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Cocaine Dependence – Signs of Cocaine Use Vs. Abuse, Tolerance

Is Cocaine Addictive?

Cocaine is one of the most abused drugs in America, according to an eMedicine Health website article. Is cocaine addictive? Despite popular opinion to the contrary, yes, cocaine is highly addictive. While it may not cause the same kind of physical withdrawal symptoms as other drugs, it has powerful psychological addictive qualities. Cocaine has a relatively short-term high, which usually leaves the user craving for more.

Understanding Cocaine Dependency and Tolerance

Regular users of cocaine may find they quickly become tolerant to the euphoric effects of the drug. This means it will take more and more cocaine to produce the same feelings. An increased use of the drug is usually a solid indication that a person is suffering from cocaine dependence. Physical dependence occurs when a person begins to rely on the drug to properly function. This type of dependence is also characterized by an intense craving for cocaine, fatigue and an increase in appetite. The symptoms of psychological dependence are usually illustrated by a major change in a person’s personality. Cocaine also becomes their top priority and they may let other activities they have enjoyed in the past take a back seat. The person may also become obsessed with making sure they always have enough cocaine.

Effects/Side Effects

cocaine dependenceThe cocaine high can change how a person feels emotionally, as well as changing the way they think. According to the CESAR website, the initial cocaine high lasts around 15-minutes. Cocaine affects the nervous system, as well as the brain, which means each cocaine user is likely to experience a unique high. Feelings of intense pleasure and complete euphoria are the most common high described by users of cocaine. This is one reason why people become addicted so quickly. An increase in self-confidence and social awareness is also common, with people instantly becoming more gregarious and talkative. The effect of coming down from cocaine will start as soon as the effects of the drug begin to dissipate. This comedown is often long and can leave a person feeling drained, tired and depressed. Also known as a cocaine crash, this comedown can continue for days afterwards. This is another reason people are quick to take more cocaine. Although the side effects of cocaine may be frightening, a person may be too frightened to seek advice or help. If you require information on our inpatient or outpatient services, you can call 1-888-803-9961 or alternatively, you can complete the quick reply form.

Withdrawal and Detoxification

If a person addicted to cocaine suddenly stops taking it, they will almost certainly begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. The most common symptoms suffered by people during their withdrawal from cocaine are severe cravings, lack of energy, anxiety and unexplained angry outbursts. Depending on the severity of the addiction, the physical withdrawal symptoms can last a relatively short length of time. Different cocaine users are also likely to experience different physical symptoms. However, the psychological withdrawal symptoms can last much longer. This is because the person’s brain has been trained to rely on cocaine for feelings of pleasure. A person may also believe cocaine makes them more attractive to the opposite sex or just other people in general. A person addicted to cocaine will also have to deal with social cues, which is people and places where they have taken the drug before and that may encourage them to take it again. People can rarely stop taking cocaine without some kind of professional help, whether this is through a doctor, hospital or rehabilitation center. The chances of a successful recovery are much higher if the person is under the supervision of cocaine addiction professionals.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

addiction treatmentA person looking for cocaine abuse treatment will find they have a number of options available to them. Some of these options focus on helping a person maintain a drug-free lifestyle, while others follow a 12-step program using abstinence to effectively treat the person. Drug counseling, residential and supervised rehabilitation centers, group therapy and supervised home withdrawal programs are all on offer. Before selecting a program, a person will need to be assessed by a medical professional. This assessment ensures the treatment received is the most suitable to their individual needs. Motivational and cognitive therapy has both proven to be successful in the treatment of people suffering from cocaine addiction. Teaching people, a new way of thinking, as well as helping them form coping strategies is an important part of recovery. Professionals will also work on the person’s cocaine triggers, helping them understand how certain people, places or things are more likely to make them use cocaine. This helps the person understand what they need to avoid in order staying clean. If you require information on our outpatient or inpatient services, please feel free to call 1-888-803-9961. Alternatively, you can complete the quick reply form.