Dependence Of The Cocaine Type

With cocaine use, psychic or mental dependence sometimes leads to an extreme psychological addiction when used in high doses. In the study of cocaine use physical dependence or a tolerance to the drug has never been proven. However, there is usually a strong mental dependence and desire to continue to take the drug.

Symptoms & Signs

When cocaine is either injected or inhaled it produces a condition of euphoria and feelings of great power. The “high” produced is similar to that produced by injection of high doses of amphetamines. Because cocaine is such a short-acting drug, users may continue to repeat dosages.

Hallucinations may develop with continued use as well as violent behavior. An overdose of cocaine produces tremors, convulsions, and delirium. Death may result from a cardiovascular collapse or respiratory failure.

Cocaine use and the development of addictive behavior has continued to increase in the United States. The smoking of “free-base” or rock cocaine (crack) has become popular. This requires the conversion of the hydrochloride salt to the more combustible form. A flame is held to the material and the smoke inhaled. The speed of onset is quicker and the intensity of the “high” is magnified. Because this process utilizes flammable liquids, there have been serious explosions and burns.

Procaine produces local sensations not unlike cocaine and may even produce a “high.” Powdered procaine is widely used to cut cocaine and is occasionally mixed with mannitol or lactose and sold as cocaine. It is sometimes called “synthetic cocaine.”

Treatment of acute cocaine intoxication is generally unnecessary because of the extremely short action of the drug. If an overdose requires intervention, Schedule 4 barbiturates may be used. However, the difficulty in breathing which accompanies cocaine intoxication can be worsened with the use of sedatives. Discontinuing the use of cocaine requires considerable assistance and the depression that may occur requires close supervision and treatment.

Dependence Of The Amphetamine Type

Some psychological dependence occurs with the continued use of amphetamines. Previously these drugs were used in control of weight and obesity. However, recent studies have shown that their effectiveness in reducing appetite decreases after 30 days of use and, therefore, they have little or no place today in treatment of overweight patients. These drugs are widely used as stimulants and generally cause elevated mood, increased wakefulness, alertness, concentration and physical performance. They may also produce a feeling of well-being. There is significant sale of fake amphetamines so much so the FDA has outlawed the manufacture of fakes by declaring that any combination of a stimulant phenethylamine with caffeine is a new drug that must be registered with the agency.

Symptoms And Signs

The withdrawal syndrome is usually followed by a state of mental and physical depression and fatigue. The psychological dependence on the drug varies. Amphetamines are different from Cocaine in that induce tolerance. This tolerance develops slowly but an ever-increasing dosage is needed to get the effect desired. The tolerance to various effects is different. Nervousness and sleeplessness may occur along with hallucinations. Massive doses are rarely fatal. Abusers are prone to accidents because of their excited state and the excessive fatigue which follows usage.