Cocaine addiction is one of the most serious and dangerous problems when it comes to substance abuse. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), over 14 percent of all Americans aged 12 and older have used cocaine in their lifetime.
What's more, according to a 2008 report from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), almost a quarter of the nearly 2 million drug abuse-related hospital visits that year involved cocaine. This means that cocaine was responsible for over 400,000 hospital visits in the United States in 2008.
In order to prevent a potentially tragic outcome, it is crucial to recognize the warning signs that a loved one or family member may be abusing cocaine and seek treatment with a reliable rehab program.
Read on and find out how to tell if someone is on cocaine and what you can do to help them overcome the addiction.
What Is Cocaine?
When snorting cocaine, the powder is often formed into a line or "bump" and then inhaled through the nose. When cocaine is injected, it is mixed with water and then injected directly into the bloodstream using a syringe.
What Are the Effects of Cocaine?
Cocaine drug abuse also causes other physical and psychological effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils, and a loss of appetite. People who use cocaine may also experience irritability, anxiety, restlessness, and paranoia.
With repeated use, cocaine can lead to an increased tolerance, where the person needs larger and more frequent doses to achieve the desired effects.
Continued use of cocaine can also lead to addiction, which is a chronic and relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite negative consequences.
In addition to its addictive properties, cocaine use can have serious health consequences, including cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes, as well as respiratory problems and other medical complications.
Physical Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine use can have a range of short-term and long-term consequences, some of which can be quite severe.
In the short-term, cocaine use can cause a range of physical and psychological signs of cocaine use, including:
It's important to seek help from a healthcare professional or addiction treatment center if you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction.
With the right support and treatment, it is possible to overcome addiction and reduce the risk of long-term health consequences.
Behavioral Cocaine Addiction Symptoms
Some of the short-term behavioral signs of cocaine addiction include:
Repeated use of cocaine can also lead to increased tolerance, which means that a person needs higher doses to achieve the same effects. This can increase the risk of adverse effects, including aggression, violence, and even psychosis.
Abusing cocaine for a long period of time can lead to long-term effects, such as:
Mental and Emotional Cocaine Addiction Symptoms
When a person uses cocaine, they flood their brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. This flood of dopamine creates a powerful high that is short-lived but can be intensely pleasurable.
However, over time, repeated cocaine abuse can cause the brain to become less responsive to chemical messengers, leading to a decrease in the pleasure response. This can result in a need for higher doses of the drug to achieve the same cocaine high, which can lead to addiction.
Moreover, when the effects of the drug wear off, individuals who abuse cocaine may experience intense drug cravings, depression, anxiety, and irritability, which can lead to violent behavior in some cases. Chronic cocaine use can also lead to other mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety.
Short-term mental and emotional symptoms of substance abuse include:
The Bottom Line
If you notice signs or symptoms of cocaine abuse in your loved one, it is essential to approach the conversation with care and concern.
They may be defensive or in denial, but it is important to express your love and support and encourage them to seek help. There are many effective treatments for cocaine addiction, including therapy, medications, and support groups.
It is also important to recognize the risks associated with cocaine use, including the risk of fatal overdose, which can even lead to sudden death.
Cocaine overdoses can happen even after the first use, and certain combinations, such as mixing cocaine with alcohol, heroin, or other drugs can significantly increase the risk of overdose.
If you or your loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction or if you would like to receive more information about the drug addiction, contact the Miracles Asia treatment center to get professional help and support.