Injecting Cocaine: Dangers And Effects

One way that people use cocaine is by injecting it, though this is not as common as other methods. Injecting cocaine comes with its own unique dangers and health risks and can have additional effects on the body and brain.

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Injecting cocaine is a popular method of use because it is one of the fastest and most intense ways of experiencing the drug.

For someone who is addicted to cocaine, getting another dose as fast as possible can mean everything.

Unfortunately, because of the speed and intensity with which a cocaine high can be felt by injecting, it is also one of the most dangerous methods of cocaine drug use.

How Cocaine Injection Works

For cocaine to be injected, white powder cocaine first has to be dissolved in water. After this it can be injected into a vein or directly into a muscle using a needled syringe.

When injecting cocaine, or any illicit drugs for that matter, cleanliness and sterility is of the utmost importance.

All materials should be new and sterile, and the injection site should be cleaned well with alcohol prior to use.

Effects Of Injecting Cocaine

Injecting cocaine creates a high that is fast and intense. Meanwhile, the injected cocaine may be wreaking havoc on the brain and body.

Effects Of Injecting Cocaine On The Brain

Using cocaine in the long term causes the brain to be rewired and is even associated with permanent brain damage and cocaine psychosis in some people.

Over time, your brain will become less sensitive to your natural reward chemicals, like dopamine and serotonin, and more sensitive to stress, resulting in anxiety, paranoia, and depression in the long term.

It has also been shown that cocaine affects the brain by reducing gray matter and impairing cognitive function.

This can cause problems with memory, attention, and concentration and also contributes to movement disorders later in life like Parkinson’s.

Effects Of Injecting Cocaine On The Body

Cocaine is a strong stimulant drug and its use places a great deal of stress on a person’s heart and vascular system. It forces the heart to beat faster and harder while constricting the veins at the same time.

A person using cocaine is putting themselves at risk of a heart attack or stroke with every single use. This risk greatly increases in a person who already has a heart condition or any cardiovascular health issues.

Furthermore, the physical effects of cocaine can also result in poor blood flow throughout the body as well as collapsed veins.

Dangers Of Injecting Cocaine

Injecting cocaine, or “shooting” cocaine as it is often called, is one of the most dangerous methods of cocaine use available.

Bloodborne Disease

Intravenous cocaine use puts a person at serious risk for infection, because the very act of shooting cocaine involves breaking the skin and possibly creating an open wound.

Shooting cocaine can result in permanent health conditions like hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS, and can also cause dangerous blood infections like sepsis that are life-threatening.

The risk of bloodborne disease increases drastically when needles are shared among people who use cocaine, reused repeatedly, or the injection site is not properly cleaned before and after use.

Cocaine Overdose Risk

Injecting cocaine intravenously increases a person’s risk for overdose significantly. When shooting cocaine, the effects are immediate, intense, and short-lived, causing the person to want more of the drug sooner.

A person regularly shooting cocaine numerous times within a short period will build up a higher level of cocaine in their system. At this point, the risk of cocaine overdose increases drastically with each new injection.

Cocaine May Contain Dangerous Cutting Agents

It is almost impossible to find cocaine on the street today without at least one or two additional additives or cutting agents. The biggest danger is that the consumer will never truly know what they are getting.

Some cocaine cutting agents, like baby powder, laundry detergent, or rat poison, were never meant to be consumed by humans and can cause severe health problems when injected.

One particularly dangerous cutting agent is fentanyl, an extremely potent opioid that comes in a white powder form.

Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and can easily cause an overdose when taken unsuspected.

Addiction Treatment Services For Cocaine Abuse

Addiction treatment for cocaine use disorder will almost always start with some form of medically monitored detox.

This will allow you to get sober safely and comfortably to decrease your chances of cravings and relapse.

Detox will be followed up with either inpatient or outpatient treatment, where you’ll have access to individual therapy and most likely group or family therapy as well.

Behavioral therapy is also highly effective, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy.

Addiction treatment is an ongoing journey that continues long after you are sober from all substances.

Find Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

If you or a loved one are ready to start the road to recovery at a treatment center, Bedrock Recovery Center is here for you at every step of the journey.

Our treatment specialists can answer any questions that you have about substance use or drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

The life you are hoping for is within your reach. Call us to get started today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration — Cocaine
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse — Cocaine DrugFacts
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse — How is cocaine used?

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2023 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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