When it comes to drug addiction, most people are aware of drugs such as heroin, cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine. Yet some people still query ‘is cocaine addictive?’. The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. This is a very addictive drug and one that many individuals struggle to kick every single day.
Cocaine is a very powerful substance that produces intense highs for those who use it. The problem with cocaine, however, is that the effects of the drug are short-lived, and the come down can be long and hard-hitting. This means that users are tempted to take more of the drug, leaving themselves at risk of crack addiction very quickly.
Cocaine has the effect of making the user feel euphoric and alert. He or she may be confident and talkative, and feel euphoric. However, some people tend to feel over-confident, which can lead to unnecessary risk-taking. Some become aggressive while under the influence of the drug.
As soon as a person takes cocaine, the substance will begin to speed up their heart and raise body temperature. The individual will lose his/her appetite, and he/she may start to sweat. Nevertheless, after about ten to fifteen minutes, the effects of the drug will wear off, and many users will feel an immediate desire to take more in order to feel happy again.
Once the drug starts to wear off, the user will feel depressed and ill, with some people feeling as though they have the flu following a night of taking cocaine.
When answering the question ‘is cocaine addictive?’, one must think about the intense cravings that users experience. Some forms of the drug are more addictive than others; crack cocaine, for instance, is so addictive and creates such extreme highs that some people will become addicted immediately, even after the first try.
Cocaine changes the way the brain functions, which means that those who use it will feel a very strong desire to use it again and again. Cocaine users often develop a psychological and physical dependence on the drug that makes it almost impossible to quit.
Cocaine overdose is a significant risk for those who take the substance. As the effects of the drug do not last for long, users are often tempted to take more and more, which can place a tremendous strain on the body. The heart comes under a lot of stress during cocaine use, and it begins to beat rapidly. Users also suffer from elevated blood pressure, which, along with a raised body temperature, can lead to convulsions, strokes, heart attacks and cardiac arrest. The risk of overdose and subsequent heart problems is higher in those who mix cocaine with other drugs or alcohol.
Powder cocaine tends to be snorted through the nose; over time, this can lead to damage to the cartilage between the nostrils, known as the septum. Some users might find that this cartilage completely breaks down until the person is left with just one large nostril.
Cocaine also leads to a number of mental health problems. Those who abuse the drug often suffer from panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and paranoia.
Cocaine addiction is one of the most difficult to kick due to the intense cravings that users experience as they withdraw from the drug. In order to kick a cocaine addiction, the individual must stop taking the drug and then go through the withdrawal process, which can be very unpleasant.
Once the person stops taking, he or she can expect to experience deep depression and sadness. This is often referred to as cocaine blues. Other withdrawal symptoms include agitation, loss of appetite, fatigue, insomnia, and intense cravings.
After around three to four days, the recovering addict may notice the cravings begin to diminish as he or she will be exhausted and sleepy. Nonetheless, while most symptoms subside around a week after the last drug has been taken, the cravings will begin to return. Cravings for the drug are the biggest problem for recovering cocaine addicts, and this often leads those in recovery to relapse.
Most individuals with a cocaine addiction will need to enter a residential rehab programme to kick the drug completely. Since cravings occur frequently throughout recovery, it can be dangerous for a cocaine addict to recover in an outpatient setting. There is a very high relapse rate for recovering cocaine addicts because many cannot cope with the severity of the cravings they experience.
It is important to remember that these cravings will subside. After a couple of months, most recovering cocaine addicts can begin to enjoy their life once more as they will notice fewer cravings and will have much more energy. However, it is important to be vigilant going forward as cocaine cravings can occur out of the blue for a long time. In many instances, these will be triggered by an unexpected cue. Things such as songs, people, or TV adverts can all trigger a memory of when you were abusing cocaine that could lead to a strong desire to use again.
One of the most significant problems facing recovering cocaine addicts is the fact that over time they tend to forget the negative consequences and harmful effects of cocaine abuse. As they start to feel better both physically and mentally, they are in even more danger of relapse when they experience cravings.
As cocaine is so addictive, it is vital for those in recovery to receive constant care and support. In a residential setting, recovering addicts have access to 24-hour support, which helps when the cravings are very intense.
With a good detox and rehabilitation programme, recovering cocaine addicts can learn how to live without the drug going forward. Treatments such as individual and group counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, contingency management and motivational interviewing by qualified counsellors and therapists will all help to ensure the patients is successful with his or her recovery.
If you or a loved one needs help for a cocaine addiction, contact us here at Recovery.org.uk today.