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Cocaine, a white powdery substance obtained from the leaves of the coca plant of South America, is a highly addictive and strong brain stimulant. Cocaine addiction develops much faster even if you have used it rarely. Research has stated that in 1997, 43.3% of people in the US were addicted to cocaine but recently in 2019 it dropped back to 38%.

This makes it clear that even until now, cocaine addiction hasn’t been completely eliminated from people’s life. As you know, this is the digital era, and the internet makes it much easier to gather knowledge of anything. Hence, nowadays, most people are well aware of the addictive effects of Cocaine, but thousands of them are addicted to it. So, still, this question remains unanswered: How to put Cocaine Addiction to an end?

Hand holding two bags of pills under a lamp.

Cocaine, also known as coke, crake, blow, snow, and flake, is a short-acting drug that remains in the bloodstream for a brief period but has a powerful stimulant effect on the central nervous system. It has become a bitter truth that cocaine addiction is rising vigorously day by day around the globe. Furthermore, cocaine use disorder is affecting males more than females. Drug abusers take Cocaine by various oral routes, via genital or rectal route, and can be injected in veins or inhaled through the nose. A modified form of Cocaine called crack Cocaine is used in smoking.

Celebrities with Cocaine Addiction

When a person initially starts using coke, they develop happy feelings, but gradually antisocial coke addict symptoms start appearing and they don’t want to engage themselves with others. The behavior of someone on coke slowly changes from being over-excited to an antisocial and depressed person. So, before going deeply into cocaine addiction, let’s see what are the different forms of cocaine whose consumption can lead to developing an addiction.

Forms of Cocaine

There are two chemical forms of Cocaine. Any of their intakes can cause Cocaine addiction.

  • Water-soluble hydrochloride salt
  • Water-insoluble cocaine base (freebase cocaine)

Speedball is made from mixing Cocaine with heroin or morphine. Do you consider Cocaine and crack to be the same thing? No, these are different. Combining Cocaine with water and baking soda gives crack cocaine. The mixture is boiled, and the vapors are inhaled.

Fact: Crack is considered to be the most addictive form of Cocaine.

Freebasing is the process of enhancing the potency of a substance. The base is extracted from the Cocaine using ammonia to form freebase cocaine that is the solid crystal used for smoking purposes. This is the purest form of Cocaine. If you are using this type, then you are at a higher risk of developing toxicity and Cocaine addiction.

Biochemistry of Cocaine

So, if you are wondering how Cocaine functions in your brain to cause addiction and how do people act on coke, here is the mechanism: Cocaine works by inhibiting the uptake of catecholamines by neurons and increasing the level of dopamine and norepinephrine in the blood. The abuser feels immense pleasure and energy. This joyful feeling urges the abuser to take the drug regularly.

Fact: Dopamine is responsible for this joyful feeling as it is released when your brain reward center is activated.

Usually, dopamine is taken up back into the cell after some time of release, but Cocaine inhibits the process, resulting in the accumulation of neurotransmitters in between the nerve cells. Now that you have understood how bad Cocaine is for your mental wellbeing, let’s see what are the Cocaine Addiction symptoms that appear after one has become addicted to the drug.

Cocaine addiction can be physical or mental which means your body and mind crave for it. It alters your sleep patterns and upsurges your mood swings. Other Cocaine abuse symptoms are as follows:

  • You feel cheerful and enthusiastic.
  • You become agitated.
  • You are cantankerous.
  • You are fearful.
  • You become intolerant to voices and light.
  • Since Cocaine is expensive, suffering financial loss is another coke addict symptom. Cocaine addicts spend their money regularly to buy the drug especially because it has short-term effects.

Related: Marijuana Addiction and Symptoms of Weed Abuse

Some physical Cocaine abuse symptoms are rapid heart rate, increased body temperature, and blood pressure, excessive sweating, decreased urge for food, and a runny nose.

Note: Another dangerous sign of Cocaine abuse symptom is that you start using it without any second thought. If you are at this stage, you really need help.

