Cocaine is one of the most frequently abused illicit substances in the world. It is a powerful stimulant drug that is commonly snorted or smoked and is sometimes injected. It’s usually found in a white powder form or as a rock-like substance as crack.
Most people decide to experiment with cocaine because they want to experience the euphoria and rush of energy that cocaine produces. When abusing cocaine, however, a person has to continually use it in a binge fashion to sustain that rush of energy, because its effects usually wear off in less than 30 minutes.
Moreover, even when experimenting with cocaine, a person can quickly become addicted to it because he or she must keep using it repeatedly to produce the desired effect.
Once cocaine use has advanced to addiction, it can be extremely challenging to end it. Most people who are addicted to cocaine are compelled to keep using it because it gives them energy, curbs appetite, and induces feelings of euphoria. The prolonged abuse of cocaine can be catastrophic to one’s health, however.
What is Crack?
Although similar, crack cocaine is not the same as powdered cocaine – they are separate drugs. Crack is derived from cocaine but is also combined with other man-made products such as baking soda. Most people who use crack smoke it out of a pipe and the high is sometimes more intense than what is produced using regular cocaine.
Like regular powdered cocaine, crack is often consumed in a binge pattern and is popular due to it being much less expensive.
Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
Identifying the symptoms of cocaine addiction can be critical in helping determine if someone you love is struggling with this type of addiction. Symptoms include the following:
Excitability and talkativeness
Delusions of grandeur
Hallucinations or paranoia
Risky Behaviors and aggression
Decreased appetite and weight loss
Runny nose and nosebleeds
High blood pressure and tachycardia (increased heart rate)
Insomnia and sleep disturbances
Twitching and seizures
Dangers of Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction can cause a number of physical problems that can persist long after an individual discontinues use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), regular exposure to cocaine can damage several different essential bodily organs. For example, cocaine use hinders blood flow to the intestines, which can cause the development of ulcers and tears. Life-threatening intracerebral hemorrhages (bleeding in the brain) can also occur.
In addition, Parkinson’s disease is more likely to develop in people who abused cocaine than those who did not. And, cocaine addiction can result in long-term impairments involving attention, impulsivity, memory problems, and difficulty making decisions and carrying out motor tasks.
Cocaine addiction can also cause life-threatening heart problems – the abuse of this drug can result in inflammation of the muscles around the heart, stroke, an inability of the heart to contract, and aortic ruptures. Other heart-related conditions include angina, blood clots that can cause pulmonary embolisms, stroke, heart attack, and deep vein thrombosis, and myocardial infarction.
Respiratory problems caused by crack use or smoking cocaine include chronic coughing, wheezing, and black sputum. People who are addicted to crack are also at an increased risk of contracting pneumonia, tuberculosis, and pulmonary edema.
Abusing cocaine can also lead to damage to the liver, kidneys, and intestinal tract. And because cocaine use suppresses appetite, those addicted can suffer from malnourishment.
As with all other people dependent on dangerous substances, overdose is a palpable danger that can occur due to tolerance – this means that the person must keep using more and more cocaine to feel the effects he or she desires. As the dosage that he or she uses increases, so does the risk of overdose.
Getting Help For Cocaine or Crack Addiction
Fortunately, addiction to cocaine is treatable. Those who battle a cocaine use disorder can undergo a combination of medical detox, therapy, and counseling that can help people overcome the challenges they have faced because of their addiction. Taking the first steps to defeat your addiction can make a significant change in your life, and propel you from active abuse into recovery. These small steps may feel insignificant at first, but they are essential for one to achieve the end goal of sobriety.
Choosing where to go for recovery is a critical step in sobriety. At Recovery By The Sea, we provide you with the tools you need to overcome your addiction and will give you an unforgettable, life-changing experience. No one can force you to be ready, but when you are, we will be here for you!
If you’re ready for that day to be today, call us now: