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What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a white, powdery drug derived from coca leaves, which are found on the coca plant that is indigenous to certain areas of South America. It is highly addictive and causes many users to develop cocaine addiction.

This substance is illegal in the United States, as it considered to be a Schedule II drug for its high potential for misuse, largely addictive qualities, and the probability of experiencing serious side effects.

Cocaine on its own is known for increasing energy, focus or attention, and alertness in the user, as well as creating a euphoria-like feeling. It does this by interacting with the body’s central nervous system.

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One of the biggest problems with cocaine use is that it is often mixed with other substances that the user is not aware of. When purchased off of the street, it can often show a purity level as low as 10%. The remaining 90% may appear to have the same texture, look, and feel as cocaine, which is why many people don’t notice the difference.

Street cocaine is often found to be laced with substances such as caffeine, levamisole, benzocaine, amphetamine, or pseudoephedrine, some of which add an additional potential for addiction. This is just one of the factors that makes cocaine such a dangerous substance.

It is often informally referred to as coke, powder, or blow and is most commonly snorted, but it can also be smoked or injected, depending on its form. As the methods progress, they also increase in levels of danger and potential for addiction, starting with snorting on the lower end and ending with smoking on the higher end.

What is Cocaine Addiction?

To any degree, cocaine use is considered to be abuse since it is completely illegal. But what’s more concerning is when abuse turns into an addiction.

Since it directly interacts with the central nervous system, cocaine can affect brain chemistry, including causing changes in existing brain cells and nerves (brain damage) and increasing blood pressure (with the potential to cause heart attacks).

The effects of cocaine use are generally short-lasting, so users have to intake the drug frequently to maintain the desired levels.

What makes this drug particularly dangerous is that continued use typically puts a strain on the heart, leading to the events listed above, as well as cardiac arrest and stroke.

It is also known to cause kidney damage, headaches, convulsions, mood changes, and lung damage, as well.

Because of its addictive qualities, the risk of a cocaine overdose is also heightened, especially when individuals choose to inject the substance overusing it through other methods.

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Cocaine addiction often leads to long-term damage to physical and mental health, but if an individual seeks treatment early enough, these may be avoided.

So, how does someone become addicted to cocaine? Cocaine addiction is difficult to predict because it’s one of the most popularly tried illicit drugs, yet some individuals become addicted while others don’t. The amount, length, method of use, and genetic factors all play a part in whether or not an individual will become addicted.

Another factor is the age at which the individual first tried cocaine; the younger the individual, the higher the risk for addiction. Cocaine essentially rewires the brain, making it very difficult to stop once a cocaine addiction has developed.

If you believe that you or a loved one needs help, here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • You need cocaine in order to feel normal
  • You have difficulty stopping on your own and experience withdrawal symptoms when you try
  • You exhibit extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and touch
  • You feel hyperactive and have trouble controlling your movements
  • You experience periods of paranoia, intense happiness, and unpredictable anger
  • Your appetite is decreased
  • You have a harder time focusing or thinking without it
  • Your sleep patterns have changed dramatically
  • Your reaction times have slowed
  • You have difficulty remembering certain things

Note that there are additional signs and symptoms.

Cocaine Addiction vs. Crack Addiction

These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are vastly different. Both substances affect the brain, but there are differences in their forms, methods, costs, and potential for harm. Cocaine is a powder that is typically snorted or dissolved and injected; crack is made by taking the base of cocaine powder and mixing it with baking soda and water before it is smoked.

When snorting or injecting cocaine, there is a delay before the effects are felt. However, the effects of smoking crack are felt instantly. Because of this difference, smoking crack cocaine puts you at a higher risk for addiction and is considered to be more dangerous, although any cocaine-related addiction can ultimately prove to be life-threatening.

Cocaine Withdrawal

In general, withdrawal from many drugs can be difficult or painful. Cocaine withdrawal is no exception, and can even be worse than many others.

When a cocaine-addicted individual stops using it, they’ll experience an initial crash, and withdrawal symptoms from there may last for several weeks or longer.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include suicidal thoughts, increased anxiety or depression, nightmares, cravings, difficulty concentrating, and overwhelming fatigue.

Physical symptoms may include muscle aches, nerve pains, and chills, among others. Many times, cocaine addiction is coupled with another dependency.

Cocaine and alcohol, for example, are two addictions that typically develop together, and they can be a deadly combination. When used in conjunction with one another, this can increase the risk of a fatal overdose. However, heroin and cocaine may be even more dangerous. Cocaine is addictive, often promotes other addictions, and changes your brain chemistry.

Each of these factors makes it difficult to quit and recover from. Of all currently available illicit substances, more individuals are admitted to the emergency room for issues related to cocaine than any other. While some users may be able to stop on their own, the majority will need rehab or therapy to help them through, especially in the withdrawal stage.

Help is available for patients that are ready to take control of their addiction and overcome it.

Our medically-assisted drug detox is ideal for individuals recovering from addictions just like this one.

Your body will have the chance to adjust and recover in a controlled and safe environment, away from triggers and temptations, for a healthy new life.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

At Resurgence, we offer completely customized treatment programs. We offer our patients a wide variety of treatment options, including behavioral therapies, support groups, medically-assisted and monitored detoxes, inpatient and outpatient care, and more.

Our staff is available to help you every step of the way, starting with our first phone call. We will provide you with a description of your option, gather enough personal information to offer guidance, and offer a complimentary insurance verification so that all you have to worry about is getting better.

Cocaine addiction and withdrawal can be difficult, discouraging, and downright scary. This is especially true when it is coupled with another addiction or underlying mental health issues, as is typically the case with cocaine.

We will help you overcome each related issue, not just the ones you see on the surface. It’s difficult to overcome something that alters your brain chemistry, but it’s not impossible.

When you have the right team by your side, we know that you can do anything.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Does your Insurance Cover Rehab?

At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.