The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that about 0.5% of eighth graders, 0.3% of 10th graders, and 1.5% of 12th graders in the United States use cocaine.1 If your child has a cocaine use disorder, turning to an adolescent cocaine addiction treatment center is crucial. Call Foothills at Red Oak Recovery at [Direct] today.
Understanding Cocaine Use Disorders: The Challenges the Drug Poses
Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant that produces feelings of euphoria and energy. Most people who use cocaine snort it, but it can also be smoked or dissolved in water and injected. Cocaine affects the brain by stimulating the production of huge quantities of dopamine.
How people use cocaine impacts its potency and how quickly they become addicted to it. Snorting cocaine offers effects that last between 15 and 30 minutes. Injecting it offers even more powerful effects, making it easier for the brain to become addicted, while providing effects that last only from 5 to 10 minutes.
To maintain the “high,” the person has to use more of the drug, which only reinforces the associations the brain makes with pleasure and cocaine. This association is what induces the brain to crave the drug.
3 Serious Side Effects of Cocaine Use
There are many side effects of cocaine use, and they can all put your child at risk, but three of them pose the greatest danger.
1. Cocaine Forces the Closure of Blood Vessels
One of the most worrying side effects of cocaine use is that it makes the blood vessels throughout the body narrow or close. When this occurs, the heart has to pump harder to get blood to course along the body. This causes stress for the heart, leading other organs to also struggle. Some of the other organs most commonly affected are:
As time passes and cocaine use continues, the lack of proper blood flow to organs and other tissues in the body can lead to the development of necrosis.
2. Cocaine Affects Teenage Brain Development
The effects of cocaine on adolescent brain development are also a serious concern. Cocaine use can change the structure of the brain much more rapidly in teenagers because the brain doesn’t finish forming until the age of 25.
The use of cocaine interferes with the brain’s natural communication process, causing alterations in the neurons and leading to the development of tolerance. One of the most serious effects of cocaine on adolescent brain development is that it may leave lasting damage that can impact your teen’s life.
3. Cocaine Makes It Difficult to Feel Pleasure
Another of the most serious effects of cocaine on teens is that it can damage the circuits in the brain that help produce a sense of pleasure. This leads to the development of depression and the inability to feel pleasure from anything but cocaine use.
Chronic cocaine use can destroy or damage dopamine neurons while also causing the body to make fewer of them. All of this leads to the long-term and sometimes permanent inability to feel pleasure.
Help Your Teen Break Free From Cocaine Use With Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
The side effects of cocaine can be devastating to an adult, but they can be even more harmful to a teenage brain and body. If your child is battling a substance use disorder and you’re worried about the effects of cocaine on teens, you can turn to us at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery.
We offer substance use disorder treatment programs that provide help for teens struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, including those facing a dual diagnosis. Call Foothills at Red Oak Recovery at [Direct] or use our convenient online contact form.