Cocaine is a potent stimulant drug that hooks people after the first hit. Known as the party drug and synonymous with 1970s and 1980s nightlife, those who use the drug quickly spiral out of control. While cocaine is dangerous on its own, many people combine this drug with other substances to amplify its’ effect—sometimes with deadly results. If you or a loved one is addicted to cocaine, you must wonder how long does cocaine last in your system and its effect on your body. This article will give you further information on this dangerous drug.
If you need help with your cocaine addiction, call Grace Recovery and learn more about cocaine detox programs in Los Angeles that can help you recover.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a substance derived from the leaves of the coca plant most commonly found in Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia. The drug is most commonly found in powder form and is often snorted but also can be smoked or mixed with water and injected intravenously into the veins.
Cocaine can also be combined with other substances and cooked into a crystalline “rock” form, known as crack cocaine. This form of cocaine is smoked and is highly potent. Often, cocaine is cut with other drugs or substances to increase profits or to change its potency. Common cutting agents are baby powder, caffeine, laxatives, and even other dangerous drugs such as fentanyl.
According to data from the 2020 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 5.2 million people 12 years and older reported using cocaine in the past year. Additional data showed that over 19,000 people in the United States died due to cocaine overdose. The drug is classified as a Schedule II drug by the DEA, meaning it has high abuse potential, but it does have medical applications as a topical anesthetic for the upper respiratory tract.
How Does Cocaine Affect the Body?
When people use cocaine, the effects of the drug can be felt within 5 to 30 minutes. Once the drug crosses the blood/brain barrier, it releases abnormally high amounts of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the brain’s natural feel-good chemical, which brings feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Cocaine increases feelings of euphoria, which is extremely reinforcing.
Increased use of the drug further disrupts dopamine cycles allowing the neurotransmitter to accumulate between cells. As a result, people need to use more to achieve the same effect. Over time, people need to use cocaine not to feel euphoria but to function on a day-to-day basis.
In the short-term, cocaine increases euphoric feelings and provides mental clarity and an energy boost. However, it can also cause a person to become extremely irritable and sensitive to lights and sounds. In the long term, cocaine use adversely affects all the body’s organs. It constricts blood vessels, increases heart rate, and can create irregular heartbeat. Chronic cocaine use often leads to dangerously high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. Other complications include malnourishment, seizures, and hallucinations.
How Long Does Cocaine Last in Your System?
With its devastating effects on the body and brain, you may wonder how long does cocaine last in your system. The length of time cocaine lasts in your system depends on the amount you take and the length of time you use the drug. In general, it shows up for three days in urine tests, and it can be found in hair samples for weeks after the last use. It does take a few days for cocaine to be eliminated from your system. Once it has cleared the system, you will experience cocaine withdrawals.
Cocaine withdrawal symptoms are mainly psychological and include the following:
- Disturbed sleep patterns and insomnia
- Depression and sadness
- Poor concentration
These withdrawal symptoms can be unbearable to endure, and their severity can lead you back to active cocaine use. To begin the recovery process, you must first undergo cocaine detox to wean yourself off the drug safely. Once you safely detox from cocaine, you will undergo intensive individualized treatment that includes therapy, 12-step group support, coping skills training, and relapse prevention, among other programs. A comprehensive treatment program will give you the tools and support you need to succeed in recovery.
How to Find Cocaine Detox Programs in Southern California
If you or a loved one needs help in addressing and overcoming cocaine addiction, you must find a treatment program that includes cocaine detox. If you are in Southern California, Grace Recovery is your first choice for inpatient addiction treatment in Los Angeles, CA. Grace Recovery is a premium Los Angeles drug rehab center that provides a solid community of healing and support. Our evidence-based treatment programs and different levels of care give you the personalized care you need to break the vicious cycle of addiction.
We believe in treating you in mind, body, and spirit. No matter the severity of your cocaine addiction, Grace Recovery will empower and motivate you to find the happiness and health found in lasting sobriety. Call us toll-free right now and begin the journey to a new you.
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