Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article
Young people are surrounded by pro-drug messages in the media and on the Internet. They may try cocaine for the excitement or the experience without realizing the very real risks and consequences that come with cocaine use.
As a parent, you are your child's first and best protection against drug use. The following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about cocaine and how to help your child say "No" to drug use. (Child refers to child or teen in this publication.)
Cocaine stimulates the nervous system, causing brief euphoric feelings, increased alertness, talkativeness, and a sense of empowerment. People high on cocaine can also be sweaty, restless, and dizzy, and have nausea and vomiting. People coming down from cocaine effects may feel sad, have delusions or paranoia, and even think about suicide.
Cocaine use increases heart rate and blood pressure, and can lead to abnormal heart rhythms and lethal heart attacks—even in young people who are healthy. Cocaine use can also cause seizures and strokes.
Cocaine is highly addictive. Cocaine use, even soon after starting, leads to loss of control over use, and strong cravings to use more and more cocaine more often. Drug use must continue regularly or else the user will have withdrawal symptoms, including lethargy, muscle weakness, irritability, slowed comprehension, and depression. Drug addiction does not have a quick and easy cure, but medical care is a very important part of addressing addiction and recovering health.
Cocaine is sold as a powder and is usually inhaled, or snorted, through the nose. The powder also can be melted into a liquid and injected directly into a vein.
Crack is a smokable form of cocaine that is prepared from powder cocaine. Crack is relatively inexpensive. Smoking crack increases not only the rapidity and intensity of the cocaine high, but also the risk of addiction.
Recognizing the signs of drug use is the first step in getting help for your child, but some signs are vague. Consider cocaine or other drug use if your child
Spends less time with family and friends and more time alone or away from home
Loses contact with friends or changes friends
Is frequently irritable and argumentative, and often loses control of his behavior
Begins to skip classes, shows up late for school, or has a drop in grades
Loses interest in hobbies
Stays out all night or runs away
Develops sleep or appetite problems
Has a big change in weight or appearance
Shoplifts or steals money
Possesses drugs or drug paraphernalia, such as mirrors, razor blades, spoons, or lighters
Take these steps to help prevent your child from becoming interested in using cocaine or other drugs.
Set high expectations and clear limits. Instill strong values. Let your child know that you expect her not to use drugs. Teach her healthy values that are important to your family and to use these values when deciding what is right and wrong.
Talk with your child about the dangers of drug use, including cocaine. Young people who do not know the facts may try drugs just to see what they are like. Start talking with your child at an early age about the dangers of drug use. Encourage him to ask questions and tell you about his concerns. Be sure to really listen. Do not lecture or do all the talking. Ask what he thinks about drug use and its risks.
Use teachable moments. Discuss car accidents and other tragedies that are caused by drug use and are in the news or your child's life.
Help your child handle peer pressure. Peers and others can strongly influence young people to try drugs. As a parent, your influence can be even stronger in helping your child learn to be confident, make healthy choices, and resist unhealthy peer pressure. Tell her that it is OK to say "No!" to risky behaviors and mean what she says. Help her find and spend time enjoying positive interests that build self-esteem.
Help your child deal with physical body changes. During adolescence, boys and girls undergo a growth spurt associated with weight gain and change in body shape. Some teens are tempted to use stimulant drugs, such as cocaine, to lose or control their weight. Reassure your child that body changes are normal and healthy. Talk about the unrealistic body shape standards that media and the fashion world portray. Help your child feel good about his changing body and encourage him to talk with his doctor about healthy diet and exercise choices.
Help your child deal with emotions. Especially during the teen years, many young people face strong emotions for the first time. Teens sometimes get depressed or anxious and might consider drug use to try to escape these feelings and forget problems. Explain that everyone has these feelings at times, so it is important for each person to learn how to express her feelings, cope with them, and face stressors in healthy ways that can help prevent or resolve problems.
Set a good example. Avoid using tobacco and illicit drugs. Minimize alcohol use, and always avoid drinking and driving. Be a good role model in the ways you express, control, and relieve stress, pain, or tension. Actions do speak louder than words!
Get a professional evaluation. If you think your child is using drugs, tell your child's doctor your exact concerns. Your child's doctor can help.
The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.
If you think that you are having a medical emergency,
call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!
And when in doubt, call your doctor NOW
or go to the closest emergency department.
By using this website, you accept the information provided herein "AS IS." Neither RemedyConnect nor the providers of the information contained herein will have any liability to you arising out of your use of the information contained herein or make any express or implied warranty regarding the accuracy, content, completeness, reliability, or efficacy of the information contained within this website.
RemedyConnect, Inc. has created this privacy statement in order to demonstrate our firm commitment to your privacy. The following discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for this website: http://www.remedyconnect.com.
Acquisition of Information through PMD
We do not acquire any more information about website visitors than is required by law or is otherwise necessary to provide a high level of service efficiently and securely. Our site's registration form requires users to give us contact information (e.g., their name and e-mail address) and demographic information (e.g., children's birth months, but not birth dates). We use customer contact information from the registration form to (1) send the user pertinent medical and parenting information and (2) allow your local health provider lists of who is registering on that provider's site as a parent/guardian, staff member, doctor, or visitor. Users may opt-out of receiving future mailings; see the choice/opt-out section below.
We use your IP address to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer our Website. Your IP address is used to help identify you and to gather broad demographic information.
Demographic and profile data is also collected at our site. We may use this data to tailor the visitor's experience at our site, showing them content that we think they might be interested in, and displaying the content according to their preferences.
Our site may use order forms to allow users to request information, products, and services.
Your Doctor's Right to Privacy
We will respect your doctor's right to privacy. A doctor typically does not give his/her e-mail address to the parents/guardians of patients. We will not provide the e-mail addresses of doctor(s) in the local practice to users of their site without the doctor(s)' permission. Their site is restricted to use by whomever they wish, and they may deny access to their site to one or more prior users. In unusual cases, doctors may change their private site's access code and arrange for us to e-mail the new access code to approved users.
This site contains links to other sites. RemedyConnect.com is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such Websites. See Disclaimers.
Disclosure to Third Parties
We will provide individually-identifiable information about website users to third parties only if we are compelled to do so by order of a duly-empowered governmental authority, we have the express permission of the visitor, or it is necessary to process transactions and provide you services from our affiliates: Live Agent Answering Service, Digital Answering Service, Medical Answering Service and Pediatric Answering Service.
Privacy and Our Business Partners
This site may make chat rooms, forums, message boards, and/or news groups available to its users. Please remember that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information.
This site has security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. For further information regarding our security, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any concerns regarding the security of information, please do not provide any information to RemedyConnect, Inc. until you are comfortable with our security measures.
You may correct or update your User Registration information at any time, by visiting the User Registration section and providing your personal password that you set at registration. If need be, please email us at email@example.com.
Our site provides users the opportunity to opt-out of receiving e-mail communications from our partners or us, except communications approved by your doctor's practice office. To so opt-out, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To be removed as a user, please email us at the same address. If need be, you may mail requests to us at RemedyConnect, Inc., 9200 E. Mineral Avenue, Suite 100, Centennial, CO 80112. Our telephone number is 303-793-0703.
Contacting the Website
If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this Website, you can contact us by email at email@example.com or by mail at our address above.