Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine and Dollar Bill Cocaine addiction is a difficult issue to deal with, and it can be extremely difficult to overcome without the help of a drug rehab program. Drug treatment can become a life saving measure when dealing with the long-term effects of cocaine abuse with what it does to the body.

Cocaine addiction occurs as a result of continuous use. The more it is abused; a higher tolerance to the drug is developed. For the addict, this means that to get the same result, more and more cocaine has to be used. This results in addiction and greater health problems.

Cocaine Information

Cocaine is classified as a stimulant. In the brain's normal communication process, dopamine is released into the synapse, where it binds with dopamine receptors on neighboring receptors, and then is recycled back. Dopamine is the receptor in the brain chiefly responsible for the experience of pleasure in the body. When cocaine is present, it blocks this normal recycling process. The buildup of dopamine results in an influx of pleasure, which explains why it is so addictive. As a stimulant, cocaine heightens the awareness and the energy of the individual when used. There are primarily three ways cocaine is abused: snorting, injection and by smoking it.

Slang Terms for Cocaine
  • Blow
  • Candy
  • Coke
  • Cola
  • Lady
  • Powder
  • Snow
  • Sugar
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in 2009 that 4.8 million Americans aged 12 and up had abused cocaine in any form. However, the Monitoring the Future Survey that polls Americas Youth on drug and alcohol trends has shown a continual decline in the use and abuse of cocaine. Significant declines have happened from 2008 to the current. Crack is a form of cocaine which is combined with other ingredients to create a crystalized form of the drug, which is smoked. We have additional information on crack addiction.

Short-Term Effects

Short-term effects can lead to long-term problems, which can be very troublesome. First-time use can lead to overdose, cardiac arrest or stroke. This can happen initially with first use, or even for a period afterwards. High levels of the drug can increase risks of erratic behavior and psychosis, like anxiety or paranoia. Cocaine abuse can frequently lead to cardiovascular (heart problems) and brain effects such as a stroke, seizures and in some case coma. The most dangerous effect of cocaine use is when it is combined with alcohol. This combined usage results in the body manufacturing cocaethylene, which intensifies the euphoric effect of cocaine, and significantly increasing the risk of death. Also, sometimes cocaine becomes a destructive tool. It's not a secret that many models have used cocaine to stay thin. They rely on this drug to keep weight off in a brutal trade that will not forgive aging or natural weight progression.

Long-term Effects

Long-Term Effects
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Cardiovascular Problems
  • Stroke
  • Damage to Body
There are a number of long-term effects that can be attributed to cocaine abuse, physically and psychologically. The biggest long term concern is that of drug addiction. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug with intensified cravings. Studies have shown that even after periods of abstinence that the triggers to abuse cocaine can still be overwhelmingly intense. Addicts to this specific drug have a high tendency of relapse. Drug rehab programs can be a start to getting the individual off of the drug. From there long-term treatment and programs should be utilized to maintain abstinence.

Long-term abuse does its damage. In the brain, a tolerance to drug is developed. More cocaine is needed to experience the fleeting amount of pleasure. Over time, the dopamine system of the brain is also affected and damaged by this abuse, due to the growingly high levels of toxicity in the brain. These high levels of toxicity can also lead to developing psychological complications. Common complications include anxiety, violent behaviors and paranoia.

The methods of abusing cocaine also do their own damage to the body. Snorting cocaine leads to irritations to the nasal cavities and the lungs. Prolonged abuse by snorting can destroy the olfactory sensors in the nasal passages creating a loss in the sense of smell. Individuals who ingest cocaine can experience a greater number of intestinal and bowel problems. Some cases have even developed gangrene in parts of their digestive systems from cocaine. Those who inject this drug run the risks that come from intravenous drug abuse.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Intense Cravings
  • Restlessness/Agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Increase Appetite
  • Depression
When cocaine abuse is stopped, an addicted individual can experience withdrawal over a period of time. Unlike other drugs and alcohol, stimulant withdrawal most times does not manifest itself with physical symptoms (vomiting, hot/cold flashes, the shakes, hallucinations). One of the strongest of withdrawal symptoms is the intensified craving. Cocaine is a stimulant and suppresses the appetite. When the drug is no longer in the system, adverse withdrawal begins to manifest with feelings of fatigue, relentless behaviors, onsets of depression and an increase of appetite.

Without proper help, cocaine addiction can be fatal. Overdose is always a risk with the abuse of cocaine. Although it is highly addictive, it is treatable. With the help of a drug rehab center or treatment service one can develop the skills needed to address cravings from this drug.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

The most effective programs for cocaine provide more than one approach to drug addiction treatment. It consists of intensive therapy, behavioral therapies and supportive programs for long-term relapse prevention. Addiction treatment should also be individualized to address the personal needs of the addict. When it is completed, continuing programs and services should be in place to offer support and additional treatment. One non-profit worldwide organization that offers additional programming and services for cocaine abuse is Cocaine Anonymous (CA).

For those seeking a private and exclusive rehabilitation facility that deals with cocaine addiction and abuse, we encourage you to call us. We are a nationally recognized, health care accredited drug rehab facility. The focus of treatment is on the individual, with therapy and programs that address their personal struggles with addiction. This is coupled with a long-term plan of action to continue care when treatment is completed. We encourage you to call today for an assessment at 1-800-582-0709.

More Research and Information on Drugs of Abuse:
Cocaine: High Fashion, Low Weight
Crack Addiction
Heroin Addiction
Marijuana Addiction
Meth Addiction