According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), cocaine is responsible for more emergency room visits than any other illicit drug. The NIDA also has found that drinking while using cocaine is the most common two drug combination that results in drug-related death. This is due in part to the fact that people quickly build up a tolerance to cocaine, and must use more and more to achieve the same effect.
Effects of Cocaine Use
Cocaine affects the user in multiple ways. Shortly after using cocaine, the individual will experience an increase in temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. The pupils will dilate and the blood vessels will constrict. Some experience feelings of euphoria and an increased sense of alertness, but may also experience paranoia, irritability and restlessness, and possibly act out in erratic or violent behavior. As your addiction progresses, you will begin to experience the effects of long-term cocaine abuse. The constriction of the blood vessels paired with increased blood pressure places the user at risk of experiencing a stroke. Prolonged use strains the arteries causing the user, who may have no other underlying risk factors, to suffer a heart attack. Over time, the stress that cocaine puts on the body can cause the heart of a 25 year- old cocaine addict to look like the heart of a 60 year-old. Snorting cocaine can impair your sense of smell and cause nasal perforation. Intravenous use of the drug puts the user at risk for contracting HIV and other blood-borne diseases.
Many underestimate the severity of cocaine addiction. While cocaine withdrawal may not produce some of the same physical effects as alcohol or opiate withdrawal, there are medically recognized symptoms associated with detoxing off of cocaine:
- Slowing of physical activity (psychomotor retardation)
- Increased appetite
- Sleep disturbances (insomnia or hypersomnia)
- Intense cravings
While cocaine withdrawal may not be life-threatening, inpatient treatment is still recommended. Many addicts find the cravings and the desire to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal too overwhelming, and turn again to cocaine. A detox or inpatient facility can provide a safe environment for the individual during the withdrawal period.
Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
If you are searching for a rehab facility that specializes in the treatment of cocaine addiction, Recovering Souls can help. We are not a treatment center, but a free service that finds treatment for individuals struggling with addiction. Treatment for cocaine addiction requires complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol. You will begin treatment with a safe and medically supervised detox. Once detoxed, you will undergo an evaluation with a licensed therapist and then work with the treatment team to determine your individualized treatment plan. Treatment involves more than simply abstaining from drugs. The facilities we work offer state-of-the-art care in a supportive and safe environment designed to provide clients with the skills and tools they will need to achieve long-term sobriety. We believe that in order for treatment to be effective, it must address the underlying issues that may have contributed to your using. You will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one counseling, group therapy, and family counseling. A board certified psychiatrist is available for those requiring treatment for a dual diagnosis.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to cocaine, we can help. Contact Recovering Souls today.