Cocaine Use Disorder
(Cocaine Abuse; Cocaine Dependence)
|Release of Dopamine in the Brain|
|The dopamine connecting to the receptors causes a euphoric feeling. This occurs naturally, but cocaine causes an exaggerated response that can lead to addiction.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Short-term effects include:
- Increase in energy
- Excessive talking
- Being mentally alert
- Decreased need for food and sleep
- Dilated pupils
- Increased temperature
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Bizarre, erratic, or violent behavior
- Muscle twitches
- Restlessness, irritability, and anxiety
- Heart attack
- Sudden death
Long-term effects include:
- Cravings that can't be controlled or predicted
- Increased tolerance
- Increased dosing
- Use of cocaine in a binge
- Increased irritability, restlessness, and paranoia
- Paranoid psychosis
- Hearing sounds that aren't there
Medical complications include:
- Heart rhythm abnormalities
- Heart attack
- Chest pain
- Respiratory failure
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic runny nose or septal perforation
- Require that you have already stopped using cocaine
- Involve a detoxification program
- Modafinil—wakefulness promoting agent
- Topiramate—seizure medication
- Agonist replacement therapy
- Antidepressants—may be helpful for people in the early stages of stopping cocaine use
Cocaine Anonymous http://www.ca.org
National Institute on Drug Abuse http://www.nida.nih.gov
Cocaine Anonymous of Southern Ontario http://www.ca-on.org
Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Association of Nova Scotia http://nadaca.ca
Amato L, et al. Dopamine agonists for the treatment of cocaine dependence. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(12):CD003352..
Carson-DeWitt R, ed. Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior. 2nd ed. New York, NY: MacMillan Reference Books; 2000.
Cocaine abuse. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 15, 2013. Accessed February 20, 2013.
Degenhardt L, Hall W. Extent of illicit drug use and dependence, and their contribution to the global burden of disease. Lancet. 2012;379:55-70
DrugFacts: Cocaine. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. Available at: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine. Accessed. Updated March 2010. Accessed February 20, 2013.
Karila L, Reynaud M. Therapeutic approaches to cocaine addiction. [article in French] Rev Prat. 2009;59(6):830-834.
Research report series: Cocaine. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. Available at: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/letter-director. Updated September 2010. Accessed February 20, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 01/2015 -
- Update Date: 02/10/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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