What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a purified extract from the leaves of the coca plant, and is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug. This drug is commonly referred to as a “party drug” because of the intense high it produces which is generally chased by those who have a “party lifestyle.” Cocaine produces short-term euphoria, energy, and talkativeness. Cocaine is most commonly found in pure powder form and is generally inhaled through the nose (snorted), rubbed into the gums or dissolved into water then injected into the bloodstream. Cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs known to man, and once a person starts using the drug it becomes nearly impossible to stop using. Cocaine can cause irreversible damage to one’s brain, heart, lungs, and blood vessels. The drug directly affects the brain and the body’s dopamine receptors, as a result cocaine abuse causes a buildup of dopamine which produces an influx of pleasure, which explains why the drug is so addictive.
Common Slang Names for Cocaine
- Nose candy
- And most recently rappers have referred to it as “White Girl”, often using celebrity names such as “Katy Perry”
Effects of Cocaine
Cocaine produces a short-lived, intense high that induces effects which are found to be pleasurable by its users, effects from cocaine includes euphoria, a boost in self-confidence, and sociability. However the short term and long term effects can be detrimental. The short term effects of cocaine use includes:
- Intense depression
- Disturbed sleeping patterns
- Bizarre and sometimes violent behavior
- Increased heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure
- Sleeping difficulties
- Abrupt mood swings
The long-term effects of cocaine includes:
- Permanent damage to blood vessels in the heart and brain,
- Destruction of tissues in the nose (if snorted)
- Respiratory failure (if smoked)
- Increased risky and illegal behaviors
- Sexual problems such as infertility for men and women
- High blood pressure which often results in heart attacks, stroke
- Schizophrenia-like symptoms such as paranoia
Cocaine ultimately interferes with the way that the brain processes chemicals, causing them to experience more and more of the drug ultimately leading to an addiction. Cocaine is the number illicit drug responsible for emergency room visits than any other illicit drug.
Whether you are dependent on cocaine or use it in binges, you can expect to experience symptoms of withdrawal from this powerful drug. The initial onset of withdrawal symptoms from cocaine can vary in time and intensity, however they generally onset within a few hours and withdrawal symptoms generally subside within one to two weeks. Getting treatment for cocaine withdrawal will help eliminate these symptoms, and the recovery process is similar to amphetamine withdrawal treatment.
Generally those withdrawing from cocaine will experience the following symptoms and more:
- Intense cravings
- Abrupt mood changes
- Fatigue and restlessness
- Sleeping difficulties
- Increased appetite
- Tremors and shakiness
- Inability to experience pleasure
Treatment for Cocaine Addiction and Abuse
Treatment for cocaine addiction and abuse can be complex and must intricately. It is vital for cocaine addiction treatment tp be approached in a holistic manner which implements the use of therapeutic approaches such as behavioral therapies. Currently there is no specific medications which has been developed to solely treat cocaine use problems. However, antidepressants are generally used to treat the early stages of cocaine abstinence. Behavioral treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy are the most effective approaches for those recovering from cocaine abuse and addiction. Self-help programs including 12-step meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) have also been found to be very effective in treating cocaine addiction and abuse.
Recognizing the Need for Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Most users of cocaine either abuse the drug or are addicted to it, as stated previously cocaine is a very powerful and highly addictive drug. Many who abuse the substance are active users of other psycho-stimulant substances and may benefit from additional programs like meth addiction treatment and recovery and ephedrine addiction treatment. If you are lead to believe that you or a loved one may be abusing cocaine or may be addicted, evaluate for the following signs and symptoms:
- Isolation from friends and family to hide cocaine use
- Traces of white powder found around the person’s nose or on their person items’
- Frequent runny and/or bloody nose
- Development of a tolerance for cocaine
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when cocaine use is reduced or completely stopped
- Isolating oneself to use cocaine and hide cocaine use from others
- Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or completely end cocaine use
- Experiencing issues in interpersonal relationships in relation to cocaine use
- Continued use despite suffering negative consequences
- Loss of sense of smell
If you or a loved one are in need of treatment for cocaine abuse or addiction, feel free to contact us to learn more about how to receive effective treatment at our facility.