A common Cocaine addiction symptom is when a person becomes tolerable to the drug and requires a high amount of Cocaine to induce feelings of euphoria. Thus, they increase their dosage with time and also become a victim of its hazardous effects.  As we discussed earlier, there is physical as well as psychological dependence. Mental dependency is the toughest component to overcome. A person with this disorder takes Cocaine regularly in order to feel normal and act normal. Abusers state that their work is boosted efficiently after taking the drug. These were some of the main Cocaine addiction symptoms that excite your overall behavior and increase aggressiveness. 

One can use a coke spoon to sniff it. One line usually contains 25-100mg of the drug. But the effect is short-lived, lasting for nearly 15- 30 minutes. And if you take the drug through an intravenous route, its effect lasts for an even shorter time that is 5- 10 minutes. The short-term effect of cocaine pushes cocaine abusers to take even more of the drug, increasing the likelihood of addiction. 

Coke abusers suffer from strong withdrawal symptoms thus making it difficult to get rid of it on their own. So, if you have become an abuser, it is crucial to immediately free yourself from this addiction by asking for help from well-known institutes and rehabilitation centers. It is no secret that excessive use of everything is harmful, and when we talk about a drug, it is extremely dangerous as it can affect every part of your body. 

Note: Did you know that Cocaine addiction can also cause infertility? So if you are planning for a family, then it is necessary to change your lifestyle and become a cocaine, addict-free person.

Do you know which people are at risk of Cocaine abuse? Here is the key fact.

Anyone taking Cocaine is at the risk of becoming a cocaine addict. Some people are more vulnerable to Cocaine abuse than others. These are the factors that show you are highly vulnerable to develop Cocaine addiction.

  1. Taking other drugs or alcohol.
  2. Having psychological issues.
  3. Unstable problematic life.
  4. Have a family history of cocaine addiction.

Behavioral Symptoms of Cocaine Users

You might see the following changes in the behavior of someone on Coke with a possibility that they are experiencing Cocaine addiction. People with coke use disorder have visible behavioral changes, and you can easily identify them. The behavior of someone on Coke is mainly paranoid and aggressive. It is essential to understand the significance of detecting and identifying drug abuse. Drug abusers like to be alone, particularly when they start using drugs on an initial basis. The behavior of someone on coke is really unpredictable as their brain functioning is markedly depressed.

It is an established fact that Cocaine is a dangerous drug, and whoever is an addict to it will surely show definite signs. Some of the major cocaine abuse symptoms are as follows:

  • Cocaine addicts frequently have bloodshot eyes.
  • Cocaine addicts have unusual sleep patterns.
  • Cocaine addicts often pull disappearing acts while out in public.
  • People experiencing Cocaine abuse go into severe nervousness and anxiety whenever they come out of it, even for a day or two.
  • Cocaine abuse tends to be aggressive and, sometimes, paranoid.
  • Cocaine addicts have runny noses, and sometimes their nose bleeds.
  • Last but not least, the most dangerous effect of Cocaine abuse is abnormal mood swings. Cocaine abusers are rarely in a normal state of mind.

So, if you are facing any of these Cocaine abuse symptoms, there is a major possibility that you are developing Cocaine addiction.

If you want to prevent yourself from becoming a coke addict, consider the following factors:

Work on your Mental Health

Being mentally fit is an utmost requirement to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Depression, life sufferings, and worries are the major causes that promote cocaine addiction in people. 

But the fact is that you take Cocaine to escape your depressive mood, but its pleasant effect only lasts for some time. In the end, you are again at the stage of experiencing one of the most unwanted Cocaine abuse signs i.e. “Depression and anxiety”

Hence, controlling your mental behavior and finding different ways for relieving stress can prevent you from becoming a coke addict.

Meditation

Daily exercise, taking diets that promote dopamine and serotonin in your brain like dairy foods, omega-3 rich meals, and dark chocolates can help elevate your mood, thus preventing you from becoming a coke addict or drug addict. 

Avoid Self-medication at All Times

Self-medication has become a disease now. Once a person starts self-medicating, they don’t feel the need to ask for advice about any medication. This can easily make them an addict. So, avoiding self-medication at all times is the guaranteed way to prevent yourself from becoming a coke addict.

So, the main question is, if anyone has already become an addict, how to beat Cocaine addiction? It is definitely not easy, but it is absolutely doable. First of all, if you are planning to withdraw from Cocaine, you are bound to develop some severe symptoms, especially if you have been a heavy user. These symptoms are nothing but a rebound effect that your body develops in order to maintain homeostasis.

