Cocaine is a dangerous and highly addictive stimulant that comes in a few different forms. Experts estimate that millions of people use cocaine every month. Statistics show that adults under 25 are more likely to abuse cocaine, particularly young males. Due to the potent nature of this drug, a cocaine addiction treatment center is usually necessary to break free from its grip. Please call Red Oak Recovery® today at 828.382.9699 for more information about recovering from cocaine addiction.
Signs of Cocaine Abuse
People can ingest cocaine in a variety of ways and abuse it in many different settings. People often snort cocaine as a powder, but can also be liquefied and injected with a needle. People use crack cocaine by heating the rock and inhaling the resulting smoke. Although, in some circles, snorting cocaine is a desirable party drug or socially acceptable, all forms of cocaine pose a major risk to the user.
The high that a cocaine user gets is short-lived compared to some other drugs. Due to the short length of the drug’s effect, the cocaine user frequently keeps chasing the high. Since a constant cocaine high would be difficult to maintain, there are often low periods associated with cocaine addiction. When cocaine use begins, the individual will experience intense euphoria. Usually, with continued use, the individual can’t replicate this feeling. However, if they are already addicted, they will continue to chase this fleeting feeling with more and more cocaine. A few signs that someone has an active cocaine abuse problem may include:
- Insomnia and sleep issues
- A decline in hygiene and grooming
- Lying and secretive behavior
- Mood symptoms like bouncing between euphoria, anxiety, nervousness, and edginess
- Losing interest in usual activities
- A decrease in work ethic or productivity
- Chest pain or cardiovascular issues
- Drastic, sudden weight loss
- Dilated pupils
- Broken capillaries
- Nasal perforation
- Delusions of grandeur
- Excessive talking
- Sexual dysfunction
- Violent or erratic behavior
The Risk Factors and Dangers of Cocaine Use
There are a variety of reasons that people begin using cocaine. Sometimes it’s a one-time thing, but that person can easily become addicted after seeking out the drug again for its effects. At other times an individual seeks out cocaine to self-medicate an underlying issue. Similar to other drugs, the risk for cocaine use can usually stem from various factors. The risks for using cocaine are traditionally a combination of environmental, genetic, biological, and psychological factors. When a person uses cocaine, it affects the central nervous system by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. This can create a physical craving and dependency on the high that cocaine provides. Eventually, cocaine stops the natural dopamine production process, and the need for the drug becomes even more potent.
Having a relative with addiction increases the chance you could become addicted. Some factors that make a person more likely to develop a cocaine addiction:
- Growing up in a low income, high crime, or high-stress environment
- Experiencing a stressful life event
- Being related to a person that has an addiction, especially a parent
- Having an undiagnosed mental illness, or a relative with one
- Changes in brain structure due to previous drug use
- Being a younger adult, particularly a young male
- Having another addiction
Any of the above factors are by no means indicators that an individual is abusing cocaine, but they are general risk factors that, when combined with symptoms, may lead to drug use or abuse.
Risks of Cocaine Use
Cocaine use is very risky. In recent years, the risk has increased because powdered cocaine is frequently being cut with other harmful substances to stretch out quantities by suppliers. Drugs like fentanyl can lead to a respiratory arrest if too much is cut with the cocaine and snorted. Regular cocaine users often experience adverse life outcomes as a result of their cocaine use. Events like losing meaningful relationships or careers can haunt someone for a lifetime. Long-term cocaine use can cause permanent personality changes, loss of sexual function, and cardiac issues, which are not always reversible.
Find Hope and Healing at Red Oak Recovery®
It is crucial to get cocaine abuse under control as soon as possible to ensure long-term recovery. Please call Red Oak Recovery® today at 828.382.9699 to begin your journey to healing.