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Is Cocaine a Depressant or a Stimulant?

Cocaine is derived from the coca plant that is native to South America. While cocaine serves as an anesthetic in medical practices, it is an addictive drug. People abuse cocaine to experience effects like increased energy, focus, and euphoria.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 4.8 million people abused cocaine in 2021.

There are two main types of drug classes: depressant and stimulant drugs. Cocaine is a stimulant because it increases activity in the central nervous system. Cocaine is highly addictive and leads to effects like increased blood pressure and body temperature. Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug because it is highly addictive but does have an approved medicinal use.

What is a Depressant?

Depressant drugs decrease activity in the central nervous system. They cause symptoms like slowed breathing, decreased heart rate, and drowsiness. Depressants also affect the reward system, causing feelings of euphoria.

Common depressant drugs include benzos and opioids. For example, Xanax, Klonopin, heroin, and morphine are types of commonly abused depressant drugs.

The side effects of depressant drugs include:

  • Sleepiness and drowsiness
  • Anxiety relief
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Impaired coordination and speech
  • Mental confusion
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed breathing
  • Reduced heart rate

Abusing depressant drugs leads to an increased risk of addiction. Any type of substance abuse can lead to long-term physical and mental health effects. Seek professional medical advice if you have become dependent on a depressant.

What is a Stimulant?

Stimulants are drugs that increase activity in the central nervous system. Some stimulant drugs treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Additionally, stimulants like cocaine are local anesthetics in medical settings.

Examples of prescription stimulants include Adderall and Ritalin. People abuse stimulant drugs like cocaine and meth illegally despite their medical uses.

Even though stimulants have medicinal uses, many of them are addictive. People abuse stimulants to experience increased energy, focus, and self-confidence. However, stimulants can also lead to negative side effects.

The side effects of stimulant use include:

  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Anxiety or jitteriness
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Psychosis and paranoia
  • Increased sweating
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Seizures

Is Cocaine a Stimulant or Depressant?

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that increases activity in the central nervous system. Like other stimulants, it causes symptoms like increased heart rate, heightened energy, and high body temperature. Most people who use cocaine are buying it on the street, putting them at risk of experiencing an overdose.

Cocaine was responsible for 24,486 overdose deaths in 2021.

Cocaine purchased illegally on the street appears as a fine white powder. People usually snort cocaine to experience an energetic and euphoric high.

People might smoke cocaine by cooking it into a drug called crack. Crack is a hard rock-like substance that causes similar effects as cocaine. Both drugs are highly addictive and can lead to physical dependence, overdose, and other fatal consequences.

Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse

If you are worried that your loved one abuse cocaine, you should be aware of the symptoms. People who misuse cocaine often display unlikely energy. Your loved one might not sleep or eat for days at a time because of the effects of cocaine.

The common signs and symptoms of cocaine abuse include:

  • Rushes of euphoria
  • High levels of energy
  • Being chatty
  • Increased mental alertness
  • Being sensitive to sight, sound, and touch
  • Decreased need for food and sleep
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Quick reaction times
  • Changes in personal hygiene
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increased anxiety and paranoia
  • Having a hard time controlling how much cocaine they use
  • Bizzare or violent behavior
  • Psychosis
  • Tremors and muscle twitches

The more cocaine someone uses, the higher the likelihood of addiction. If your loved one routinely abuses cocaine, they might require professional addiction treatment.

When is it Time for Cocaine Addiction Treatment?

Treatment for cocaine addiction should begin as soon as possible. In other words, you should never wait to “hit rock bottom” before seeking help. With that in mind, there are signs to look for that indicate you need help.

The signs it’s time for cocaine addiction treatment include:

  • Having a hard time controlling how much cocaine you use
  • Experiencing strong urges to abuse cocaine
  • Continuing to use cocaine despite facing social issues
  • Abusing cocaine, even though it’s leading to health and psychological concerns
  • Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Decline in performance at home, school, or work
  • Needing a higher dose of cocaine to experience the desired effect
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you do not use cocaine

If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it’s time to seek help for cocaine addiction. Drug rehab programs like Mandala Healing Center can offer you the support and tools you need to regain control over your life.

Find Help for Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from cocaine addiction, Mandala Healing Center is here to help. Our drug and alcohol treatment options in West Palm Beach offer a high level of support and evidence-based treatments. We also use holistic care to ensure you build a strong foundation of recovery.

Contact us today to learn more about our cocaine rehab center.