As with all drugs, after the euphoria from cocaine has passed, the user enters into an inverse stage with strong feelings of unease, fatigue, anxiety and even depression.

In order to delay these dysphoric effects, most users will do whatever possible to prolong consumption until their supply runs out. Tests have shown that most animals –including humans– will avoid consuming life-threatening quantities of heroin and alcohol, but will continue to ingest cocaine to the point of death. After an extended cocaine binge, users become irritable, apathetic, disoriented, and even depressed, making it quite difficult to carry on normally with their daily activities. They often feel lethargic and sleep for extended periods. While trying to abstain from further cocaine consumption, users experience chills, aching muscles, tremors and abdominal pain.

Despite the ecstasy felt from the cocaine high, the misery that users feel upon crashing, including the following days, would seemingly be enough to deter further use. Yet, approximately 17% of those who try the drug go on to become addicted. This subsequently came as a surprise to cocaine consumers –and the U.S. medical community– in the mid-70s, who had little knowledge of the country’s first experience with cocaine addiction at the turn of the 20th century.

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Posted by Anaïs Faure