Cocaine poses a threat to Utah, particularly because of the violence associated with the distribution and abuse of the drug. Powdered cocaine is distributed in both wholesale and retail quantities and is available throughout the state. Crack cocaine is available only in retail quantities and only in metropolitan areas. Mexican criminal groups transport powdered cocaine into the state and serve as wholesale, midlevel, and retail distributors. At the retail level street gangs and Caucasian and Mexican local independent dealers distribute powdered cocaine. Some street gangs also convert powdered cocaine into crack and distribute the drug at the wholesale and retail levels.
Cocaine abuse remains a concern in Utah. Data from the Utah Division of Substance Abuse indicate that the number of cocaine-related treatment admissions to publicly funded facilities decreased from 2,238 in FY1997 to 1,657 in FY1998, then remained relatively stable through FY2001 when 1,620 admissions were reported. (Treatment data provided by the Division of Substance Abuse do not distinguish between powdered and crack cocaine.)
The rate of cocaine abuse in Utah is comparable to the national rate, and most cocaine abusers in Utah are young adults. According to the 1999 and 2000 NHSDA, the percentage of Utah residents (1.5%) who reported having abused cocaine at least once in the year prior to the survey was comparable to the percentage nationwide (1.6%). Individuals 18 to 25 years of age in Utah reported the highest rate (3.4%) of past year cocaine abuse.
Information and Statistics on Cocaine
The federal government has identified the stimulant cocaine as being high risk for dependency and addiction. Since cocaine is a stimulant, it heightens the senses when taken. Cocaine is abused in three ways: smoking, injecting and snorting—the most popular method.
Why is cocaine so addictive? It’s primarily because of how the brain processes chemicals with the presence of the drug. It follows as such:
- The chemical dopamine is the receptor in the brain, mainly responsible for bodily pleasure.
- Dopamine is released into the synapse of the brain through its normal communication process and then recycled back.
- The normal dopamine recycling process becomes blocked when cocaine is present.
- With the buildup of dopamine, there’s an influx of pleasure, thus why the drug is so addictive.
Cocaine can be called by its street names, including coke, powder, sugar, snow, blow, candy, cola, or lady.
Cocaine National Statistics
According to the Addiction Center, cocaine is highly addictive and can damage organs, provoke mental disorders, and cause respiratory failure. Here are some distributing facts:
- One in five overdose deaths in 2017 was from cocaine.
- Approximately 5 million Americans abuse cocaine.
- 2.2 million Americans in 2017 used cocaine at least once in the previous month.
- Americans between the ages of 18-25 use cocaine more than any other group.
- From 2016 to 2017, cocaine-related overdose deaths rose by 34 percent.
- One million Americans above the age of 12 use cocaine for the first time in 2017.
- In 2018, nearly 4 percent of 12th graders confessed to having used cocaine at least once in their lifetime.
Signs and Symptoms Related to Cocaine Abuse
Symptoms associated with someone abusing cocaine include hyperactivity, loss of inhibition, unrestrained enthusiasm, quick to agitate, uncontrolled muscle tics, increased nose bleeds or runny nose, noticeable personality changes from anxiety and paranoia, irritability, and more.
Continually using cocaine results in addiction; the more it’s abused, the higher likelihood of a higher tolerance to the drug. This means, an addict needs more to get the same effect. If abused enough, health problems ensue.
Cocaine addiction is difficult to overcome without the help of a drug remand program.
Short-Term & Long-Term Effects
The short-time effects of cocaine abuse include the following: increased and/or irregular heart rate, decreased need for sleep and appetite, and euphoria, and reckless behavior. The long-term effects are paranoia, memory loss, hallucinations, weight loss, violent outbursts, aggressive behavior, depression and anxiety, severe dental issues, and massive alterations to the brain’s chemistry.
Cocaine abuse frequently leads to heart problems, with brain effects of seizures, strokes, and even comas. Cocaine addicts have intensified cravings and a high tendency of relapse. Long-term abuse affects the dopamine system and damages it; these high levels of toxicity can result in developing psychological complications. Anxiety and paranoia, along with violent behaviors, increase with cocaine abuse.
Damage to the body results in nasal cavities and lung irritations; olfactory sensors in the nasal passages are affected, leading to the loss of the sense of smells. Intestinal and bowel problems and even gangrene in the digestive tract are greatly affected by cocaine abuse. Brain chemistry changes can also lead to new-onset Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (ADHD)
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
When an addict stops the drug, withdrawal symptoms begin, which can range from fatigue, depression, and restlessness, to increased appetite and intense cravings.
Usually, with stimulant withdrawal, there are not the typical physical symptoms associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal (the shakes, hallucinations, vomiting, hot/cold flashes). Without proper help, cocaine addiction can be fatal. A high risk of overdose is common.
Addiction treatment includes a comprehensive therapeutic program, coupled with long-term lifestyle changes.
Finding the Help You Need at a Cocaine Addiction Rehab Center in Utah
The seriousness of a drug like cocaine cannot be understated. It is dangerous in any and all forms. But also, how a user ingests cocaine can increase their risk. Snorting cocaine is the most common form of ingestion. Taking cocaine this way can cause trauma to the nostrils along with cardiovascular risks. Smoking cocaine, known as crack, is perhaps the worst as it affects the lungs and mouth as well. Also, it is the most psychologically addictive form of cocaine use. This is due to the instant high felt via smoking. Injecting cocaine is nearly as unhealthy as the same risks of snorting remain while also causing physical damage via needles. The use of needles for drug use also increases the risk of contracting serious diseases including AIDS.
Despite its natural source, cocaine is an extremely addictive drug. There are a whole host of serious medical conditions that can accompany cocaine addiction. Not only is the drug itself deadly in high doses but it can cause several deadly complications. Do not allow yourself or a loved one to take such risks any longer. Contact Ardu Recovery Center at 801-810-1234 today. Our Utah cocaine addiction treatment program could just save your life. Rise above your addiction.