Cocaine use in teenagers is a very, very troubling subject, a subject that should be taken seriously by all parents of teenaged children. If you suspect that your son or daughter might be using cocaine, then it is very important that you seek the necessary advice and assistance. Below you will find the three most important basic facts about cocaine use in teens:
1. It does happen.
Although cocaine is not the most popular drug among teenagers, because it is such a dangerous and unpredictable drug, any cocaine use among the teenaged segment of the population is cause for distress. Statistics indicate that about six million people over the age of twelve have used cocaine at least once in the past year, and approximately one in twenty high school seniors have used cocaine in the past year. Even younger students have tried cocaine, with over three percent of 10th graders having used cocaine within the past year. Part of cocaine’s popularity is rooted in the fact that it can be taken in a number of ways: Cocaine is usually snorted, but it can also be injected or smoked. If you are worried that your child could be using cocaine, it’s important to learn more about the drug’s signs and symptoms.
2. The short term effects are obvious.
If you think that your teen could be using cocaine, then look for the obvious signs and symptoms. The short term effects of cocaine- that is, the effects that occur immediately after taking the drug- are rather distinct. You would be hard pressed to confuse the signs of a teen high on cocaine with the signs of a teen high on another drug like, for example, marijuana. Cocaine is a very powerful stimulant, and its effects include increased blood pressure, constricted blood vessels, and dilated pupils. Teens who use cocaine often report increased mental alertness, increased energy, decreased appetite, euphoria, a feeling of supremacy or invincibility, and increased body temperature. They also report more negative immediate effects, such as paranoia, restlessness, anxiety, and irritability. The high that teens get from snorting cocaine usually wears off in a short time period of 30 minutes to two hours, and during this time your teen is likely to be talk very quickly, sniff often, seem absentminded, lose track of their thoughts, and act very hyper. Also, because cocaine is so expensive, teen cocaine users often resort to stealing in order to finance their drug habit.
3. The long term effects are terrible.
If you suspect that your teen is a cocaine user, it is vitally important that you intervene as soon as possible. Cocaine is one of the most highly addictive drugs available, and as such, it can be extremely difficult for your teen to stop using once their cocaine use has become habitual. Long term cocaine use can result in a huge number of serious medical problems, including an increased risk of seizures, strokes, respiratory problems, heart attacks, and brain damage. These long term side effects are in addition, of course, to the possible harm caused by incidental side effects like violent behavior, needle sharing (amongst teens who inject their cocaine), and unprotected sexual encounters.
Cocaine use in teens is a major issue, one that concerned parents should take very seriously. If your son or daughter has exhibited the signs and symptoms of a cocaine habit, it is crucial that you address this problem immediately. Stopping cocaine use is a long and arduous process, one that will likely result in intense frustration and emotional pain, so do not attempt to go it alone. Instead, seek professional help.