One of the scariest things about dabbling with drugs is how quickly dependence and addiction can occur. This is especially true for Cocaine, largely considered one of the most addictive drugs on the market.
If you are concerned that you or your loved one may be struggling with a cocaine addiction, there are often warning signs to be aware of.
How Cocaine Got Started
Many people are aware that coca leaves have been used for thousands of years by the natives of South America. Chewing on the coca leaves would provide a quick boost of energy and focus.
In the 18 and early 1900’s, Cocaine was often used as a medical agent, to help ease constipation, ease allergy side effects, and decrease menstrual cramps and toothaches.
However, during the late ’70s and early ’80s, the cocaine industry took a dark and dangerous turn when cartels and the U.S government went to war over the drug. Since then, America and the rest of the world have been battling cocaine and crack addictions that can often turn the most well-mannered people into Mr. Hydes.
Why Cocaine Addiction Happens
Many people who use cocaine will often start as recreational users, often only using on special occasions or some weekends.
Both for the “weekend warriors” and those with a daily addiction, the side effects of cocaine use will often be the same, consisting of:
- Increased energy
- Decreased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Jaw grinding
- Rapid eye movement
- Heightened sensation in the body
Cocaine can be snorted, smoked, and injected.
One reason why many people use cocaine is that it allows them to drink more alcohol without getting “sloppy”. Since cocaine is a stimulant, it naturally acts to counteract the depressant side effects of alcohol so many people choose to combine the two during a night out of partying.
Seemingly harmless, this combination can actually be very dangerous. When a person uses cocaine to mask the effects of alcohol, they will often become unable to tell how much they drink. If they feel pretty sober, but get pulled over or into a car accident, their blood alcohol level will reflect the actual amount they drank, no matter how sober they might feel due to the cocaine.
Another real danger for cocaine users comes when the drug starts entering their lives more than those “special occasions”. There is no question that cocaine provides that pep and hop to that many people look for from coffee, energy drinks, and other stimulant pills. When people begin to use cocaine for their daily “pep”, addiction can occur much more quickly.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Just like with any other addiction, the person in question will often begin to change emotionally, physically, and behaviorally. Whether they begin as a weekend warrior or take off running from their very first time, signs of addiction are often similar.
- Spending large amounts of money – Cocaine can be a very expensive drug. For people who use it often, they will begin to need more and more of the drug in order to feel the effects. This can often get out of hand financially.
- Developing a tolerance – As mentioned, a person who uses cocaine often or daily will begin to develop a tolerance. This means they will require greater amounts in order to feel the desired effect.
- Weight loss – Being that cocaine is a stimulant, it depresses the appetite and addicts can often go days without eating if they continue to use. This will result in rapid weight loss and gaunt facial features.
- Withdrawing – As with any other substance, the chemicals in the body that come from cocaine will begin to build up over prolonged use. When the person stops using, they will experience withdrawal symptoms (read below).
- Strange behaviors – Cocaine tends to take away a person’s sleep which can cause delirium, hallucinations, and absurd behaviors. These people can become agitated, irritable, and aggressive when high on cocaine, however, after a few days of being off the drug, can largely return to their normal selves.
- Heartbreaking acts – due to the tolerance development and price tag of cocaine use, people can often begin to participate in thievery, prostitution, and financial fraud in order to continue their cocaine use.
Withdrawing from Cocaine
Many people who struggle with a cocaine addiction will be troubled to find that many detox centers won’t accept someone who only has cocaine in their system. This is because, according to the medical field, there are no life-threatening side effects of cocaine use. Many people who need to detox from cocaine will drink alcohol or use another drug in order to get detox since these are considered more deadly to withdrawal from.
Don’t be fooled, there are absolutely withdrawal side effects that come from cocaine use. Since cocaine use creates dependence, effects neurological functioning, and is detrimental to physiological health, there will be some pretty dramatic side effects that users will experience when detoxing from cocaine.
Some of these side effects are:
- Inability to sleep
- Rapid weight gain
- Mood Swings
- Nasal cavity damage
- Night terrors
- Trouble concentrating
Many people who try to detox on their own find it difficult to battle the intense cravings that come after the last use. Cocaine cravings, and especially crack cocaine, are extremely powerful and are often the reason why many people fail at quitting on their own.
Using cocaine recreationally or addictively is dangerous and financially straining. Users who combine cocaine with alcohol, other depressant drugs, and even hallucinogens, can often experience hyperthermia, hallucinations, and even heart failure as a result of increased blood pressure from cocaine use.
Although it is often depicted as a party drug, thousands of people every year fall victim to addiction and health problems from cocaine use.
Being sober and in recovery does not mean that everything is smooth sailing. There is no straight line to recovery, and it, like other diseases, can be extremely difficult to manage. However, by developing a plan of attack in regards to coping with cravings, you can set yourself up for success.
If you are struggling with cocaine abuse, you are not alone. Reach out to us right now. Our cocaine rehab can help you