Cocaine Addiction: Effects and Treatment
Cocaine is addictive and expensive,
which is why it has the reputation for being
a “rich man’s drug”.
In 2012, approximately 658,000 people received treatment for cocaine addiction. That same year, over 600,000 reportedly tried cocaine for the first time. Cocaine is responsible for more emergency room visits than any other illicit drug. Of all the individuals who were rushed to the emergency room for cocaine-related issues, 68 percent had more than one drug in their system.
What makes cocaine so addictive is the fact that it is a stimulant. This means it can produce euphoric effects. It also makes a person more alert. The pleasant experience makes the user more likely to abuse the drug.
Cocaine is addictive and expensive, which is why it has the reputation for being a “rich man’s drug”.
Cocaine comes in the form of a white powdery substance. When taken, it reacts with the body’s central nervous system, producing energy and euphoria. Recreational users commonly snort the drug, but it can also be smoked or dissolved in water and injected directly into the bloodstream.
Cocaine also has street names like coke, blow, or powder. Despite the fact that cocaine is recognized as a deadly and addictive substance, thousands are still drawn to it. Every day, as many as 1,800 people in the US experiment with cocaine for the first time.
Effects of Cocaine Abuse
Because cocaine is an illegal substance, any use of this drug is considered abuse. When taken, cocaine stimulates the brain, causing it to produce high levels of dopamine, a brain chemical associated with pleasure and reward.
Over time, cocaine negatively impacts every part of the body, causing severe long term health effects. Signs of cocaine abuse include talkativeness, excitement, alertness, anxiety, overconfidence, and other severe changes in behavior.
The amount of cocaine taken and the method of administration can alter the potency and duration of its effects. While the effects of snorting cocaine are short-lived, lasting approximately 15-30 minutes, smoking or injecting cocaine is more intense and lasts an even shorter period of about 5 to 10 minutes. Injecting the drug poses a higher risk of overdose compared to the other methods of administration.
The most common cause of death associated with cocaine is stroke or cardiac arrest.
Cocaine Addiction and Treatment
A person who is addicted to cocaine will crave and seek out the drug, even when they are already experiencing its negative effects. They will prioritize the drug over everything else and will neglect their responsibilities.
The psychological aspect of addiction is the hardest to overcome, although the physical symptoms are also overwhelming. Someone who uses cocaine frequently will develop a dependence on it, meaning they will have to take the drug just to feel “normal”.
Once dependence develops and the person attempts to quit, they will experience withdrawal symptoms that may range from moderate to severe. Once addiction and dependence develop, it can be very hard to stop. The body adjusts to the constant presence of the drug, making it difficult to function properly without it. Cocaine reprograms the brain’s reward system to seek out the drug.
In some cases, addicted individuals are able to quit on their own. But most of the time, therapy and rehab are needed. Proper medical treatment is not only safer but also more effective.
If someone in the family is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can go a long way in the fight against substance abuse. But because every individual is affected by addiction differently, a comprehensive program tailored to their specific needs is necessary. Look for a nearby addiction treatment facility today and find out how drug treatment programs work.
Rehab is Your Best Chance
Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.