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21March

Cocaine: The Effects and the Risks

Written by Emma Burbidge Posted in Alcohol and drug addiction

Cocaine: The Effects and the Risks

You may think that taking cocaine is ‘sick’ and will boost your rep among your mates. However, the truth is, taking drugs is not only illegal, it is extremely dangerous and can limit your job opportunities later in life.

Cocaine is a powerful drug with short-lived effects. It can be smoked, snorted or injected and can appear as a white powder (coke) or little white rocks the size of raisins (crack).

While the drug makes you feel on top of the world at first, and very confident, alert and awake, it can make some people over-confident, arrogant and aggressive. Next thing you know you will be taking very careless risks, which could put you, or others around you, in serious danger.

Cocaine can also have many side-effects, including raising the body’s temperature, making the heart beat faster and reducing your appetite. After using cocaine, users can experience a long ‘comedown’ which can leave people feeling depressed and exhausted for days.

You may feel pressured to take this drug because your friends are doing it. If you try it, it is up to you, but just be aware of the legal implications and the very serious risks surrounding the drug. Trying it once could be your last.

The Risks

  • Users risk taking too much, which can cause sudden rises in body temperature, and lead to convulsions, heart attacks and heart failure. Mixing cocaine with other drugs or alcohol can also seriously raise the risk of overdosing
  • Over time, snorting cocaine can damage the cartilage in your nose and the permanent effect could be a mis-shapen nose
  • Cocaine is highly risky for anybody with high blood pressure or a heart condition
  • Long-term use can lead to serious mental issues, such as anxiety, paranoia and panic attacks
  • Taking cocaine during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, premature labour and low birth weight
  • Users can get cravings begging for more, making it very expensive
  • Injecting it can damage veins and cause ulcers and gangrene, as well as increasing the risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis
  • Some crack uses try to dull the cravings by taking heroin which can get them hooked on that as well. Mixing these two drugs can have fatal results
  • Using cocaine with alcohol (or other drugs) can substantially increase the risk of side-effects and release a toxic chemical into your body called cocaethylene.

The Law

Cocaine is a class A Drug which means it is illegal to have, give away or sell. Just possessing cocaine can get you up to seven years in jail, while supplying someone else can get you life and an unlimited fine.

If you’re caught with cocaine the police will decide what action to take. They may let you off with a formal caution if it is your first offence, however next time they may not be so lenient. Getting caught with it could lead to your arrest or even prosecution.

Convictions for drug-related offences can have a serious impact on your future prospects by limiting the types of jobs you can apply for and stopping you from visiting certain countries, such as the United States.

Remember, there are other ways to have fun that does not involve taking drugs. Make new friends, find a new hobby, make every effort to distance yourself from those taking this drug, and you can combat this drug forever, before it ruins your life.

If you need help with getting off cocaine and finding appropriate rehab facilities, then let TCHC know. Our advisers can help you access the necessary support, and get you on the path to a happy education and career.

To find out more, visit http://www.mgn.tchc.net/our-programmes/youth-contract.

About the Author

Emma Burbidge

Emma Burbidge

Emma Burbidge is the marketing assistant at TCHC. She helps to manage the website and promote the Youth Contract. She enjoys writing for the blog and sharing advice and tips with young people on a range of topics, from finding a job to battling with depression.

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