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A quick overview of the causes and symptoms of cocaine addiction
During the early 1900s, individuals used cocaine as an anesthetic, yet this practice has long been discontinued. In fact, this drug currently has no known use in medicine, yet many people turn to it as a recreational substance, one that can have long term negative effects on them. With time, a person may become addicted to the drug and this can have dangerous consequences, thus everyone should be aware of the signs of cocaine addiction. The sooner a problem is detected, the sooner the individual can get the help they need to overcome their dependency.
Cocaine may be used in a variety of ways, and a person must use it a number of times before they become addicted. This makes it different from other drugs, such as heroin, which may lead to a drug addiction after just one use. Some people choose to snort cocaine, and this method has been highlighted in a variety of popular movies. Others opt to add their cocaine to water and inject it into their blood stream using a hypodermic needle, and some smoke this drug. Regardless of which method is used, the potential for a coke addiction is present.
Cocaine symptoms – how do I know if I have a coke addiction?
Cocaine users go through a series of steps on the way to becoming addicted to the drug. First, the user will notice that they need more of the drug to obtain the pleasure they originally derived from smaller amounts, thus they begin to increase their dosage. When their brain adjusts to the use of cocaine, the user tends to become depressed and moody when they don’t have it in their system. Many report they become fatigued at this stage and some use sleeping medications following heavy use of the drug. This dependence comes as the result of changes to the neurological pathways in the brain. Normal neurotransmitter levels in the brain are no longer enough to provide the user with the normal feelings of pleasure. Addiction is the final step in the process and is characterized by strong cravings for the drug. The user is willing to do anything to obtain more of the substance, regardless of the consequences.
How to spot a coke addict
The signs of cocaine addiction vary by user. People cannot point to one thing and know immediately that a person has become dependent on this drug, thus all signs and cocaine addiction symptoms need to be understood. However, most people do state they have noticed a change in the person’s mood, as they experience more highs and lows, and that their attitude is different with use of the drug. The behaviour of someone on coke include:
- A scratchy voice or hoarseness
- A stuffy nose at all times or difficulty in breathing through the nose
- Frequent nose bleeds
- A nose that runs all the time
- A change in the person’s ability to smell
- Needle marks found on the skin
- Inappropriate clothing for the season, as this may be a sign the person is trying to hide needle marks
- An increase in infections
- Skin infections
- Ash marks on a person’s fingers
- The lips appear burned or blistered
- The voice sounds hoarse
- Teeth are rotting
- Burn marks are seen on the fingers and hands
Cocaine abuse symptoms tend to differ based on the method of use. The first five listed above are the best examples of how to tell if someone is sniffing coke, with the next four commonly being seen in users who choose to inject it. The last five symptoms have been linked to those who choose to smoke crack cocaine. Some individuals, however, may have a combination of these symptoms, as they will use the drug in any form once they have become addicted.
Regardless of which method of use is selected, certain psychological effects may also be seen. This includes anxiety, an inability to concentrate and focus, irritability, psychosis and restlessness.
What happens to the body with long term cocaine use?
The body changes with regular cocaine use, and these changes can make it hard to overcome a dependency on the drug. Some long term effects may go away over time, yet others remain with the user for life, even after the drug use ends. This makes it even harder to beat the addiction. Following are some of these effects:
- Permanent damage to the brain
- Stroke or heart attack
- Allergic reactions
- Lung damage or other respiratory issues
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Loss of one or more limbs as a result of an untreated skin infection
- Permanent damage to the heart
The high risks of cocaine abuse
Individuals need to be aware that there is a high risk of overdose associated with cocaine use. This isn’t the only way that use of this drug can lead to fatal consequences though. Individuals may engage in dangerous behaviours, such as unprotected sex, and these behaviours may result in permanent illness, injury or even death. The stress that is placed on the body and brain as a result of using this drug is severe, and this impacts the person’s ability to overcome the drug addiction and lead a full life once again.
Signs of a cocaine overdose
One problem with cocaine is it is not regulated. As a result, users cannot know the quality of the drug before they use it. They may use the normal amount, but the drug is more potent, leading to an overdose. Anyone who is suspected of cocaine use should be monitored for signs of a drug overdose until professional cocaine addiction help can be sought to overcome the addiction. Signs of a cocaine overdose include:
- The sensation that the head is ready to explode
- A feeling of being overheated
- Rapid heart rate
- A sensation that the heart is beating out of the chest or in the heart
An overdose may lead to a failure of the respiratory system, heart failure, a cerebral haemorrhage or stroke. All may kill the user, thus medical help needs to be sought immediately.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options For Cocaine Addicts and Drug Addiction
Professional help is often needed to help the person beat their dependency on the drug. This cocaine addiction treatment typically consists of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling and more. Medications aren’t of much help in treating this addiction, but doctors may find the patient has another disorder, such as a mental illness, and drugs may be prescribed to treat the disorder. Treating both problems at the same time helps to increase the odds of recovery for the patient.
Never ignore a loved one’s cocaine use. The risk of addiction is too high. Seek help for cocaine addiction immediately to stop use of the drug and get the person back on the right track. His or her life may depend on it.
“I so want help to release him from this horrid, horrid existence he lives…”
With the RIGHT HELP you or your loved one CAN move on to create a normal, happy life with REAL OPTIONS.
Timing matters. It’s important to get help
while a person is open to change
Timing matters. It’s important to get help while a person is open to change.
So ask any questions or reserve a place at ARC now. TODAY!
So ask any questions or reserve
a place at ARC now. TODAY!
ARC clients make it!
“If I didn’t come here and do this treatment, I don’t think I’d be on this earth now.” - Johnathon
With the RIGHT HELP you or your loved one CAN move on to create a full, normal life. A life with meaning, purpose, hope & happiness as real options.
To ask any question or get started today, call:
ARC clients make it!
“If I didn’t come here & do this treatment, I don’t think I’d be on this earth now.”
– John, free from alcohol & drugs for 3 years at time of review
Addiction Recovery Centre – ARC – Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center in Portsmouth
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