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Cocaine crisis

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 What is Cocaine crisis?

Cocaine is an illegal stimulant that speeds up brain function.The person using it feels euphoric because the cocaine connects to the brain’s chemical reward system Long-term cocaine use can lead to depression, psychosis, and heart problems.

How does cocaine work?

The brain “rewards” us for engaging in life-enhancing behaviors, like eating or having s*x, releasing a flood of pleasurable neurochemicals. Dopamine is one of these brain chemicals. This chemical reinforcement makes us want to re-engage in those behaviors.

Cocaine works by taking advantage of this reward system and activating the release of dopamine. This means that cocaine is extremely addictive, not just psychologically, but neurochemically.

Effects of cocaine use

The effects of cocaine depend on the strength of the dose, the mixture of chemicals, the physiology of the person and their state of mind when taking the drug.Cocaine fever lasts for a short time, 15 to 30 minutes after inhalation.

Generally, some of the immediate effects of cocaine include:

feelings of euphoria, joy, and confidence
accelerated heart rate
increased body temperature
a burst of energy
dilated pupils
loss of appetite
the need to have s*x.

Harm caused by long-term use of cocaine

If you snort or snort cocaine regularly, it can damage the lining of the nose and the structure that separates the nostrils. If cocaine is injected, there is a risk of blood poisoning, blood-borne viruses (such as HIV or hepatitis) from shared equipment, damaged blood vessels, and skin abscesses.

Heart problems are another side effect of long-term cocaine use.Some people experience mental health problems,such as severe depression. A condition known as “cocaine psychosis” includes symptoms such as aggression and disturbing hallucinations, often of insects under the skin.

NHS Help to treat people

The NHS has to treat people up to the age of 90 with mental health problems caused by extreme cocaine use.

Meanwhile, the number of times that people over 60 years of age were admitted to hospitals in England with a primary or secondary diagnosis of ‘mental and behavioral disorders due to cocaine use’ increased from 67 in 2010-11 to 414 in 2020-21: a 518 percentage increase.

In the age group 60 to 69, there was an increase of 516 percent, with 516 admissions in 2020-21 compared to 51 in 2010-11.

In the last ten years, the number of people aged 70 to 79 admitted skyrocketed from just nine to 79 cases.

Cases in the 80 to 89 age group doubled in a decade, from three to six.

In people age 90 and older, cases increased from four in 2010-11 to 14 in the most recent financial year.

Experts say the statistics are the result of drug users living longer.

Dr. David Bremner

Dr. David Bremner, addiction consultant psychiatrist at healthcare provider Turning Point, told the Sunday Express: “Drug and alcohol services have to be adapted to meet the needs of an aging population.

‘The widespread use of a harm reduction approach over the years has helped people stay safe and live longer.
“As a result, we have a cohort of older people with complex needs who come to us for support.

“As with any drug, the impact of long-term cocaine use will affect mental health in a variety of ways,from anxiety and depression to serious mental illnesses such as psychotic illness.

“Turning Point would encourage anyone, herself or her loved ones, who is using drugs to speak to their GP or local drug and alcohol service, regardless of her age.

Rachel Britton of the addiction charity

Rachel Britton of the addiction charity With You told the Sunday Express that people with mental health problems sometimes self-medicate with illicit drugs like cocaine.

she said: ‘Distressing feelings can get worse, and both’ rebound anxiety ‘and paranoia are related to quitting drugs like cocaine.’

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Cocaine crisis Quicks and Facts

  • There were 14 cases of over-90s treated for cocaine abuse in 2020-21 in England
  • Admissions of over-60s for cocaine abuse has increased 518 percent in a decade
  • Experts say better care has resulted in a cohort of drug users living to old age
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