Introduction to Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction can negatively affect someone’s life in many ways. Fortunately, proper treatment and support are available to help those struggling with addiction recovery. If you think someone you care about may be struggling with addiction to cocaine, looking for the signs and symptoms of addiction can be an excellent first step to getting them the help needed to recover.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug. Cocaine is generally found in a thin white powdery form that can be used through inhaling, rubbing it on the gums, or dissolved in water and injected. Abuse of cocaine is hazardous and can have many adverse effects on someone’s health and well-being.
What is Cocaine Addiction?
Cocaine addiction is characterized by the frequent use of cocaine and feeling unable to stop using it despite negative consequences in your life. Those who struggle with an addiction to cocaine may build a tolerance where they need to keep taking higher doses to get the same effects or may develop a physical or psychological dependence on the drug where they feel the need to keep taking it to function normally. Frequently taking high doses of cocaine is dangerous and can lead to many adverse life consequences.
Stages of Cocaine Addiction
Typically, four stages of cocaine addiction will occur.
Stage 1: Drug Experimentation
During the first stage of cocaine addiction, someone will begin to use or experiment with the substance. Cocaine is a highly addictive substance, so symptoms of addiction or dependence can develop even after the first use of the drug.
Stage 2: Social or Regular Use
During the second stage of cocaine addiction, someone will begin to use the drug socially or more frequently. Frequent use of cocaine can cause an addiction to develop quickly.
Stage 3: Risky Use/Abuse
During the third stage of cocaine addiction, the individual will begin taking higher doses of the drug, which can be very risky and worsen the addiction.
Stage 4: Drug Addiction and Dependencies
In the fourth stage, an individual will become addicted to cocaine and may form a dependence on the drug that will cause withdrawal symptoms to occur if they stop taking it. 1
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction?
It isn’t always easy to determine the signs of cocaine addiction since those struggling may try to cover it up. However, there are some common cocaine addiction symptoms that you can look for to help determine if someone you care about is struggling.
Physical Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Common physical cocaine addiction symptoms may include:
- Chest pain
- Dilated pupils
- High blood pressure
- Higher body temperature
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid heartbeat
- Significant weight loss
Behavioral Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Common behavioral cocaine addiction symptoms may include:
- Bursts of high energy followed by a crash
- Ignoring hygiene
- Irrational behavior
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Neglecting responsibilities
Psychological Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Common psychological symptoms of cocaine addiction include:
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
- Trouble concentrating 2
Cocaine Addiction Risk Factors and Side Effects
There are many risk factors and side effects of cocaine addiction.
Risk Factors of Cocaine Addiction
Many risk factors can contribute to someone developing an addiction to cocaine. These risk factors can be genetic, environmental, or personal.
Studies have shown that genetic factors make someone more likely to develop an addiction. This means that if someone has family members who struggle with addiction, it’s essential to be aware that there may be genetics passed down that could lead to a higher risk of addiction.
Environmental factors, such as being surrounded by drug use, can lead to someone being at risk of developing an addiction. Frequently seeing drugs being used or even having peer pressure to use drugs is a common risk factor for addiction.
Personal factors can also contribute to the risk of addiction. Mental health issues or dealing with past trauma can make someone more likely to turn to drug use to cope. Other personal factors like high daily stress, injuries, or other health issues can also cause someone to be more likely to use drugs.
Side Effects of Cocaine Addiction
There are many side effects of cocaine addiction that can occur in both the short and long term. Cocaine side effects can be dangerous and harmful to someone’s health and well-being with long-term drug abuse.
Short-term Effects of Cocaine Addiction
When cocaine is taken, it can have many effects on someone in the short term. Taking cocaine can lead to paranoia, confusion, and irrational behavior that can be dangerous or affect someone’s life. The use of cocaine also causes side effects on the body through a faster heart rate and higher blood pressure and can cause harm to the respiratory system. When the drug is taken in high doses, these symptoms can be dangerous, especially those who struggle with pre-existing health conditions.
Long-term Effects of Cocaine Addiction
In the long term, cocaine addiction can pose more severe side effects on someone’s mental and physical health. Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety can worsen with long-term cocaine abuse. Frequent long-term cocaine abuse can also cause severe health conditions that affect the heart, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system. Some health conditions due to high amounts of cocaine use can lead to lifelong problems that will negatively impact someone’s well-being.
Cocaine Addiction Withdrawal
When someone struggles with addiction to cocaine and suddenly stops taking it, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can be severe, so proper treatment and support are necessary for a safe and effective recovery from cocaine addiction.
Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline
Generally, there are three stages in the cocaine withdrawal timeline.
Stage 1: The Crash
Stage one of cocaine withdrawal will begin within a few hours to a few days after someone stops taking the drug. Symptoms are usually mild during the first stage of withdrawal and can be easily managed.
Stage 2: Withdrawal
During the second stage of withdrawal, more powerful symptoms will occur. This stage can be more severe and may require medical attention if severe withdrawal symptoms occur. The second stage of symptoms can last up to ten weeks, depending on the individual and the severity of the addiction.
Stage 3: Extinction
During the third stage of withdrawal, most of the significant withdrawal symptoms will begin to taper off. This last stage can last up to 28 weeks, which means continued support will be necessary to ensure successful long-term recovery.
Cocaine Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms
Common cocaine withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Extreme depression
- Increased appetite
- Lack of motivation
- Low energy
- Mood swings
- Strong cocaine cravings
- Trouble concentrating 3
Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
If you or someone you know is struggling with a cocaine addiction, treatment options are available that can help.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options
The first step in the recovery process is detox. During a cocaine detox, withdrawal symptoms will be experienced, ranging from uncomfortable to severe. Going to a cocaine addiction treatment center during this time is a good idea to make the detox as safe and comfortable as possible.
Behavioral Therapy for Cocaine Addiction
Behavioral therapy is also one of the main parts of cocaine addiction treatment. Working with a behavioral therapist will help you learn coping mechanisms to deal with the daily stresses of life without the use of drugs or alcohol. Therapy can also help determine if any underlying conditions may be contributing to an addiction occurring. The goal of behavioral therapy is that, over time, clients can learn to self-manage and create a plan for long-term success and sobriety.
Medication for Cocaine Addiction
During the treatment process, medications may be used to help ease withdrawal symptoms and prevent a relapse from occurring. The use of medications can help those who have more severe withdrawal symptoms or make the process as comfortable as possible.
Inpatient addiction treatment involves staying at a treatment center for a designated time. You will receive around-the-clock medical attention and support when staying at a treatment center. Inpatient treatment will keep you in a stable environment that is away from temptations so you can focus on your recovery program.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment Program at Great Oaks Recovery Center
If you are looking for a cocaine addiction treatment program, Great Oaks Recovery Center can help. Great Oaks Recovery uses evidence-based treatment practices to get you the best possible results, preparing you for long term sobriety. Along with creating a personalized addiction treatment program, the friendly and educated treatment professionals at Great Oaks Recovery Center will be with you every step of the way.
For more information about how Great Oaks Recovery Center can help, call us today at (877) 977-3268.