Cocaine Addiction has plagued the United States for decades. This stimulant has long been used as a party drug, yet its addictive properties put users at high risk of cocaine abuse.
Like many drugs, the use of cocaine began as a medicinal remedy. As it became widespread, people soon discovered that it was highly addictive and dangerous. Its use became illegal shortly thereafter. In the 1970s, cocaine regained popularity as the drug of choice for the rich and glamorous. Cheaper “crack” cocaine became readily available in the 1980s, making this drug a problem regardless of a user’s socioeconomic background.
Today, more than 14% of all Americans over the age of 12 have used cocaine sometime in their life, which makes Cocaine Addiction a serious medical disease that threatens both young and old. At 7 Summit Pathways in Tampa, we offer personalized addiction treatment for cocaine so that you can find freedom from this dangerous substance.
What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine goes by many names — coke, blow, crack, freebase, snow and a number of others. This powerful drug is derived from the leaves of the coca plant. Today, most cocaine is grown and refined in Colombia, making the cocaine trade a lucrative enterprise for many criminal networks.
Cocaine usually takes one of two forms:
- Powder: The most common form of this drug is a powder that can be snorted through the nose, smoked or dissolved in water and injected into the bloodstream.
- Rock: Called “crack” cocaine, this form is processed into a rock crystal that can be smoked. Some users instead place the crack into their body’s orifices to absorb the drug.
Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant. The substance dramatically increases a user’s energy levels, raises their heart rate and blood pressure and keeps them awake and wired. It also makes people feel good, which adds to its allure. Using the drug causes dopamine — a chemical messenger related to feelings of pleasure — to flood the brain.
What Causes Cocaine Addiction?
Addiction to cocaine can develop quickly, even after someone tries it only a few times. Because the high from cocaine lasts for a short time, people often take it in a binge pattern. With regular use, it’s easy to become tolerant to the drug’s pleasurable effects, which means people need to take more and more cocaine to get the same desired results. Taking the drug repeatedly at increasingly higher doses puts users at risk of addiction.
Cocaine Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by uncontrollable drug-seeking no matter what the negative consequences may be. Addiction to cocaine can be physical. The drug can affect the neuropathways in your brain, causing intense physical cravings. Cocaine Addiction can also be mental, meaning you strongly desire how the substance makes you feel.
Effects of Cocaine Addiction
Stimulants like cocaine are often misused because of their energizing effects. Cocaine is prized for its ability to make users feel alert, talkative, confident, uninhibited and euphoric. Cocaine also makes the heart beat faster, raises blood pressure and increases body temperature. Taking high doses of this stimulant over time can make users more sensitive to the drug’s adverse side effects, including:
- Hypersensitivity to sights, sounds and touch
- Panic attacks
- Psychotic symptoms, such as paranoia and delusions
- Erratic or bizarre behavior
- Violent outbursts
- Loss of contact with reality
- Muscle twitches
- Nausea and vomiting
If you suspect that someone you care for is abusing cocaine, consider some of the symptoms and signs of Cocaine Addiction:
- White powder or residue around the nose and mouth
- Needle marks
- Change in sleeping or eating habits
- Weight loss
- Severe mood swings
- Increased risk-taking behavior
- Runny nose
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Diluted pupils
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Financial problems
- Social isolation
How 7 Summit Pathways Can Help
If you find yourself addicted to cocaine, remember that it’s not the end of your story. 7 Summit Pathways wants to help you find your own path to Recovery. We’ll use evidence-based treatments and compassionate care to enable you to break the chains of addiction and embrace a chance at a better, healthier future.
The moment you arrive, we’ll get to know your individual needs so that we can design a personalized, multidimensional approach to your care. Your Cocaine Addiction treatment will include holistic therapies, therapeutic medications and help from top Addiction Medicine Physicians. All these elements will combine to give you the tools you require for long-term Recovery.
If you need assistance with Cocaine Addiction, remember that we are what works. Let 7 Summit Pathways help you find freedom in Recovery. Schedule your appointment today, or contact us online to learn about our unique philosophy and methods.