Complications associated with cocaine use include disturbances in heart rhythm and heart attacks, chest pain and respiratory failure, strokes, seizures, headaches
People who inject cocaine can experience severe allergic reactions and, as with any injecting drug user, are at increased risk for contracting HIV and other blood-borne diseases. Crack-cocaine delivers an intensity of pleasure completely outside the normal range of human experience. Providing the optimal combination of treatment and services for each individual is critical to successful outcomes. The high from snorting may last 15 to 30 minutes, while that from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes.
Other complications associated with cocaine use include disturbances in heart rhythm and heart attacks, chest pain and respiratory failure, strokes, seizures and headaches, and gastrointestinal complications such as abdominal pain and nausea. Drugs such as cocaine or amphetamines, if taken on their own and to excess, can easily have the reverse effect. Whole communities can be disrupted by crack-abuse. But it also can be heated into a liquid and its fumes inhaled through a pipe in a method called freebasing.The compulsion may become utterly obsessive. Ingesting cocaine can cause severe bowel gangrene due to reduced blood flow. Some users of cocaine report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety.
One of NIDA's top research priorities is to find a medication to block or greatly reduce the effects of cocaine, to be used as one part of a comprehensive treatment program. Different means of taking cocaine can produce different adverse effects. NIDA-funded researchers have found that the human liver combines cocaine and alcohol and manufactures a third substance, coca ethylene, which intensifies cocaine's euphoric effects, while potentially increasing the risk of sudden death. On the street, pure cocaine is diluted or cut with other substances to increase the quantity, and thereby increase the profits of its sellers. Freebasing is also a common method of using a form of cocaine called crack. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizure followed by respiratory arrest.
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