Cocaine is a highly addictive substance. Unlike other commonly abused illicit drugs (or street drugs), one-time cocaine use can quickly evolve into a pattern of misuse and addiction. The effects of cocaine are intense yet short-lived, which means those who use the drug often find they require more and more with each dose to achieve the same impact they remember from their first use. Increased tolerance eventually leads to a cocaine addiction that is nearly impossible to break without detox and treatment at an addiction treatment center.
Cocaine is a drug made from the leaves of the coca plant. Once extracted, cocaine is produced into a white, powdery substance that can be used in various ways. While most inhale cocaine, it can also be liquified and injected or smoked (crack-cocaine). Via any of these methods, the drug’s effects are felt almost immediately, and addiction can occur quickly. Cocaine is also known by other names, including coke, crack and blow, among others.
Signs of a Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine is a stimulant drug. This means it, at least initially, energizes the body. Cocaine also triggers the brain to release dopamine, a naturally occurring chemical in the brain responsible for feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and euphoria. Some users also report that frequent cocaine use reduces their need for food and sleep while increasing their ability to think and perform tasks more quickly.
Ongoing cocaine use has both physical and psychological effects. When you use cocaine frequently or for an extended period, changes occur to your mood, behavior, and overall mental health. Many who use cocaine, even in the short-term, experience incidences of paranoia and states of panic. They will often feel as though people are “out to get them” or experience instances of sudden and unprovoked yet crippling fear. Cocaine addiction can also result in increased risk for (or worsening of) mental illness, including depression and anxiety.
The physical impacts of cocaine use can be highly detrimental to virtually every system in the body. Some of the effects, such as nausea, elevated blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat, high body temperature, and enlarged pupils, are generally short-lived. However, there are many potentially dangerous symptoms and side effects that can last much longer.
Those who snort cocaine will experience frequent and chronic nosebleeds. They may also always appear to have a case of the “sniffles.” Snorting cocaine can permanently damage one’s sense of smell and damage the structure of the nose. Cocaine use can also damage the stomach and bowels. Cocaine use can lead to intestinal damage, perforated bowel and stomach bleeding, all of which can be fatal. Because cocaine suppresses the appetite, significant weight loss, and malnutrition are also common signs of cocaine addiction. The heart, or cardiovascular system, is impacted by cocaine as well. Frequent cocaine use can trigger cardiac symptoms that mimic those of a heart attack and, in some cases, produce an erratic heartbeat that results in cardiac arrest. Cocaine is also associated with an elevated risk for stroke, heart failure, and coronary artery disease. The kidneys, liver, reproductive system, lungs, and brain are all also adversely impacted by long term cocaine use. Without comprehensive addiction treatment, chronic and frequent cocaine use can slowly cause permanent damage to vital body organs and systems.
How to Find a Cocaine Rehab in Florida
If you have decided it is time to defeat your cocaine addiction, reach out to Bayshore Retreat today. Our treatment staff will guide you through the essential steps of addiction treatment, including detox, therapy, and a robust aftercare plan. At Bayshore Retreat, we utilize comprehensive, evidence-based therapy models to help you live a sober, healthy life without reliance on cocaine. If you are ready to take the first steps towards freedom from drugs, let Bayshore Retreat help you with your cocaine addiction today.