Whether cocaine is snorted, smoked or injected, this drug is a highly addictive substance that can change the chemical makeup of an individual’s brain. Cocaine, in its various forms, including crack, is a highly-addictive stimulant. Addiction to cocaine, creates long-term changes to the brain’s reward circuitry, among other changes to the functions of your brain.
Understanding cocaine addiction is important for identification, intervention and recovery. Cocaine is a fast-acting drug that takes its effect in a matter of minutes. This drug quickly enters the body, increasing dopamine levels, blood pressure and heart rate. While cocaine is fast to act, its effects fade away in anywhere from five to thirty minutes. Due to this short time period, many individuals form binging habits, leading to addiction. While the high from cocaine doesn’t last long, the side effects do.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Signs of cocaine addiction are often easy to detect, but can vary from person to person. The behavior of a cocaine addict while experiencing the impact of the drug may include mood swings, increased speech, higher confidence and lower inhibitions. These behavioral signs include:
- Talkative habits
- Mood swings
- High confidence
- Low inhibitions
In addition to changes in behavior, cocaine also has a number of physical symptoms, which include:
- Runny or bloody nose
- White residue around the nose
- Dilated pupils
- Sensitivity to the light
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in eating patterns, including weight loss
- Needle or burn marks
While the impact of cocaine is apparent during use, withdrawal can be more challenging to identify and to cope with. Cocaine withdrawal brings about psychological withdrawal symptoms rather than primarily physical symptoms.
Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:
Cocaine withdrawal happens when someone who is dependant on the drug suddenly and drastically stops using the substance. Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low energy
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Increased cravings for cocaine
In addition to the psychological symptoms, physical symptoms may include muscle aches, tremors, chills and nerve pain. Many people who abuse cocaine find themselves going on “binges,” using more and more of the drug to try to get and stay high. Increased usage can lead to long-term side-effects, including the loss of sense of smell, problems with swallowing, bowel decay from the decrease in blood flow, malnourishment, paranoia and auditory hallucinations. For those experiencing these painful and often isolating side effects, the golden question is how to help with cocaine withdrawal. The level of cocaine withdrawal varies from person to person depending on a number of factors including length of use, size of the dose and environmental factors such as other individuals that may also be using. Currently, there are no medications that can ease the withdrawal symptoms that result from cocaine use. However, cocaine treatment centers and cocaine detox centers can help you or your loved one detox from cocaine in a safe, supportive and understanding environment through counseling and personalized care.
Cocaine overdose symptoms to look out for include:
- Elevated heart rate
- Abnormally high body temperature
- Chest pain
- Irregular heart rhythm
These symptoms can lead to serious and fatal health complications including heart attacks and strokes. If you suspect an overdose, call 911 immediately. The 911 communications operator will assess the situation and give the appropriate directions depending on the physical reaction. If you or a loved one experiences an overdose and survives, it is crucial to seek immediate guidance from cocaine addiction treatment centers to begin the journey toward recovery. At Haven House, we offer medically managed cocaine withdrawal treatment. We’re here to help you move forward. Long-term treatment programs, including an aftercare plan, has shown to be the most effective solution to addressing the affliction. Contact Haven House, a cocaine addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, today.