Everything You Need to Know About Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine is known as a high-end designer drug, often made out to be the drug of choice for the wealthy and famous. Its high price tag and glamorized clientele make it seem attractive, but it is anything but.
It’s is a purified extract from the Coca bush that often leads to a life-long struggle with addiction, negative effects on the heart, brain, and mental/emotional health of users.
The two major forms available on the street are the powdered form of cocaine and crack, a crystallized version. Powdered coke is snorted or injected, and crack is smoked through a crack pipe.
What does cocaine do to your body? The major symptoms associated with cocaine abuse (no matter the form of the drug used) include:
- High energy
- Talking fast
- Increased mental alertness
While these are some common ones, symptoms are not limited to those listed above. It’s important to know that there’s a broad spectrum of ways the drug can affect a user, and people can respond differently.
These symptoms describe someone who is high… once the short high subsides, someone who is addicted may begin to be affected by the drug in more serious ways.
What are the effects of cocaine? Cocaine effects on the body include paranoia, patterns of binging and crashing, a desire for money that may lead to stealing or borrowing to buy more, bizarre behavior, violence, legal problems, strained relationships with loved ones and more.
How long is cocaine in your system? It only stays in your system for about 24-36 hours. This makes it easy to keep off of planned drug tests because it gets out of the bloodstream and urine fairly quickly.
Read more about Cocaine Withdrawal Here.
Cocaine & Crack Differences
While crack and cocaine do have many similarities and are sourced from the same plant, they are not the same thing.
First, let’s break down cocaine.
Cocaine, also known as blow, coke, or snow, comes in a fine white powder. This form is usually snorted or rubbed on the gums of the mouth, but it can also be mixed with water and injected.
How does cocaine affect the brain? The snorted powder stops the re-uptake of dopamine, flooding the brain with the feel-good receptor. Over time, the brain gets used to this and requires more and more of the drug to provide the same effect. As users increase their dosage, this can be how cocaine overdose can occur.
Now, let’s explore how crack is different.
Crack, also known as sugar rock, bedrock, and base, is a stimulant just like cocaine but is made when cocaine is processed with baking soda. This creates small, crystallized rocks which can then be smoked to get high. People choose smoking over snorting because it gets absorbed much quicker into the bloodstream, producing an extremely intense high.
This high activates the reward system in the brain, creating an intense sense of euphoria and high energy that usually dissipates after about 15 minutes. This intensity paired with the brevity of the high make crack highly addictive.
How Long Does It Take to Become Addicted?
At this point we know that cocaine is a very addictive drug, but just how long does it take to get addicted to cocaine?
After methamphetamine, cocaine is the most psychologically addictive illegal substance. It is especially addictive when smoked in the form of crack. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, it’s possible for someone to become addicted after their very first time using crack. It’s much less likely that someone will become addicted as quickly snorting cocaine, but it is still very dangerous.
Are You Addicted to Cocaine?
If you’re in a position where you feel you might be addicted to cocaine or crack, it’s time to ask yourself the hard questions. Is it affecting your daily life? Has it driven you to unusual behaviors? Has it gotten in the way of your relationships?
Here are some signs that you might be addicted. If you find yourself identifying with any of these, it might be time to find help.
- Your day revolves around cocaine – getting it, using it, planning the next use
- You’ve tried and failed to quit
- You’ve given up things you love for cocaine
- You’ve neglected responsibilities because of cocaine
- You notice that you require more and more cocaine to get high
- You notice that as you continue to use cocaine, the drug withdrawal symptoms worsen
- Your loved ones have expressed worry that you are addicted
Read more about the Signs & Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction.
Seeking Help for Cocaine Addiction
Seeking help doesn’t have to be as daunting as it may seem from your perspective.
There are resources, treatment centers, and people available to help. Some of the most common treatment options include:
- CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is a therapy model that helps practice coping mechanisms that will help prepare the user to resist the future temptation relapse.
- Contingency management, also known as motivational rewards, incentivizes good behavior/sobriety maintenance.
- The Matrix Model is an intense form of therapy that has shown to be particularly effective for those addicted to stimulants. It uses family therapy, group therapy, education on addiction, prevention of relapse, and support groups. It also uses regular drug tests to ensure sobriety.
No matter where you’re located, there are addiction help centers everywhere that offer some form of cocaine rehab therapy. Some focus on outpatient care like therapy sessions or a 12-step program. Others are inpatient facilities that create a multi-dimensional environment that fosters change and sobriety.
Overcome Your Addiction: Talk to SOBA
When it comes to cocaine, the drug facts can make you feel like you’re stuck. But you don’t have to feel that way forever. While it is a dangerous drug that is highly addictive, it’s also one that can become part of your past if you’re determined enough.
At SOBA New Jersey, we offer a unique approach that follows the pace of each client as they plan for and create their new life after sobriety. Clients earn their way through the three phases of the program and attend a graduation ceremony once they’ve fulfilled the program goal.
If you’re ready to find the freedom beyond drugs that you’ve been waiting for, call us today.