Canada ranks second in the list of countries whose citizens admitted to regular cocaine use.
1,960 Canadians used half a gram of cocaine ten days in a month according to the 2019 Global Drug Survey headed by University College London professor, Dr. Adam Winstock. The survey included 36 other countries and more than 130,000 people. The quantity of cocaine used by Canadians fell within the global average.
Possible reasons cited for Canadians’ addiction to this stimulant are the following:
- Cocaine in Canada costs $85 per gram. In most parts of the world, an average gram of cocaine is $120
- Cocaine dealers in Canada are considered “totally” trustworthy by Canadian users
Besides Canada, other countries who are second in the 2019 Global Drug Survey list include Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Denmark, England. The number one country in the survey which uses cocaine 12 days a year in Scotland.
Related article: Cocaine Addiction
Who are Canada’s cocaine-addicted users?
A 2004 survey revealed that cocaine use among Canadian teens and adults were increasing at 1.8% annually. This same demographic is also the country’s major cocaine users.
Cocaine, also known as coke, blow, snow, and rock, comes from the South American coca bush leaves. Once processed, the leaves turn into a white powder and are ingested in the following ways:
- Through nasal snorting
- Injecting the water-dissolved cocaine through the veins
Once consumed, cocaine’s effects vary from one person to another. A few of its effects include the following:
- A feeling of euphoria
- Mental alertness
- More energy
- Less need for sleep and food
- Heightened senses
- Muscle twitching
- Quick startle response
- High blood pressure
- Rapid breathing
- Violent behaviour
- Heart issues
Statistics also show that while the number of new cocaine users is growing, the quantity of people who remain addicted is steadily decreasing. The decline has been attributed to prevention, ample education, and addiction treatment. Still, it is teens to young adults who are turning up as cocaine’s first-time users.
Related article: Cocaine Addiction Treatment
The lethal effect of cocaine use
Overdose is a lethal effect of cocaine addiction. There is no specific quantity that would cause an overdose. Though each individual’s reaction to cocaine varies, ingesting too much would cause the following effects:
- Breathing failure
- Irregular heartbeat
Related article: How to Prepare for Drug Withdrawal Symptoms?
The danger of cocaine dependence
Another survey done on Canadian cocaine users revealed that six out of ten intend to use less of the drugs. Also, users who fall within the lower age bracket become nine times more dependent on cocaine compared to older users. Fortunately, the same number of people surveyed claimed not to have used cocaine in the past year. Plus, the number of individuals addicted have been steadily falling.
If the Canadian government continues its diligent efforts to implement strategies to prevent its use, as well as further people’s awareness of its lethal effects, the downward statistical trend will highly likely continue.
People who are highly dependent on cocaine are unable to function in its absence. They start to crave it limitlessly due to the tolerance their body has built towards it. Eventually, they demand more of it in the hopes of receiving the same type of “high” they once received during their first hit.
Their cocaine craving disallows them to maintain focus on anything. The urge to use becomes more powerful than any person, responsibility or issue in their lives. Their thoughts and actions are taken over by their need to re-experience cocaine. Their brain, and consequently their mental function and behaviour is altered.
Long-term cocaine dependence eventually causes the following:
- Hallucinations, psychosis, delusions
- Mood changes
- Distrustful feelings, suspicion, jealousy
Physical symptoms include:
- Breath shortness
- Breathing failure
- Extreme chest pain
- Coughing up blood from the lungs
- Inflamed lungs
- Low blood oxygen
- Red, runny, chapped nose
- Development of a hole in the wall between the nostrils due to regular cocaine-snorting
- Loss of one’s sense of smell
- Regular sinus infection
- Heart attack
Other manifestations of prolonged cocaine use are:
- Low libido
- Low sex drive
- Pregnant women risks stillbirth, miscarriage, premature delivery
- Bleeding inside the brain
- Possibility of the brain’s blood vessels to burst
- Blood poisoning (when injecting cocaine)
- Infection of the heart’s lining
- Hepatitis B, C and/or HIV (due to shared needles when injecting cocaine)
If a cocaine-addicted individual is abruptly stopped from taking them, withdrawal symptoms occur. These include:
- Feeling fatigued
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Persistent hunger cravings
- Losing energy, both mental and physical
- Behaving violently
Related article: How to Overcome Cocaine Addiction?
All in all, overcoming cocaine addiction is possible but difficult. The rewards of a cocaine-free life outweigh its use. Stopping now is a necessity if you want to live your best life. A detox or rehabilitation facility can help take you there.