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Bad Reaction to Cocaine -- What was Happening?
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Bad Reaction to Cocaine -- What was Happening?

I'd like to get an understanding of a physical reaction I've had using cocaine. I'm not a frequent user, but have used it on a recreational basis the last couple of years, maybe once every 2-3 months. This happened after several hours of extended use. I'll be feeling the effects of the drug of course, but generally fine, and then suddenly I felt completely overcome by an intense physical reaction. The onset was very fast.

I first felt an intense heat radiating up my arms and legs and throughout my body. I then felt a tingling in m extremeties and a throbbing pressure in my head. Within a few minutes, my body felt almost completely, absolutely, unable to move. Even raising my head slightly felt challenging -- and gave rise to feeling nautious. Talking, too, felt like a challenge. I was quite lucid throughout, however, and except for the anxiety of what was happening to me physically, this felt completely physical, rather than a psychological,anxious, reaction. Of course, I stopped taking anything more, lay completely still (I didn't have a choice) and it all passed in about 2 hours, when I began feeling agency over my body again.

I'd like to know what medically was happening during this time. Was I in real physical danger or was this merely something transitory and unpleasant?  I've thought a lot about what's happened and I have a hunch it may be related to elevated blood pressure -- but of course I don't have a lot to base that on.

Whatever insights you can give me about what was happening, I'd be really grateful. Thanks!
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I'm no doc, and I admit up front I believe coke is an evil, evil drug, but, honestly, from my limited base of knowledge, I'd say you had a coke-induced stroke. You're lucky to be able to type on this forum or do anything else, for that matter. Coke is a man-killer. Do drugs if you must, just not that one.
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Your body is telling you something, Winst, and you better listen.

A few days ago I got to meet a 22 year old that suffered an anuerism(sp) in his brain after using cocaine.  He's in for many months of relearning simple things like feeding himself.  Stay away from cocaine!
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Tom, one more question.

This probably just demonstrates a lack of knowledge on my part, but is it possible that I experienced a stroke and it passed in the space of a couple of hours? When I hear the word stroke, I assume a major health event with long-term effects requiring medical attention. Any info?
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Tom/JB - thanks for your replies.

It's clear that what happened is not a good thing, and this has certainly scared me. Do you know how coke causes a stroke or anuerism?


Thanks for your support
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Avatar_n_tn
strokes come in all sizes and colors, so to speak. People have "miny strokes" or what they call "petitemalle' seizures that pass without leaving the kind of paralytic damage you're thinking of. Please don't try to rationalize this one away so you can use the stuff "just one more time." Coke is transcendant evil that twists your perception of reality to draw you again and again to the slaughter house of the human soul. Do any other drug tonight if you must, but coke is a one-way ticket to hell. Be strong tonight. Do it for your family if for no other reason.

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sure, I could share, but you'll have to give me a little time to think about just what to say. Look for it this weekend maybe late tonight, when the black thoughts hold sway.
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Dr. Steve,

Thank you for the reply. You're confirming what I have suspected -- that coke has caused my blood pressure to shoot dangerously high. And I admit it's pretty alarming to see written down in black and white. A 'there but for the grace of god...' feeling.

I won't pretend it's easy to hear. Because I never felt a need to partake frequently,  and it's never interfered with my day-to-day responsibilities,  I've gotten away with seeing my use of  cocaine as an occasional, recreational event -- as use, not abuse. But, as you point out, it only takes once for things to go very wrong and end up on the wrong side of risk.

Thanks again for clarifying the medical explanation -- it's sobering information, to be sure.


Tom,

Your cautions are so strongly worded (of course appropriately so) that I have to think you speak from some personal experience. Anything that you could share?

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I think Robin Williams said it best when he said that coke's greatest allure was 'that it made you feel like a whole new man; problem was that man wants some too'.

I remember there was not much I would not do or give up to get coke. My body had started breaking down muscle to supply protein, I went from 220 to 125 in a few months.Although I was injecting, you could smell it on my breath and I had physical difficulty swallowing even liquids. I can remember being pissed off after a big hit, cause I couldn't stand up without getting a headache and starting to fall over, that made another hit impossible to fix up.

Thankfully I got into treatment abut the same time as my money ran out. Even then, about 3 days into detox I got all the effects of a big hit, in the right order, while starting to do some calming exercises.That really brought the concept of cunning baffling and powerful home. That was back in March of '87, thanks to NA and the people I met there I have not chosen to return down that particular road. I really have to stress NA, cause my peers and most of the staff figured I would relapse within a week, with my temperament it was probably the best thing they could have told me. And, yes I was scared walking in to my first 'outside' NA meeting without any of my treatment buddies. The people there showed me how to cope and stay clean.

Currently, some of them are helping me make the right decisions about pain control,how to manage it safely and responsibly. I hope you are succesful in your endeavors Winst, remember you only have to go through withdrawal once if you make the right choices.

