4.6 The risks of cocaine see also 3.6
Occasional use of cocaine makes the user euphoric and alert; regular cocaine use makes the user restless and irritable. Self-confidence can turn into overconfidence. Heavy cocaine users might also live in a world of make-believe: You think that you have a fabulous life. You amass social contacts and virtually feel like God himself - equally ingenious. In reality, this fabulous life may not be all that it seems cut out to be. Chronic cocaine use can make the user selfish, arrogant, delusional and aggressive: Character traits which do not really attract friends. "Coke distorts everything and everybody - friends seem like vampires, sex turns into sadomasochism, dialogues into monologues, concern into hypocrisy. "(From.'Los'1997). But cocaine also takes a physical toll. Prolonged loss of appetite leads to serious weight loss and reduced resistance against infections. Combine this with sleeping disorders, (a well-known problem in cocaine use), and the yearlong assault on the body results in exhaustion which may be accompanied by disturbances of the heart rhythm. Not to mention the 'creepy crawlies' phenomena. Long-term users suddenly might feel as though an army of bugs mercilessly is gnawing away at their flesh.
* The shakes' (sudden fever attack if cocaine is injected).
* Infection with HIV and hepatitis. Medium term
* Weight loss.
* Reduced resistance.
* Nose bleeds.
* Infection of the nasal membranes.
* Heart rhythm disturbances.
* Abscesses from injecting.
* Perforation of nasal septum.
Is cocaine addictive?
No, cocaine is not physically addictive but can lead to psychological dependence, particularly, when it is used in order to boost self-confidence. The addiction potential of crack and freebase cocaine is many times higher than that of pure cocaine. This is due to the 'rush' wearing off much quicker. Without this short, extreme feeling of bliss the world all too soon seems cold and empty to the user. And quickly he/she uses again, and again, and again.
Can cocaine use lead to aggression?
Yes, especially after prolonged cocaine use, suspicion or mistrust may turn into aggression.
Alcohol and cocaine
The combination of alcohol and cocaineseems ideal: One stimulates, the othercalms down. A person can keep going forhours without feeling drunk. In reality, the user ruins his body. Prolonged use ofboth, cocaine and alcohol, leads toexhaustion and insomnia. The 'ideal combination' also increases the risk of an overdose.