Discussion in 'Cocaine & Crack' started by Alfa, Feb 10, 2004.
Does anybody have experience with, or information aboutcocaine psychosis?
Cocaine psychosis resembles paranoid schizophrenia and can bring on paranoia, mania, and psychosis.
When I was studying psychopharmacology I have read that the cause of cocaine psychosis was the depletion of a certain neurochemical. This subtance is produced by the body very slowly and depleted by cocaine use. Women have less of this neurochemical in reserve. The amount of this substance that a person has in reserve, is an important factor, in wether or not one is going to have a cocaine psychosis. This information may be outdated. Does anybody know more about this?
Psychoactive drugs work by altering the brain's normal operation. Neurotransmitters are used to communicate between a pair of neurons. When the neuron fires, it releases chemicals called neurotransmitters into the "synapse," the gap between a pair of a djacent neurons. Some of these molecules will bind on to the receiving neuron, but most are reabsorbed by the sending neuron.
Cocaine binds to sites on the firing neuron and inhibits this process. Thus, the excess neurotransmitters remain in the synapse, where they tend to prolong and enhance the normal effect of the transaction. In cocaine's case, this produces a rush of eup horia. Unfortunately, the lack of a reuptake process causes the brain's supply of these chemicals to be depleted. This, in turn, interferes with the brain's normal use of the neurotransmitters and produces an anti-euphoria (i.e. depression) while the brai n recuperates. This explains cocaine's withdrawal symptoms and the need for more cocaine. Which can bring onpsychosis
Well said, in snorting the septum contributes to the paranoia, but after further research its mostly caused by the brains lack of that chemical
Just found some info on this topic.
Essentially, the psychosis is apparently caused by tremendously overdoing the drug, either in one binge or over the course of many months or years. The mechanism is likely related to the overloading of dopamine--as is the biomedically accepted CAUSE of schitzophrenia.
it is NOT known whether this condition can be permanent, but in the vast MAJORITY of patients, the symptoms resolved with time, and also were helped with anti-psychotic drugs. I did find an article that states that prolonged cocaine psychosis implies an underlying psychopathology--meaning that when the symptoms don't go away, there's an underlying disorder that may have been unmasked by the cocaine abuse. J Clin Psychiatry. 1991 Aug;52(8):349-50.
"COCAINE PSYCHOSIS" was actually first described by Freud in 1884 when a patient given cocaine over weeks described swirling white snakes, the sounds of voices and intense paranoia.
A mental illness characterized by paranoia, disorientation, and severe depression. It is often the result of long-term cocaine abuse.
From the American Medical Association: signs of "cocaine psychosis": losing touch with reality, loss of interest in friends, family, sports, hobbies and other activities
Here's a good description of the 'stages' of cocaine intoxication,
from: Further experience with the syndromes produced by coca paste smoking Author: F. R. JERI, C.C. SANCHEZ, T. del POZO, M. FERNANDEZ, C. CARBAJAL. Pages: 1 to 11Creation Date: 1978/01/01,
Also, on a different note... from a 1987 New York Times article, I found the following commentary:
The question concerning this psychosis pertains to the cocaine itself--is cocaine special in causing psychosis?? Answer: NO. There is amphetamine psychosis as well, and the symptoms are nearly identical--NEARLY identical--very similar to how the drugs themselves are NEARLY the same.
Now, it seems that the proper term should be "STIMULANT PSYCHOSIS."
More on this later... let me know if anyone is interested in exploring this topic further. I've found several interesting articles...
Dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia:
Ok, how about some of SWIM's personal experience with short term cocaine psychosis, hmm?
SWIM insufflated coke on and off as most who do it do, for years. NEver had any problems. After he started shooting heroin he stopped with the coke completely until one day about 3 years later his tar connection mistakenly gave him dope and a small bag of coke, mixed up orders. Until then I didn't even know his connect sold coke. He figured, fuck it, give it a try. That was his first speedball, needless to say, not his last.
The psychosis didn't set in right away either. It came on about a month after shooting an eightball of coke a day.
Long story short, craziest time of his life. As soon as he would shoot he be peeking out the windows uncontrollably. Literally hearing voices and banging on the door, "Come out, it'll be easier for you if you just let us in." Insanity. Stayed in a mall for 3 hours because he thought mall security was following him, certain they had called the cops, scared because he had an eightball of coke and 1/4 oz of tar in his car.
Cocaine psychosis is absolutely terrifying because the delusions become 100% real in the addicts perception of them. He once shot WAY too much coke as fast as he could to get rid of it and stuck 2 grams of tar up his ass because he KNEW the FBI were banging on his door.
He says he has a stomach ache just talking about it.
