Cocaine is a white powdery drug derived from the coca plant leaves. Coca is native to many countries in South America. Because cocaine is a powder, it is a highly flexible drug in terms of its use. While snorting is indeed the most common method, people also smoke it or combine it with liquids and inject it into a vein. Regardless of how it is used, the signs of cocaine abuse can be concerning.
How Addictive is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a drug with a high potential for misuse. Even one-time “experimentation” with cocaine can lead to severe physical and psychological dependence. The effects of cocaine are very intense yet short-lived, which often leads users to take more (in shorter intervals) to re-experience the high they remember from their first use. This inevitable progression of use causes the body and mind to build up a tolerance making stopping or reducing use difficult, if not impossible, without the help of a Southern California addiction treatment, like Destiny Recovery Center.
How Does Cocaine Impact the Body?
Cocaine is a stimulant drug which means, at least initially, it energizes your body. It also triggers your brain to release dopamine, the chemical in your brain responsible for producing feelings of euphoria, pleasure, and satisfaction.
Ongoing cocaine causes both physical and emotional effects. When you use cocaine frequently (or for an extended period), changes occur to your behavior, mood, and overall mental health. Many people who use cocaine, even in the short-term, experience panic and paranoia. They may state or feel as though others are “out to get them” or experience instances of sudden and unprovoked yet debilitating fear. Cocaine abuse and addiction can also increase the risk of (or worsening a preexisting condition) mental illness, including anxiety and depression.
The physical effects of cocaine use can be harmful to virtually every system in your body. Some effects, such as nausea, elevated blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat, high body temperature, and enlarged pupils, are generally short-lived. However, many potentially dangerous symptoms and side effects can last much longer. Without comprehensive addiction treatment, the long-term effects of cocaine abuse, including damage to your respiratory, reproductive, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and neurological systems, can permanently change your vital body systems.
What Are the Signs of Cocaine Abuse?
Cocaine affects you physically and emotionally. There are several potential signs and symptoms of cocaine abuse you can look for if you are concerned about a loved one’s relationship with drugs. Cocaine is a highly addictive and dangerous drug with many serious health risks. Some of the earliest and most common signs of cocaine use may be:
- Dilated pupils
- Appetite changes
- Excessive energy
- Paranoia and panic
- Runny nose or sniffles
- Increased happiness and sociability
- Improved concentration
Most of these short-lived symptoms begin to subside within a few minutes of use. The short duration of symptoms leads someone with a cocaine addiction to use again. However, a small dose is not enough to achieve desired results with time. They often must use more often and in larger amounts for cocaine to affect their brain in the same way. When used more frequently and excessively, cocaine can have detrimental and irreversible effects on the body. Some of these include:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in sleeping patterns and insomnia
- Violent or aggressive behavior
- Heart attack
How to Find a Cocaine Rehab Program in Southern California
Cocaine addiction treatment typically involves detox and therapy in a residential inpatient treatment program. These specialized programs increase your chances of a successful recovery from the physical and psychological addiction to cocaine. In an inpatient treatment program, highly trained, compassionate therapists and medical professionals use evidence-based treatments to help those seeking recovery learn how to live healthy lives without relying on cocaine. A typical rehab program includes counseling, support groups, relapse prevention education, and aftercare planning.
With help from a Redlands drug and alcohol rehab, freedom from cocaine addiction is within reach. Let our caring and compassionate team at Destiny Recovery Center help you take your first steps towards sobriety and lasting recovery. Contact our admissions team today to learn more about our programs.