Cocaine is an illicit stimulant substance that can be snorted or smoke and produces rapid effects. Most commonly, abusing cocaine leads to euphoria (sometimes extreme), increased energy, grandiosity, and heightened mood. The high that is produced from cocaine abuse is short-lived, meaning that an individual must continually abuse this substance to maintain that high. Unfortunately, this can be extremely dangerous, as individuals continue to consume cocaine at a fast rate, increasing the risk of overdose.
Despite the risks that cocaine abuse can cause, many people still utilize it for a number of reasons. Outside of using it for recreational purposes, some individuals use cocaine because they are looking to increase their energy. Others might abuse cocaine because it can help suppress appetite, making it desirable to those who want to lose weight. Regardless of the reasons why someone abuses cocaine, doing so in any capacity can lead to the onset of addiction.
Cocaine addiction is a very serious condition that if left untreated, can be fatal. This is because the continued use of this illicit substance can lead to severe health complications, including the following:
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Heart attack
- Vascular disease
- Respiratory arrest
Additionally, cocaine addiction can lead to overdose, which occurs when too much cocaine has been consumed and the body is unable to properly process it. The longer that this substance is abused, the more likely these and other effects can develop. Therefore, it is imperative to be aware of the signs of cocaine addiction so that if you or a loved one is addicted to this substance, you can get the help you need.
8 Signs of a Cocaine Addiction
When a cocaine addiction is present, an individual can begin to display several different signs that indicate his or her addiction. In most cases, the kinds of signs that he or she experiences are directly related to the severity of his or her addiction. However, there is a multitude of signs that are commonly seen when an individual is addicted to cocaine.
- Neglecting responsibilities
One of the most common signs of a cocaine addiction is when an individual begins neglecting his or her responsibilities. For example, someone who is addicted to cocaine might begin missing deadlines or not maintaining professional behavior within a workplace setting. Or, an individual might stop doing things to help uphold his or her house, such as doing laundry, taking out the trash, etc., all because his or her addiction to cocaine takes a greater precedence within his or her life.
- Engaging in risky behaviors
When under the influence of cocaine, it can be easy for individuals who are addicted to this substance to partake in risky behaviors. Most commonly, because cocaine can trigger heightened arousal, individuals have a greater likelihood of participating in risky sexual behaviors. Those who are addicted to cocaine might also drive while under the influence, use in places that are unsanitary or use while in the presence of children.
- Being unable to control use
When a cocaine addiction is in full force, it is common for individuals to be out of control in terms of their use. For example, they might determine at the beginning of the day how much they are going to use, however, find that they use much more because they are unable to properly manage their intake.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using
As previously mentioned, the high produced by cocaine addiction is often very short. Therefore, when an individual who is addicted to cocaine goes without using for a period of time or stops altogether, he or she can begin suffering from withdrawal symptoms as a result. Some of these symptoms can include insomnia, poor cognition, vivid dreams, and suicidal behaviors.
- Continuing to use despite negative consequences
Cocaine addiction is often so powerful that regardless of the negative consequences it can cause within an individual’s life, he or she will still continue to use. Some of these consequences, such as trouble with the law, being unable to see his or her children, or suffering health conditions might seem like reasons to stop for some, however, someone who is addicted to cocaine is likely to keep using even if he or she wants to stop.
- Trouble in relationships
An addiction to cocaine often takes over an individual to a point where he or she begins to have trouble within his or her relationships. He or she might neglect his or her friendships, constantly argue with family, or even begin isolating him or herself from others. One of the reasons why this occurs is because an individual might be defensive about his or her use, causing him or her to find ways to create space between him or her and those who question his or her addiction.
- Decreased personal hygiene
Those who are addicted to cocaine tend to put things that used to be important to them on the back burner. This can even include something as simple as caring for her or her personal hygiene. As the use of cocaine becomes priority number one, it can be easy for an individual to stop doing things such as brush his or her hair or wear clean clothes.
- Money problems
Cocaine addiction is not cheap, especially when an individual is constantly acquiring cocaine. Someone who has a cocaine addiction might begin spending faster than the money comes in, leading to financial problems. An individual may start asking friends and/or family for money, or spend their money in a negative or careless way.
Getting Help For Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction can be just as scary as it is dangerous, which is why it is important to obtain treatment as quickly as possible. If you are addicted to cocaine, help is available so that you can begin to assess the reasons behind the development of your addiction, as well as learn new, healthy ways of coping with stress and other influences that trigger your cocaine addiction.
If you are unsure of who to contact to receive help for your cocaine addiction, you can start right in your home by telling someone who you love and who you know will be willing to help you find the treatment that you need in order to stop abusing cocaine for good. As you begin your process of recovery, you might begin to feel overwhelmed. However, the more that you continue on with your treatment, the more likely you are to benefit from it.
If you are addicted to cocaine and need help, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help.