Cocaine use often starts at parties. It begins as a recreational habit that helps individuals drink longer, dance longer or feel more comfortable around other people. For others, cocaine use is a way to stay awake to get work done or be more creative.
However, cocaine use has many negative downfalls such as health problems, relationship problems, mood swings and financial issues. If you or a loved one struggles with cocaine abuse, it is a great idea to get treatment today.
According to Drug Free World, cocaine is the second most trafficked illegal drug in the world.1 In 2014, an estimated 1.5 million people aged 12 or older (0.6 percent of the population) used cocaine in the past month.2
Cocaine is popular because it stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain. When the drug is taken repeatedly, cocaine can alter the way the brain works and reduce a person’s ability to feel pleasure in normal activities.3 As a drug tolerance develops, the user often must take more of the drug to achieve the desired effect.
What Are The Signs of Cocaine Addiction?
What is the difference between cocaine use and an addiction to cocaine? In most cases, four basic factors are found when someone has a drug addiction. These factors include:
- Psychological dependence or cravings
- The development of problems in everyday life due to addictive cocaine use
- The inability to quit using the drug alone
- Dependence often occurs amid hallmark physical signs of use
Here are some of the common physical signs of someone using cocaine:
Signs of Chronic Cocaine Use
Some of the most common signs of cocaine use include:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Dilated pupils
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Core temperatures that exceed normal levels
- Lack of appetite
- Bloody Noses
- Heart issues
- High bursts of energy
- Negative emotions
- Irritation or aggression
- High levels of confidence4
Many individuals may even experience delusions of grandeur. Make no mistake; individuals using cocaine will act in very unpredictable ways. If you find that your finances are destroyed due to the cost of drug abuse or if you have been arrested for possession, assault or driving under the influence, are serious warning signs. If your spouse has left you or is threatening to leave due to your cocaine abuse, this is another sign of cocaine addiction.
Unfortunately, it often takes something major to physically stop a cocaine addict before they recognize that their drug abuse has reached a crisis point. The health problems resulting from cocaine abuse can be serious and life-threatening. If your doctor tells you that continued abuse will exacerbate your health issues, it’s time to get some help.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Cocaine
Withdrawal symptoms are one of the characteristics of cocaine addiction. While the user experiences an intense high from the drug, it is also very brief. Withdrawal symptoms may start as soon as within an hour of the last dose of the drug. As a result, cocaine users often experience feelings of:
- Increased appetite
In fact, once the cocaine high has worn off, users tend to exhibit deep depression and fatigue until reuse occurs. Because of the long-term chemical alterations that cocaine causes in the brain, psychological cravings can outlast the physical aspect of withdrawal. In many cases, psychological counseling, medical supervision and occasionally, psychiatric medications may be necessary to safely guide cocaine-addicted individuals successfully through the withdrawal phase of recovery.
Dangers of Detoxing Alone
The intense psychological withdrawal symptoms associated with cocaine cessation can result in depression, anxiety or even psychosis for some individuals. Psychological counseling can be critical for users in danger of mental breakdown, depression, anxiety or suicide.
Also, many cocaine users relapse or turn to other drugs such as alcohol or marijuana to aid with the psychological withdrawal symptoms. The stress of no longer using the drug may cause unidentified or suppressed psychological symptoms to surface.
It is important that patients get medical assistance when they begin the process of breaking free from addiction and follow up with comprehensive psychological addiction treatment in order to fully address the issues of mental health.
However, there is some good news: recovery from addiction happens everyday at Black Bear Lodge. Proper medical treatment in a quality drug rehab program is the difference between a life of drug abuse and a life of sobriety.
Why People Avoid Getting Treatment
Find a Treatment Program Today
There are treatment options available to help everyone no matter where you are today. You are not alone and our treatment programs will surround you with a helpful, supportive community as well as giving you the individual treatment you need.
Chris W. is one of our Heroes in Recovery. Here are a few of his words about the power of community.
Community is the golden ticket and antidote, in my opinion, to addiction and mental health issues. This road is not easy, and it’s not supposed to be, but it’s also not meant to be done alone.
A community of others in recovery is ready to support you today. You’ll be able to move forward past your drug problem in a new environment away from your old lifestyle.
This approach will give you the opportunity to focus on your recovery and to avoid the temptation to use cocaine again. If you would like to learn more about your options in recovery, we at Black Bear Lodge are ready to help. Call 706-914-2327 now.
By: Jim Woods, Contributing Writer
1 “International Statistics.” DrugFreeWorld.org, Accessed on July 3, 2018.
2 “What Is The Scope Of Cocaine Abuse In The United States?” National Institute on Drug Abuse, Accessed July 3, 2018.
3 “Cocaine.” National Institute on Drug Abuse For Teens, Accessed July 3, 2018.
4 “What Is Cocaine?” WebMD, Accessed July 3, 2018.
5 “Cocaine Withdrawal.” MedlinePlus, Accessed July 3, 2018.