Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is abused by many, commonly contributes to accidents and injury among users, causes addiction and leads to other drug abuse, and can cause a fatal overdose. Although cocaine is widely used as a social and party drug, it has devastating effects on the person. Treatment for cocaine abuse is available, and through help and support, individuals addicted to cocaine can learn how to live a sober life again.
Effects of Cocaine on the User
Cocaine is a stimulant, so it increases the individual’s energy, and it increases the dopamine levels in the brain, leading to elevated mood. But it also causes the person to become more irritated quickly and intolerant of certain sights and sounds, as well as physical touch. The person using cocaine sometimes exhibits paranoid, unpredictable behavior, becoming aggressive and violent.
Short term effects of cocaine include:
If a person continues to use cocaine, they put themselves at risk for other side effects:
The high from cocaine lasts only 15 to 30 minutes, and then the person feels an almost immediate need to get high again. The disruption in the brain’s ability to produce its own dopamine means the person starts craving the substances and will try to get high again. This is why cocaine is addicting.
Cocaine is an addicting substance, and once a person starts using it they crave it more and more, and it becomes very difficult to stop using. As the person tries to get a more powerful high, they put themselves at risk for overdose. But cocaine overdose can also happen the first time a person tries the drug. Cocaine is that powerful.
In 2014, more than 5,500 people died from cocaine overdose. Knowing the signs of overdose and getting help quickly saves lives. Because cocaine is a stimulant, when the user takes too much of the drug, their brain and body become over stimulated, causing dangerously high heart rate, high blood pressure, and risk of stroke. Warning signs of cocaine overdose include:
Treatment for cocaine overdose should be given immediately by a medical professional and includes stabilizing the patient, giving sedatives to combat the stimulant, and offering supportive care.
Statistics of Cocaine use in the United States
Cocaine use has decreased in recent years, but it still remains a dangerous and even deadly substance, according to the most recent statistics:
- In 2014, there were an estimated 1.5 million current (past-month) cocaine users aged 12 or older (0.6 percent of the population) (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
- Adults aged 18 to 25 years have a higher rate of current cocaine use than any other age group, with 1.4 percent of young adults reporting past-month cocaine use (SAMHSA’s Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality).
- In 2014, according to the NSDUH, about 913,000 Americans met the criteria for dependence or abuse of cocaine (in any form) during the past 12 months.
- Data from SAMHSA’s 2011 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report showed that cocaine was involved in 505,224 of the nearly 1.3 million visits to emergency departments for drug misuse or abuse. This translates to over one in three drug misuse or abuse-related emergency department visits (40 percent) that involved cocaine.
Treatment for Cocaine Abuse
There is help for cocaine abuse. It starts with helping the person wean off of the substance. For those struggling with the withdrawal phase, medications can be used to ease symptoms, but the main challenge with quitting cocaine is the craving to use again. Therapy is essential to treating cocaine addiction because it helps the individual manage cravings and triggers to use, and helps them address any underlying issues causing them to feel the need to use.
It takes time and a good support system to overcome any type of drug addiction, and cocaine addiction is no exception. Those who are committed to living a sober life will find that support groups, family, friends, and the recovery community are available and willing to help provide encouragement and assistance whenever necessary.
If you or a loved one is addicted to using cocaine, get help today. Using this dangerous drug seriously impacts a person’s life, but with the right treatment, the individual will get the help they need to remain sober and start a new life.
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