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Teen Cocaine Abuse

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Cocaine abuse is a problem among teens. Many teens abuse the drug for its stimulant properties. Teen rehab may be the best choice if a child is using this dangerous drug.

Cocaine is a dangerous substance with serious health effects and complications.

Coca leaves have been chewed and ingested for thousands of years. According to National Institutes of Health, in the early 1900s, purified cocaine was used to treat a number of ailments. Today, it as a Schedule II substance. Therefore, this means that it can be administered for medical purposes but is also highly addictive.

How Cocaine Works

Cocaine triggers increased neural stimulation. This initiates the release of dopamine, a chemical that gives feelings of pleasure. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), with consistent cocaine abuse, the brain loses the ability to stimulate the production of dopamine naturally. Hence, many chronic cocaine abusers have a hard time being happy without the drug.

What Your Teen Knows About Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is widely available. On the street, cocaine goes by a number of slang terms. Common names for the drug include coke, C, blow, powder, snow, flake, and white. In addition, some use their own names for the drug, based on inside jokes. As a result, coded language can tip parents to illicit activities.

Cocaine comes in two forms: the powder form that can be dissolved and injected or snorted and the freebase form of the drug, called crack, that is usually smoked. In addition, both are used by high school teenagers. Hence, both are extremely harmful and highly addictive.

Prevalence of Teen Cocaine Abuse

About six percent of high schoolers reported abusing crack or cocaine at some point in their lives. In addition, 3.4 percent said that they used the drugs within the last year and 1.3 percent reported cocaine use in the past month.

Teens are aware that cocaine is a dangerous drug and highly addictive. Consequently, it is not a lack of education that is causing teen cocaine abuse. Rather, there may be other issues that invite substance use. In fact, access specifically may drive the use of cocaine among some teens.

Signs and Symptoms of Teen Cocaine Abuse

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 1.4 million Americans met the criteria for cocaine addiction and abuse in the past year. This is as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V, used by therapists and medical professionals to diagnose mental health issues. The Drug Abuse Warning Network also reports that almost half a million of the almost two million emergency room visits in the country were related to the abuse of cocaine.

Some of the symptoms of the disorder include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Decreased appetite
  • High activity levels
  • Talkativeness
  • Argumentative behavior
  • Nervousness

Consequently, parents should also be on the lookout for obvious signs of cocaine use. In addition, they should keep eyes open for drug paraphernalia, residue found around the house (e.g., on mirrors, CD cases, licenses or IDs), or missing money. In conclusion, these signs can all signify drug use.

More on: Drug Abuse Signs and Symptoms

Cocaine Abuse DangersRisks Associated With Teen Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine taints different parts of the user’s life and experience. Some of the issues risked by teens who abuse cocaine include:

  • Cocaine addiction. Cocaine addiction can steal health, hope, and opportunities.
  • Accidental death. Cocaine abuse comprises a large portion of teen emergency room visits every year according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • Disease transmission. According to a study done by the Academy for Educational Development, cocaine can increase your teen’s risk of getting diseases. In addition, these include hepatitis C or HIV via unprotected sex or sharing needles.
  • Problems at home. The mood swings and need to keep their new habits secret can mean arguments with parents. Additionally, many teens withdraw from family activities and begin to break rules as their dependence upon the drug increases.
  • Problems at school. Though some students abuse cocaine in an effort to stay up later and study for exams or work on assignments, the end results are usually an inability to get up on time for school once the drugs wear off. Disciplinary issues may ensue. They also may fall behind in class.

The Effect of Cocaine Abuse on Your Teen

Between the ages of 12 and 20, the brain goes through development. When cocaine abuse is an issue, the drug can interfere with the development of key brain functions. In addition, it can impact maturation and emotional development. As a result, according to Medline Plus, a number of different systems in the body are affected by chronic cocaine abuse. These include:

  • Limbic System. The brain’s reward system is altered significantly by cocaine use. Over time, cocaine makes it hard for the brain to experience pleasure without the drug.
  • Immune System. Cocaine and other drugs can cause damage to the immune system. Hence, this leaves the body unable to fight infection.
  • Reproductive System. Cocaine has been found to severely impair the development of reproductive organs.
  • Mental Health. The mood swings associated with cocaine can wreak havoc on emotions and trigger issues related to underlying mental health disorders.

What Parents Can Do About Teen Cocaine Abuse

The greatest weapons parents have in the fight are information and communication.

Recognize cocaine use in a child and then move quickly into a discussion. Furthermore, this can make all the difference in a teen’s experience with cocaine abuse. Consequently, parents must be proactive. Therefore, you can  never hope “that the problem simply goes away on its own.” Instead, confront children about the problem and help them get the appropriate treatment before it is too late. As a result, parents who get involved will be the most effective in helping their child.

Treatment for Teen Cocaine Abuse at Newport Academy

Parents are not alone in their fight. Teen treatment centers are equipped to help families break the cycle of substance abuse before it is life altering.

At Newport Academy, we offer a program that has a range of therapeutic options. Families are included and academics are supported, making our treatment options an excellent choice. In conclusion, offer top-notch counseling and cutting-edge treatment programs. Hence, every young person who enrolls at Newport Academy is given a chance to live the rest of their lives with passion, love, and fulfillment.

For more information, contact the team Newport Academy today.