Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant, with high abuse potential. In 2014, The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that almost a million Americans had cocaine dependence or abuse problem in the past year. Cocaine also contributes to over 5,000 overdose deaths a year, with growing numbers. Cocaine use can range from occasional to repeated use. Prolonged abuse can alter one’s brain chemistry and eventually create tolerance and physical dependence. Snorting, injecting or smoking excessive amounts of cocaine can lead to heart attacks, stroke, seizures, as well as sudden death. Because cocaine is commonly injected, intravenous users are at a higher risk of contracting contagious blood diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C.
The first step in overcoming a cocaine addiction is attending our medical detox center. Cocaine use increases the flow of dopamine, which makes regular cocaine use cause the brain to expect higher levels of dopamine—consequently disturbing the natural regulation of dopamine production and release. Because of the natural production and release of dopamine in the brain is disturbed, someone who abruptly stops using cocaine can experience severe bouts of depression, suicidal thoughts or ideation. Psychological symptoms of withdrawal can be properly managed and closely monitored in our detox facility, by our medical staff.
Short Term Effects of Cocaine May Include:
- Constricted blood vessels
- Dilated pupils
- Increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure
- Violent behavior
Long Term Effects of Cocaine Use May Include:
- Nasal irritation
- Lung damage
- Risk of HIV/Hepatitis C
- Heart inflammation
- Cognitive dysfunction
Am I A Cocaine Addict?
If you are unsure if you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction, some warning signs of a cocaine substance use disorder include:
- Planning activities around cocaine use
- Engaging in other high-risk behaviors
- Loss of interest in activities
- Prioritizing cocaine use
- Continuing to use, despite negative effects or consequences
- Withdrawal symptoms and/or cravings
Because cocaine has a short half-life, withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as an hour and a half after the last dose. These withdrawal symptoms can last for seven to ten days, with a variety of factors affecting their severity. Further, the withdrawal process can be influenced by the guest’s abuse history, age, health status, and coexisting mental disorders. While many of these symptoms are psychological rather than physical, it is greatly recommended that guests attend a reputable detox facility like Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights.
Our highly trained team of medical professionals has the experience needed to effectively treat cocaine withdrawal. Left untreated, the emotional and mental health of the user will, in fact, get progressively worse. To treat the anxiety and depression most commonly persistent during withdrawal, our staff is able to prescribe medications to help treat our guests safely and comfortably. Continuing treatment after medical detox is key, as treatment in a residential inpatient program is proven to heighten the success rate of continued sobriety.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms may include:
- Anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure)
- Muscle pain
- Increased appetite
- Vivid dreams