People take illegal drugs for many reasons; it could be that certain drugs help to make them feel better or to forget about life for a while. It might also be the case that they took drugs for recreational purposes initially but have now developed a dependency and have absolutely no control over their use anymore. These individuals could have reached a point where they cannot control their urge to use the drug and even if they want to stop, they cannot. This often happens when the drug being abused is cocaine. Cocaine addiction is a serious problem and needs attentive care and treatment to be beaten.

Cocaine is a highly addictive substance that can quickly lead to an addiction. This powerful stimulant drug can produce an intense high but because the effects are short-lived and usually followed by a crashing comedown, the temptation to take more often leads people to develop a cycle of drug abuse that they struggle to escape. Although there are some individuals who manage to use the drug recreationally, many will go on to develop a crippling habit that will destroy their life. So what is cocaine addiction and why is it so bad?

How Cocaine Addiction Develops?

A cocaine addiction occurs in the same way that any other addiction does; it begins with experimentation and tends to be followed by regular or habitual use. After a while, use of the drug becomes more frequent and more of it is taken until a physical dependency occurs.

It is often the case that a tolerance to mood-altering chemicals builds up, which can result in the effects of the drug being reduced. What that means is that after a while, the person is not getting the same effects that he or she once did from the substance. This can cause him or her to increase consumption levels.

The effects of cocaine are very intense. The drug tends to make users feel super confident and alert. It is common for those who take it to feel fantastic, but because these feelings wear off quite quickly, many users will take more the drug, particularly if they are out partying.

As consumption levels increase, the body adapts to the presence of cocaine and whenever the effects begin to wear off, the individual is likely to experience a strong desire for more of the drug. Occasional use can quickly spiral out of control to the point where it becomes a major problem and begins to interfere with daily life.

The Еffects of Cocaine Addiction

Most people assume that cocaine addiction, or any addiction for that matter, only affects the person using the drugs, but this is not the case. While the impact on the individual is immense, it also has a terrible effect on those around him or her.

In many cases, cocaine addiction literally destroys whole families. It can leave them in dire financial straits, can lead to the breakdown of marriages, and can often result in children being taken into care.

When thinking about what is cocaine addiction and how it affects the individual, it is important to consider the impact it has on health. Both mental and physical health is severely affected by this drug. Short-term effects include a high body temperature, rapid heartbeat, and paranoia. There are some who feel over-confident while under the influence, which can cause them to take unnecessary risks.

As use of the drug continues, more and more problems can surface. Damage to the heart muscle is common among those who abuse cocaine, and this can lead to heart problems that could ultimately prove fatal.  Kidney damage is another common problem associated with cocaine abuse, and there is also the risk of damage to the brain.

Continued regular abuse of cocaine can lead to changes in the structure of the brain. Over time, the behaviour of the cocaine addict will become increasingly erratic and developing psychosis is not uncommon.

However, the effects of cocaine addiction are never limited to the individual. In fact, family members can also suffer greatly, particularly spouses and children. Living with a cocaine addict can be incredibly tough and children often have no idea of what is going on and why their parent is acting in such an unpredictable manner.

With the addict spending increasing amounts of money funding the drug habit, the family is often left in a difficult financial situation. Moreover, as he or she puts cocaine above everything else, it can lead to tense and fractious relationships that may breakdown beyond repair.

Can a Cocaine Addiction Фe Treated?

There is no doubt that cocaine addiction is incredibly tough to overcome. This is because resisting the intense cravings for the substance can be a huge struggle. Those who develop an addiction to cocaine will usually be both physically and psychologically dependent on the drug, and both these issues must be addressed to have any chance of a full recovery.

The recovery process for a cocaine addiction begins with a detox to help break the cycle of abuse. It is highly advised that those wishing to detox from stimulant drugs such as cocaine do so in a dedicated facility where they will be monitored around the clock.

Since many cocaine users often abuse other substances as well, such as alcohol or other sedatives, the risk of complications can be quite high; it is therefore crucial that all chemical substances are stopped at the same time.

The first signs of withdrawal tend to appear around nine hours after cocaine was last taken. It is common for a deep depression to set in and this is usually coupled with agitation, loss of appetite and intense cravings for the drug.

Depression continues for the next few days and the patient will feel extremely tired but may be unable to get rest. Insomnia is a frequent problem during a cocaine detox. After about three to four days, the patient will become quite drowsy and will spend a lot of time sleeping. At this stage, the cravings will have subsided, but they will return.

Despite most of the other withdrawal symptoms easing off, cravings tend to return with a bang, and this is what often leads many recovering addicts back down a path of cocaine abuse. Cravings can return out of nowhere, even weeks and months after a detox, and can trigger a return to drug use. Unless, that is, the individual is sufficiently prepared to deal with such a situation.

Learning how to deal with cocaine cravings takes place in a rehabilitation programme, which is something that takes place after detox. While detox addresses the physical aspect of addiction, rehab is the process that will tackle the psychological addiction.

During a programme of rehabilitation, patients will address the underlying issues that may have caused or contributed to their addictive behaviours and they will learn how to recognise triggers and cues going forward.

Treatments such as counselling and therapy can help to get to the cause of the illness. Seminars on relapse prevention and the development of life and work skills can help patients learn how to return to the real world and become productive members of society.

If you are interested in finding out more about what is cocaine addiction, or if you are keen to get help for yourself or a loved one, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at Recovery Lighthouse. We have a team of expert counsellors and therapists who can help you overcome cocaine addiction.

We offer bespoke treatment programmes that are designed with you in mind. Our record of success in treating all types of addiction speaks for itself, and as we are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, you can be sure of excellent care at all times. Please call today for more information about how we can help.