Cocaine is a drug that increases the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Cocaine can be smoked, injected, or inhaled and affects the brain immediately. The brain rapidly releases dopamine, which causes pleasurable effects or a high and is associated with the potential for dependence and abuse. When levels of dopamine drop, withdrawal symptoms start. The unpleasant withdrawal symptoms can lead a person to use again and more frequently.
Cocaine is an addictive drug that is related to an increased risk of mental health disorders, disease, and death. A person can become addicted after one use, but as with any drug, each person’s experience is unique. The first time using cocaine will produce the most intense euphoric sensation. Cocaine causes changes in the brain chemistry and behavioral abnormalities such as erratic behavior, psychotic symptoms, and new-onset of attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) after repeated use (O’Donnell, n.d.).
Tolerance builds up almost immediately, which leads a person to use more, in higher doses. The development of addiction occurs as a person takes more doses in larger amounts. A wide range of health problems is caused by cocaine use, including heart failure, respiratory issues, stroke, and seizures. Some of the physical symptoms of cocaine use include nosebleeds, insomnia, nasal damage, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, and nausea just to name a few.
Cocaine also contributes to psychological problems. Some common symptoms are restlessness, depression, anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, and psychosis. Other risks from cocaine abuse include blood borne infectious conditions, such as HIV or hepatitis C, which are related to the injection of cocaine and non-sterile needle use.
A number of factors contribute to an individual’s risk of addiction. Genetics play a huge role in drug addiction. Other factors to consider are physical or emotional trauma, peer pressure, family dynamics, stress, and personality traits. These characteristics contribute individually or in combination with other factors. Addiction to cocaine puts a person at risk for relationship problems, job loss, financial troubles, and incarceration.
Some symptoms of withdrawal from cocaine cause extreme discomfort, intense cravings, restlessness, and nightmares. A person who uses cocaine is at high risk for other drug addictions, post-traumatic stress, depressive disorders, and other psychological problems. It may seem impossible, but with the right treatment, recovery from cocaine addiction is achievable.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, get help today. Nexus Recovery Services specializes in addiction treatment and encompasses holistic therapy for the mind, body, and soul. Our mission is to provide tools for every client’s seamless transition into a meaningful and fulfilling life without drugs or alcohol. You are not alone. Call now for a free and confidential consultation: 310-881-9151