Cocaine, like many substances, used to be a drug of choice for men. Now, more and more women are using cocaine. There is never just one reason for trends like this, but one sure thing is that cocaine is a very addictive drug. Why do so many women choose cocaine?
The Hard Facts About Cocaine
Cocaine is a very addictive stimulant derived from the leaves of the South American coca plant. There are some legal medical uses, such as a local anesthetic, but most uses of the drug are illegal. The street drug is sometimes mixed with other drugs in powder form, such as opioids. When combined, there is a significantly higher risk of overdose. In rock form, it is known as crack cocaine, or crack. Short-term harmful side effects of cocaine use include:
- Constriction of blood vessels
- Increased or irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure and body temperature
- Tremors and muscle twitches
In addition to the powerful addictive effects of cocaine, some of the long-term harmful side effects are:
- Nosebleeds, loss of smell, runny nose, or problems swallowing
- Respiratory problems including asthma and infections like pneumonia
- Bowel decay due to decreased blood flow in the intestines
- Scarring, collapsed veins, soft tissue infections
- Increased risk of bloodborne diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis C
- Parkinson’s disease or other movement disorders
- Auditory hallucinations and paranoia
How Cocaine Affects Women
Studies about gender differences show that women may be more sensitive to the pleasure and reward qualities of cocaine and its effects on the heart and blood vessels, with hormones such as estrogen possibly making the difference. With animals, studies show that females take the drug quicker and in larger quantities than males.
Trying to Get Ahead With Cocaine
Because cocaine is a stimulant, women might ingest it to stay awake for long hours or give them more energy. Some women will use cocaine to get through school with demanding hours and big projects or tests to study for. Other women might take the drug to get through tiresome, stressful days at work.
Unfortunately, cocaine is associated with decreased cognitive function, including problems with concentration, learning, and other academic functions. In either scenario, women are trying to get ahead, but the reality is that they are often left behind with addiction and the dangerous side effects of cocaine.
Women Who Use Cocaine for Weight Loss
There is a direct correlation between cocaine and weight loss, which is very appealing for women concerned about their body image. As with most drugs used for weight loss, there are more dangers than benefits with cocaine. One particularly troubling development occurs when women have achieved their desired weight. Upon attempting to stop using cocaine, they find they cannot because they are addicted.
Myths About “The Skinny Drug”
Cocaine serves as an appetite suppressant due to its stimulant qualities. Yet, many users report eating to excess more frequently and eating more fatty foods than before cocaine use. Despite the increased fat consumption, those who used cocaine still had significantly lower amounts of stored body fat.
A study entitled “The skinny on cocaine: Insights into eating behavior and body weight in cocaine-dependent men” was originally published in the journal “Appetite,” Volume 71, in December 2013. The study concluded that cocaine changes the body’s ability to store fat in both animal and human studies, leading to cravings for more fat in their diet.
Cocaine may sound appealing, but one of the many problems is that it changes metabolism. The drug is incredibly addictive and very harmful to the body, so prolonged or heavy use becomes dangerous in other ways, too. However, when those ingesting cocaine stopped, they gained a lot of fat due to the mentioned metabolic changes. This disturbing phenomenon of excess weight gain causes many people to relapse.
The Reality About Cocaine
The harsh reality about cocaine is that addiction is the typical outcome no matter what women use as motivation or justification for its use. There are also a variety of severe health risks, including potential overdose when taking cocaine laced with fentanyl or other drugs.
Women who take cocaine in an effort to lose weight can endure serious health problems and gain more weight when they try to stop taking the drug. Women who use cocaine as a stimulant to get ahead at work or school instead find themselves behind due to a decline in cognitive performance. Cocaine addiction is serious, and medical supervision is needed during cessation to prevent more severe health problems.
Women use cocaine in large part due to the lure of the stimulant effect produced to help them be more productive and likely weight loss. The end result is usually the same, though–addiction–as cocaine is very addictive and can cause serious, even life-threatening, health problems. Treatment for cocaine addiction is one of the services provided atThe Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women in Costa Mesa, California. Our residential treatment facility offers cocaine detox in Costa Mesa and educational and therapeutic treatment. We also have a nutritionist to help women with disordered eating. We are located near balmy beaches and soothing mountains to create a peaceful refuge for your healing process. We offer trauma-informed care for women in a compassionate, non-judgmental environment. Our clientele includes women in school, business, the military, or homemakers from all ages and walks of life.