Dangers of Teen Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs available to teenagers. Cocaine is very addictive, and has serious long term health effects which damage the user both physically and mentally. Because Cocaine is a highly addictive substance recovery from cocaine addiction is increasingly hard to overcome the longer the user is in active addiction.
When a teen begins using cocaine they may begin by snorting it but as time goes on, as they build a tolerance to the drug they may progress to IV drug use and are at risk for a plethora of other infectious diseases.
Common Street Names for Cocaine and How it is Used
Common street names for cocaine include blow, coke, snow and flake. Cocaine can be taken in a variety of ways, including smoked, injected and snorted. Snorting and injection are the two most common methods of taking cocaine. Crack cocaine is the name for the free base cocaine that is used for smoking.
Cocaine can have some very strong effects on the body. When taken, cocaine causes euphoria and a feeling of great energy. This is why it is used at all many abusers enjoy the “high” feeling that they receive.
Prevalence of Teen Cocaine Abuse
There is a huge amount of cocaine abuse in the United States with the nation accounting for over half the global consumption of the drug. Europe accounts for about a quarter of the drugs consumption. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about six million people over the age of 12 have used cocaine at least once in the past year. 3.4% of 10th graders and 5.2% of 12th graders have used cocaine in the past year. Experimentation with cocaine is common and not all users move into active addiction; however, because cocaine is a highly addictive substance the risk of physical and mental addiction is possible.
Warning Signs of Teen Cocaine Abuse
If you suspect that a friend or a loved one is abusing cocaine it is important to talk to the individual or the individuals parent or guardian. The short and long term affects of cocaine use and abuse are severe and death by overdose is a serious risk when using this substance. The sooner the behavior and addiction are arrested the more likely the person will be able to recover.
Look for these Warning Signs of Teen Cocaine Abuse:
- Bloodshot eyes.
- Frequent sniffing or runny nose (coming when one is snorting).
- Dramatic shift in sleeping habits-especially staying up all night.
- Change in group of friends.
- Shift in weight, especially dramatic weight loss.
- Loss of appetite.
- Lack of motivation.
- Loses interest in activities that used he or she used to enjoy.
- Frequent and dramatic mood swings.
- Presence of drug paraphernalia.
- Declining performance at school and work.
- Signs of depression.
- Stops taking care of personal appearance and hygiene needs.
- Always asking for money (or even stealing it) – usually in order to support the habit.
Cocaine Abuse Can Result in Sudden Death
Cocaine use can result in sudden death due to overdose, heart attack, or stroke. There have been cases in which first time users have died because their bodies could not take the stress cocaine puts on the body and mind. Also, be aware that when cocaine is mixed with other drugs, a common practice among drug and alcohol abusers, many serious unexpected reactions can occur that can lead to serious complications and can even be life threatening.
The Information from this page came mainly from Troubled Teen 101.