Cocaine drug addiction
It’s been glamorized in the movies and on television, it’s been the subject of pop music songs, and it even used to be an ingredient in Coca-Cola, but cocaine is anything but glamorous, not worth singing about and certainly not legal. It isn’t cool. Cocaine is highly addictive drug, potentially deadly and the cause of ruined lives, prison time and misery.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug, used primary for illegal recreation and that is the focus of this article. It is highly addictive, widely abused and the product of a multi-billion dollar international criminal enterprise. The drug is derived from the coca plant and is usually found in powdered form, which can be snorted, or smoked. In the case of crack cocaine, for example, it is processed into small cubes and gets its name from the sound it makes when smoked. Some users may choose to dissolve the drug in water and shoot it.
Cocaine is a Schedule II drug and highly addictive. Used regularly, the user will build up a tolerance and that in combination with the fact that the high is rather short-lived, users tend to use more to maintain a high or achieve the desired effects.
It is not uncommon for users to binge, and even after detoxification and treatment, even after long periods without using, many cocaine addicts still have the cravings for the drug, that deep, intense desire to chase the high and enjoy the euphoric feeling. Many recovering addicts talk about those cravings and tell stories of how difficult it can be to deal with them and live a healthy lifestyle.
Escape is the goal of cocaine use.
People want the euphoria. They may believe they are more self-aware, or alert, or creative and for some the cocaine releases their inhibitions. Shy people become the life of the party, or they may feel empowered and strong. But it is all a myth. The effects wear off and the nasty, sinister side of the drug takes over.
People like the drug because it helps them escape from their problems and they feel better about themselves. Because of this effect, people will want to abuse this drug to achieve those desired feelings, to deal with the reality of life and try to make a better way. They will fail. They will become slaves to the drug as more and more is needed, and soon the drug becomes the center point of their life, with no room anymore for family, friends and professional aspirations.
Because cocaine is a stimulant, it is effective for weight loss; a little too effective. People will lose their appetite and as a result of not wanting to eat, they lose weight. Cocaine drug addiction often causes addicts to become very thin, gaunt and appear generally unhealthy. Because the drug has taken over and the brain is tricked into thinking it needs cocaine to function properly, people may experience severe, even bizarre mood swings, especially when denied access to cocaine.
They can become irritable, paranoid and sadly aggressive or violent. This writer once knew a man who after years of not using, started up again and one night was picked up by police because he was crawling down the middle of a city street, stark naked and had no idea where he was, what he was doing or what was going on. This led to a period of dark depression, and as always the cravings persisted.
Suicidal ideation is common
Cocaine drug addiction symptoms are sometimes overshadowed by the side effects, such as suicidal thoughts, hallucinations and panic attacks. Long-term users are in jeopardy of developing cardiovascular disease. Many cocaine addicts also drink alcohol and the combination can be fatal. Stroke is also a major concern with coke users.
The sad reality is that the stimulating effects of cocaine actually cause people to use cocaine just to feel normal. They can’t feel happy without it. This artificial pleasure is necessary, as the brain has been tricked. Without the drug, the person cannot experience pleasure. Without the drug they become irritable and paranoid.
Treatment is the only positive option for cocaine drug addiction, but even then an amazing 94% are expected to relapse. Cocaine drug addiction is difficult to treat and difficult to manage.
The addict disappears and is consumed by the drug.
Left unchecked, cocaine addiction will consume the individual, so the only chance the addict has is to try treatment, try again when they relapse and keep trying until they can learn to overcome the cravings, the poor choices and the destructive behavior that has impacted their life.
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- Matthew 7:7-8
Dan, Ned and Debbie continue their discussion of the 12 steps reviewing what it takes to get everything out of this important treatment progam, this week on Recovery Now!