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Cocaine Addiction


Cocaine is a powerful stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant. It is both illegal and highly addictive. Chemically, cocaine works by flooding the brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s pleasure and reward centers. This euphoric blast caused by this elusive drug can overwhelm the user and ultimately rewrite a person’s neural pathways and sow the seeds for a painful addiction.

As a street drug, cocaine looks like a fine, white, crystal powder. Street dealers often mix it with things like cornstarch or baby powder, and may also mix in other stimulants such as methamphetamine. Users primarily administer cocaine orally, through the nose, intravenously, or by inhalation.

Popular nicknames for cocaine include:

  • Coke
  • Blow
  • Crack (a smokable form of cocaine)
  • White
  • Flake
  • Yeyo
  • Snow

Signs and Symptoms of a Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine affects the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of wellbeing. This is why comprehensive, medically supportive treatment is the most effective course of treatment or a person trying to overcome an addiction to this dangerous drug.

Physical symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Trembling and shaking
  • Dehydration
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Increased agitation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Cold-like symptoms
  • Nosebleeds
  • Muscle tics/spasms
  • Changes in concentration and focus

Psychological and Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Social isolation
  • Hiding drug use from others
  • Impulsiveness
  • Interpersonal relationship problems
  • Violent behaviors
  • Aggression
  • Risky sexual behaviors
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Disorganized thoughts
  • Paranoia

Can a Person Overdose From Cocaine?

Today, overdose deaths involving cocaine continue to rise. Death from overdose can occur during the first use of cocaine or anytime thereafter. Often times, cocaine is taken with other substances, such as opioids, that also have the potential for overdose themselves. Many people who use cocaine also drink alcohol at the same time. Both of these combinations are particularly risky.

The Cycle of Cocaine Addiction

A person who is addiction to cocaine will take the stimulant repeatedly during a concentrated period of time. These episodes, often known as “binges”, can lasting for hours or days. When a person emerges from the binge, they often experience what is known as a “crash”. This crash is characterized by negative emotions, extreme fatigue, and inactivity. When the obsession to use returns, the person becomes preoccupied with attempting to use the substance again, often under the delusion that they can control or manage their drug use. The creates a deadly cycle of addiction that can feel impossible to break.

Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:

  • Extreme anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Suicide
  • Decreased energy
  • Increased sleeping
  • Increased appetite
  • Night Sweats
  • Chills
  • Unpleasant dreams or nightmares
  • Tremors
  • Muscle aches
  • Nerve pain

While not generally dangerous to detox from, such as with alcohol or benzodiazepines, cocaine can cause the user to experience extreme depression. This is because people who attempt to stop may find that their brains have grown accustomed to a continual flood of dopamine. For this reason, people struggling to overcome addiction may find it extremely beneficial to undergo detox and treatment by trained medical professionals.

Detox Is Only the First Step

Successful detox does not guarantee ongoing sobriety. Many drug addicted people fail to remain sober following detox without additional help from trained professionals and effective clinical substance use disorder programming. Stabilization is merely a launchpad for further treatment. Remember: Addiction is a mental illness. When all aspects of a person’s mental, physical, and spiritual well-being are addressed, recovery is possible.

The light at the end of the tunnel:  844-843-8935.