Cocaine use can be compared to a roller coaster. The person using this drug experiences “euphoria”, but the sensation only lasts for a short period of time. The cocaine addict continues to use the drug to recreate that experience.
Cocaine addiction can begin when a person is offered the drug during a party. The person takes the drug and enjoys the feeling of euphoria it gives him. The individual can continue to use the drug as part of their social activities, and does not realize that they are falling into a cycle of cocaine abuse.
What is cocaine addiction?
Like the other addictions, cocaine dependence results from the effect that the drug has on the brain by causing feelings of intense pleasure. Cocaine works as a stimulant drug that increases the production levels of brain chemicals, especially dopamine. Under normal circumstances, lower amounts of dopamine are produced in response to the pleasurable activities that we all experience in our daily lives.
Cocaine is a powerful and addictive drug, classified by specialists as a stimulant with a high risk of dependence. The signs and symptoms of cocaine abuse vary depending on the method of ingestion.
The powdered form of cocaine can be inhaled through the nose or it can be dissolved in water and then injected directly into a vein. It can also be injected just under the skin, which increases the duration of ecstasy and can also lead to infection or other medical complications.
Another form of cocaine with the street name “crack” is processed in a glass and then smoked, often using a pipe. Given the lower level of purity and the broader potential for the introduction of other hazardous chemicals into the system, crack users, in the long term, may experience even more dramatic symptoms.
Signs of cocaine dependence
This is not a medication that causes physical dependence, but a psychological one. Symptoms of cocaine use include:
- The use of the drug with more frequencies
- Need to use more coca to have “euphoria”
- Neglect the payment of bills so you can buy cocaine
- The sale of goods to obtain more cocaine
- The continued use of the drug although there are negative consequences, including not being able to sleep, poor performance at work, or difficulty in personal relationships
The causes of dependence
Cocaine addicts still use the drug because the use that makes them feel good. The person who uses it feels energetic and has a great sense of well-being. They continue to use it in an attempt to recreate the pleasurable sensations that cocaine gives them for a short time. When the feeling of euphoria is over, the addict does not feel well and begins to be depressed. Cocaine abuse involves a vicious cycle of using the drug, euphoria, disappearance of euphoria, discomfort, and craving to use it again to feel better.
Those who suffer from cocaine dependence may experience a condition known as severe paranoia, which is a temporary state of extreme paranoid psychosis. In this state they lose contact with reality and experience auditory hallucinations (sounds that are not real). Ingestion of cocaine by mouth can cause stomach ulcers and death of a large amount of tissue (gangrene) in the intestine as a result of reduced blood flow.
Regardless of the form or frequency of use, cocaine users may experience heart attacks or strokes. Very often, cocaine-related deaths are the result of a heart attack or an attack followed by respiratory arrest.
A person who is addicted to cocaine may experience the following symptoms and effects:
- dilated pupils
- excess energy
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- loss of appetite
- fast heartbeat
- speak fast
- runny nose
- stuffy nose
Complications and effects of long-term cocaine abuse
If cocaine use continues, the addict may experience some serious consequences in the form of long-term effects or serious health problems, as a result, including:
- blurry vision
- chest pain
- heart attack
- heart disease
Help and treatment for cocaine addiction
Cocaine treatment has two components: detoxification and cocaine rehabilitation. The first step is to stop using the drug. A person who is trying to stop using cocaine may experience intense cravings, anxiety and depression when seeking help. A cocaine detoxification program under medical supervision can reduce the severity of these symptoms.
A person who is willing to stop using cocaine can contact a cocaine rehabilitation center for help. An online search can take you to several places that offer treatment programs for people addicted to cocaine. Once the body is drug free, then the rehabilitation process can begin.
Cocaine recovery and rehabilitation
Advancing the recovery process involves starting the rehabilitation. A person who has been using cocaine associates certain people, places and feelings with drug use. Help is needed to identify the type of things that act as “triggers” that makes the addict want to use the drug again.
Over time, addicts can learn to deal with their triggers and learn to adopt other behaviors instead of using cocaine. Both individual and group therapy can be used as a treatment for this type of addiction. Another option that may be useful is a 12-step program, where cocaine addicts help other cocaine addicts. By sharing their experiences, they learn and support each other in the struggle not to consume cocaine.