There are two forms of cocaine: the powdered form that is snorted and the rock form (crack) that is smoked. This drug is so addictive that people go through thousands of dollars when hooked on it, and for many people, death is the only way out. However, millions of people do recover from cocaine addiction through drug rehabilitation (rehab) programs. When the brain is accustomed to functioning only with the presence of cocaine, it has to have the drug in order to work. Cocaine addiction is a psychological dependency that is dangerous and harmful in many ways.
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid derived from the leaves of the coca plant. Cocaine was used centuries ago in the South American cultures when coca leaves and saliva were mixed to provide an anesthetic for surgery. The use of cocaine was medically accepted in 1859 in America, and the drug was later marketed for toothaches and headaches. Doctors once thought cocaine was a beneficial treatment for morphine addiction, but they later found it was just as addicting.
Cocaine Consequences and Addiction
Cocaine is a potent stimulant drug, making your heart beat fast and your blood vessels constrict, which causes high blood pressure, strokes, and hear attacks. There are numerous cases of these consequences documented by emergency department doctors across the United States. Additionally, cocaine is a cause of cardiac arrest, where the heart speeds up and eventually stops. For many who suffer a cardiac arrest, there is no connection between the amount and use of the drug and the heart injury.
The consequences of cocaine addiction are financial, social, psychological, and emotional. This drug makes the user happy at first, but then it takes more and more of it to achieve the needed “high” or “buzz.” If you suffer from cocaine addiction, you probably have already caused troubles for your friends and family members.
Withdrawal Symptoms related to Cocaine
When a person is withdrawing from cocaine, he or she has many emotional issues related to not having the drug in the system. Addiction occurs in the brain, and people find that they have a need to use cocaine in order to feel happy, normal, or “right.” There is a problem with the continued use of the drug, in that it makes coming off of it more difficult. The withdrawal symptoms include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Poor concentration
- Loss of enthusiasm
Many cocaine addicts have problems dealing with the idea of total abstinence from this highly addictive substance. Cocaine ruins many people’s lives, and it costs lots of money, but it is so addictive that the addict finds ways to keep the habit going, such as stealing or dealing. Cross addiction is when someone uses cocaine along with other drugs, such as marijuana and alcohol.
Alcohol is often a trigger for the use of cocaine. Many people begin with a few drinks each week, but gradually increase alcohol intake while partaking in cocaine use. Many people also use other drugs to come down from the high experienced from this stimulant drug, such as sedatives and barbiturates.