Cocaine Addiction

Understanding Cocaine Addiction

All cocaine users are at risk for addiction and overdose.

Many people believe that cocaine is a safe, recreational drug. Some even claim that cocaine is non-addictive. Unfortunately, these common beliefs simply aren’t true. In fact, cocaine is both addictive and dangerous. Users can experience increased tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and the inability to quit the substance despite negative consequences on one’s health, career, or relationships. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it may be time to seek help from an inpatient therapy program.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Cocaine Addiction

If you suspect that a loved one is using cocaine, there are certain signs you can look for. Because cocaine is a stimulant, it often promotes an inflated sense of confidence. If your loved one disappears often, then acts more confident, energetic, or talkative when they return, there is a chance they are slipping away to use cocaine. The effects don’t last long, so a cocaine addict will typically come and go frequently to continue using. Cocaine addicts often exhibit a decreased appetite, stuffy or runny nose, frequent bloody noses, and dilated pupils. If the user is sniffing cocaine, they may have white residue on their nose. Users who inject often have track marks on their hands, arms, feet, or legs.

Because cocaine can be highly addictive, all cocaine users are at risk for addiction and overdose. Other dangerous side effects of cocaine include:

  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Nausea
  • Increased body temperature and blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle tremors or twitches

Those who snort cocaine are at risk of losing their sense of smell, experiencing nosebleeds and a runny nose, and having difficulty swallowing. Users who consume cocaine orally can suffer bowel damage due to reduced blood flow. Users who inject cocaine are at a higher risk of contracting HIV and other bloodborne diseases.

There aren’t any physical symptoms associated with cocaine withdrawal, which leads many people to falsely believe that there is no danger of withdrawal symptoms. The psychological symptoms, however, are very real and can be just as powerful to spark continued drug use. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Lack of pleasure
  • Fatigue
  • Intense cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Increased appetite
  • Depressed mood

Cocaine overdose can happen as soon as the very first time a user tries this drug. It may also happen unexpectedly after long-term cocaine use. Combining cocaine with alcohol, heroin, or other drugs increases the risk of overdose, and cocaine overdose can be fatal. Dangerous signs of overdose include:

  • Irregular heart rate
  • Heart attack
  • Seizures
  • Stroke

If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of cocaine overdose, call 911 right away.

It is extremely difficult for an addict to successfully quit cocaine without professional help. Behavioral therapies, such as CBT and EMDR, can be helpful in treating cocaine addiction. Experiential therapies, holistic health therapies, and a 12-step program also provide helpful tools for recovering cocaine addicts.

How Hawaii Island Recovery Can Help You Recover from Cocaine Addiction

Here at Hawaiian Island Recovery, we combine effective evidence-based interventions with experiential and holistic therapies in a multi-disciplinary, integrative treatment approach. Residents benefit from behavioral therapies (such as CBT), experiential therapies (such as equine therapy) and holistic health services (such as Reiki) as they pursue total healing of the body, soul, and mind. All therapies are administered within the framework of a 12-step program to provide accountability and empower residents to fully recover from addiction.

Need Help With Cocaine Addiction?

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