Cocaine Addiction -- What to Know
One of the oldest drugs in the world, cocaine is also a leading source of dangerous, even life-threatening addiction. Indeed, cocaine addiction can cause extreme physical and psychological symptoms. Use of this highly addicting stimulant causes countless overdoses and Emergency Room visits every single year.
The good news is that cocaine addiction does not have to be terminal. There is hope for healing and recovery, whether for you or your addicted loved one. The first step is to understand what you are up against—how cocaine addiction really works.
Understanding Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction is a psychological or physical dependence that arises from the user’s strong desire or need to use cocaine. Though snorting cocaine is the most common method, there are some users who inject it—an especially dangerous practice. Cocaine can also be smoked. The method of cocaine delivery determines how long its effects last—anywhere from five minutes to half an hour or more.
Cocaine is a stimulant, and may give the user an intense high; a cocaine addict may seem more excited, alert or confident than normal. Yet the physical and psychological side effects far outweigh this sense of high. They include:
- Fast heart rate
- Enlarged heart
- Heart attacks
- Cardiac arrest
- Unusual aggression
- Extreme excitement
How Addictive is Cocaine
Part of the reason why cocaine is so dangerous is that it is so addictive. In terms of the intensity of the psychological dependence that it creates, cocaine is second only to methamphetamine. Cocaine works by stimulating key pleasure centers in the brain—and once you start using cocaine, it can be increasingly hard to replicate those pleasurable feelings, hence the need to use higher and higher doses of cocaine.
Causes of Cocaine Addiction
As with so many addictions, cocaine addiction does not have any one, single cause. Its root can be any one of the following factors, or a combination of them:
- Brain chemistry
- Brain structure
- Effects of the drug on the brain’s pleasure centers
What is sobering about cocaine addiction is that it is an equal opportunity offender. Anyone could potentially develop an addiction to this powerful drug—but there is always hope for healing and recovery.
Recovery from Cocaine Addiction
Indeed, no case of cocaine addiction—no matter how extreme—is beyond the scope of recovery. The important thing is to pursue addiction recovery in a clinical setting.
This begins with clinically supervised cocaine detox. You must detox before recovery can begin, yet it is not advisable to attempt a home recovery. The withdrawal symptoms are simply too potent to manage on your own. Instead, seek professional detox and care from a facility like New Start Detox.
From there, it is imperative to locate a good inpatient treatment program, and to engage in aftercare support groups long after the initial program is completed.
Start your recovery process today. Give us a call here at New Start Detox and we can walk you through the next steps toward recovery.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Do you suspect a friend or loved one of drug addiction? Are you concerned that someone you know is caught in the throes of cocaine abuse? Hope and healing are possible, and there is much you can do to urge your loved one to seek treatment. First, however, it is important to understand what you…Signs of Cocaine Addiction