Anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations, and other forms of mental and emotional distress.
  • Medically, it affects the part of the nervous system that "revs up" the body similar to adrenaline.  It is psychologically addictive (intensely craved), but is not physically addictive like narcotics, such as heroin (physical addiction means that one becomes ill when he attempts to discontinue a drug).
  • Nevertheless, it tends to have a devastating, negative impact on one's lifestyle, health, and work.

  • Sweating
  • Heart racing
  • Dilated eyes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Hyperactivity
  • Confusion
  • Paranoid delusions
  • Depression after quitting or prolonged use.
  • Malnutrition due to suppression of appetite (especially with amphetamines)

  • Urine test is best.
  • Blood test not usually sensitive enough to find these drugs

  • Addiction:
    1. Bromocriptine may help craving
    2. Addiction treatment programs
    3. If addicted, never stop suddenly without medical or psychiatric help.
    4. Do not take cocaine (at all) if you have a medical condition or you are taking other drugs or medications.
  • Overdose:
    1. Maintain airway
    2. Mechanical ventilation if necessary
    3. Treat coma, heart attacks, or Seizures as they occur
    4. Diazepam or Midazolam for agitation or psychosis
    5. If overdose by mouth, gastric lavage (pump stomach) and charcoal-do not induce vomiting.
    6. Phentolamine, nifedipine, or labetalol for elevated blood pressure (do not use pure beta-blockers by themselves for elevated blood pressure due to Amphetamine Abuse)
    7. Esmolol for rapid heart race/rapid heart arrhythmias (this is a pure beta-blocker so another agent must be used to treat elevated blood pressure if this is occurring)

  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Seizures
  • Aortic Dissection
  • Psychosis
  • Lung damage
  • Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature)
  • Fetal abnormalities
  • Placental abruption
  • Premature births

more about Cocaine Abuse

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