Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that abnormally increases the level of dopamine in one’s brain. Because the drug reprograms the brain reward system, addicts usually find it hard to stop. Some people might not even be aware that they have become addicted. Although most Americans recognize the addictive nature of cocaine, thousands of people are still drawn to it. Spikes in cocaine use may be the result of stresses of entering the workforce or pursuing a college degree.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a white powdery substance that has a variety of street names, including stardust, white dust, blow, Charlie, toot, white lady, snow, nose candy, crack, coke, and C. Because cocaine is a stimulant, the drug usually makes users feel euphoric, energetic, and talkative. Cocaine addiction, however, can develop quickly even when a person has only tried the drug a few times.
Cocaine comes from coca bush leaves (Erythroxylum Coca) that are native to South America. The extracted leaves are processed to produce three different forms of cocaine, including:
- Crack: These crystals have a base color of cream, white, or transparent, and with a yellow or pink hue.
- Freebase: This white powder is purer than cocaine hydrochloride.
- Cocaine Hydrochloride: A fine white powder that features a numbing or bitter taste. It is typically cut or mixed with other substances such as sugar, talcum powder, and lidocaine.
How do people use cocaine? Individuals usually smoke crack and freebase cocaine. On the other hand, other people rub cocaine hydrochloride into their gums or inject the drug.
What are the Side Effects of Cocaine Addiction?
There is no safe level for any type of drug use. Cocaine affects everyone differently and can cause a wide variety of side effects, including:
- Unpredictable, aggressive behavior
- Increased body temperature
- High blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Dizziness and/or headaches
- Agitation and irritability
- Paranoia and anxiety
The severity of the drug’s side effects depends on the strength of the drug, the amount that was taken, and the health, weight, and age of the person.
Understanding Cocaine Overdose
Addicts increase their risk of overdosing by taking a large amount from a small batch. You should contact an ambulance immediately if you experience the following symptoms:
- Chest pain or heart problems
- Kidney failure
- Breathing irregularities
- Tremors or seizures
- Hallucinations or paranoia
- Extreme agitation or anxiety
- Nausea and vomiting
Frequent heavy use and high doses of the drug can also cause cocaine psychosis. This condition is characterized by unusual thoughts, hallucinations, paranoia, and other out-of-character behavior. These symptoms, however, typically disappear a few days or weeks after the individual stops using cocaine.
How to Treat Cocaine Addiction
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any medications to treat cocaine addiction. Recovering addicts can opt for therapy approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Modern residential and outpatient treatment programs usually facilitate individual or group therapy sessions that help patients develop new strategies for coping and making their recovery last.
Why Work with Spark To Recovery?
Spark To Recovery is comprised of certified and licensed addiction counselors, medical psychiatrists, and nurses. We provide the support that recovering addicts need during detox as well as educate and motivate them toward a healthier lifestyle and lasting recovery.
Start your cocaine addiction therapy today. Call Spark To Recovery at 818-849-5467 today if you want to schedule an appointment with us.
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