Cocaine use is on the rise. Since there area no cocaine overdose reversal drugs, deaths are also rising. Cocaine addiction hotlines help users find help ASAP.
The good news is that cocaine use has dropped dramatically from its peak three and four decades ago. From 5.8 million Americans admitting to routinely using cocaine in 1985, the number dropped to 1.5 million by 2014.
The bad news is that while addiction experts have been focused on the crisis in opioid abuse, cocaine use is on the rise again, up 21% from 2013 to 2019.
Possible reasons include:
- Crackdowns on prescription opioids may be encouraging addicts to look for an alternative (although cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant, not an opioid).
- The high rate of young people prescribed with Adderall, Concerta, and Ritalin (all stimulants) for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could be a gateway to drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine (meth).
- Supply drives demand. Cocaine production in Colombia is up, both in acreage and yield per coca plant.
Before cocaine becomes a crisis as huge as opioids, cocaine users must become aware of cocaine dependency treatment options. A cocaine addiction hotline can be an important first step toward rehab and recovery.
Now is the time to seek help. Call us today.
Understanding Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine has been used for centuries. The chemical is derived from the coca plant in South America’s Andes region, whose population chewed the leaves to prevent altitude sickness, hunger, thirst, pain, and fatigue. (They also use the leaves in a type of tea.) In this form, its effects are mild, akin to a cup of coffee.
Once cocaine was isolated from the leaves, however, it became potent enough to be a problem. Originally used as an anesthetic, it soon spread to other medical applications, inclusion in a very popular soft drink, and recreational use.
That a dose of cocaine only lasts from 10 minutes (smoking or injection) to a half hour (snorting), means that repeated doses are necessary to maintain that feeling. Frequent doses increase the likelihood of addiction and death.
Because cocaine is a stimulant, it makes blood pressure higher and the heartbeat faster. That increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, overdose, and death. From 2011 to 2016, cocaine was responsible for 11% to almost 18% of all overdose deaths.
Many of those deaths are the result of speedballs, products that combine cocaine and an opioid such as heroin or fentanyl. Some people use both for a greater high, but some do so unknowingly because dealers cut the cocaine with fentanyl since it’s cheaper.
Using more than one drug (polydrug use) is far more dangerous than using a single drug alone, placing a sometimes fatal strain on the system and making an overdose more likely. Although naloxone (Narcan) can reverse an opioid overdose, there is no equivalent help for cocaine addicts who take a fatal dose.
Why do people use cocaine? Some for the same reason as people in South America: it provides a temporary burst of energy. Although many of its effects are different from those of opioids, which are depressants, cocaine also causes euphoria by artificially boosting dopamine production in the brain.
Before help for cocaine addiction can begin, individuals must go through several necessary preliminary steps, beginning with acknowledging that they have a problem and that they want to become and stay sober, and ending with finding the right rehab.
Between those steps, there is the matter of how they channel their resolve into the search process. That’s where a cocaine hotline can help.
There are many types of hotlines, sometimes called helplines, for many types of services or solutions, from movie times to dial-a-prayer. It’s not a surprise that there are hotlines for drug abuse in general and cocaine in particular.
When to Call a Cocaine Hotline
Don’t call a cocaine hotline if you’re experiencing a cocaine overdose or see someone else overdosing. That’s when you should call 911 for an ambulance or take the individual to an emergency room.
Don’t call a cocaine addiction hotline if you see a cocaine drug deal taking place, either, or a cocaine dealer committing some other crime. Call 911 for the police.
You call a cocaine hotline when you or a loved one has decided they need and want help to get sober but don’t know how, or you don’t even know the next step. Hotline operators are usually not doctors, but they do have information at their fingertips that can help you contact appropriate qualified professionals and centers.
What To Expect When Calling A Cocaine Helpline
A hotline, whether for cocaine or some other substance, is anonymous, confidential, and not judgmental. Callers should feel free to tell operators anything about their substance abuse without fear of the law.
That said, operators will ask questions for informational purposes so they know how to help you, to whom to refer you. They will keep this information to themselves, but callers should respond to operators, no matter how personal the questions seem.
Operators may ask how long the callers have been using substances, how much they use, whether they have any other mental or physical issues, if they have ever tried to find treatment before, and if so, what kind and what happened.
Callers can ask questions too. They may ask what kind of treatments are available and where, what are the costs of treatments, and how much will insurance cover.
The most important question is if the callers want to become and stay sober now. With a yes to that question, recovery becomes possible.
- drugfreeworld.org – The Truth About Crack Cocaine
- drugabuse.gov – What is the scope of cocaine use in the United States?
- sciencedirect.com – Trends and correlates of cocaine use and cocaine use disorder in the United States from 2011 to 2015
- tni.org – Coca leaf: Myths and Reality
- salon.com – Original Coca-Cola had a very small amount of cocaine
- sciencenews.org – U.S. drug deaths dipped in 2018, but cocaine and meth overdoses rose
- cdc.gov– Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Drug Overdose Deaths: United States, 2011–2016
- help.org – Drug Abuse Hotline
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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