Cocaine is derived from the coca plant found in the South American Andes, and it is the most powerful natural stimulant in the world. The drug typically comes as a white powder that individuals snort, though it can also be injected or hardened into a “rock” that is smoked. Cocaine causes a short yet powerful euphoric rush that triggers the pleasure center in the brain. It also makes users feel more alert and powerful, although the effects of cocaine are followed by a depression that often sparks further use. Addiction times vary, but a physical dependency can develop in under two weeks, while psychological dependency can occur after just one use. Certain individuals become quickly addicted to cocaine, and when they do, it can be an overwhelming addiction to break on their own.
Animal studies have shown the powerful nature of cocaine addiction. One study found animals were willing to press a bar over 10,000 times to receive a single dose, while another showed an animal’s willingness to suffer a fatal overdose rather than limit its intake. Likewise, human studies have shown physical changes in an addict’s brain structure that affect learning skills. Other physical effects can include the following:
Cocaine can cause a sudden heart attack in a person who is otherwise not at risk. Taking cocaine and alcohol is especially dangerous, as it makes each substance more toxic and results in more drug-related deaths than any other dual drug combination. Among illicit drugs, cocaine is the most common drug present in emergency room visits.
Cocaine addiction withdrawal symptoms can include the following:
Medically supervised detox services can help minimize the discomfort of withdrawal. Moreover, proper treatment is important to achieve a lasting recovery. The following are some of the ways in which proper treatment can help:
In addition to being a serious health hazard cocaine is also an expensive habit, and it can wreak havoc in one’s family, social circle and employment. However, with the right help there is always hope for recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction, we are here to help 24 hours a day. We are happy to answer any questions about addiction and recovery and can help you find the program that will meet your recovery needs. We can even check your health insurance plan to see if it covers cocaine addiction treatment. Call us today, and end cocaine addiction.