Cocaine, undisputedly, is one of the most addictive street drugs, is derived from the coca plant. The addictive power of cocaine can be illustrated by the fact that nearly 25 million Americans report having used cocaine at least once. While one of the most commonly abused drugs, the myths about cocaine abuse are varied. Below are five of the most common myths surrounding cocaine addiction and the facts that refute these myths.
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- Myth: It takes a long time to get hooked on cocaine. Fact: Cocaine is a highly addictive substance. People who take it can become physically and psychologically dependent after only a few uses. Researchers have found that cocaine-addicted monkeys press a bar more than 12,000 times to get a single dose. As soon as they get it, they start pressing the bar for more.1
- Myth: Cocaine is a safe drug. Fact: Cocaine is the most frequently reported illicit substance associated with drug abuse fatalities, causing three times more deaths than any other illegal drug. Of special note, however–prescription drug abuse has recently surpassed cocaine abuse as the leading cause of all drug-related deaths. 2
- Myth: Cocaine has no side effects. Fact: Cocaine can lead to enormous medical complications, including heart disease, respiratory failure, stroke, seizure and various gastrointestinal complications. Other physical effects are convulsions, nausea, blurred vision, chest pain, fever, muscle spasms and coma.3
- Myth: Cocaine makes you a better athlete or worker. Fact: A recent study in the International Journal of Cardiology shows that exercising after taking cocaine markedly increases the risk of irregular heart beat and death.4
- Myth: Cocaine makes sex better. Fact: Although cocaine has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, it actually may make you less able to finish what you start. Chronic cocaine use can impair sexual function in men and women. In men, cocaine can cause delayed or impaired ejaculation.5
About The Right Step The Right Step is a group of caring, experienced professionals with proven expertise in the field of addiction treatment for cocaine and other substances. CEO George Joseph, LCDC, was recognized as a “2009 Behavioral Healthcare Champion” and “National Counselor of the Year” in 2000. Joseph has been in the recovery field for over 27 years and has successfully led the organization for the past 17 years. Chief Medical Officer Jason Powers, M.D., was voted one of Houston’s “Best Doctors” and is recognized as a leader in the emerging field of addictionology, both as a physician and author. The Right Step and Spirit Lodge’s team of executive directors, doctors, program coordinators, counselors, nurses, and recovery advocates knows that every day they have the opportunity to improve the lives of others. The Right Step and Spirit Lodge are known for effective, affordable, proven methods of substance abuse treatment. They are committed to helping alcohol and drug abusers every step of the way as they journey to live life sober. Sources:
- Watson, S (March 2011). How Crack Cocaine Works. Retrieved April 19, 2011, from http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/drugs-alcohol/crack5.htm Inline Citation — (Watson, March 2011)
- 41 Random Facts About . . . Cocaine. (December 29, 2009). Retrieved April 19, 2011, from http://facts.randomhistory.com/2009/07/09_cocaine.html Inline Citation — ( 41 Random Facts About . . . Cocaine., December 29, 2009)
- Cocaine Effects. (2004). Retrieved April 19, 2011, from http://www.cocaine-effects.net/ Inline Citation — ( Cocaine Effects., 2004)
- Mirkin, G (6/4/94). How Cocaine Kills Athletes. Retrieved April 19, 2011, from http://www.drmirkin.com/archive/6210.html Inline Citation — (Mirkin, 6/4/94)
- Cocaine Use and Its Effects. (July 03, 2008). Retrieved April 19, 2011, from http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/cocaine-use-and-its-effects Inline Citation — ( Cocaine Use and Its Effects., July 03, 2008)