By: Nicole
September 30, 2020

Defining a Cocaine Addiction

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Overcoming an addiction is not always easy, and it can be hard to figure out where to start. Here at Multi Concept Recovery, we’d like to spend some time talking about cocaine addiction. Cocaine is often glamorized in movies and the media, but at the end of the day it’s an extremely dangerous drug. What may start off as a ‘fun thing to do at a party’, can easily turn into a life threatening addiction.

What Is Cocaine?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cocaine is a white powder that is a stimulant drug. It’s been around for thousands of years and has a reputation of being a party drug. It has been known to also be administered for legitimate medical uses including local anesthesia for ear, eye, and throat surgeries. Cocaine is typically snorted and crack is the smokable form (the name refers to the cracking sound the drug makes when it’s smoked). Cocaine should never be used unless it is administered by a professional and a medical supervisor. 

How Is Cocaine Addictive?

Cocaine is considered to be a schedule II drug. This means that it has a high potential for drug abuse. Cocaine causes long-term changes within the brain. When abused, it causes adaptations within the brain’s reward system and the pathways that respond to stress. It has been known that cocaine use disorders often co-occur with stress-related disorders. Chronic cocaine exposure affects many areas of the brain and can cause poor decision-making, inability to adapt to the negative consequences of cocaine use, and lack of self-insight. Because cocaine releases dopamine, and directly affects the reward system within the brain, it is a very addictive drug. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are many different effects when it comes to cocaine use. The short-term effects of cocaine use include constricted blood vessels, increased body temperature, dilated pupils, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure. Depending on the amount of cocaine used, the more cocaine ingested, the more intense the effects can be. This can lead to violent behavior, anxiety, paranoia, restlessness, etc. Some of the long-term effects of cocaine use are tolerance development to cocaine, convulsions, hallucinations, anxiety, sensitization, damages to the lungs, psychosis, etc. 

What Do You Do if You’re Addicted to Cocaine?

There are many different things that an individual can do to overcome an addiction to cocaine. One of the main things someone can do when suffering from a cocaine addiction is to seek professional help at an addiction treatment program. It is important to find a treatment program that fits your individualized needs and that can help you personally within your recovery process. Some of the treatment options used are pharmacological approaches and behavioral interventions. One form of therapy that is used a lot  is cognitive-behavioral therapy in addiction treatment. 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a therapeutic approach that helps prevent future relapses. After completing treatment, finding support groups is extremely important. Groups like Cocaine Anonymous will get you connected with other recovery cocaine addicts. Similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous (CA) is a peer led, not for profit support group. The group follows a sequence of steps that helps ensure long lasting sobriety. 

Let Multi Concept Recovery Help With Your Cocaine Addiction

Here at Multi Concept Recovery, we’re dedicated to helping anyone suffering with drug or alcohol abuse find recovery. We provide truly individualized treatment plans for each of our clients. We know addiction is a nasty disease that affects everyone differently. We offer two types of treatment tracks, traditional and emotional intelligence. Please contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs and how we can help you or your loved one!