Cocaine use has been a significant problem in the United States over the past few decades and continues to grow worse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that over five million adults use cocaine every year in the US – roughly 2% of the adult population.
Where there’s cocaine use, there’s usually cocaine misuse, abuse, and addiction. The NIDA also estimates that over 1.3 million people above the age of 12 suffer from a cocaine use disorder every year. A cocaine use disorder puts the individual’s health at a greater risk.
In fact, death rates related to cocaine overdose have more than tripled since 2014 – from just over 5,400 deaths in 2014 to over 19,400 deaths in 2020. As these rates continue to climb and cocaine use continues to grow out of control, the need for effective treatment is essential.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is an illegal and highly addictive stimulant drug derived from the coca plant, a plant native to South America. There are two primary forms of cocaine – cocaine powder and crack cocaine. The powder is taken through the nose or injected into a vein. Crack, a more powerful form of cocaine, is smoked and inhaled.
While the leaves of the coca plant have been ingested for thousands of years, the cocaine we see today has only been around since 1860. Between 1886 and 1893, it was one of the main ingredients in Coca-Cola. By the 1980s, crack cocaine started to flood the streets of America.
Cocaine was originally thought to have major medical benefits, and while it’s still used medically in certain situations, it’s simply too dangerous and addictive to be a common medication. The more it’s used, the more the body grows dependent on it.
How Does Cocaine Affect the Body?
The drug finds its way into the bloodstream when someone snorts, injects, or smokes cocaine. One of the most significant effects cocaine has on the brain is a rapid increase in the production and release of dopamine – a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of satisfaction, reward, pleasure, and motivation. The increase makes people feel euphoric, alert, energetic, and happy.
The more an individual uses cocaine, the more the body grows addicted to the increase in dopamine. This results in temptations and urges to use again, which often results in misuse, abuse, or overdose. If not treated properly, cocaine abusers risk self-harm or even death.
What are the Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse?
The immediate signs of cocaine use include an upbeat or energetic attitude, sensitivity to light, sound, or touch, restlessness, irritability, and paranoia. Users might also experience dilated pupils, racing heartbeat, loss of appetite, erratic behavior, and an increase in body temperature.
Let’s take a look at some of the most telling symptoms of cocaine abuse and cocaine addiction:
- Chest pain or difficulty breathing
- Nausea, vomiting, upset stomach
- Anxiety, panic attacks, or paranoia
- Confusion, tremors, or seizures
- Changes to sleeping or eating patterns
- Frequent mood swings or risky behavior
- Lying and keeping secrets to hide their cocaine use
- Loss of interest in activities they once found enjoyable
- Financial issues and frequently asking for money
- Depression or suicidal thoughts
- Intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms when they stop
If you or someone you know are experiencing any of the cocaine abuse signs listed above, it’s important that you seek help immediately. After a full-body detox and treatment – which usually consists of therapy and medication – you can regain control of your life and overall health.
How to Find a Cocaine Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles, CA
Have you noticed a loved one showing symptoms of cocaine abuse? Are you worried that their cocaine addiction will result in greater harm to their health or even death? Are you ready to find quality and effective cocaine addiction treatment in Los Angeles? If so, then contact Multi Concept Recovery today.
We’re excited to get to know you and can’t wait to help you in your journey towards a new life – one that’s free of cocaine and any other illegal drugs you’re having a hard time quitting. To learn more about our Southern California treatment programs and offerings, don’t hesitate to browse our website or contact us.