Drugs can be informally classified as uppers or downers depending on the effect they have on the central nervous system (CNS).

Uppers are stimulants and these are drugs that increase alertness, energy and boost the user’s mood. Downers, on the other hand, depress the CNS producing a sedative effect, inducing relaxation, minimizing pain, and sometimes making the user drowsy.       

Now that we know the difference between the two, we can answer the question – Is cocaine an upper or a downer? It is an upper.

Like other uppers, cocaine stimulates the CNS and boosts the user’s energy, physical stamina, and alertness, making them feel invincible and invigorated. But how exactly does it do this and what are the side effects?

Cocaine as an Upper

Cocaine is highly addictive and gets to work as soon as it’s taken. It gets to the brain and releases massive amounts of dopamine, making the user experience an energizing high. This drug speeds up the CNS, resulting in increased excitement and activity in the body.

These effects can be seen in the quickening of the pulse, the increase in blood pressure and body temperature, and rapid breathing. The user experiences increased mental alertness and energy levels and this can drastically change their personality. A bored individual can become energized and the life of the party while someone who is shy and retiring can become self-confident and outgoing after taking cocaine.

Cocaine also inhibits tiredness, so the user may find it difficult to sleep or rest. It also suppresses appetite while increasing metabolism which can lead to weight loss and malnutrition over time.

The downside of this is that cocaine’s stimulating effect wears off after some hours, leaving the user worse off than before. Known as crashing, this results in a range of unpleasant side effects including exhaustion, paranoia, irritability, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. This is accompanied by intense cravings for the drug.

Due to this high and crash cycle, most cocaine users end up stuck in a negative cycle where they take the drug, get high, the crash then do it all over again. This only reinforces their addiction.

Treatment is Available

You don’t have to wait until cocaine takes over your life. Help is available from the Robert Alexander Center for Recovery. This is a drug abuse treatment center in Kentucky where we provide a safe and comfortable environment for those recovering from drug abuse.

We offer a range of drug addiction treatment programs including intensive outpatient and outpatient programs as well as family therapy programs. We also offer detox services to help our clients rid their bodies of harmful toxins left by drugs before they can join our treatment programs.

We are ready to help you get started on your recovery journey. All you have to do is contact us.

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