Cocaine is often considered to be a party drug and one that many people use when out for a night. However, it is a highly addictive drug and one that can cause great harm. Unfortunately, it is common for many individuals to underestimate just how much cocaine addiction can destroy their life. When they are choosing to use the drug for the first time, they will almost certainly believe that they are never going to get addicted. They might think that they can use the drug recreationally without any problems. While some can do this, others are already on the path to addiction.
How Does Cocaine Addiction Develop?
Taking cocaine for the first time is usually a choice. It is a drug that provides a powerful high and it makes the user feel euphoric.
What most do not realise is that the powerful highs are typically followed by crashing comedowns that make the user feel very low and even depressed. Trying to avoid this comedown may cause the user to take more of the drug, but the reality is that doing this will only prolong the inevitable.
As with most mood-altering drugs, cocaine can have a profound effect on the brain. As you continue to use the drug, your brain will be affected even becoming structurally altered. You are likely to build up a tolerance to the effects of the substance, meaning that to achieve the level of satisfaction you desire, you are going to need to increase the amount of the drug that you use. Basically, you will find that you are not getting the same effects that you used to from the same amount of the drug. This cycle tends to continue as your body and brain continuously adapt to it.
When you use cocaine, you are likely to experience strong cravings as your body quickly becomes dependent on it. You will probably start to feel as though you need the drug as you become psychologically dependent on it. Moreover, because you will feel unwell whenever the effects wear off, you are highly likely to be tempted to take it repeatedly. And this is how the cycle continues.
How Does Cocaine Addiction Destroy Lives?
You might not realise how much cocaine addiction is destroying your life, but those around you will be able to see the impact that your drug use is having. Your behaviour will almost certainly have changed, and your loved ones will notice the changes in your personality.
You may go from being in a state of extreme happiness and alertness one minute to being depressed the next. Mood swings are common with regular cocaine use, and you may also become aggressive or paranoid as the drug begins to have a negative impact on your mental health.
You should also be aware that cocaine can have a negative impact on your physical health. You will have a higher risk of suffering heart problems, no matter how much cocaine you use or how often. Cocaine is a stimulant drug that can cause respiratory arrest, which then places undue pressure on heart muscles. In fact, many cocaine-related deaths are caused by heart problems. Your risk of strokes, respiratory failure, and heart attack all increase when you develop an addiction to cocaine.
Cocaine can also lead to severe weight loss and malnutrition as it tends to result in a loss of appetite. You may also find that you cannot sleep while under the influence of the drug and, with continued regular use, you could be left suffering from exhaustion.
Aside from the negative impact on your mental and physical health, a cocaine addiction is also going to cause problems in other areas of your life. As you become consumed by your need for the drug, you are likely to have little time for anything else in your life. Your need for cocaine will come above everything else, including those you love and the things you used to enjoy. You might stop taking care of yourself and you will lose interest in anything that does not involve cocaine.
As you might expect, this change in your behaviour will have a negative impact on your quality of life as well as your relationship with the people around you. Your loved ones will not understand the change in you and will be unable to understand why you continue to use cocaine when it is having such a devastating impact on your life. Nonetheless, you are unlikely to be able to see how much cocaine addiction is affecting not only your life but the lives of everyone you love.
Cocaine use affects the part of your brain that is responsible for decision making and logical thinking. It will mean that you are unable to think clearly and that you are not capable of making good decisions, even those that are in your best interests.
Cocaine hijacks the brain’s pleasure and reward centres and causes you to confuse the drug with something that is necessary for survival. To you, cocaine may be as important as eating or drinking and you will be powerless to resist the urge to use. You will have no choice over your actions and even if you want to stop using, you will probably find that you are unable to do so.
Treating Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction is notoriously difficult to treat because of the strong cravings that are experienced during withdrawal from the drug. The relapse rate of those trying to overcome cocaine addiction is therefore extremely high. Even months and years after quitting the drug, cravings can occur suddenly and for no apparent reason, often sending people straight back to the drug.
However, that does not mean that recovery is not possible. For most, the journey to sobriety starts with a detox. This is the process that will help you to break the cycle of addiction and to quit cocaine. When you do, your body will expel any remaining chemicals, and as it tries to restore normality to your body functions, it is likely that you will experience some withdrawal symptoms.
The worse cocaine symptoms tend to be psychological, and you are likely to experience a fervent desire or craving for the drug. You may also suffer a deep depression and might become agitated and irritable. As you struggle to sleep, you will suffer fatigue and exhaustion, but this tends to rectify itself after the first week.
For most, the hardest part of overcoming cocaine addiction is dealing with the intense cravings, which tend to come and go throughout detox and rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation programmes are inpatient or outpatient based, and within these, you will learn how to deal with the issues that have led to your addiction. It will be necessary for you to learn how to challenge any negative thoughts that have been driving your addictive behaviours. This usually takes place during individual or group therapy sessions.
Although overcoming cocaine addiction can be incredibly tough, with the right programme and plenty of support, you can say goodbye to substance abuse for good. Please contact us here at Oasis Recovery for information on how to access treatment for your addiction.