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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Crack cocaine

10/04/2004

Question:

How do you know if someone is on or what are the effects of crack cocaine?

Answer:

There are both short-term and long-term effects with the use of cocaine. The short term effects are experienced even with first time use. The effects of this substance are dependent upon the amount of time and cocaine that has been consumed. The short- term effects are noticeable immediately. In some cases, the results cause serious damage to the body and death. Death is often a result of cardiac arrest or seizures.

Cocaine use causes the user to initially feel a rush or sense of heightened well being, increased alertness and energy. They also experience decreased appetite and increased heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. This effect quickly wears off, leaving the user feeling depressed. This feeling then fuels the use of more cocaine, often to just "feel normal."  Feeling depressed can become a chronic state of being. Cocaine addicts develop a higher tolerance for the drug over time, and continue to use in an attempt to "chase the high" feeling that they felt the first time they used.

Cocaine does not enhance performance. In the long run, it leads to disturbances in mood, anxiety, loss of concentration, irritability, paranoia, and loss of energy.

There are many treatment options available for adults and adolescents through Addiction Medicine Treatment centers and Cocaine Anonymous groups, a fellowship of support dedicated to recovery from cocaine addiction.

For more information:

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Response by:

Deborah L Hoy, CNS Deborah L Hoy, CNS
Clinical Instructor at the College of Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University