Cocaine

Definition - What does Cocaine mean?

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that has a stimulant effect on users. Repeated use of cocaine can cause life-long damage, physically altering the brain's structure.

Cocaine may be extracted from the leaves of the coca plant or created synthetically. In the past cocaine was used as a medical treatment for various conditions ranging from depression to a cough. In addition to being a stimulant, cocaine can have a numbing effect. It is still used in some countries under controlled conditions as a anesthetic.

The United States categorizes cocaine as a Schedule II drug. It is illegal for use except for legitimate medical purposes. As an illegal drug, cocaine is available in several different forms including powder and crystals. Street names for cocaine include crack, snow, powder, and blow.

WorkplaceTesting explains Cocaine

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) includes cocaine and its metabolites in the set of 5 drugs for which mandatory drug testing is required for safety sensitive employees. The drug is usually included in non-DOT testing as well. Cocaine causes the user to experience euphoria and may become addictive after just a few uses. Use of cocaine not only affects the users behavior and brain function, but can also cause severe damage to the circulatory system leading to heart failure or death.

Signs of cocaine use include dilated pupils, sleeplessness, paranoia, euphoria, excitability, and loss of appetite. Additionally, cocaine users may suffer headaches, confusion, nausea, and seizures, among other adverse effects.

Undergoing treatment for cocaine addiction is a multi-step process and will include a period of psychological and physical withdrawal.

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