As a result of being cocaine addiction or dependence, one may find themselves acting completely different to obtain the substance and depending on the severity, may go too far extremes to maintain their high. In the long run, having a dependence on cocaine not only puts the addict’s life at risk but jeopardizes relationships and can rock the person’s whole world for the worst.
Cocaine addiction, also known as Cocainism, is the state of being dependent on cocaine. This illegal substance, which is processed from a crystalline powder, is a highly addictive drug. Some may be familiar with one of the common street terms; coke, snowball, nose candy or blow. Users of cocaine feel euphoria like high. It gives the user an energy rush similar to caffeine but on a much larger scale.
Drug dealers are often depicted in movies as dangerous, desperate, and with a lot of money, while addicts are depicted as struggling individuals, living on a high but losing much of their quality of life. This imagery portrayed in the media does some justice to reality. Though every case is unique, the additions all lead down to a destructive path.
The problems with this drug are rampant. However, helpful treatment is available, and recovery is possible. First, let’s check out some statistics and look at the basics:
Shocking Cocaine Addition Usage Statistics
These statistics about the usage and addiction to cocaine are striking:
- Cocaine is currently the 2nd most illegally distributed drug worldwide; the largest in the Americas and the 2nd most used in Europe.
- The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimated that there are currently more than two million people using cocaine today.
- Approximately 1.9 million Americans have a dependence on cocaine.
- 23.9 million people in the United States (over the age of twelve) have tried cocaine at least once in their lifetime. That averages out to be nearly 1 in 10 Americans who have experimented with this illegal drug.
- Nine out of ten users got their start with alcohol and marijuana.
- Cocaine can be fatal when used with alcohol or other drugs.
- Over 300,000 babies were born addicted (crack babies) as a result of mothers using during pregnancy.
Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
The following are common signs and symptoms that accompany cocaine addiction. If you have concerns that someone you know may be using cocaine, these are some signs that you can look for:
- Sudden weight loss – Those using cocaine regularly will experience sudden weight loss.
- A runny nose or nosebleeds – Though it can be smoked, most users snort the substance up their noses. Having a runny nose or frequent nosebleeds are signs that one is using cocaine.
- Strange behavior – There will be a change of mood and changes in behavior. Many addicts become defensive, anxious, aggressive and may do other unusual behavior such a stealing to get what they want.
- Marks on the arms from injections – Some addicts often inject the drug into their veins intravenously, which is more than usually the most deadly method.
Results of Cocaine Overdose
While trying to obtain a high, unfortunately, many end up overdosing and losing their lives. The following conditions are commonly known to follow an overdose of the illegal substance:
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Brain impairment; strokes
- Changes in mood and personality
- Psychosis, including hallucinations, and difficulties thinking
- Panic attacks
- Respiratory complications
It’s expected for those dependent on cocaine to experience withdrawal symptoms from time to time. These are typical symptoms that individuals may face when limiting their drug of choice intake. When a person goes through these withdrawal attacks, it’s often called having a crash. Note that the symptoms do range in severity level and may be different for each.
- Strong cravings
By far, cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs around. It’s been reported that nearly half of a million trips to the emergency room have been a result of cocaine use. This is because cocaine gets a firm hold on the person’s physical body and mental persona. Getting hooked on this drug is extremely difficult to break free of.
While the business of illegally trafficking cocaine is a billion dollar industry and an undoubtedly a substantially prosperous enterprise, millions of lives are being destroyed. Having an addiction not only affects the cocaine addict but has a tremendous impact on the families. Many homes are broken up, relationships are lost, children grow up without the presence of parents, and older parents sometimes lose their adult children way too soon.
Getting help is imperative to repair lives. Often, a court mandate may be put in place to ensure that an individual will get treatment. Other times, family or friends will be the enforcement for the addict to make a change. However, when the person makes a decision that they what to change for themselves and their families, the goal of restoration is more achievable. Relapses do happen, but when there is a tomorrow, there is always a chance to begin again.
Benefits of Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
It is good to know that there is a helpful treatment for people addicted to cocaine. Although the effects are substantial and seem to be unchangeable, people’s lives are being changed and restored every day. One place that someone with a cocaine issue or other drug issues can benefit from is a good inpatient treatment program. The length of stay may depend upon the individual’s progress, yet positive results are expected in the end.
If you or someone you know is currently struggling with a cocaine addiction, it is highly recommended that you look into professional treatment. It’s a place where those in need of recovery can receive healing for their physical and emotional conditions.
While in a treatment program, patients will typically go through a carefully designed plan as a means to clean their bodies and renew their minds. Most realize that this will not be an easy process. However, one of the best things about inpatient treatment is that one can count on having support and assistance from a skilled and compassionate team. Someone will always be there to help you through the treacherous withdrawal symptoms. You won’t have to be by yourself.
In addition to physical care, patients are offered counseling services. With the help of trained professionals, one can explore their history with drugs and get assistance as they strive to transition to life without usage. It can be assured that there will be a chance to address other issues one may be experiencing whether it is drug induced or not.
Enrolling in a drug treatment program will assist you or your loved one with managing emotions throughout the whole process. This can deter you away from the things or people in your life that may bring up memories or trigger additional cravings. In the meantime, there will be plenty of time to redefine who you are as someone in recovery taking charge of your life.