Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that interacts with the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to produce intense feelings of euphoria and energy. Cocaine is a manufactured drug created using the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. Cocaine is processed into a fine white powder that is commonly consumed by snorting it into the nose; however, it can be rubbed onto the gums, smoked, or mixed with liquid and injected into the veins.
In 2018, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health data indicated cocaine was the second most common drug associated with fatalities in the United States that year. The effects of cocaine are immediate and intense, yet they are not long-lasting. The short-lived nature of the impact of the drug leads many people to come back for more frequent and often more substantial doses. For many who struggle with a cocaine addiction, achieving sobriety and recovery are challenging without detox and comprehensive addiction treatment.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine use leads to physical and psychological effects on the user. To better understand if you or a loved one should seek treatment for cocaine use, it is necessary to understand the signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction. Chronic, long-term cocaine use can lead to significant physical and psychological health risks. Some of the most common signs you may notice immediately after using cocaine include excessive energy, runny nose, improved concentration, dilated pupils, appetite changes, and paranoia. These symptoms generally wear off after a very short time, typically no more than 30 minutes.
As you begin to develop a tolerance to cocaine and an addiction to the effects of the drug, larger and more frequent doses are often required to attain the same high you achieved when you first began using. As cocaine use becomes more regular and the dosing size increases, cocaine can start to have irreversible and overwhelmingly detrimental effects on the body. Examples of common physical effects include headaches, increased blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, chills, seizures, heart attack, stroke, and death. Psychological effects of chronic cocaine use may include significant mood changes and difficulties with memory and focus.
The extent and severity of the long-term effects of cocaine use depend on the severity of one’s addiction. The more often and the more frequently you use cocaine, the more likely you are to develop potentially life-threatening symptoms and side effects from its use. Chronic use of cocaine will eventually lead to detrimental and often irreversible effects on vital, life-sustaining body systems, including the brain, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, and gastrointestinal system.
How Cocaine Recovery Treatment Works
If you are concerned you or a loved one may have a cocaine addiction, it is vital to seek addiction treatment help immediately. Long-term untreated cocaine addiction can be fatal. Cocaine changes how the body produces and releases chemicals in the body responsible for feelings of pleasure and happiness. Eventually, the user believes they need to use cocaine to feel “normal.” Although cocaine withdrawal does not produce significant physical symptoms (as you may see when detoxing from alcohol or opioids), the psychological symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can vary widely and be challenging to manage without comprehensive treatment support.
A treatment program for cocaine addiction typically focuses on behavioral change. Using a combination of evidence-based therapy models and alternative therapy options, the team at Relevance Recovery will work with you to design a treatment program that meets your unique treatment needs and goals. The most common behavioral therapy used to treat cocaine addiction is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. The CBT model encourages you to examine negative thoughts and behaviors to better understand the roots of your addiction. Only after understanding the triggers that lead you to cocaine use can you change your addictive behaviors. Other common therapies may include contingency management or motivational incentives, therapeutic communities, and community-based recovery groups such as 12 step programs.
Reach Out to Relevance Recovery Today
Left untreated, cocaine addiction can have overwhelmingly harmful impacts on your physical, psychological, and spiritual health. With the proper support and the right treatment environment, recovery and long-term freedom from cocaine are possible. If you are ready to begin your journey towards healing, contact us at Relevance Recovery today.