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Poor Man’s Cocaine

Poor Man’s Cocaine

Have you heard of Wellbutrin? It’s the brand name for bupropion and is also referred to as the "poor man's cocaine." But what is poor man's cocaine? Bupropion HCL (hydrochloride), commonly known as Wellbutrin, is prescribed to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms and seasonal affective disorder. The drug is easily accessible and is popular in less developed areas. The drug spikes dopamine levels, boosting mood. Although it's meant to help those struggling with a mental disorder, the potential for addiction increases after every use.

Cocaine and Wellbutrin

Why is Wellbutrin known as poor man’s cocaine? Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is highly addictive and raises energy and alertness. Both drugs are similar since they stimulate the central nervous system and prevent the CNS from absorbing all the dopamine and norepinephrine. Instead, these neurotransmitters are sent back to the receptors that initially caused them to activate.  

These neurotransmitters are called the “happy chemicals” and activate focus. These drugs stop the brain from absorbing all of the chemicals so that some are leftover and stay in use. The differences between these substances are the form that they take and how they are consumed. Typically, people will snort cocaine in powder form, while Wellbutrin is meant to be taken as a pill with water twice a day. Plus, cocaine is a stimulant and affects the brain immediately, while Wellbutrin is an antidepressant.

Can You Get High on Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin abuse can lead to addiction and potential overdose. A person, usually older adults, will misuse the substance since it is effective and is available at a low cost, hence the name “poor man’s cocaine.” Usually, a person can purchase 30 pills for one hundred dollars rather than spending the same amount on one gram of cocaine.

Users desire to achieve a Wellbutrin high which feels like a euphoric sensation, increased self-esteem, and heightened energy levels. There are various ways to take the drug. People learn how to inject Wellbutrin, which they will do instead of taking a pill. A person can crush the tablets and inject them unless an addict prefers snorting Wellbutrin.

Side effects of over-the-counter Wellbutrin include:

  • Vertigo
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle spasms or twitches
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Extreme irritability or restlessness

If a loved one is showing signs of addiction, prescription pill addiction treatment is advised. Wellbutrin can be dangerous after treating or reducing mental illness symptoms since overdose and long-term health complications may arise.

Addiction Treatment at Chicago Addiction Treatment Center

At Banyan Chicago, we offer excellent addiction treatment for cocaine, heroin, prescription pills, and much more. In addition, if an addict is facing mental illness, then our dual diagnosis treatment may be necessary. Our experienced medical staff is here to safely guide you through the withdrawal process and the unique therapeutic methods during treatment.


Speak to a specialist at Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago by calling 888-280-4763 and asking about our residential treatment program to get started today!


Related Readings:

The Psychological Aspect of Addiction

Cocaine and Cancer

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Poor Man’s Cocaine
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