How Is Cocaine Abused? Route Of Administration

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Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is found in powder form and which can be abused recreationally by multiple routes of administration. Cocaine’s effects can vary in intensity and the time for onset of effects depending on the route of administration.

Cocaine Route Of Administration

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that is illegal for recreational purposes, but which is frequently abused on the streets. It is sometimes used in healthcare as a local anesthetic.

When used recreationally, cocaine can either be snorted, smoked, injected, or inserted rectally, each with similar euphoric effects but slightly different highs and side effects.

Short-term effects of cocaine include a fast heart rate, chest pain, and increased blood pressure and body temperature.

Regardless of the route of administration, cocaine abuse presents both short-term and long-term dangers to those who become addicted to it.

Routes Of Administration For Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine can either be abused in its original white powder form, or it can be converted into other forms in order to be smoked or injected.

Inhaling Cocaine Through The Nose

Snorting cocaine is undoubtedly the most popular and well-known method of using the white powder form of cocaine.

It is also common for people to take powder cocaine and rub it on their gums, as it can be absorbed through the very thin membranes found on the gumline.

Using A Crack Pipe

Cocaine can also be smoked through a pipe once powder cocaine has been converted into its smokable form, known as crack cocaine.

Smoking crack can be done through a glass pipe or stem, or it can be done through homemade methods using tin foil and a straw.

Shooting Cocaine Into Veins Or Under The Skin

Another way that cocaine is commonly used is by injecting it directly into a vein or muscle. This method allows for the fastest and most intense high.

In order to inject cocaine, it first has to be dissolved into a liquid form. Afterwards, it can be injected into a vein using a needle syringe.

Inserting Cocaine Rectally

Cocaine can also be inserted rectally in a method that is commonly referred to as plugging.
This can be done with cocaine powder that has been dissolved into a liquid solution.

For plugging, cocaine is inserted directly into the rectum using a needleless syringe. This method is also known to cause a fast and intense high.

Do Different Methods Of Abuse Come With Different Risks?

Different methods of administration with cocaine use are associated with different physical risks.

For instance, intravenous cocaine use puts a person at an increased risk for contracting HIV or hepatitis. It can also cause severe damage to blood vessels and veins.

On the other hand, snorting cocaine through intranasal use is commonly associated with nosebleeds and a constantly runny nose.

All types of cocaine drug use can result in a wide range of cardiovascular health problems, as well as mental health problems with extended use.

Risks associated with cocaine abuse include:

  • addiction
  • psychosis
  • weight loss
  • seizures
  • coma
  • heart failure
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • cerebral hemorrhaging
  • overdose
  • sudden death

Treatment Programs For Cocaine Addiction

An addiction to cocaine can be very dangerous and it is important to seek professional help as soon as a person is ready.

Addiction treatment for use of cocaine will typically begin with a period of medical detox. Withdrawal symptoms from stimulants are not life-threatening but can be uncomfortable.

Further treatment options may include inpatient or outpatient treatment, medication-assisted treatment, and various types of individual and behavioral therapy.

Aftercare programs and relapse prevention support are also provided and can be beneficial for people seeking long-term sobriety.

Find A Drug And Alcohol Rehab Facility Today

If you or a loved one is currently living with a substance use disorder involving cocaine or any other substances, consider giving our helpline a call.

No matter where you are located, we would love to help you find a quality substance use disorder treatment facility nearby.


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