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Cocaine Addiction: What are its Effects and How is it Treated?
“Cocaine Addiction: What are its Effects and How is it Treated?”
Cannabis may be the world’s most frequently abused illegal drug, but cocaine maintains a tight grip on second place. Each year, cocaine is abused by millions of people, consistently reaching numbers between 14 and 21 million.
All these people are in search of that fleeting feeling of euphoria that can only be experienced through illicit drugs. Cocaine just so happens to be one of the substances that provides such feelings.
Cocaine makes a person more alert. It gives them more energy. It even reduces their inhibitions, making them more sociable even if they’re the type to shy away from parties. Often inhaled or smoked, cocaine easily gets a person hooked. Before they know it, they are craving for more and more. They can’t quit. They can’t get enough.
And then the negative effects come in.
But what exactly is cocaine? Why is it considered one of the biggest contributors to the persistence of drug abuse culture? Today we’ll be taking a closer look at this alluring monster.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a drug—a powerful stimulant. But unlike other stimulants, it has a very small number of accepted medical uses. In some instances, it may be used to decrease the bleeding during a nasal surgery. But cocaine is more often used recreationally.
Because of the way it affects the brain’s reward pathway, it is a habit-forming drug.
Getting addicted to cocaine is a very big possibility when someone is taking too much of it. Unfortunately, recreational use of these illicit substances involves taking extremely high doses within a short period of time. People can start craving cocaine after using it a single time.
Abusing this drug, taking it in binges, and using it alongside other illegal drugs can cause a variety of adverse health effects.
Cocaine goes by many street names such as “blow,” “snow,” “rock,” and “coke”.
What are the Effects of Cocaine Abuse?
Short term misuse of cocaine can bring a person extreme levels of joy. It can make them more energetic and uninhibited. However, it can also make them paranoid, irritable, or even violent. These behavioral changes may get them into an accident, may cause them to harm other people, or get in trouble with the law.
Users may also experience nausea, tremors, restlessness, palpitation, and high blood pressure. Some users even become hypersensitive to lights, sounds, and touch. Thankfully, these effects may also fade as the high dissipates.
Still, there are cases in which the cocaine user loses touch with reality, or experiencing movement disorders and hallucinations.
Continued cocaine abuse may cause other problems, affecting a person physically and emotionally, or even damaging their relationships.
They may get addicted to the drug or become dependent. It is at this point that quitting the drug becomes extremely difficult without medical assistance. The user may feel a compulsive need to take more of the drug, or they become unable to quit because of various withdrawal symptoms.
In either case, the person begins prioritizing the drug over their relationships, their responsibilities, their career, their hobbies, and even their own needs.
Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
Despite its harsh effects, cocaine addiction can still be treated. Right now, there are no approved medications that can treat it, but researchers are hard at work, trying to study the drug’s reactions with other substances. Instead, there are alternative ways to recover from long term cocaine abuse.
If you have a loved one who is suffering through addiction, you can find a rehabilitation center nearby and sign them up for it. The best treatment plan will be created based on their specific needs.
The patient will most likely undergo detoxification, wherein they are gradually taken off the drug by slowly lowering their intake and managing the withdrawal symptoms. This process will be supervised by medical professionals.
Behavioral interventions are also common. This method tackles the person’s psychological need to handle their problems and stress using drugs. They will be educated on better ways to channel their energy, so that they can easily readjust to the sober life.
Group counseling sessions allow the patient to interact with people who are going through the same problems. This fosters a safe and focused environment, where they can be comfortable as they recover.