Zero, please share more of your experience with cocaine psychosis with us. It is much apreciated.
Sorry to be repetitive--I already sent this to alfa in a PM, but I thought it might be helpful for the group...
Although it seems that there are 2 distinct parties claiming the term "cocaine psychosis," I am prone to believing that the effects are NOT long-term. (after all, WHY WOULD THEY BE!??) Thought this might help clarify some scientific mumbo-jumbo for some. it's just my opinion, however--yet based on commonly accepted evidence. -Dick
It sounds like amphetamine psychosis and cocaine psychosis have a lot in common.
yeah... now they're basically considered the same thing. Very VERY small differences. i.e. how long and intense of use seem to separate these two in my mind. I think amphetamine psychosis is quicker/easier to obtain, but it seems that perhaps cocaine psychosis requires more prolonged, heavy intake but its effects last longer.
When I was addicted to cocaine he experienced this.
One day, after a long day+night+morning use he had to go to work but fear and panic came over him. He thought army men were downstairs and ended up locking himself in his room, and later found a big X in metal tape one his bare chest. He didn't go to work, nor call, but sat in his room for a long while being very paranoid and scared.
Another time I was having panic attacks at his mothers birthday party after an all nighter of using cocaine. He would do it in the bathroom at the restaurant during her party (bad, shameful memories) but I couldn't even talk to anyone, he was breathing heavy and had feelings of terror, paranoia and overall shittyness.
Good to let you all know he's been off cocaine for over a year
Along with the other examples of my C psychosis, here are two of the more treacherous stories he's relayed to me.
He and his ex were, as he said, doing IV speedballs all day everyday. They were tipped off by a friend that a certain agency was looking for the ex. They came to her old address and the friend phoned immediately after they left. This was not psychosis, this was real.
They packed up the necessities, i.e drugs and money and split to a hotel in a different city. Shooting C & H, lots of it. 7th floor balcony. I am peeping out the window. He says he is CERTAIN that every single car coming into and leaving the hotel was either a Crown Vic or an Impala or a van. There was even a van out on the street with its driver outside looking with binoculars.
He got so peeped he said he was going down just to check out the scene, make sure it was just his mind playing tricks on him. He goes down the stairwell and here people coming up from below. He's sure it THEM so he wings it through an EXIT door. He ends up outside on the second floor ROOF! The door locks behind him and he thinks now he's REALLY fucked. Too high to jump down and run, so he scales down from the balcony to the first floor and jets.
This is a long story but to sum it up, he was running from the psychosemantic police... they were nonexistent until he trespassed by running through a schoolyard (Saturday) where maintenance saw him and called the district police. He runs through some industrial section, and now the cops really are out there. He jumps three razorwire fences making the foirst two clean, but the third one snags him up, cuts his legs and his chest open and rips off a shoe. He was then on some railroad tracks and saw cops on both ends, cornered in. Well, they got him. So he thinks this all because of the prior phone call and starts babling about how he knew they were looking for him. It was completely unrelated though!!!
Now the bad part. HA! Apparently running full speed for that long on coke had driven him medically over the edge. Severe dehydration, racing heart. He started seeing spots and going out. They took him away in ambulance to the ER where his heart rate was 180 and his temp dropped dangerously low.
In the ambulance, the arresting officer pulled out a small plastic bag and gently placed it in my pantleg. SWIM see's this, rips off his o2 mask and asks what the fuck hes trying to do. The medic sees this and the cop pulls it out and says, "Nothing man, you're fucked up" Don't know if this was real or psychosis.
Up until that point they had only trespassing on SWIM, a ticket. The cop put on gloves and proceeds to pat SWIM down in the ambulance. In his sock he pulls out a wrap with a spoon and a rig in it, but I had ditched his dope and forgotten about the gear. Now they had him.
Hospital, jail, 3 days, sickness, pain, stitches, psychosis.
He's glad those days are over.
Not sure if what I get is actually cocaine or amphetamine psychosis, but wierd things happen to him on heavy runs. Manic states are triggered such that even if the drug supply is cut off, an outsider wouldn't notice much of a differnce in his actions for the 2 or 3 days it took to come down mentally-- physically, were he the average person, he could come down in a matter of hours when the supply ran out.
He hears things, very vividly and unmistakeably real. The other night he heard his entire family gathered in the 2nd floor flat of a building across the street discussing some reality game show for at least 30 minutes. Mind you, this was after 4am in the morning. Finally I went to the door to confirm/deny (deny) his suspicions. Having mad social game the whole thing came off as very usual (what can you expect when you're having conversations at 4am that can be heard across the street?) The conversations were real (they're not always,) the interpretations were unfounded and misguided and the fact that the voices WERE that of his family is probalby somewhat coincidence in that they may sound alike, and somewhat audio halucination.
