Cocaine abuse and addiction is scarily prevalent in our society. Cocaine is a powerful stimulant, derived from the leaves of a native South American plant, Coca. It works by boosting the dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain. Cocaine is generally used on a recreational basis, as those who use it experience:
- Enhance mood
- Encouragement and confidence
The problem is that cocaine is widely abused making individuals dependent on it. Cocaine is a very addictive drug and is at high risk for dependency, especially in those who have a particularly addiction nature. Individuals become addicted to the positive feelings and emotions they experience while high on cocaine. They then seek to experience this high every time they use.
Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse
This addictive stimulate can be taken in various methods and each method delivers a separate kind of high. Those who use cocaine can rub it on their gums, inject it, or snort it. The symptoms that someone is abusing cocaine through inhaling (snorting it) are:
- Lack of smelling ability
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Hard time swallowing
- Chronic runny nose
Crack is the street name used to identify cocaine. It is first handled and processed into a solid crystal form and then smoked via a pipe. The difference between crack and cocaine is that cocaine comes in a powder form whereas crack-cocaine is mixed with water and baking soda, forming a crystal solid. Cocaine can go by many names such as snow, coke, blow and rock.
Cocaine addiction can be obvious through a person’s changes in personality and behavior. Some signs that an individual may be addicted to cocaine are, among others,:
- Easily annoyed
The Effects of Cocaine Dependency
When cocaine is abused and misused, it can cause extreme paranoia and auditory delusion. When high on cocaine, individuals can have a difficult time hearing and listening while also being anxious and act suspiciously. A sense of reality is lessened and thus experiences become vastly different than that of sobriety. Even if a cocaine user does not use frequently, when they do use, they are at risk of having a seizure, heart attack, or respiratory failure. When cocaine is administered through ones mouth, it has the tendency to cause ulcers in the stomach and kill vital gastro tissues. This can cause severe nausea and discomfort.
Cocaine sets itself apart from other addictive drugs such as opiates and morphine. This is because it is a stimulant, boosting the levels of various pleasure-releasing chemicals such as dopamine into the brain. Cocaine produces a euphoric effect that is highly addictive which is why people become so heavily reliant on it. Those who are addicted to cocaine are addicted to the high it gives as cocaine has a different impact on the reward system of the brain than a drug such as painkillers.
Prolonged Use of Cocaine
Over time and with prolonged use of cocaine, an addict’s body begins to build a certain level of tolerance for the drug. This means that the addict then requires more frequent doses of the drug in order to obtain the same effect. Cocaine use in the long-run has adverse effects on the brain and this damage can be irreversible.
Many people who are addicted to cocaine become frustrated and annoyed at the fact that they can no longer obtain the same high as they once did. Becoming irritated easily is a sign of the psychological effects of cocaine. A dangerous combination is cocaine and alcohol together as this can result in a drug-related death.
Cocaine abuse is a serious disease that can be hard to confront. With the help of WhiteSands Treatment, patients can receive top-notch care for their addiction. Through a tailored treatment program, addicts will have a successful chance at recovery.