Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant derived from the coca plant. The National Institute on Drug abuse states that it is most commonly used by young adults between the ages of 18 and 25. Although rates of abuse have become relatively stabilized since 2007, the dangers are still as present as ever.
The abuse of cocaine can cause a number of life-threatening side effects that include heart disease, stroke, and seizures. As the availability of the drug remains present on the streets, scientists have begun to take a more unique approach in the realm of harm reduction.
Today, our Banyan Lake Worth drug rehab analyzes the cocaine e-cigarette (e-cig), the importance of harm reduction, and the cruciality of getting medical help in the midst of these dangerous addictions.
Dangers of Cocaine
Typically snorted through the nose as a fine white powder, cocaine is infamous for its intense effect on the user’s central nervous system. It can heighten body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. It can also grant a strong sensation of focus, energy, and happiness. Being that the effects are short-lived, addictions are easily formed and can have life-long effects.
As abuse rates rage on, medical professionals have begun to seek out avenues for harm reduction in the midst of substance abuse treatment. Harm reduction is defined as “programs, policies, and practices that aim to minimize negative health, social and legal impacts associated with drug use, drug policies, and drug laws.”1
While no drug use is ideal, harm reduction seeks to bridge the gap in treatment by providing a safe, pure version of a substance while enticing users to engage with medical professionals, a crucial step in any recovery process.
Harm Reduction Examples
Harm reduction places emphasis on the concept of respecting the rights and experiences of people in the midst of drug addiction. Examples include:
- Fentanyl Test Strips: Fentanyl is commonly used by dealers to lace their supply in order to heighten their customers’ likelihood of addiction. These test strips can be distributed to people in order to check if the substance they are using contains Fentanyl.
- Methadone: This is a substance that is said to reduce cravings for heroin and similar drugs while aiding the patient’s establishment in treatment.
- Naloxone: A narcotic that treats opioid overdose.
Let this be clear – harm reduction does not operate with the intention of promoting drug use. Rather, it recognizes the dangers the black market poses to vulnerable individuals and seeks to redirect them towards safer, life-preserving facilities and professionals.
Would a Crack Pen Aid in Risk Mitigation?
A cocaine e-cigarette is exactly how it sounds, an e-cig model with a small cartridge that houses an e-liquid version of a smokable cocaine form, or SCF. This would be similar to the popular THC cartridges often sold on the black market.
The cocaine e-cig serves as an example of a “safe supply.” This is an approach that aims to prescribe pure, untampered versions of an addictive substance prescribed by a doctor to reduce the risk of overdose or death. It is not an ideal, or one size fits all concept, but researchers presume this can give the medical field an advantage in gaining control of the dangerous black market supply that continues to ravage the addicted.
This product is still just an idea, a theoretical weapon in the war on addiction. No matter what stage of addiction you may be in, there are people out there who understand the struggle a substance use disorder creates. Should you make a choice to seek out treatment, our BHOPB detox is a safe, medically monitored withdrawal management program that will aid you in preparing your body and mind for the potentially life-changing treatment to follow.
At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we seek to remove the shame from this stigmatized condition and provide a variety of therapies designed to create individualized treatment programs geared towards empowering you on your journey to sobriety.
- What Is Harm Reduction? – Harm Reduction International
- The Cocaine-E-Cigarette – A theoretical concept of a harm reduction device for current users of smokable cocaine forms – Sage Journals