Teen Cocaine Use


Cocaine is not one of the more widely abused drugs by teenagers, but teen cocaine abuse does exist. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about six million people over the age of 12 have used cocaine at least once in the past year. 3.4% of 10th graders and 5.2% of 12th graders have used cocaine in the past year. Most cocaine use by teenagers is experimentation, but that does not mean that cocaine is safe.

Effects of teen cocaine use

Cocaine can have some very strong effects on the body. When taken, cocaine causes euphoria and a feeling of great energy. This is why it is used at all many abusers enjoy the “high” feeling that they receive.

Short term effects of teen cocaine use include:

  • Elevated heart rate.
  • Intense feelings of euphoria.
  • Feelings of high energy.
  • Distorted sensory perception.
  • Shaking.
  • Intense “low” feeling as the drug wears off and the user “crashes.”

These short term effects can also affect performance at school, work and in extracurricular activities. These short term issues can lead to longer term problems that can result in difficult getting and maintaining a job, getting into college and interacting normally with others.

Long term health effects of cocaine can be even more disturbing. If one uses cocaine for a long period of time, or in high dosage amounts, he or she may experience the following health effects:

  • Seizures.
  • Stroke.
  • Respiratory problems.
  • Heart attack.
  • Brain damage.
  • Infections due to needle sharing amongst those who inject cocaine.
  • Violent behavior.

It is also worth noting that in some cases, cocaine use can result in sudden death. There have been cases in which users, even first time users, end up dying after one use. Another thing to beware of is the fact that in many cases cocaine is mixed with other drugs or chemical substances. This can lead to dangerous and unexpected reactions that can damage one’s health or even be life threatening.

Cocaine is highly addictive and the body develops a tolerance to its use. One of the most dangerous effects of teen cocaine use is that a person’s body can become used to the amounts of cocaine used, and need more and more of the drug in order to feel the same effects. This can increase the chance of overdose as the user takes successively greater amounts of cocaine in an effort to get high.

Warning signs of teen cocaine abuse

Because of the dangers inherent in using cocaine, it is important to be on the lookout for teen drug use of cocaine. There are some specific warning signs that emerge due to teen cocaine abuse. Here are some of the more common signs of teen cocaine abuse:

  • Bloodshot eyes.
  • Frequent sniffing or runny nose (coming when one is snorting).
  • Dramatic shift in sleeping habits • especially staying up all night.
  • Change in group of friends.
  • Shift in weight, especially dramatic weight loss.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Loses interest in activities that used he or she used to enjoy.
  • Frequent and dramatic mood swings.
  • Presence of drug paraphernalia.
  • Declining performance at school and work.
  • Signs of depression.
  • Stops taking care of personal appearance and hygiene needs.
  • Always asking for money (or even stealing it), usually in order to support the habit.

If you know someone, especially a teenager, who is exhibiting a majority of these warning signs, it might be a good idea to seek help for him or her. There are residential treatments centers that can help teenagers manage their addictions and slowly overcome the cocaine habit. A supportive environment and doable plan, whether it is carried out locally or at a facility, are important in overcoming cocaine addiction.

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"I’ll do half a gram and have him sell the other one and a half. I would make my money back and that would be the end of it. Naively, I trusted him. That was my first mistake."


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