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Cocaine is often considered the “rich man’s drug” because it is highly addictive and also rather expensive in most areas of the United States. The short lived high that results from snorting, smoking or ingesting this dangerous drug often leads to profound psychological outbursts and long term psychosis in those who frequently abuse the drug and do not receive professional treatment.
If you or someone you love is addicted to cocaine, call our helpline toll-free at 800-836-4134 Who Answers? to speak with a treatment specialist who can assist you in getting the help you need.
Although cocaine is considered highly addictive, recognizing an addiction to this drug may be challenging. To an outsider, a cocaine addict may show signs of physical appearance changes such as weight loss or behavioral signs such as increased energy and talkativeness. Unfortunately, many of these signs can easily be attributed to a wealth of other possible situations and are not a given for cocaine addiction.
Who is at Risk of Cocaine Addiction?
Due to the addictive nature of cocaine, anyone who uses the drug is at risk of becoming dependent on it. Repeat use of cocaine, especially the use of crack cocaine, can quickly lead to a heightened tolerance and an increased risk of addiction.
If you suspect that someone you care about is addicted to cocaine, or that you are suffering from an addiction to this drug, call our helpline at 800-836-4134 Who Answers? to speak with a treatment specialist who can assist you in getting the proper treatment for recovery.
The best way to prevent cocaine addiction is not to use the drug—but if you or someone you love has already started abusing this substance, the next best outcome is early detection of the problem so you can seek professional help. Here’s how you can detect a possible cocaine abuse problem:
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive talking
- Excessive excitement
- Nose bleeds, runny nose or sniffles that seem to be frequent
- Remnants of the drug left around the nose (white powdery substance on nostrils)
- Excessive paranoia
- Active overly confident
- Changes in eating habits
- Weight loss
Users will often stay awake for long periods of time or very late at night. They may be afraid to talk to people or to see others, or they may suffer paranoia that causes them to constantly check out the window or to think they are hearing things that do not exist (auditory hallucinations).
In addition to these signs of cocaine use, people who smoke crack cocaine may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Chronic cough
- Hoarse voice
- Burns on the fingers or lips
- Skin picking
- Lung infections
- Throat infections
- Ash on the lips or fingers
Dangers of Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine is not safe for any level of abuse—even a small amount of this drug can cause potentially serious or even life-threatening health risks. Overdose is one of the leading causes of death associated with cocaine abuse. Using too much of the drug, or mixing it with other drugs, can cause:
- Heightened blood pressure
- Constricted blood vessels
- Damage to the nasal cavity
- Heart attack
- Organ failure
- Inability to concentrate
- Violent behavior
The risk of overdose increases with each repeat use of cocaine. Often times users will go on what is known as a “cocaine binge” in which they repeatedly abuse the drug over and over again during a period of hours or days. This seriously heightens risk of overdose as the body breaks down from the repeated use of the substance.
Cocaine abuse is often to blame for broken relationships, problems in work or school, and financial distress. Users may lose their job, fail in class, or neglect personal responsibilities at home such as caring for children or focusing on interpersonal relationships such as that with a spouse or family member.
Recognizing Cocaine Addiction
Repeat use of cocaine, and the decision to continue abusing the drug despite the consequences that result from such use are a few of the most common, and early symptoms of an addiction to this drug. Users will often feel very strong cravings to get high and, even though they realize that doing so will likely result in further complications of their current life, they do so anyway.
It’s the psychological stronghold that cocaine has on the user which most often keeps the addictive tendencies present. You realize that the drug is bad, and that you shouldn’t use, but despite those good intentions, the cravings are too much for you to cope with—so you do it—just one more time.
The problem is, one more time turns into two, two times turns into three, and before you know it you’re using cocaine every single day—sometimes even multiple times a day.
Signs of cocaine addiction include:
- Persistent use of the drug despite the known consequences.
- Ongoing cravings to use the drug.
- Inability to use just a little or to do it just once.
- Telling lies about your drug use or masking the drug use because you know it’s wrong but you do it anyway.
- Suffering from symptoms of withdrawal when you don’t use.
- Feeling like you can’t have fun without cocaine.
- Promising to quit and failing to do so.
- Suffering from overdose or similar complications and using anyway.
Cocaine addiction can range from mild to severe depending on a number of factors. On the mild end, you may simply find that you have suffered the common side effects such as weight loss and cravings. In the most severe case, you may lose everything you own and still use or even suffer from a life-threatening overdose on the drug.
Getting Help for Cocaine Addiction
If you or someone you care about is addicted to cocaine, the best decision you can make is to call for professional help. Our helpline 800-836-4134 Who Answers? will provide you with an immediate referral into treatment that will guide you to the recovery that you deserve.
Once you realize that cocaine addiction is a problem in your life, making the courageous decision to seek professional help could be a matter of life or death. Left untreated, cocaine addiction can lead to complete loss of overall quality of life—or possibly even premature death.
The first step in your treatment process will be to undergo detox where you can safely withdraw from the drug. Cocaine releases chemicals called dopamine and endorphins inside your body causing a euphoric feel. Eventually, your body becomes accustomed to the drug and requires the cocaine in order to feel “good.” When you no longer give your body cocaine, withdrawal sets in making you feel lethargic, tired, depressed or otherwise unable to cope.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options
Fortunately, a number of proven treatment methods are available to assist you in recovery. While there are no known medications for the treatment of cocaine addiction, medical intervention can be used to help restore your body to a stabilized state. Following detox, the following treatment methods may be used to help you heal:
- 12 step treatment
- Support groups
- Family therapy
- Cognitive therapy
- Behavioral therapy
- Individual counseling
- Group counseling
- Motivational incentives
- Relapse prevention
Often times, addiction stems from past trauma or abuse. It’s very common for people to begin abusing drugs in an effort to cope with underlying emotional instabilities. As such, most treatment programs heavily focus on providing patients with the psychological tools necessary to help them remain calm and in control of their recovery even after they are released from residential care.
If you or someone you love needs help overcoming an addiction to cocaine, call our helpline toll-free at 800-836-4134 Who Answers? for assistance. These treatments help people just like you to cope with symptoms of withdrawal, to overcome periods of sustained cravings and to live a drug-free lifestyle. Right now, all of these thoughts may seem like a dream, but with the proper professional care, you can get sober.
Our helpline will place you in a residential treatment program that geared to your recovery. Proven methods are used to restore your life to its pre-addicted state. From inpatient care to relapse prevention, you will learn everything you need to cope with emotions that otherwise have caused you to abuse drugs. In time, you can look back and admit that addiction was just one backward step in your life of forward movement.
Call our helpline at 800-836-4134 Who Answers? to speak with a treatment specialist who has been in your situation and knows what it means to make this call. This could change your life!