Futures Recovery Healthcare

Cocaine Addiction & Risks

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Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant and its effects are instantaneous. Once an individual becomes dependent on cocaine, it can be extremely difficult to stop without professional help. Often, treatment is the only way to manage the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms experienced during detox.

Cocaine increases dopamine in the brain. With long-term use, brain systems are changed and addiction ultimately develops.

What Causes Cocaine Addiction?

  • Genetics. According to Addiction Science and Clinical Practice, approximately half of an individual’s risk for developing a drug addiction is genetic. For example, if addiction is present in a family structure, a person’s likelihood of developing an addiction increases.
  • Biology. Gender, age of first use, and presence of mental health issues impact the risk for developing a cocaine addiction. Males are more likely to experience addiction, as well as individuals with mental health issues like depression and anxiety. The earlier in life a drug is used, the more likely the person will develop an addiction. Addiction is a developmental disease that often starts in childhood and adolescence.
  • Environment. Early home life impacts the risk for developing an addiction. Trauma (physical, emotional and sexual abuse), unstable family relationships, family members who use drugs, negative influence of peers, attitudes of the community, and poor academic performance all contribute to an increased risk for addiction.

The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance he or she will develop a cocaine addiction. A high-quality cocaine addiction treatment center addresses all of these contributing factors during treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Misuse

Certain physical and behavioral signs can be strong indicators of a potential cocaine misuse.

Physical Signs of Cocaine Use and Addiction

  • Weight loss or malnutrition
  • Spontaneous nosebleeds, sinusitis
  • Perforated nasal septum
  • Heart muscle damage
  • Tooth decay
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Excessive energy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Muscle twitches
  • Injuries due to violent altercations

Behavioral Signs of Cocaine Use and Addiction

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Irritation
  • Abandonment of previously enjoyed activities
  • Paranoia
  • Memory loss
  • Violence

Signs of Cocaine Withdrawal

When cocaine use is decreased or stopped (known as detox), withdrawal occurs. A reputable center for treatment is essential to overcome a cocaine addiction. In a medically supervised detox, individuals can get help coping with the symptoms of withdrawal and are more likely to complete a full detox and move to the next phase of recovery.

Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can include:

  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Disturbed sleep, insomnia, nightmares
  • Sedation

Finding Help

There are several phases of treatment for cocaine addiction:

  1. Medical Evaluation: The first step is to undergo a thorough medical assessment. Professionals will seek to identify other physical or mental health issues, as well as any other addictions.
  2. Detox: This can be a difficult phase of treatment. Depending on the length and amount of misuse, this acute phase can last from one to three weeks. During the first few days, sleep may be difficult, cravings can be intense and depression is common. Beginning around day four, cravings may alternate between extreme and mild. Commonly around day five, these intense cravings begin to lessen.
  3. Counseling: The psychological causes of addiction must be addressed for the best chance at long-lasting recovery. Behavioral therapy helps to change attitudes as well as develop life skills to effectively deal with life stressors in healthy ways. This is an essential step in the treatment process.
  4. Recovery: Overcoming addiction is a lifelong commitment to be taken seriously. Support outside of the treatment center is essential, especially when faced with daily stressors and triggers.

Battling addiction isn’t easy but recovery is possible. Contact Futures today.

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