What is Freebasing Cocaine? Side Effects, Dangers, and Addiction Potential

What is Freebasing Cocaine Side Effects, Dangers, and Addiction Potential

Cocaine is a recreational stimulant drug. Users typically inject or snort cocaine to get its energy-boosting effects. While many people believe that cocaine has fewer risks than other addictive illegal substances, this isn’t the case. Cocaine has the potential to cause a range of short and long-term side effects, and users may develop dependence on it in a short period of use.

Cocaine’s effects don’t last very long, which can make people want to use it more frequently to keep their “high”. Anytime someone uses a drug frequently, they put themselves at risk of developing physical dependence and addiction.

Freebasing is a method of ingesting cocaine that gives people an even quicker and more intense high. Users who freebase cocaine may be more likely to develop addiction and are at increased risk for overdose.

If you or someone you love struggle with cocaine abuse or are freebasing cocaine, you are not alone. Comprehensive addiction treatment can help you overcome your substance use and set you on a path toward a healthier, sober future. Reach out to the Moving Mountains team now to explore our holistic cocaine addiction treatment programs.

What is Freebasing Cocaine?

Many cocaine users snort powdered cocaine or inject it. However, some take it in a different way, known as freebasing. Freebasing involves heating a pure form of cocaine and breathing in the vapors. This method of ingestion often provides more intense effects in a shorter time than ways of using cocaine.

Freebase cocaine is made by adding ammonia and other chemicals to cocaine. This process separates pure cocaine from its base of sodium. Next, this pure cocaine is processed with ether. Processing freebase cocaine is very dangerous. Many people who make freebase cocaine start fires or cause hazardous explosions.

Freebase cocaine is a solid. It doesn’t dissolve easily in water and cannot be snorted or injected. Users combine freebase with a small amount of copper and heat it in a glass pipe. They then inhale the vapors, which are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Once inside the body, freebase cocaine reaches the brain quickly, causing an intense but short-lived high.

Because the effects of freebasing cocaine are so short-lived, users may want to use it frequently to maintain the desirable effects. This frequent use puts people at increased risk of developing tolerance and addiction.

What are the Effects of Freebasing Cocaine?

Using cocaine in any way can cause short and long-term effects. However, freebasing cocaine has additional side effects because of the way people ingest it. When people freebase cocaine, they heat a solid, purified form of cocaine and inhale the vapors. This method allows the drug to reach the brain quickly.

Short-term effects include:

  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Constricted pupils
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Headache
  • Panic attacks
  • Increased body temperature
  • High blood pressure

The desirable effects of freebasing cocaine do not last very long, and people often experience a “crash” as the effects wear off. During a “crash”, people may experience the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

These effects can be so uncomfortable that people may use cocaine again to find relief. People may use large amounts of cocaine in a short period–also called binging. This pattern of use significantly increases the likelihood of developing tolerance and addiction.

Long-term effects include:

  • Increased risk for heart attack and stroke
  • Heart palpitations
  • Asthma and other breathing problems
  • Seizures

Freebasing cocaine can also cause burns to the hands, mouth, and face and may lead to violent or erratic behaviors. People may also become violent or aggressive. They may cause accidents, injure themselves or others, and take risks that result in serious harm.

Can Freebasing Lead to Overdose?

Freebasing cocaine is very dangerous and can lead to irreversible damage to your mental and physical health. One of the most significant risks of freebasing is the potential for overdose.

An overdose occurs when someone uses an amount of a substance that their body can’t process. An overdose is a life-threatening medical emergency, and people who overdose while freebasing cocaine need immediate assistance.

Some of the symptoms of a cocaine overdose include:

  • Hyperventilation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Mixing cocaine and other substances, including alcohol, can increase the risk of complications and overdose.

Recognizing Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

Identifying cocaine abuse is the first step toward getting help to overcome it. Cocaine is a potent stimulant that can change a person’s behaviors, emotions, and appearance.

Here are some of the signs of cocaine abuse to watch for:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Dilated pupils
  • Changes in appetite
  • Chronic runny nose or frequent nosebleeds
  • Isolation
  • Mood changes
  • Increased risk-taking behaviors
  • Excessive talkativeness or excitability
  • Poor oral health
  • Neglected responsibilities at home, work, or school
  • Exaggerated confidence
  • Insomnia

You may also see physical signs of cocaine use, such as white powder on their face or burns on their lips or fingers. If someone you love exhibits signs of cocaine abuse, help them find treatment as soon as possible.

Get Help Now

If you or someone you love are freebasing cocaine or struggling with other kinds of substance abuse, you are not alone. Contact the Moving Mountains Recovery team to explore our effective cocaine addiction treatment programs. Take the first step of your recovery journey now–the rest of your life is waiting.

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