cocaine in persons hand

Cocaine Abuse: What You Need To Know

There are two different types of cocaine: a powdered form that individuals snort, and a form that is known as crack cocaine, which is smoked.

Cocaine is an incredibly addictive drug. In fact, studies show that you can give mouse a hit of cocaine each time that it presses a lever, and it will continue to press that lever and nothing else. The mouse won’t stop pressing the lever to eat or drink because it wants nothing but the cocaine, and the mouse will eventually die from overdose. Essentially, the only reason that everyone does not overdose on cocaine is because of their bankroll. Unfortunately, some people will sell their soul for just one more hit of cocaine once they have become addicted.

Consequences of Using Cocaine

A stimulant, cocaine can cause your heart to beat at a faster pace and your blood vessels to constrict, leading to higher blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. In young patients who do not have a history of heart disease, heart attacks are so common due to cocaine that ER doctors are taught to consider it as an initial diagnosis.

Cocaine is considered a vital cause of cardiac arrest because it results in the faster pace of your heart beat, and in some instances, your heat can go so fast that it literally stops beating. One thing that is so deadly about this drug is that there’s no connection between the numbers of times that you’ve used the drug or how much you have used and when you could suffer a cardiac arrest. Some people may die after their very first use of the drug, while other people can use the drug hundreds of times and die the next time they use it. Some college athletes who drop dead suddenly are often discovered to have died from a cardiac arrest that was induced from cocaine.

As with any drug, some of the most important consequences of cocaine addiction include the emotional, social, and psychological consequences. With cocaine, though, the consequences tend to occur quicker and harder than with other kinds of drugs. If you are addicted with cocaine, you do not need to wonder if you will harm your friends and family, it is a matter of when you will.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Though there are no physical withdrawal symptoms with cocaine, there are emotional withdrawal symptoms. Due to the fact there are no physical withdrawal symptoms, some individuals try to tell themselves that they are not truly addicted—after all, they are not “physically” addicted to it. However, addiction is in the brain. Cocaine still satisfies the criterion of the term addiction, despite there being no physical withdrawal symptoms. Individuals tend to have a lot of difficulty when it comes to controlling the amount of cocaine that they use, and they end up continuing use though there are negative consequences to doing so.

Some of the emotional withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Moodiness
  • Tiredness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

There are also post-acute withdrawal symptoms associated with cocaine, and these are very similar to those associated with other drugs and include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Low enthusiasm
  • Variable energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Mood swings

Cross Addiction

Many addicts tend to struggle with the overall idea of abstinence. If you are a cocaine addict, you know that you don’t want to use the drug ever again. It has completely ruined your life and cost you a significant amount of money, but you aren’t sure that you want to stop consuming alcohol. Maybe alcohol hasn’t been an issue for you. However, due to cross addiction, if you want to stop cocaine use, you need to also stop using any other addictive drugs like marijuana and alcohol.

Alcohol tends to be a common trigger for cocaine. You will begin with less than a handful of drinks on a weekly basis. Or maybe you just drink moderately every few weeks or months without even using cocaine. Then there is that one week that you have a bad week and something bad happens. It is during that week that everything goes downhill. You get into an argument with your significant other at home. You have a stressful week at work. Come Friday, you want a drink. However, instead of just a few, you want more than a handful to take that edge off. After the first couple, your inhibitions are lower. After a few, your brain remembers that feeling and you will be drinking and using again.

It is for that reason that recovery requires complete abstinence.

Recovery and Strategies for Preventing Relapse

If you are addicted to cocaine, you have the chance to turn your life around. If you are interested in learning about the recovery process and how to prevent relapse after your recovery, reach out to the professional staff at Shadow Mountain Recovery. We will help lead you down the path to a healthier, happier life free from cocaine, alcohol, and other addictive substances and drugs.