Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Cocaine is a psychoactive (causing hallucinations), stimulant drug that is highly addictive. When sold, it’s usually in a fine, white-powder form.
Introduction to Cocaine
Cocaine, also commonly referred to as coke, is a naturally-occurring stimulant found in the leaves of the coca plant. This “upper” acts quickly and causes a brief high followed by a sudden depression and despondency, restlessness, and, tragically, a desire for more. Even people who use it only occasionally are affected, often with a much faster pulse and even seizures. This drug can cause neurosis, fits of rage, nervousness, and threatening behavior in users even if they aren’t high at the moment.
Is Cocaine Addictive?
Yes, cocaine is addictive – don’t let its plant-based origins fool you. Cocaine is regarded as one of the most addictive drugs in existence alongside other notorious narcotics such as heroin and meth. It is classified by the DEA as a Schedule II drug, which means it has a high potential for abuse and addiction.
There is no hard-set rule on how much cocaine will cause addiction. How soon it happens will vary from person to person based on factors like their weight and age, genetic predisposition, or a previous history of drug abuse, and of course, frequency and size of doses. In addition to physiological factors, how cocaine is administered, whether by injection, smoking, oral ingestions, or inhalation (snorting), also plays a role in its addictiveness.
Another factor of cocaine’s addictive nature is that it has a very short half-life. While incredibly fast-acting (some methods of use cause the effects to be felt within a few seconds, others may take a few minutes), a “cocaine high” rarely exceeds 30 minutes and sometimes is over in as little as 5 minutes. This short-lived high often results in the highly dangerous use pattern of bingeing and crashing, which often results in excessive consumption of more frequent usage or larger doses. This paired with cocaine’s powerful effects on neurotransmitters is a recipe for addiction.
This is why needing cocaine addiction treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, FL is so important.
Effects of Cocaine on the Brain
One of the main reasons why cocaine is so addictive is due to its pharmacological makeup. This powerful central nervous system stimulant targets a variety of neurochemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), norepinephrine, and glutamate. The bulk of cocaine’s addiction-causing effects are due to its effects on the limbic system, our reward center, and part of the brain that regulates motivation, pleasure, memory, and decision-making.
When cocaine is used, the body is quickly flooded with high levels of dopamine far beyond the body’s natural capabilities. The triggering of the brain’s reward center is typically the culprit of psychological addiction (“I want cocaine”), whereas the buildup of dopamine causes a drastic reduction in natural dopamine production and results in physical addiction (“I need cocaine”). This in turn can result in a variety of psychoactive side effects, several of which related to impulse control, such as:
- Binge eating
Effects of Cocaine on the Body
Although cocaine is a psychoactive drug, due to its nature as a stimulant, it has a significant impact on physiology as well. The central nervous system controls the functions of many autonomic bodily functions such as heart rate, breathing, and digestion. Physical effects of cocaine on the body include:
- Muscle cramps and spasms
- Muscle stiffness
- Irregular heartbeat or increased heart rate
- Heart attack
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Acid reflux
- Low sex drive
- Trouble sleeping
- Parkinson’s disease
- Sudden weight loss
The Risks of Consuming Cocaine
The risk of stroke and cardiovascular failure is significantly higher among cocaine users. Cocaine use also comes with numerous risks and side effects. In 2011, over 500,000 Americans sought medical attention in an emergency department (ED) for an adverse reaction to the misuse or use of cocaine, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), and this accounts for more than 40 percent of all ED visits involving illicit drug use or misuse.
It can also cause hypertension and heart-muscle damage. In fact, heavy cocaine users have a 35% higher risk of high blood pressure, as well as a significantly-damaged aorta.
An excessive amount of cocaine even if mixed with other drugs – can cause seizures, cardiovascular breakdown, respiratory problems, brain damage, and even stroke. There is additional evidence showing that mixing cocaine with tranquilizers adds to the risk of overdose and there are no shots or medicines available to treat an overdose of this drug.
How much do you have to take before it destroys your nose?
Regular chronic (daily or heavy weekly) cocaine use will gradually collapse the septum, the thin membrane which divides the nostrils. The damage is irreversible.
How long does cocaine stay in your bloodstream?
About 72 hours.
Is it possible to test positive for cocaine just from handling or being around others using it?
While you can pick up traces of cocaine from bags, banknotes, and other people’s hands, it is unlikely that these traces could enter your bloodstream and be detected on a drug test.
Are you or your loved one suffering from the negative consequences of alcohol or drug addiction?
Call our office and our caring and professional staff will help you get started on your Road To Recovery. We provide both addiction treatment and housing services and help individuals and families take the first step toward recovery from addiction.
Road to Recovery Wellness Center
412 SE 6th ST.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301