Cocaine is a stimulant narcotic that was originally used as an analgesic for surgery in the 19th century. The euphoric, extreme “high” feeling that it induces is because of its action of an intensified, increased release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Essentially it causes the chemical to flood the brain, allowing you to feel like you’re on top of the world. Unfortunately, the body runs out of dopamine eventually and the “high” wears off, producing an extreme crash that is not counteracted by the body’s natural chemicals.
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that can be difficult to overcome without professional help. If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction, the addiction specialists at Walden can help you get on the road to long-term sobriety.
Cocaine is the second most trafficked illegal drug in the world and has been a major contributor to the addiction epidemic sweeping the nation. Cocaine use is especially prevalent among young people, with many users being introduced to the drug during their high school years. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2.2% of high school seniors report having abused cocaine in the past year, with 3.8% reporting having used it at some point in their lives. A staggering 16.8% of adults ages 26 or older report having tried cocaine at least once.
Any use of cocaine is considered abuse since it is a Schedule II illegal substance. As a stimulant, cocaine interacts with the reward centers of the brain and causes a short-term increase in the release of dopamine. Over time, however, cocaine negatively affects every part of the body and can potentially cause severe long-term damage, including changes to the genetics in brain cells, nerve cells, and proteins.
Other effects of cocaine use include:
The effects of cocaine vary depending on how it is used. Snorting cocaine produces short-lived effects that last between 15 and 30 minutes, while smoking or injecting cocaine may produce a more intense experience for 5 to 10 minutes. Injecting cocaine has a higher potential for overdose than snorting.
Cocaine abuse is particularly dangerous due to the strain it places on a person's heart. Cardiac arrest or stroke are the most common causes of death for habitual cocaine users.
Withdrawal from cocaine, or the comedown, is often mentally and emotionally devastating rather than physically ravaging. Although the withdrawal symptoms are not the same as others such as with heroin, they are still severe including:
Managing these withdrawals, making it past the intense emotion, and getting enough rest to rebalance the brain chemicals is often what is so hard for cocaine users thus turning abuse into addiction.
If you notice that cocaine use has become more of an everyday activity instead of a “sometimes” activity, there is a chance that addiction is taking hold.
Cocaine abuse exhibits the following physical symptoms:
Cocaine abuse and addiction may exhibit the following emotional and mental symptoms:
You are not alone on this path. Defeating cocaine addiction is a community effort that our team at Pyramid Walden can help support, facilitate, and encourage. We understand that cocaine users must start from scratch, leaving behind “friends” who are still using. We can help you find an uplifting and goal-oriented support system that is rooted in sobriety. Our recovery specialists use a trauma-informed approach to guide those we help in recovery not just from addiction, but from its roots in trauma.
Call Pyramid Walden today at (301) 327-2555 to learn more about our cocaine rehab program in Maryland.
There is no other treatment program I could have asked to help me succeed.
All the staff has been incredible on my long road to recovery.
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I thank God for Walden.
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