Cocaine & Methamphetamine

What are Cocaine & Methamphetamine?
Cocaine and Methamphetamine are powerfully addictive stimulants. Both can be processed to form a rock crystal that is smoked. Crack is rock cocaine.  Cocaine and Meth use is so addictive that users quickly develop tolerance to it.  Chasing the cocaine high leads to escalating doses and often switching from snorting to smoking to IV use.  The only thing that prevents people from overdosing is their bank account.  Once people are addicted, they will sell their soul for another hit.cocaine

If a mouse is given cocaine every time it presses a lever, it will do nothing else but press that lever.  It won’t stop for a minute to take a sip of water or a bite to eat, and eventually it will die from a cocaine overdose.

Immediately after use, there is an intense sensation, called a “rush” or “flash,” that is described as extremely pleasurable, but it only lasts for a few minutes.  After the initial “high,” there is typically a state of severe agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behavior.  Other possible immediate effects include increased wakefulness and insomnia, decreased appetite, irritability/aggression, anxiety, nervousness,

Common Street Names:

  • Cocaine: Crack, Blow, Nose, Snow, Toot, White, Rock, and Flake
  • Methamphetamine : Meth, Uppers, Bennies, Crank, and Crystal

Cocaine and Methamphetamine Misuse

  • Cocaine and Meth Substance Use Disorders are classic examples of drugs associated with poly-addictions, dual diagnoses, medical co morbidity and risky addict behaviors.
  • Poly Addiction
  • Both cocaine and methamphetamine are typically used in binge patterns or “runs” lasting days or weeks without sleep followed by cognitive impairment and extreme fatigue.  Often these binge patterns involve a poly-addiction pattern of use that includes alcohol, benzodiazepines, or other sedatives to “come down” from a high.

Dual Diagnoses
These drugs are often associated with psychiatric illness such as Mood Disorders, (depression and anxiety), ADHD or Bipolar Disorders.  These drugs produce changes in mood, behavior, and personality that mimic almost any psychiatric disorder, and can cause paranoia and hallucinations that lead to violent, aggressive behaviors that are intense and longer lasting.
As with all drugs, the most important consequences of cocaine addiction are psychological, social, and emotional.  But with Cocaine and Meth they happen faster and harder than with other drugs.  If you are a cocaine addict, you don’t have to wonder if you’ve hurt your friends and family. You can be sure that you have.

Medical Consequences

  • Cocaine and methamphetamine cause your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to constrict, resulting in high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. These drugs can actually cause your heart to beat so fast that it can stop.
  • Even young patients without a history of heart disease are at high risk for heart attack;
  • Emergency room doctors are taught to consider Cocaine overdose as one of the first diagnoses for young people.  What is especially deadly about Cocaine and Meth is that there is no correlation between how many times or how much you’ve used or when you may suffer a cardiac arrest.  Some people die after their first use.
  • Cocaine and Meth are often used with alcohol to minimize their side effects so even more of these drugs can be used.  This is often lethal.  When cocaine is used with alcohol, a chemical compound called Cocaehtyleneis formed that often results in cardiac death.

Risky Behaviors

  • There is a strong connection between cocaine and methamphetamine use and high-risk sexual behaviors.
  • Cocaine and Meth are associated with high rates of HIV and Hepatitis-C — as a result of IV use and sharing of drug paraphernalia.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Cocaine

  • The withdrawal symptoms of cocaine and methamphetamine are psychological and emotional and can be crippling.  There are no physical withdrawal symptoms from cocaine, which is why people sometimes trick themselves into thinking they aren’t addicted to it.
  • The emotional withdrawal symptoms are: Fatigue and low energy, lack of motivation and enthusiasm, mood swings including depression and anxiety.  Users often take sedatives to “sleep” through the withdrawal period.

ARCH Individual Evaluation & Treatment Plan

  • Addiction, Medical and Psychiatric Evaluation by our Addiction Psychiatrists
  • Examination of Co-occurring Medical Disorders and Poly-Addictions
  • Internal Family Systems Psychotherapy
  • Medication Facilitated Cognitive Behavioral Restructuring
  • Family Interventions
  • Medication Management of Anxiety, Sleep and/or Co-Occurring Psychiatric Disorders
  • Treatment of Drug Related Sexual Behaviors

Please call us in Danvers:

(978) 820-5500

Dr. Michael J. Kittay, M.D.
160 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923
Phone. (978) 820-5500
Fax. 978-820-5502

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