Although cocaine has a reputation for being a party drug, it is, in fact, one of the most dangerous substances in the world. Despite the dangers, millions of people regularly use cocaine recreationally to get the short-lived but intense high it creates. The fact that cocaine is fast-acting means that the high doesn’t last for longer than around half an hour and it is quickly followed by a severe comedown. The need to perpetuate the high leads to people taking more cocaine and they can soon find themselves in a negative spiral of addiction. When a person has developed cocaine dependence they require immediate cocaine addiction treatment.
What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a drug that’s classified as a stimulant narcotic that is mostly taken in a form of a white powder which is snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed. Crack cocaine is another form of the drug that looks like rocks or crystals which is created during the process of making pure cocaine and generally smoked using a pipe. Crack cocaine is a much cheaper and dirtier version of the drug that has the potential to be even more addictive than the standard powder form.
One of the biggest risks of using cocaine is contamination. Cocaine is a highly illegal drug and consequently, it is manufactured in illicit laboratories and often mixed with other substances so as to increase dealer profits. The kind of powders that are mixed with cocaine to dilute the pure form for street sales includes:
- Boric acid
- Baking soda
- Talcum powder
How Does Cocaine Addiction Develop?
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is known to be the most habit-forming substance around. It creates its pleasurable sensations by altering brain chemistry and producing dopamine and leads to the user feeling larger than life with boundless energy. However, the high created doesn’t last very long and when used to boost confidence at a party, people are tempted to keep the sensations going by consuming more as the night progresses, often while consuming alcohol at the same time.
The problem starts when a cocaine user starts to attach positive feelings and experiences with taking the drug. This makes cocaine a compelling substance although it is also the reason why people seek to recreate the sensation repeatedly. In time, cocaine is used to prevent the crashing come down that is accompanied by intense withdrawal symptoms which urge the individual to use again and so the negative addiction cycle is created.
How Addictive is Cocaine?
To illustrate just how addictive cocaine is, it is a fact that a person can get addicted to the drug, particularly in crack form after a single use. The cravings to recreate the intense high can be so overwhelming that individuals may stop attending school, going to work or taking care of personal obligations. One of the main characteristics of addiction is a person’s compulsion to continue using substances even when their lives are falling apart as a consequence and those using cocaine are at higher risk than people abusing other substances.
Another reason addiction is quick to develop in people misusing cocaine is that they quickly become tolerant to the drug’s effects. This means that the body has become so used to receiving regular doses of cocaine that it craves more to get the same effects experienced when the drug was first taken. It is possible to detect when tolerance is developing as withdrawal symptoms will begin to emerge after progressively shorter periods of using.
Tolerance to cocaine can often remain even after a long period of abstinence which can make the cocaine rehab process and recovery more challenging. However, using cocaine to reduce withdrawal symptoms is a behavior developed as a consequence of addiction which can be addressed and adapted with behavioral therapies in a cocaine addiction rehab center. A person who has developed cocaine addiction will continue to use despite the significant risks to their physical health or the very real threat of professional, emotional and social instability.
Generally speaking, people misusing and abusing cocaine are likely to develop a psychological addiction in the first instance. This has much to do with the way cocaine makes a person feel about themselves and its compelling effects and also the depression and anxiety caused when they come crashing down. Although people initially become psychologically addicted to the effects created by cocaine, a physical dependence is marked by progressively worse withdrawal symptoms which soon follow after a pattern of abuse.
Cocaine Addiction Statistics
- According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, cocaine addiction is one of the most prevalent conditions treated in cocaine addiction rehab centers in America, with around 910,000 people meeting the criteria for dependence on the drug.
- Around 6,000 of accidental deaths in the U.S., every year involve cocaine.
- Just over 500,000 of the estimated 1.3m ER visits related to cocaine misuse.
- Between 1.8% and 2.3% of children in the 12th grade used cocaine in 2015.
- Up to 90% of individuals addicted to cocaine experience relapse when attempting to detox on their own.
- Almost 20% of people who try cocaine go on to develop dependency.
Getting Help for Cocaine Addiction
Our understanding of cocaine addiction has never been better and consequently, there are several treatment paths available for individuals seeking cocaine addiction treatment. The first step of the cocaine rehab process is detox which is best carried out in a specialist facility where there are professionals on hand to supervise the process. Cocaine addiction rehab centers generally offer components of individual and group therapy, behavioral therapies, medical and holistic treatments with programs devised on a patient-by-patient basis.
Although cocaine is literally an intoxicating drug that creates among the most compelling effects of all illegal substances, it is very possible to treat cocaine addiction effectively. Cocaine addiction treatment has the objective of preparing patients to return to their daily lives without them turning to cocaine every time they are faced with temptation or experience cravings.