Dave
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I just wanted to touch bases with you again.  We have a lot in common dealing with the pain control issue.  I'm doing what you are doing.  When I start to think about abusing my pain meds, I visualize from start to finish my relapse.  It always ends up the same way. I've had to do this twice this past week.  It gets so real in my head that I scare myself back to reality and sanity.  Like we've said before, there is a big difference between being a drug abuser and being drug dependent.  It is the state of mind that makes the big difference.  When I take the drugs as prescribed, I do not get a buzz-just pain relief.  If I take them with the wrong intention, it's abuse and I tend to take a lot more of them to get a buzz.  Running out of meds mid-month is awful to say the least!  You sound good.
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Dear JB I have seen your name all over this forum. I can see that you still have to take somthing to ease your pain. Ive posted a few times. I had been Vicodin Es for a few years although Ive been clean from narcotics for about 5 mos. now. My addiction started off like a lot of people have had. For real pain but soon I realized that there was more to this than just a relief of pain. I guess I was hooked......last thursday my Dr. prescribe Ultram  50 mg. 1-2 pills per 4-6 hrs as needed for my nec and back pain that started a couple years ago. Up until now Ive only use asprin or tylenol for my pain. Ive heard both sides of this debate of Ultram. how it is a non narcotic. but it has addictive properties. Have ever used it or anyone else out there...I havent noticed any kind of euphoric feeling even with 2 of them........some pain releif is about all............thanks , Mark
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I forgot to tell you that Ultram is not recommended for addicts.  Hopefully, someone with more smarts than me can explain this to you.
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I did ask for Ultram for pain but my doctor suggested the hydrocodone instead.  Apparently he has had some bad luck with Ultram with other patients or maybe he himself has.  A while back, it sounded like the ideal painkiller but I've heard a lot of bad news about it.  Supposedly, it is very addicting to some people.  Some people have had seizures while on it but I would suspect that some abuse was involved.  Other than that, I can't advise you further due to lack of experience.  Take care!
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re:
"Tom,

    Your cautions are so strongly worded (of course appropriately so) that I have to think you speak from some
    personal experience. Anything that you could share?"

This, Winst, I share, for what it's worth:

First of all, coke burns out your pleasure/reward center in your brain (documented with tomographic [heat] imaging studies), flooding your reward center with dopamine levels it was never meant to handle, and no matter how clean and sober you get, you never feel really, really good again. You drained your lifetime dopamine bank account with a single ATM withdrawal, so to speak, and your account is closed forever.

Second, no matter what drug I've ever tripped on, there was always "me" in there experiencing and directing things to some extent. Tom's moral compass was always working, and I never lost my sense of right and wrong or my absolute resolve to never harm another human being. On coke, there was no "tom." Just a sweaty, desperate primate that cared about nothing but getting that next line off that goddamn mirror. I became a vampire, only instead of blood, it was coke I had to have. And it didn't matter how I got it or who I hurt in the process. Coke stole my humanity, my morals, my pride, my love for my fellow man and my right to call myself human. Coke displaces your soul with a black void of pitiless evil.

It is a miracle that I got through my coke experience without significantly harming anyone but myself, my bank account, my career, and a few other things I can't recall at this moment. But coke robs you of your humanity. Even a heroin junkie in withdrawal still has a moral compass of some kind working. Coke fiends are just that - fiends without souls. Run fast and far from coke, my friend. Do anything and everything else if you must, but for the love of god leave coke alone.
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I am a heroin and cocaine addict. Lately, anytime I shoot up coke more than a few times, I've been getting pain in my back, chest, and temples(the front/sides of my head). This pain is opiate proof. No matter what I do I am in serious pain for at least 6 hours.
Intense serious pain. The really messed up part is that I keep doing it.

Does this happen to anyone else?
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In reference to the comment about ultram.  You surely do not need to overdose or abuse it to have a seizure, trust me.  

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it's the worst feeling when you think that this drug increase your self confidence and suddenly in an after party you find your self freaking out and paranoied to the max. even you can't talk to your close mates, its not worth it, it's the worst drug ever, if you want to take drugs take but not cocaine

Karim Talaat
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I used to abuse coke (fell in love with a smuggler, so supply wasn't an issue!) -- but that was 20 yrs ago. that is just to say that I have expeience with how this drug wrecks you physically and turns you into a jabbering, drooling maniac -- who thinks she's brilliant...  :(

2 yrs ago I did a medical rotation through the medical examiner's office in nyc and I still remember how viidly it stuck with me when we were lectured on tokins and how coke kills -- it doesn't matter if you are using your 1st or 4th or 10th or 150th time -- coke constricts your coronary arteries (the arteries that supply your heart with blood) and one good constriction can just stop your heart with no warning, bingo, finished. and there's no return from that, you're just dead.

I also still remember going to the scene of a coke (crack) death where the (relatively) young woman stared up at me from her bathroom floor, face sunken, feces smeared all over the floor of her bathroom and towels, dead eyes staring at me as she got cold, cold, cold...she had only been dead about 45 minutes according to the story we pieced together from her co-using boyfriend, but she was just as dead as if she had been dead 400 years. no coming back from that. once the spark goes out, it's snuffed.

I can still see her blank blue eyes burning a hole through me as Ii walked around the corner to the bathroom.

there's no predicting it, but constriction of those arteries ALWAYS happens, and there's no predicting which time will be the one that just stops your heart dead in its tracks. it scared me to contemplate 20 yrs later, how lucky I was.

there are other ways too -- shoooting coke can cause vegetations to grow in your heart chambers (dirty needles, dirty skin, dirty junk) and that in itself can cause fatal arythmias, but a chunk can also break off and be delivered straight to your brain...again -- DOA.

try to stop that **** -- it is evil. I know from both sides.
kittykat58
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Avatar_f_tn
Ultram is definitely addictive. Ive been there many times. The withdrawals are brutal.
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How were you using the cocaine? And did the attack occur immediately after taking a dose? Thanks.
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How long after doing a shot does death occur in that fashion? Is it immediate? Or can it happen hours later.
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