What You Need to Know About Cocaine Addiction

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Cocaine is an addictive stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant. Although it can be used for medical purposes, it’s recreational use is illegal. If you see it on the street, it’ll be a be fine, white powder. Sometimes dealers mix with it other powders like flour, talcum powder or cornstarch. It can also be mixed with other drugs like opioids and amphetamines. Adding synthetic drugs to cocaine is especially dangerous and it may lead to unintentional overdosing.

People use cocaine for many reasons. Some use it to feel better which others ingest it to reward themselves for surviving a challenging week. Other users want a way to forget painful memories. Regardless of why people begin using, cocaine can cause serious problems for people from all walks of life.  It often leads to hallucinations, memory loss, paranoia, mood swings, weight loss, and neurological issues. The good news is that even though cocaine is extremely dangerous, recovery from addiction is possible.

Risk Factors for Cocaine Addiction

Some people use cocaine a few times and don’t become addicted. They simply stop when they want to. However, other people find it very difficult to stop using the drug. There are certain factors that make addiction more likely.

Genetics play a significant role in drug addiction. People who have a family history of addiction are more likely to develop problems with cocaine. Frequent use of cocaine also changes the brain to make the user crave the drug more often. Stress, personality disorders, mental illness, and high impulsivity can also make an individual more likely to become addicted. In addition, children who start using alcohol, nicotine, or other drugs at an early age are at greater risk.

Having one or more of these risk factors doesn’t mean that you will automatically become addicted. However, it increases the chances. The more risk factors you have, the more likely it is that you will develop a cocaine addiction.

Signs of A Cocaine Problem

Cocaine quickly makes its way to the brain when it enters the body. It stops the brain from getting rid of dopamine which is a chemical that is responsible for feelings of pleasure. Because of this, users experience a temporary high. When this feeling of wellbeing wears off, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Many users are in denial about their addiction and it can be difficult for their loved ones to determine if they have a drug problem. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Bad moods when not using cocaine
  • Paranoia, panic attacks, and irritability
  • Reduced interest in things like food and relationships
  • Needing more and more cocaine to get the initial high
  • Experiencing anxiety and convulsions when using reduced amounts of cocaine
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss

Cocaine can be consumed in different ways. Some signs of cocaine addiction are specific to the way the drug was taken. For example, users who smoke crack cocaine may develop asthma and other breathing problems as well as lung damage. Those who inject often have needle marks on their forearms. Users who snort may develop:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Inflamed nasal cavities
  • Runny nose
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Loss of smell

Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal

Cocaine withdrawal isn’t always accompanied by physical symptoms. It can, therefore, be difficult to recognize if a friend or relative is going through withdrawal if they don’t say anything. However, the crash which follows the euphoria often causes:

  • Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Fear, paranoia or suspicion

Some addicts turn to alcohol or medication to ease these symptoms. However, relying on another substance can create additional problems. Withdrawal needs to be monitored and supervised by a medical professional.

Options for Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Many people recover from addiction with the help of therapy and support groups. Inpatient treatment in a rehab facility is one of the best ways to begin the journey to recovery. It provides a safe space for addicts to detox and go through withdrawal. Rehab programs can include:

  • 12-step programs
  • Mental health counseling
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Support groups
  • Education on preventing relapse

Rehab programs usually last for one to three months. When addicts leave, most find support programs to be helpful. Ongoing therapy can also help patients to manage their triggers and avoid relapse.

Contact the Team at Asheville Recovery Center Today!

If you’ve been struggling with cocaine addiction and you’re ready to turn your life around, reach out to our experienced, professional team. We’ll work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. If you’re worried about a relative and you’re not sure what to do, we can also help you. Call today and.