While We’re Focusing on the Opioid Epidemic, Cocaine Addiction is Still a Major Issue
As the nation battles the heroin problem that has already taken many lives, we often overlook the threat posed by other drugs, such as cocaine. Addressing the drug problem requires us to understand the drugs of abuse and to find the factors that lead people to addiction. If you or someone you know is dealing with cocaine dependence and you want to find a way to solve the problem, learning how cocaine impacts the body and understanding the withdrawal symptoms is a good place to start. Having the right information on hand will allow you to choose a path that will give you the best odds of success.
How People Get Addicted to Cocaine
Nobody wants to get addicted to cocaine or other harmful substances, but countless people fall into the trap each year. Some people go to parties, try cocaine a few times and enjoy the effects it has on their mood. Over time, they can become addicted and not know about the problem until it’s too late for them to escape. On the other hand, some people turn to cocaine to self-medicate for depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders.
How Cocaine Impacts the Brain
When your mission is to overcome addiction so that you can get back into the driver’s seat of your life, take some time to understand how the drug impacts your brain when you use it. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates the reward and pleasure centers of the brain and triggers feelings of happiness.
You can naturally stimulate the pleasure center of the brain by eating certain foods, reaching goals, falling in love and engaging in other activities. When you use cocaine, the drug prevents your brain from discarding dopamine after it sends the pleasure signals, causing it to build up. You will then experience intense feelings of euphoria and confidence.
The Dangers of Cocaine
While the high of cocaine can offer intense feelings of pleasure, the effect won’t last for long. Depending on how the person uses the drug, they can expect to enjoy the benefits for between five and 60 minutes. Once cocaine wears off and loses its impact, users can feel agitation and depression that can overwhelm them.
Since long-term cocaine use will cause a lot of dopamine to build up, the brain will no longer need to produce as much of it. The users will have trouble feeling happy and motivated once the addiction gets to that point, and the endless cycle of searching for the next high will begin.
How Cocaine Impacts the Body
Taking a look at how cocaine impacts the body will provide you with a clear picture of why cocaine use is a threat on which we need to focus. As a stimulant, cocaine will increase your heart rate, and high doses can heighten the odds of a stroke or heart attack. Other side effects can include extreme fatigue, paranoia, restlessness and insomnia. Even though they know that the drug is harming their health, people continue to use it because they have trouble combating the cravings.
How Cocaine Impacts Your Life
Although everybody is different, cocaine has some common effects on people’s lives about which they will want to be aware. The desire to use the drug can result in people missing work or other obligations, putting their jobs and relationships in danger. Those who use the drug are often so caught up in getting their next dose that they don’t realize their lives are falling apart in front of them. Also, users usually mention that they can never achieve the same high that they got on their first use, causing them to increase their dosage.
When people need to keep increasing the amount of the drug they use, funding the addiction will become a challenge. Many users will feel tempted to turn to crime. In addition to the other dangers, long-term cocaine use also exposes people to the risk of getting arrested. Drug charges can make it all but impossible to find housing and a steady job. The way that cocaine affects you can have a lasting impact from which escape is all but impossible.
Getting Help for Cocaine Addiction
Although cocaine addiction can turn your life upside down and cause a lot of damage, you are not without hope. Combating addiction once it has tightened its grip won’t be easy. When you are ready to defeat cocaine addiction and move forward with your life, the experts at our cocaine treatment center can help.
We encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible so that we can learn about you and your needs, and you will know that you are in the right place. In addition to going through supervised detox and group therapy sessions, you will also learn to embrace the power of faith-based healing, which will give you impressive results. If you are ready to begin or have any questions, it’s time for you to pick up the phone and give us a call because recovery is closer than you once thought possible.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.