Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment Options

Cocaine Addiction



Cocaine is classified as a strong stimulant obtained from
the leaves of the coca plant. It is highly addictive and, in
most cases, cocaine is used for recreational purposes.

What is Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is ingested through smoking, snorting or injecting its dissolved form into your veins. The method you use to ingest cocaine determines its potency and how long you will be under its influence. For instance, taking the drug through snorting keeps it in your blood system for about 5 to 10 minutes. Injecting cocaine has a high chance of overdose.

This drug, also known as coke, affects the central nervous system of your body, an effect which results in euphoria and over-production of heat. The use of cocaine directly affects your brain because it triggers high levels of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that brings a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction.

Cocaine abuse develops rapidly even after using it a few times. This addiction can be both physical and mental. Physical addiction means that your body strongly desires the drug. Mental addiction, on the other hand, occurs when you highly crave for the effects of the drug.

When you become addicted, you become unable to resist the drug. It is because you can’t function properly without the drug and therefore it becomes hard to quit. This dependency on the drug is as a result of repetitive use which alters the functioning of the body systems associated with decision making and pleasure.

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Cocaine Addiction: Signs + Symptoms

Prolonged cocaine misuse can quickly turn into a life-threatening addiction that can bring about harmful consequences. It is therefore important to understand the signs and symptoms of addiction to cocaine. Recognizing the symptoms will aid you to get the help you need, or your loved one needs before it is too late.

Repeated use of cocaine results to neuroadaptation which causes more desire for the drug. The symptoms of Cocaine dependency include:

  • Withdrawal from friends and peers
  • Negligence of responsibilities and family commitments – This is because you spend most of your income and time looking for cocaine
  • Lack of interest in activities that used to thrill you
  • Excitement over unusual experiences
  • Talkativeness that is characterized by a loudness

It is worth noting that anyone who abuses cocaine is at the risk of becoming an addict. However, if you have an addiction to other drugs and are undergoing depression, chances of becoming a cocaine addict are high.

Note that if the patient does not seek medical help urgently, Cocaine dependency can cause the heart muscles to undergo inflammation. In serious cases, cocaine side effects may force the aorta to rupture.

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Cocaine Withdrawal: Signs + Symptoms

When an individual is addicted to cocaine, stopping its abuse can be quite challenging. It is because the person is likely to undergo a process known as withdrawal. This withdrawal stage can be overwhelming due to the urges and unpleasant side effects.

The effects of cocaine withdrawal are:

  • Mood swings, agitation, and irritability
  • Hallucinations, nightmares, and disturbed sleep
  • Suspicion and paranoia

These symptoms may push you to look for the drug to find relief from the withdrawal as the drug leaves your bloodstream. In some cases, sudden cravings are common even after the withdrawal symptoms have faded.

At this stage, it is good to have a strong support system from friends, families and medical practitioners. It is also wise to partner with other people who are in the process of recovering from the cocaine side effects.

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Cocaine addiction is dangerous and has grievous impacts. Repetitive use can lead to tension on the heart thereby resulting in cardiac arrest or stroke. It can also lead to psychiatric disorders. What often begins as a harmless experiment with the drug ends up to a complex illness that can take ages to recover from. Recovery takes long because cocaine is associated with a high potential for dependence.

Most times, cocaine is used for recreation purposes to help you feel motivated, energetic, as well as to help improve your moods. Even when you use cocaine for recreational purposes, you expose yourself to the risk of inability to control your behavior.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you stay away from cocaine as its effects can result in death. However, if an addicted has developed, all hope is not lost. Reach out to medical experts for help and make a firm decision to stop the abuse. Contact us for more information on taking back control of your life.

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