Yes, you can get high on cocaine.
In fact, you get high really fast when taking cocaine by snorting, smnoking, or injection. While cocaine has limited clinical uses as a local anesthetic in some part of the world, most people wonder, “ Is cocaine addictive or not?” To be clear, cocaine is one of the most addictive and widespread illicit drugs of abuse in the U.S. How does it feel to get high on cocaine and what are the risks of cocaine abuse? We review here. And then we invite your questions about when to treat cocaine addictionat the end.
Cocaine chemistry and use
Cocaine is an alkaloid ester extracted from the leaves of coca. As a strong central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, cocaine interferes with the reabsorption process dopamine, a chemical messenger associated with control over pleasure and movement. Similarly, cocaine interferes with the uptake of norepinephrine and serotonin (5-HT), leading to accumulation of these neurotransmitters at postsynaptic receptors. As a local anesthetic, cocaine reversibly blocks the initiation and conduction of the nerve impulse. Cocaine additionally produces vasoconstriction and dilated pupils.
Medicinally used cocaine is administered as local anesthesia. The ability to trigger vasoconstriction is clinically used particularly in the areas around the eyes and ears, as well as the nose and throat. The name clinically used cocaine is “COCAINE HYDROCHLORIDE: Topical Solution”.
Euphoric effect of cocaine
The effects of cocaine to the central nervous system are very similar to those induced by amphetamines. Cocaine disables the reuptake of dopamine by blocking the dopamine transporter … which leads to increased extracellular dopamine, resulting in stimulation of postsynaptic dopamine receptors. Chronic stimulation of the receptors causes the feeling of euphoria, which starts rather suddenly with arush of emotions and thoughts. But, the same way dopamine levels are affected when cocaine is present, the brain reacts inversely after a cocaine high. When levels of dopamine return to normal, their available drastically drops down. This is what users report to as a “dysphoric” crash.
Cocaine’s central nervous system effects
Cocaine affects the central nervous system in a way that many body functions are inhibited. With repeated use of cocaine, long term changes to brain function can leave permanent damage. Furthermore, the cerebral grey matter in the brain can face atrophy after long term use of cocaine leading to permanent damage of brain cells. Cocaine use also affects the metabolism of glucose in the frontal and temporal lobes, which are significantly decreased.
How does cocaine work to trigger a high?
Cocaine interferes with the way the brain functions, by changing dopamine levels. One of the reasons for this is the fact that cocaine travel quickly through the blood, binding over 90% with plasma and is extensively metabolized to a variety of compounds.
Cocaine’s bioavailability depends on the route of administration and is between 57% following snorting and ~70% following smoking. Some typical cocaine metabolite compounds include: benzoylecgonine, ecgonine, and ecgonine methyl ester. Benzoylecgonine is the major urinary metabolite. Norcocaine is a very minor metabolite, but important for the users because it is neurotoxic. Cocaine has a very short half-life compared to the half-life of cocaine’s metabolites The cocaine half-life is approximately 0.8 ± 0.2 hours, while the half-life of benzoylecgonine is up to 6 hours.
Mixing cocaine with other substances
Cocaine is often mixed intentionally in combination with other drugs. When you inject cocaine with heroin, it’ called “speedball”. Users often combine cocaine with alcohol in order to reduce the irritability they experience. However, this can produce cocaethylene, which can be cardiotoxic. Cocaethylene is an active metabolite which blocks dopamine reuptake. Cocaine is also smoked with phencyclidine, which is known as “tick”, or in blunts with marijuana, called “turbo”.
Yes, you can get high on cocaine.