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Cocaine Addiction and Abuse

What is Cocaine addiction and abuse?

Cocaine is typically inhaled, snorted or even intravenously injected for recreational purposes. It is considered to be one of the most highly abused drugs around the globe, and despite contradictory claims, it is very addictive. Because it can be easily converted into many other forms, is has been placed on the Schedule II drug list of the United States and is referred to as a dangerous drug or drug class. People tend to use it as a source of fun & enjoyment to begin with, but with use or abuse over time it begins to have negative effects and impacts, cocaine addicts are commonly faced with variety of health hazards, mental health issues, and issues operating in day to day life.

What are the causes? 

Cocaine penetrates the pleasure centers of the brain and stops the elimination of dopamine which stimulates synapses and works as reward system within the brain. Also, several other factors contribute to cocaine addiction, including:

Genetic habit: People who have relatives with addiction issues are more likely to have issues themselves.

Scientific/biological aspects: These include changing in functions and mental capacity of the brain. When the brain seeks pleasure due to low levels of dopamine, people automatically crave the drug.

Social company: It has been observed that people from unstable social atmospheres and unhealthy surroundings have a high chance of developing a cocaine addiction.

What are signs & symptoms?

Like every other drug addiction, addiction to cocaine has many signs shown by the users, including, psychological, physical, behavioral and mood symptoms.

Physical symptoms:

  • Unstable and fast heartbeat
  • Loss of appetite and weight reduction
  • Bleeding from nose
  • Insomnia
  • Malfunctioning of sexual organs
  • Tremors
  • Hoarseness & body temperature
  • Headaches & malnutrition

Psychological symptoms:

  • Mood swings & anger
  • Lack of reality perceptions
  • No motivation
  • Inability to make decisions & hallucination

Behavioral & mood signs:

  • Anxiety & timidness
  • Irresponsible behavior and violent conduct
  • Excessive talking or silence
  • Panic and restlessness
  • Money stealing and europhile

What are the side effects?

Studies show that 1.9 million people use cocaine each month and an overwhelming majority of addicts are young people.  Studies also show that men are more likely to use and abuse cocaine than women.. Cocaine abuse poses many health hazards, and its side effects are comprised of:

  • Coma
  • Heart attack
  • Marriage problems leading to divorce
  • Lack of confidence
  • Unbearable behavior
  • Suffocation and breathing stiffness
  • Feeling or seeing all that is not real (hallucination)
  • Depression and mental stress
  • Financial worries and loss of employment

What are the withdrawal symptoms?

Withdrawing or “crashing” from cocaine is a collection of the after effects which occur due to excessive and constant use and abuse. Withdrawal symptoms can last from a short to long duration. In majority cases, withdrawal symptoms might not be very complicated, but can cause an extremely unpleasant experience, examples of withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Pain in multiple body organs
  • Exhaustion
  • Body aches and depression
  • Deep craving for the drug
  • Emotional and psychological instability

Treatment

Cocaine addiction causes several physical and psychological concerns, so proper treatment is necessary when one is seeking to overcome cocaine addiction. There are many options available to choose for treatment. They are comprised of detoxification, rehabilitation, and drug-free life therapies, etc. Before selecting any specific form treatment, one needs to be assessed by a professional, so that the nature and intensity of the disease can be diagnosed and the best possible treatment plan can be given to the patient.