Although users claim they experience different subjective effects from cocaine and amphetamines, in laboratory tests even the most experienced users could not tell the difference between the two drugs.
However, studies have found that methamphetamines may cause a higher rate of psychiatric illness than cocaine, according to Martin H. Leaman’s article in Psychiatric Services. Stimulants are known to cause sympathomimetic, anorectic, and behavioral effects. After chronic use for prolonged periods of time, users may also experience dependence, along with tolerance and reverse tolerance.
Stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines are sympathomimetic drugs, meaning many of the physiological effects are the same as those during emotional arousal. Stimulants cause increases in heat rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and sweating. Blood flow generally decreases to the internal organs and extremities but increases to the large muscle groups and brain, according to Stephen A. Maisto in his book Drug Use and Abuse 5th Edition.
Anorectic Effects of Cocaine and Amphetamines
Cocaine and amphetamines also produce appetite-suppressant or anorectic effects. Amphetamines were once commonly used in diet pills. However, treating obesity with amphetamines is now considered questionable at best, reported Maisto. The anorectic effects from chronic stimulant use can cause dizziness and flu-like symptoms. Many negative effects are attributed to sleep loss and dramatic reduction of caloric intake, according to Maisto.
Mood Elevation and Stimulants
Stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines can initially produce a sense of elation and mood elevation. Users show increased talkativeness, sociability, alertness, and arousal. Stimulants also enhance performance of many physical tasks involving endurance, such as running and swimming. Physical strength may also increase. However, stimulants may also impair one’s ability to learn complex tasks and use reasoning, according to Maisto.
Cocaine and Amphetamine Addiction
Stimulants may also cause addiction. Although withdrawal from stimulants may not be fatal, tolerance and then eventually reverse tolerance may occur in chronic users. Evidence shows significant tolerance is developed to cocaine and amphetamines after continued use. Eventually, prolonged use causes reverse tolerance. Although cocaine and amphetamines have positive effects such as increased sociability, alertness, and physical strength, their addictive natures will eventually cause the negative effects to outweigh the positive effects.
Treatment for Cocaine and Methamphetamine
There are two major methods for treatment methamphetamine and cocaine addiction, the Matrix model and medications. The Matrix Model was started in 1984 by the Matrix Institute, according to the institute’s website. The Matrix approach uses a variety of outpatient techniques including lifestyle changes, relapse prevention training, education, family involvement, and a 12-step program.
There has yet to be a proven effective medication and cocaine rehab miami as well as methamphetamine addiction. However, various new medications have hit the market in the last few years. One of the newer medications is Prometa, which is manufactured by Hythiam. However, the company’s marketing efforts has been criticized for being too aggressive while lacking scientific proof of the drug’s effectiveness, according to an MSNBC article written by Kari Huus.