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Debunking Popular Myths About Cocaine

by | Last updated Sep 22, 2020 at 3:12PM | Published on Sep 22, 2020 | Drug Addiction, Stimulants Addiction

Debunking Popular Myths About Cocaine

There are so many popular myths about cocaine that are simply not true. Many of these urban legends date back to the 1980s during the war on cocaine. However, even today, so many people still believe these myths to be true. While it might seem insignificant, differentiating the myths from the facts about cocaine can save someone’s life. 

Let’s take a minute to debunk the wildest popular myths about cocaine once and for all. 

Cocaine is Not As Addictive

It’s not uncommon to hear someone say that cocaine isn’t as addictive as the media portrays it. The truth is, cocaine isn’t instantly addictive. That myth that after one cocaine use, someone will become an addict is not valid. However, this doesn’t mean cocaine isn’t addictive. This myth comes because people believe that it takes a long time to get hooked on cocaine when the supplier’s mix.

Unlike other drugs, cocaine doesn’t cause physical withdrawal symptoms, so people think it is not addictive. However, cocaine leads to a rapid psychological dependence that can be just as strong if not more robust than the physical cravings. 

Although the scientific community is still very divided on how quickly cocaine leads to addiction, they agree that there’s a pattern linked to cocaine use that often results in health-damaging consequences. 

Cocaine Enhances Performance

Cocaine is one of those drugs that are popular among athletes, business people, and celebrities. Most of the time, movies and TV shows make cocaine appear as this instant energizing drug that enhances someone’s performance at work, athletic performance, and even sexual performance. Most of these beliefs stem from the fact that cocaine is somewhat a stimulant. 

However, on the contrary, cocaine quickly becomes a depressant. As soon as cocaine wears off, people experience an intense comedown that makes them feel tired, restless, depressed, and unable to focus. 

Eventually, when someone turns to cocaine to improve sexual activity, it can have the opposite effects. Cocaine abuse can lead to impotence, inability to perform sexually, and loss of sex drive. Most of this occurs because when someone isn’t under the influence of cocaine, they don’t experience the same level of pleasure. 

It’s a Safe Substance

In the movies, cocaine is a glamorous drug that wealthy people use in parties. But, in reality, this couldn’t be further away from the truth. People turn to cocaine because it’s easy to recognize, often looking for the white powder. However, they don’t realize that it’s cut with hundreds or other ingredients as it changes hands from supplier to dealers. 

Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to determine what’s in cocaine. Most of the time, they mix powder cocaine with baking soda and water, vitamin B, cleaning products, diluting powders, and other cutting agents. These powders weaken and contaminate cocaine, sometimes giving it a transparent beige or dirty appearance. Thus, taking cocaine is truthfully an unpredictable gamble. 

By the way, the same applies to crack cocaine. The smokable form of cocaine is also filled with hundreds of impurities. No matter what, cocaine is perhaps one of the most dangerous substances out there because users don’t know precisely what they’re ingesting. 

There’s a Crack Cocaine Epidemic

Not to diminish the importance of talking about cocaine abuse. But, talking about a cocaine epidemic is not true. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, there was, in fact, a cocaine epidemic. However, fast forward to today, and the numbers tell us a different story. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2006, rates for all cocaine-involved overdose deaths peaked in 2006. However, it’s important to note that these rates increased again during 2012-2017, most of the cases involving cocaine with other synthetic opioids. As a result, in 2017, 14.7% of drug overdose deaths involved psychostimulants, including cocaine. Unfortunately, the reasons for increasing or decreasing overtime are challenging to pinpoint.

Whether the statistics are up or down, there’s no doubt that the life-threatening effects of cocaine have to be discussed openly. We must understand that these myths are just that, myths. The more we educate ourselves and those around us about the truths about cocaine, the better chances we have to keep these numbers low.  

Cocaine Has No Side Effects

Perhaps the least believable myth is that cocaine has no side effects. Not only do cocaine users experience short-term effects, but the long-term effects of cocaine use can be extremely health-damaging. Cocaine users do experience some hangover or withdrawal symptoms as the substance exists in their bodies.

Moreover, someone who snorts cocaine or injects cocaine increases its health risks of developing conditions like infection, heart attack, stroke, psychosis, and death. Not to mention, the use of cocaine itself places users at higher risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease, engage in illegal activities, and potentially be involved in an accident. 

Getting Help for Cocaine Abuse

If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine, stop believing these common myths surrounding cocaine and start taking control of your health. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our addiction treatment center is here to help you fight your addiction and start walking toward recovery. 

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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