Cocaine is one of the most commonly abused substances in the world. While most individuals accept that the drug is highly-addictive and dangerous, millions are still attracted to it. According to recent research, as many as 1.4 million Americans had a cocaine use disorder in the year 2021.
Cocaine works by increasing the levels of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain's nerve cells. This action produces the intense sense of pleasure associated with the drug, but it also causes the user to become rapidly addicted to the substance.
Since cocaine is a stimulant, it can cause the following feelings:
In this article, we will elaborate on the serious topic of cocaine abuse and addiction, which often brings devastating physical, psychological, and social consequences, especially when used for an extended period.
Why is Cocaine So Addictive?
Cocaine has long been known to have a strong potential for addiction, but recent research has shown that the drug is actually more addictive than previously thought.
So how does it work?
Cocaine activates the reward system in the brain by increasing levels of dopamine - the neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure.
When users abuse cocaine, they experience an intense rush of pleasure as the drug "floods" their brains. This rush is followed by an equally intense crash, which leads users to crave more of the drug in order to keep feeling the euphoria.
Cocaine is also known to have a lasting effect on the brain, causing permanent changes in the neurotransmitters that regulate emotions and behavior. This means that cocaine users may experience ongoing cravings for more of the drug, even after their initial high has worn off.
The addictive effects of cocaine are also enhanced by its widespread availability. It's easy for most users to find and purchase cocaine, making it an attractive option for those seeking a quick and easy high.
Duration of Cocaine Effects
The effects of stimulants brought on the streets can be unpredictable and dangerous. Stimulants bought from illicit sources may be mixed with other substances, such as fillers or drugs of different potency, which can have serious health repercussions for the user.
How Do Stimulants Work?
Generally, the effects of a single dose of cocaine can last anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes.
When smoked or injected, the effects are more intense but last for a shorter period, about five to ten minutes.
Due to the fact that the cocaine effects users are craving are way too short-term, individuals tend to dose many times in order to maintain the desired high.
It's important to note that compared to snorting or smoking, injecting the substance has a much higher risk of overdose, and comes with a host of other dangers including the transmission of deadly diseases.
To acknowledge the scale of the tragedy, we should start with some sad statistics.
The number of deaths in the USA involving cocaine reached 24,486 in 2021. Compared to 15,883 deaths reported in 2019, and 19,446 reported in 2020 - the situation seems to only be worsening.
Dangers of Cocaine Use
As for the physical symptoms, cocaine use can cause a fast heart rate, increased blood pressure, and constricted blood vessels.
Additionally, cocaine can lead to higher levels of cortisol - a hormone that increases stress levels and can cause long-term problems such as hypertension, heart attack, stroke, and seizures.
Long-term cocaine use is a straight road to addiction, which usually results in serious mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
Cocaine abuse can also have a major impact on a person's behavior. It increases the desire to engage in risk-taking activities, such as driving under the influence of drugs, having unprotected sex, and taking part in criminal activity.
It can also lead to compulsive behaviors, such as binge eating and picking up other drugs besides cocaine.
Besides this, cocaine abuse frequently leads to serious financial consequences. Cocaine is an expensive drug, and the cost of buying coke can add up quickly as the amount needed to satisfy the cravings increases alongside a rising tolerance.
Cocaine use can also have long-term social consequences. It can damage relationships, lead to job loss, and even homelessness.
Finally - there is nothing worse than death. As you see from the statistics, overdosing on cocaine happens. And these are unforotunately not rare exceptions in the lives of cocaine addicts. If you or your nearest and dearest are addicted to cocaine, you should seek help immediately.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal from cocaine can cause a range of symptoms, both psychological and physical, varying in severity depending on how long a user has been dependent on the drug.
Common psychological symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include fatigue, depression, irritability, anxiety, and decreased concentration.
Physical symptoms may include aches and pains, increased heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, and increased appetite.
These symptoms can last for several weeks after the last cocaine intake. Additionally, they may become worse if the user tries to quit 'cold turkey' (try to quit drug use immediately and completely) and doesn't have medical assistance.
It's important to note that cocaine withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and should not be taken lightly. It's highly recommended that individuals who are trying to quit cocaine use seek professional help.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
We have divided the following signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction into physical and behavioral.
By understanding the signs, you will be better able to identify if you or someone you know may be struggling with a substance use disorder.
Physical Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Behavioral Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine Addiction Treatment
There are a variety of treatment options available. Depending on the severity of the addiction, treatment may involve both inpatient and outpatient care.
Inpatient treatment typically involves a residential stay in a clinic or hospital where patients can receive round-the-clock care from medical professionals. Outpatient treatment will involve visits to a clinic or hospital for therapy, group counseling, and other forms of support.
It's vital for those struggling with cocaine addiction to have long-term support from real professionals in a safe, judgment-free environment. That's exactly what we offer here at Miracles Asia.
Our state-of-the-art addiction treatment center is located on the tranquil island of Phuket in Thailand. Not only will you be surrounded by round-the-clock support, but also the hugely picturesque scenery of the surroundings.
What puts Miracles Asia amongst the best providers worldwide? We humbly draw attention to our success rate, which is over 85% for clients who stay with us for longer than 60 days.
What We Offer
A personalized approach to cocaine addiction treatment, up to three weekly individual 1-on-1 sessions with your therapist, personalized recovery coaching sessions, meditation, yoga, Thai massage, beachside support group meetings, and many other activities.
As the leading rehab in Thailand, the team at Miracles Asia believe this holistic package, tailored specifically to you, will give you the best possible chance at sustainably changing your reality into a happier-than-ever, addiction-free life.
The Bottom Line
Cocaine use results in adverse effects on users' heart, brain, and emotional well-being, including a fast heart rate, increased blood pressure, constricted blood vessels, depression, anxiety, paranoia, seizures, and cocaine overdose, which can lead to deadly consequences.
Many people who use cocaine become physically and psychologically addicted to the drug, which can lead to long-term, devastating, and life-threatening consequences. That's why it's extremely important to seek help whenever you or someone you know experiences addiction to or dependence on this drug.
Our team of western therapists will work with you to design an personalized plans for your addiction treatment, and they will do everything in their power to help you ensure that recovery happens as soon as possible.