Cocaine addiction is a common condition that affects people who have been abusing this drug for a period of time. Cocaine, on the other hand, is classified as a stimulant. This is because it produces a wide variety of stimulating effects - including alertness and euphoria - similar to what you would experience if you drunk caffeine.
Today, cocaine has been classified as a drug for the rich because of its intense addictive properties as well as its high cost. If you are addicted to it, you can only recover after going through a professional addiction treatment program. Read on to find out more:
Cocaine is a drug that is derived from the coca plant that is native to South America. The drug is commonly abused for the various effects that it produces - including wakefulness, increased energy, and happiness.
Although these effects are desirable, the drug can also cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, lead to mental health disorders, and increase your restlessness. Taking it in large doses could also result in homicidal behaviors, suicidal ideation and action, panic, hostility, aggression, and agitation.
Today, cocaine is classified as one of the most intoxicating and addictive substances in the United States. From the moment you take your first hit of this drug, you can quickly progress through use, abuse, tolerance, dependence, and addiction. In fact, the CSAR - the Center for Substance Abuse research reports that it is possible to become addicted after the first time you try cocaine.
Additionally, a single dose of this drug could lead to fatal outcomes. Repetitive use, on the other hand, will eventually give rise to the development of a substance use disorder that could cause you to experience a wide variety of mental and physical health problems.
Other Names for Cocaine
On the streets, cocaine is known by a wide variety of nicknames, including but not limited to:
- Happy Trails
- Nose Candy
- Snow White
Most of these names are derived from the white and flaky appearance of the drug.
Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine's addictive properties arise from the ways in which it changes the human brain. By so doing, the drug can cause you to suffer some behavioral, psychological, and physical problems. It can also lead to the development of both short and long term complications with your health.
Some of the signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction include:
- Bloody nose
- Changes in eating habits
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Depressed mood
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive talking
- Frequent nightmares
- Needle marks (if you have been taking the drug intravenously)
- Runny nose
- Suspicious activity
- -Weight loss
Short and Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse
Since cocaine is an illicit substances, taking it considered to be a form of drug abuse. The substance acts on the central nervous system to produce stimulating effects. This is because it increases the production of the chemical dopamine in the brain - leading to intense feelings of pleasure and euphoria.
Prolonged cocaine use can lead to negative effects on almost every part of your body. It can also cause you to suffer some severe effects that last in the long term, including changes to the genetics of your nerve cells, proteins, and brain cells. Other effects that arise from taking this drug include:
a) Short Term Effects
- Extreme happiness
- Fast heart rate
- High blood pressure
- High levels of energy
- Hypersensitivity to touch, sight, and sound
- Mental alertness
- Rapid breathing
b) Long Term Effects
Abusing this drug in the long term could also cause you to suffer the following effects:
- Aberrant heart rhythms
- Aortic rupture
- Brain damage
- Collapsed veins
- Constricted blood vessels
- Dilated pupils
- Fast heartbeat
- Frequent runny nose
- Heart damage
- Heart failure
- Heightened risk of contracting infections like pneumonia
- High blood pressure
- High risk for blood borne conditions like HIV and hepatitis C
- Impaired judgment
- Increased risk of stroke
- Inflammation of the muscles of the heart (or myocarditis).
- Irregular heartbeat
- Ischemic heart disease
- Kidney damage
- Loss of smell
- Muscle twitches
- Problems sleeping
- Problems with swallowing
- Raised body temperature
- Reduced blood flow
- Respiratory distress
- Severe anxiety
- Severe bowel decay
- Severe decline in your health and quality of life
- Skin infections
- Soft tissue infections
- Sudden death due to cardiac arrest
Although you might be regarding your use of cocaine as recreational, there is still a high risk that you could suffer neurological changes that may end up affecting your life in negative ways. Taking this rug in the long term has also been associated with deficits in decision making, attention, and cognitive performance.
One of the many negative effects of cocaine abuse and addiction is drug overdose. In fact, cocaine overdoses tend to be quite common and they can lead to death in about 2 to 3 minutes. The CDC - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - also reported in 2016 that this drug was responsible for over 10,000 deaths in the United States.
If you suffer a cocaine overdose, you are highly likely to display the following symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Extreme agitation
- Heart attacks
- High blood pressure
- High body temperature
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Rapid heartbeat
- Trouble breathing
The risk of death from an overdose is so high that it might occur from the first time you take this drug. This risk would be heightened if you took cocaine with other intoxicating substances - such as heroin and alcohol.
Although there are no medications that can be used to reverse this type of drug overdose, it is still recommended that you seek emergency medical help as soon as you realize that you may be suffering any of these symptoms. This could potentially end up saving your life.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
If you are addicted to cocaine and you stop abusing it - or significantly reduce your regular dose of the drug - there is a high risk that you could suffer some negative withdrawal symptoms. These include but are not limited to:
- Disturbed sleep
- Increased appetite
The Best Options for Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Although cocaine addiction is a significantly debilitating condition, it is possible to overcome it. Today, there are several treatment options that you can rely on to deal with your cocaine use disorder.
These options are often delivered through inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment. In an inpatient program, you will have to check into a facility for the entire duration of your rehabilitation.
This will allow you to benefit from the many treatment settings and therapeutic offerings available at the recovery center. You will also be provided with room and board, as well as round the clock medical care, support, and supervision.
You can also choose outpatient addiction treatment - but only if your cocaine abuse is not severe or long standing enough to require inpatient rehabilitation. This form of treatment will provide similar therapeutic interventions without requiring you to live at the recovery center.
Cocaine addiction treatment will often start with a medically managed detox process. This is designed to clear the drug from your body while also managing the cravings and withdrawal symptoms that arise during this initial stage of recovery.
After the drug has been removed from your body and you are no longer displaying any symptoms of withdrawal, treatment will shift to therapy and counseling. The center will also try to help you develop the coping mechanisms that will ensure you maintain your sobriety in the long term.
Some rehab programs also use therapy and medications. These include counseling sessions like cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing - provided in both individual and group settings.
It is recommended that you seek help for your cocaine abuse and addiction. This is the main step that you have to take on the road to recovery and abstinence. Take your time looking for the right addiction treatment program so that you can ensure that you have the best outcomes once you have checked out of it. Once you are done with treatment, you can still continue working on your long term sobriety through a wide range of aftercare options, such as by moving into a sober living facility. You can also continue going for other additional therapy and counseling sessions to ensure that you do not relapse back to cocaine abuse.