The most effective therapy for coke addicts is behavioral therapy. This is done in individual counseling, where a person learns new tips and tricks to overcome his cravings and other withdrawal symptoms. Another effective technique is contingency treatment. People are encouraged and motivated to abstain from Cocaine and other such drugs. They are also given incentives such as gym membership vouchers etc.

So, if you are worried about how to beat Cocaine addiction, the only hurdle lies in taking your first step towards omitting this bad habit. It is advisable not to start cocaine withdrawal at home. It is better if done under medical supervision.

Dopamine is affecting every system of your body. It regulates the immune system, heart, lungs, gut, brain, and kidney functioning. Besides this, it is also involved in pain management. Dopamine surge in cocaine addicts alters the normal body functioning. Some of these abnormal responses are stated below.

  • Induce blood vessel constriction, thus increase blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Person goes into a delusional state.
  • Abnormal sleep patterns.
  • Muscle aching and might experience epilepsy.
  • Widened pupils.

Cocaine use for an extended duration can lead to short-term and long-term effects on your health.

Here are some of the short-term effects:

  • Unusual or excessive happiness
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Reduced appetite
  • Paranoia (A feeling that people are thinking and talking about you or staring you which makes it difficult for you to socialize)

Long-term effects of cocaine use

Once you develop cocaine addiction, you can’t manage it on your own. National Institute on Drug Abuse shows that dependency of long-term effects is largely on the method of consumption of Cocaine. The long-term effects of Cocaine Use are:

  1. Nose Bleeding: If you are snorting it, you will experience bleeding from the nose and gums, lose your sense of smell, and have difficulty swallowing.
  2. Reduced Digestion: If the drug is taken by mouth, it markedly suppresses digestion as blood flow is decreased.
  3. Respiratory Problems: Smoking Cocaine results in respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
  4. AIDS: If you are injecting it into your bloodstream, it results in vessel constriction and other concurrent infections like hepatitis and AIDS because of decreased immunity.
  5. Brain Damage: One of the riskiest long-term effects of Cocaine use is irreversible brain damage in a person.

In NIDA’s Cocaine Research Report, studies highlight the increased risk of HIV infection in people with Cocaine use disorder as they have a poor judgment that leads to unsafe sexual behaviors. There is no doubt in the fact that the long-term effects of Cocaine use can lead to dangerous diseases and organ damage.

Note: Withdrawal symptoms are life-threatening. So, taking the help of medical professionals for treating Cocaine addiction is essential instead of managing it on your own.

Our body is a machine. As a machine needs the proper fuel to work normally, your body also needs a balanced diet and good hygiene for its normal functioning. Misuse of Cocaine can shatter your body systems.

Cocaine classification is done by “Federal and state drug control laws” as a narcotic drug. With that, Cocaine acts as a stimulant in our body. Amphetamine and Cocaine classification are represented as schedule 2 drugs by federal law, but someone possessing Cocaine receives a harsher penalty than amphetamine possession.

Being a schedule 2 drug means Cocaine has a high risk of addiction and abuse, but still it can be administered by the doctor to treat certain medical conditions like during surgeries as local anesthesia.

Fact: Did you know that Cocaine is a Street drug? Street drug is another name of illegal drugs which cannot be taken for regular use like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

I’m sure by the following facts you must have realized how addictive is Cocaine for one’s health. Cocaine abuse and its hazards have affected millions of people around the world. Our mind and body get contaminated once we start using it regularly. Sadly even the youngsters are taking Cocaine as an antidepressant for relieving pain and life problems.  

Biological effects of coke abuse have covered a wide range, from cardiopulmonary disorders to directly affecting the brain of addicts. Many social health organizations have started different awareness and rehabilitation campaigns for cocaine abuse. So, its addiction can be managed if this problem is taken into serious consideration.

Seeking consultation and designing the best plan for becoming a drug-free person is the first step to overcome your addiction.

In case your drug addiction cannot be fully cured, proper treatment can enhance your quality of life and relieve the psychological and biological issues a full-time drug addict faces.

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