What Makes Cocaine so Addictive?

What Makes Cocaine so Addictive?

Cocaine, a stimulant drug derived from the leaves of the coca plant, is seen as a status symbol in certain subcultures, and can cost up to $12,000 per kilogram. Cocaine abuse can soon bankrupt users, but more importantly, the drug is highly addictive and causes self-destructive behavior. Cocaine use soon leads to an addiction that can only be conquered with professional help from a high quality rehab center.

How Cocaine Impacts the Brain

Cocaine stimulates the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the brain, which causes intensely pleasurable feelings. Although the VTA is naturally stimulated by activities such as eating healthy food or socializing, cocaine acts in a faster and more aggressive manner, thus creating an overwhelming feeling of pleasure that soon becomes addictive.

Cocaine also impacts a user’s natural levels of dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical that naturally allows humans to feel good. Normally, dopamine is released by neurons which bind to receptors. Dopamine is then recycled by a special protein. However, when a person abuses cocaine, this ordinary, healthy process is inhibited and cocaine causes the levels of dopamine to increase to unusually high levels, which contributes to the overpowering, artificial sense of pleasure. Cocaine abusers soon crave this pleasure.

What Are the Dangers of Long-Term Cocaine Abuse?

Long term cocaine use leads to tolerance, which means that a user needs increasingly higher doses of the substance to feel the same amount of pleasure. When users go through a period of time without abusing cocaine, their memories of euphoria can cause unbearable cravings that lead to relapse. Long term cocaine abuse also leads to mental health problems such as paranoia and psychosis.

How Can Drug Rehabilitation Treatment Help Cocaine Addiction?

Cocaine addicts typically feel that they need the drug to function normally, because without it their bodies go into withdrawal. Drug rehab treatment offers cocaine addicts the support they need in a controlled environment that allows them to detox safely under medical supervision. After detox, cocaine rehab patients attend counseling sessions and may participate in holistic therapies, to help them address the root causes of their addiction and alter destructive behaviors.

Help Finding Cocaine Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know is addicted to cocaine, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline for instant support from one of our trusted counselors. We can answer your questions, check your insurance information for your level of addiction treatment coverage, and direct you to the treatment program that best fits you or your loved one. Our call center is open 24 hours a day, so you can contact us at any time. All calls are free and confidential. You can begin the recovery process today. Just give us a call.