SWIM's had a lot of experience now with the fringes of insanity and has learned not to take whatever he's interpreting the world around him as too seriously. He may be convinced 100% that he sees Jesus in a Jeep Cherokee, but he'd have no trouble playing it cool in checking or not checking if there was a reason not too.
SWIM's problems in the past have always come when he's taken his current mode of thinking too seriously, especially when he knows objectively that it's at least somewhat altered. He's much better these days, and much safer because of it, sitting back and giving his full attention to one aspect of his personality's paranoid and homicidal rant and at the same time both talking this facet of himself down and idly mulling over the points being made.
Then there's the few times that there's actually been entities that seemed absolutely real but in reality existed entirely inside his mind. These are the most dangerous because, invariably, one is force to take them more seriously when they know things there is no possible way that they could know. Only when one learns and then later, in the heat of the moment remembers, that these entities know EVERYTHING that I do because they ARE SWIM do these experiences get a little (and not much) less harrowing.
Funny side note: For a long while, every time I did a good blast IV, he's start to hear people out in the hall and either force himeself to ignore them or begrudgingly get up and look out the peep hole. Finally he went on XXX and for about $150 get a wireless, mini security camera system and everything he needed to get it run thru one of his computers. Now on an IV cocaine binge, one of his monitors shows a real-time video feed of the hallway outside the door of his apartment. This is funny because I am a tech geek who loves projects like this, and he completely every step of the process with a huge smile on his face at the obserdity of the application of this engineering project. Still, he loves looking up and that monitor ever once in a while and seeing what has been, without a single exception, an empty hallway
I have seen many succumb to cocaine psychosis. Especially with crack. I takes a big hit, and afterwards he loses all social ability. He becomes a mute, not wanting to hear or do anything because he feels like such shit. Then the paranoia sets in. There have been countless times when I have ran back and forth from room to room in a house, looking out the windows checking for cars..even though he knew that this was outrageous behavior, something inside of him MADE him do this. Extreme paranoia is an understatement. I would constantly hear knocking on door, phones ring, and cars pull in that never actually happened. Not a pleasant experience
I saw someone smoke crack the other day, which is something he rarely comes across, and almost immediately after the first hit the guy spent the rest of the night looking out windows and generally being buggy and very paranoid. From the outside looking in it didn't look like any fun at all, but then SWIM' never tried it. Never will tho either.
Isn't there a slight difference between paranoia and psychosis, granted paranoia is part of psychosis. But if you were unwell in this way, you would'nt exactly know what you were doing so to speak or that something else
Yes, there is a big difference betweem paranoia and psychosis, although the two often, but not always, go together, and a person can be psychotic without being paranoid. Just believing that people are againt you, or that for example you are going to be arrested/attacked/abducted by aliens would point towards straight paranoia - not pleasant, but not psychosis. Generally, although not always, paranoia in the context of drug use is born out of a genuine risk - one is after all doing something illegal, so do in fact run the risk of arrest; someone may be in debt, or live in or have to score in a rather sketchy part of town, so may be at risk of attack; one may live in a U.F.O. hotspot, so may in fact run the risk of abduction... Add hallucinations (either visual, auditory or tactile), formal thought disorder (flight of ideas, difficulty forming coherent sentences, blocked thoughts, neologism - i.e.the forming of unique words), and delusions (e.g. that one is the richest person in the world, but can't get to your money because of a Masonic conspiracy, that one has an implant of some sort, that one is somehow not human, or that someone else is somehow not human, that one's home is bugged, and gas is escaping from the radiators making one sleep) and you might well be looking at a diagnosis of a psychotic episode.
Although it would seem that cocaine, and crack in particular can trip someone into a brief psychotic state, the true mark of psychosis would be if the symptoms persist after the drug has worn off. The trouble here is that many users don't give their bodies and minds time to recover, believing that another hit will stave off the bad thoughts (which it may well do, albeit momentarily), but actually keeping themselves at a heightened state of stimulation and paranoia that over time can easily bleed into a full blown psychosis.
Many drugs, especially psychedelics and hallucinogens carry people into what could be termed a psychotic mindstate, but because of the nature and perception of the drug, people are said to be 'tripping', not psychotic. What is percieved of as a psychotic reaction to cocaine, in the short term, may in fact only be what would be classed as a 'bad trip' with another drug. The difference being the often addictive nature of cocaine, which does not always allow the user to fully come down and rationalise the experience.
In my case it was definitely psychosis. Cocaine psychosis isn't typically permanent or anything. It's a temporary state of psychosis but it goes well beyond the realm of paranoia. I didn't know until quite a bit after these episodes that these things did NOT happen.