Cocaine Abuse Rates in Australia

According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey in 2010, the following is true of cocaine abuse in Australia:

  • 7.3 percent of Australians 14 years of age and older had used cocaine at some stage in their lives.
  • 2.1 percent had used it in the previous 12 months.
  • The average age at which Australians first tried cocaine was 23.3 years.

These figures reflect that several million Australians have used or continue to use cocaine. With the average age of first use being 23 years old, thousands of Australian teens have tried cocaine.

Impact of Cocaine Use

Cocaine is not a prescribed medication; therefore, any use of cocaine is considered abuse. Cocaine is highly addictive, and when individuals struggle with cocaine addiction, they experience several negative impacts, including the following:

  • Changes in the brain
  • Physical changes, particularly due to diminished nutrition, improper sleep and limited exercise
  • Social isolation or change in former social activities that focus on acquiring and using cocaine, which can reduce involvement in community and cultural activities
  • Familial changes to prevent others from acknowledging the addiction or interfering with the drug use
  • Financial factors, resulting from so much money spent on cocaine or loss of employment due to diminished performance
  • Spiritual changes due to isolation and neglect of spiritual needs

Every aspect of a person’s life is harmed, but because cocaine is so addictive, many cocaine addicts continue to suffering with these consequences.

Cocaine Side Effects

The physical side effects of cocaine abuse are obvious, including nasal passage damage, physical symptoms of lack of sleep and enlarged pupils. However, there are many other side effects of cocaine abuse, including the following:

  • Agitation, excitability, irritability, nervousness or restlessness
  • Difficulty passing urine or urinary incontinence
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting spells
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Increased sweating
  • Mood swings or other mental changes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Nervous tics or rapid speech
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet or arms
  • Stomach pain
  • Tremors
  • Troubled breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Unusual muscle weakness

In addition, chronic pain in the chest and coughing are common withdrawal symptoms.

Why People Abuse Cocaine

Second to methamphetamine, cocaine creates the greatest psychological dependence of any drug. In addition, a tolerance to cocaine develops quickly, and users must use more cocaine to achieve the same high they previously experienced from a lesser amount of cocaine.

Cocaine abusers like the confidence they receive from the drug and the weight management aspect of the drug. These feelings combined with psychological dependence and tolerance often keep cocaine addicts hooked on the drug, and the question as to why they abuse cocaine is answered with, “I just can’t stop.”

Get Help for Cocaine Addiction

You don’t have to make one of the most important decisions of your life alone. We can help you explore your options for treating your cocaine addiction, so please call our toll-free number today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about cocaine addiction treatment. We are here to help.

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