Cocaine is available in many forms and is widely considered a “party drug,” belying its insidious nature. The drug is extremely potent, highly toxic, and can be powerfully habit-forming. If you or a loved one is struggling and could use information or care, contact Ray Recovery at 888.598.6299 today. We’re eager to help you begin the recovery process with important first steps, including noticing cocaine addiction signs.
We offer a range of services at our Hudson, OH, rehab facility, including evidence-based cocaine addiction treatment. Reach out to us today to begin your addiction recovery journey through a center that acknowledges your needs as a whole person by offering holistic care and dual diagnosis treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction?
The signs of cocaine addiction vary from person to person and may be more or less subtle depending on individual temperament, circumstances, and the progression of the disease of addiction. That said, here are a few common symptoms to look for among people living with cocaine addiction:
- Physical changes, like frequently dilated pupils, runny nose, weight loss, and/or frequent nosebleeds
- Actual evidence of cocaine use, like white powder residue around the nostrils, burns on the hands or lips, or paraphernalia like razors and spoons in the belongings or room of the person using
- Emotional shifts like dramatic mood swings, excitability, elevated confidence, and extreme talkativeness
- Reduced appetite and desire or ability to sleep
- Financial difficulties and reckless spending related to cocaine
- Behavioral shifts like social isolation, withdrawal from previously pleasurable activities, and poor hygiene
As stated, these symptoms of cocaine addiction may vary from person to person.
What Is Cocaine and Why Is it So Habit-Forming?
Cocaine is a potent central nervous system stimulant originally derived from coca plant leaves. There are two major forms of cocaine: the water-soluble hydrochloride salt and the water-insoluble cocaine base, aka “freebase.” People using the former typically snort it in powder form or inject it. People using the latter typically smoke a processed crystalline form of the drug, which makes a popping sound, giving it the name “crack.”
The latter is often considered more dangerous since pleasurable effects arise and recede quickly, triggering binge use. Smoking cocaine can cause irritability, panic, paranoia, and even psychotic breaks like hallucinations. It can also cause lung damage and make breathing conditions like asthma worse. Nonetheless, both powdered and crystalline cocaine are highly addictive and can cause lasting physical damage. For instance, snorting cocaine can strongly reduce the sense of smell, cause ongoing issues with swallowing, and chronically inflame the sinuses.
Over time, cocaine likewise causes organ damage. Because it cuts off blood flow to the GI tract, using it can lead to ulcers and tears. The drug is also toxic to the cardiovascular system, producing severe chest pain, increasing the risk of stroke, and inflaming the heart to the point where it has difficulty contracting and may undergo aortic ruptures. The drug’s appetite-suppressant effect likewise triggers malnutrition.
Cocaine is addictive largely due to its effects on the dopamine circuit. A naturally occurring brain chemical that governs feelings of pleasure and reward, dopamine is overactive when a person uses cocaine. The brain also loses its ability to regulate its own dopamine levels, thus prompting the person to keep taking the drug in order to feel happy or even just “normal.” The drug is similarly psychologically addictive since the profound euphoria and high energy it typically produces can feel very rewarding in and of itself.
Contact Ray Recovery Today for Treatment
Why wait another minute to enroll in services to help you or your loved one combat cocaine addiction? Call Ray Recovery at 888.598.6299 or reach out online for information and resources today. Our friendly team in Hudson, Ohio, is looking forward to assisting you.