This highly addictive drug is from the coca plant and it changes the chemical makeup of a person’s brain with regular use. This makes it difficult to quit without assistance. Cocaine is a stimulant with painkilling and anesthetic properties. It produces a feeling of extreme euphoria and is most often used recreationally though it can be a slippery slope. The more a person uses it, the greater tolerance of it that person’s body builds, and that tolerance happens very quickly. Because of this tolerance, it is common for a user to take ever-increasing quantities, causing dependence on the drug. Cocaine is commonly known as the most difficult drug to get off of, but recovery is possible.
Cocaine creates its high by blocking dopamine from being recycled, increasing the activity of the “feel good” neurotransmitter. The high takes effect quickly but is short-lived because it has a short half-life. The high may only last anywhere between five to 30 minutes. It can be smoked, snorted, injected, or placed in other body orifices.
Signs Of Cocaine Use
- White powder residue around the nose and mouth
- Needle marks from injecting the drug
- Burn marks on hands and lips
- Change in sleeping and eating patterns
- Weight loss
- Mood swings (hostility, anger, irritability, and sometimes violent outbursts)
- Increased risk-taking behaviors
- More frequent sexual encounters
- Dilated pupils that may be sensitive to light
- Bloodshot eyes
- Runny nose, frequent nosebleeds or both
- Lack of concern for personal appearance and personal hygiene
- Financial troubles
- Social isolation
Because cocaine has a short half-life and the body can quickly build a tolerance to it, this drug has to be taken in higher doses every time to feel the “first high.” This is when the possibility of addiction becomes much higher. As control over drug use may become harder, a lot of time may be spent trying to get the drug, using it, and recovering from using it making other things like schoolwork, familial obligations or work responsibilities fall to the wayside.
Because cocaine affects the way a person feels pleasure, it can become difficult to go through regular life without it. This is when it becomes an addiction when a person feels they need the drug to feel balanced.
Physical Effects Of Cocaine Abuse
There are also some physical effects of cocaine abuse that may or may not be visible to the naked eye. Because cocaine is typically snorted through the nose, it can lead to nosebleeds, sniffing, a nose that is always running, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and an inability to smell. Long-term abuse can lead to irreversible effects on the circulatory system, the brain, digestive system, kidneys and liver, teeth and gums, sexual function, and skin.
Recovery From Cocaine Addictions
There are not any known physical side effects when it comes to withdrawing from cocaine though it does include emotional side effects like depression and anxiety, tiredness and varying levels of energy, moodiness, irregular sleep patterns, inability to concentrate, and lack of enthusiasm. If you or a loved one is abusing cocaine, seek help and contact our facilities.