Cocaine is an extremely addictive and powerful central nervous system stimulant drug that is derived from coca leaves. In the early 1900s, the purified chemical, cocaine hydrochloride, was isolated from the plant and was used as a main active ingredient in many elixirs and tonics that were used for medical purposes. Today, cocaine is a schedule II drug. This means that it has a high potential for abuse and addiction. As a street drug, cocaine looks like a white, powdery substance. According to the National Institutes of Health:
In 2014, there was an estimated 1.5 million current (past-month) cocaine users aged 12 or older (0.6 percent of the population). Adults aged 18 to 25 years have a higher rate of current cocaine use than any other age group, with 1.4 percent of young adults reporting past-month cocaine use.
Can You Become Addicted to Sniffing Cocaine?
You can get addicted to snorting cocaine. When it is snorted, it creates an extreme sense of euphoria, increased energy, and awareness. When you snort cocaine, the effects are intense but tend to be short term, lasting only about 30 minutes before it starts to wear off. This causes a pattern of binging, which means it is used repeatedly with steadily increasing doses. Not only do people get addicted to the drug itself, but they also get addicted to the actual act of snorting it.
The Effects of Snorting Cocaine
They enjoy the initial burn and the feeling of the cocaine running down their nasal cavity and into their throat. This is because cocaine is a local anesthetic and when it is snorted, it causes numbness to the throat, tongue, and mouth. Many people prefer snorting it compared to other methods, like smoking or injecting, because the effects last longer. When you smoke or inject it, the effects only last roughly 5-10 minutes, but the high can be more intense during that time. In cocaine’s purest form, it will smell and taste somewhat sweet and floral, however, it is oftentimes mixed with other substances like laxatives or aspirin. This can cause it to taste more chemically, similar to gasoline. Cocaine stimulates the brain by affecting the way it processes dopamine. This is responsible for regulating pleasure responses. Because cocaine is a stimulant, physical symptoms will become apparent immediately after snorting cocaine including:
- High body temperature
- Dilated pupils
- Muscle tension (especially in the jaw)
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Increased bathroom use and diarrhea
Snorting cocaine is the most common method of use, but it comes with some side effects and some are permanent. The powder in cocaine can irritate and damage the sensitive tissues in the nasal cavity and the throat. Chronic users experience runny, stuffy, and bloody noses. Snorting cocaine can also lead to tissue erosion, nasal septal perforations, and other inflammatory problems throughout the air passages.
Cocaine Addiction & Recovery Help
The best and safest option to getting off cocaine is by the use of one of the many treatment programs we offer at Evoke Wellness at Miramar. We offer medical detox, intensive inpatient, residential rehab treatments, and dual diagnosis treatment that provide therapeutic education and guidance for each individual to help them safely reintegrate into society. With the help of our team of therapists, we offer one on one, group therapy, as well as many other specialized options to fit each person’s needs. Addiction treatment requires a multi-layered approach for maximum success. Addiction isn’t an easy thing to face and the health risks are not worth a short high. You do not have to face getting sober from cocaine on your own. Our admissions counselors and addiction professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your life. Let us help you do it!