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Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

Cocaine is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant and in its purest form is a white substance. Cocaine is a fast acting, potent central nervous system stimulant and an appetite suppressant. It is used recreationally because of this effect. It has been described as a euphoric sense of happiness and increased physical energy. The duration of its effects depend on the purity, dosage of cocaine taken, and method of administration.

Cocaine found on the street is often adulterated with various substances to increase its weight. It can be used in conjunction with other drugs, such as methamphetamine, to produce a variety of effects.


Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine's main effect on the brain is the increase of the amount of dopamine and serotonin in the pleasure center of the brain. The initial signs of stimulation are hyperactivity, restlessness, increased heart rate, euphoria, and increased sexual interest and pleasure. It's side effects can include twitching, paranoia, and impotence. The euphoria is most often followed by feelings of discomfort and depression and a yearning to take the drug again.

Cocaine Treatment Programs

AK - (907) 268-4185LA - (504) 383-8909OH - (937) 310-2260
AL - (256) 217-4788MA - (617) 307-4464OK - (405) 253-5317
AR - (501) 205-1499MD - (410) 486-5880OR - (541) 225-5071
AZ - (928) 237-4448ME - (207) 221-2169PA - (267) 415-1112
CA - (408) 457-1891MI - (313) 887-0305RI - (401) 256-5168
CO - (720) 239-1182MN - (651) 204-9116SC - (803) 720-5181
CT - (203) 297-6113MO - (636) 238-3072SD - (605) 370-5086
DC - (202) 509-9590MS - (601) 206-0830TN - (615) 410-2258
DE - (302) 294-0986MT - (406) 203-4815TX - (210) 319-4417
FL - (305) 407-1709NC - (919) 246-9484UT - (801) 850-9342
GA - (678) 466-7368ND - (701) 355-6372VA - (804) 302-5207
IA - (712) 266-3564NE - (402) 296-8256VT - (802) 277-3346
ID - (208) 369-4648NH - (603) 821-4064WA - (509) 464-6015
IL - (312) 638-9896NJ - (856) 282-1108WI - (414) 375-2038
IN - (765) 303-9011NM - (505) 216-2904WV - (304) 915-0148
KS - (785) 380-0231NV - (775) 473-9873WY - (307) 222-0334
KY - (270) 200-4263NY - (516) 252-1229  


Health Effects of Chronic Cocaine Use

Cocaine abuse has multiple health effects. It is linked with a lifelong risk of heart attack that is seven times that of non users. Side effects from chronic smoking of cocaine include hemoptysis, bronchospasm, pruritus, lung trauma, shortness of breath, fever, pain, sore throat, asthma, hoarse voice, dyspnea, and an aching, flu-like syndrome. Very heavy users might also develop depression with suicidal thoughts.


Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug and compulsive cocaine abuse seems to develop more frequently when it is smoked rather than snorted. However, it is still common for those who snort cocaine to find themselves addicted. Cocaine addiction can be very difficult to break.

Cocaine stimulates the brain's reward system causing a greater feeling of pleasure that can be obtained by natural functions. This causes the reward system to adjust to being overloaded and will cause the user to have a hard time finding a sense of pleasure without the drug. It has been found that addicts will continue to use cocaine even when faced with adverse consequences.

Cocaine addiction can develop in less than two weeks. It has also been proven that addiction can develop even after a single dose of high potency cocaine. As the user develops a tolerance to cocaine, greater doses are needed to produce the same effect.


Cocaine Detox and Treatment

Many cocaine treatment programs have been found to be very effective for treating cocaine addiction, including both residential and outpatient approaches. Although there are no medications approved for treating cocaine abuse and addiction, behavioral interventions are showing increasing effectiveness in reducing drug use by patients undergoing treatment for cocaine abuse.
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