There is one thing we know for sure about the human race – we must experiment. It is just part of who we are as natural-born explorers and inquisitors. Unfortunately, for many people, the urge to experiment leads to very serious consequences.
Therefore, despite many warnings about things such as drug use and abuse, a large majority of people will still have a go at it for themselves. After all, many can make the argument that doing so is only natural.
This is the belief that many people have when it comes to experimental drug use. Sadly, this thought process has led many individuals down a long and dangerous road plagued by addiction. Such has been the case in the lives of some who have become involved with social or casual cocaine use.
What is Cocaine and How is it Used?
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that was once used in legal products, including various medications as well as Coca-Cola. However, it was outlawed in the early 1900s and any use of cocaine became illegal. Cocaine is both powerful and highly addictive.
This drug is sold on the street and commonly goes by the nicknames “coke” and “snow”. People who use cocaine may use various methods in order to consume the drug. Sometimes, individuals snort it or use it orally by rubbing the drug on their gums. In other cases, they may inject a cocaine mixture into their bodies using a needle. Individuals may also smoke cocaine, inhaling its vapors.
A Study on “Social Cocaine”
While being a go-getter, exploring new things, and looking for adventure can oftentimes be incredibly beneficial to the mind, body, and soul, applying this mentality to drug use will do the exact opposite for a curious individual, as noted by a new study out of Australia.
The University of Sydney conducted research on those individuals who use cocaine socially. To be very clear, these individuals only use cocaine when out with friends, at parties, or on rare occasions. To the naked eye, this might not seem like such a big deal; however, the results of the research prove the exact opposite.
The Dangers of Casual Cocaine Use
According to the study, published in PLOS ONE uncovered that even social cocaine use can lead to significant health-related issues.
For example, those who use cocaine socially display increased aortic stiffness and systolic blood pressure, as well as larger left ventricular mass. What does all this mean? Well, it means that blood pressure is greatly affected in a negative way, as it is caused to increase. It also means that the heart itself becomes heavier, and the aorta (the largest artery in the body) has a more difficult time pumping blood to the heart.
When Social Cocaine Use Becomes Cocaine Addiction
Those who abuse cocaine socially might think that it is impossible that these side effects could happen to them, but it is important to understand that the social use of this drug can and will produce these effects.
Sometimes, people who use cocaine occasionally become dependent on this substance, using it more and more often in an attempt to feel the desired effects of cocaine. This continued use can lead to addiction, which is a very serious problem.
Some symptoms and effects of cocaine use might include:
- Appetite loss
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Increased body temperature
- Overconfidence (grandiosity)
In addition, many individuals (primarily young adults) who continue to abuse cocaine socially can experience heart attacks – some of which have reportedly been deadly. Social cocaine use has also led to cocaine-induced seizures.
It is incredibly important to realize that all illicit drug use is dangerous. All it takes is just one time for something as serious as a seizure or a heart attack to occur. Using any drug socially, including cocaine, can cause death and/or produce side effects that result in negative physical and psychological effects down the road.
More Effects of Long-Term Cocaine Use
Individuals who continue to use cocaine and become addicted to it may experience some major health problems. Cocaine use can cause:
- Tooth decay
- Heart damage
- Brain damage
- Lung damage
- Liver damage
- Nasal damage
- Heart attack
- Kidney problems
- High blood pressure
Individuals may also experience damage to their blood vessels and even have problems with reproductivity. Many people who suffer from cocaine abuse experience tremendous and unhealthy weight loss. There is also a risk for infectious diseases spreading through the use of shared needles.
Let Us Help You to Break Free From Addiction
In 2014, over 5,000 individuals died as a result of cocaine abuse. Substance use disorders are real and extremely serious. Those who suffer from substance abuse and those who are simply experimenting with drugs or alcohol should seek help immediately.
If you or someone you love is experimenting with illicit drugs socially, education is one of the most important things you can acquire. It’s best to learn more about the many dangers of cocaine use and other substance abuse problems so that you can be aware of their effects on your life.
A once-in-a-while drug use habit can eventually turn into a consistent and uncontrollable substance addiction. But, if you take to heart the truth about how casual drug use can negatively affect your life, you will likely be able to seek help before your substance use worsens and leads to more severe consequences.
Individuals who are struggling to stop using harmful substances such as cocaine can get the help they need through a professional rehab program. Counseling and therapy approaches can assist people in developing relapse prevention strategies in order to deal with urges to use or pressure from others.
If you are ready to end substance abuse in your life, now is the time to take the first step toward recovery! Just contact us here at Northbound Treatment Services to learn more about our detox and treatment programs and how we can help you to end harmful substance use in your life.