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Everything You Need to Know About Cocaine Addiction

What should you know about cocaine addiction? Cocaine is known as a high-end 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.

Cocaine is a purified extract from the Coca bush that often leads to a life-long struggle with addiction, along with 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.

Cocaine Addiction

Of the 2% of Americans who used cocaine in the past year, how many of them were addicts? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that 0.7% (250,000) of people aged 18-25 had a cocaine use disorder. In the 26 and older bracket, this number stood at 0.3% (756,000 people).

The statistics above suggest that about half of those who use cocaine end up addicted. The addiction potential of cocaine is strong. 

How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Cocaine?

According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, it’s possible for someone to become addicted after their very first time using crack cocaine. It’s much less likely that someone will become addicted as quickly when snorting cocaine, but it is still very dangerous. After methamphetamine, cocaine is the most psychologically addictive illegal substance.

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? Is cocaine addiction getting in the way of your relationships?

Here are some signs that you might have a cocaine addiction. 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 have 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

Cocaine Abuse Symptoms

What does cocaine do to your body? The major symptoms associated with cocaine abuse (no matter the form of the drug used) include:

  • Anxiety
  • High energy
  • Talking fast
  • Euphoria
  • Panic
  • Increased mental alertness

Cocaine also causes sexual arousal and often results in risky encounters. The effects on the body of this powerful stimulant can cause users to put themselves at risk of HIV, Hepatitis C, and other dangerous STIs, especially when needle sharing occurs.

While the user may be extremely talkative and sociable while high, they are likely to experience mood swings. As the drug becomes more enjoyable than anything else, parts of their brain change, especially the dopamine “reward” mechanism. As a result, an addict needs increasing quantities of drugs to feel high and loses enjoyment in everything they once found rewarding.

Because cocaine becomes the center of their world, they may steal to afford their habit. They may also withdraw from work, school, or family life. Often, they will stop taking care of their basic needs and can quickly end up homeless.

Seeking Help for Cocaine Addiction

Seeking help doesn’t have to be as daunting as it may seem. There are resources, treatment centers, and people available to help. Some of the most common treatment options for cocaine addiction 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.

Cocaine detox is best carried out in a supervised and supportive environment. Although withdrawal from cocaine is not as medically dangerous as alcohol or heroin, the temptation to relieve symptoms with the drug is just as strong.

Overcoming A Cocaine Addiction

The facts about cocaine 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 you can put into your past if you’re determined enough.

Here 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.

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