The Forge Recovery Center
What is Cocaine Addiction?
Cocaine addiction has been a public health concern in the US for decades. Cocaine comes from South America, and it is a stimulant drug that people use to get high. Cocaine is most commonly snorted in powdered form, but it can also be injected and smoked when it's in a crystallized form (crack cocaine).
When someone abuses cocaine, they are putting their health at risk. Cocaine can cause heart problems, seizures, and even death. If you are addicted to cocaine, there is help available. Drug rehab centers can provide you with treatment and support that will help you overcome your addiction.
Where Does Cocaine Come From?
Cocaine is a drug that comes from the coca plant, itself a native of the Andes Mountains of South America. The coca plant is the source of cocaine. Traditionally, people of the Andes have chewed coca leaves as a mild stimulant and cure for altitude sickness for centuries.
Chewed, coca leaves provide a slight buzz. In concentrated, powdered form, the leaves create an intense high. Manufacturers use solvents and acids to separate the coca base from the leaves of the coca plant. This process crystallizes the coca in the coca plant's leaves, creating cocaine powder.
For a drug often associated with glitz and glamour, the cocaine trade itself is violent, exploitative, and has devastated communities around the world. Additional chemical treatment causes cocaine powder to crystallize further. This causes a distinct cracking noise with gives the name to crack cocaine.
How Does Cocaine Work in the Body?
When someone uses cocaine, it causes a rush of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure and reward. Usually, the body only releases a small amount of dopamine at a time. When cocaine binds to dopamine receptors, it creates an intense feeling of euphoria. These feelings drive the repetitive behaviors of addiction.
Cocaine also blocks the reuptake of serotonin, another neurotransmitter that is associated with mood and happiness. This can lead to a prolonged high after someone has used cocaine.
Like all psychoactive substances, it's easy to build up a tolerance to the effects of the drug. This requires users to consume more cocaine to feel the same effects. Not only is this a major symptom of addiction, it also increases the risks of a cocaine overdose.
What Are the Risks of Cocaine Abuse?
Cocaine is a dangerous drug that can have serious consequences. When someone abuses cocaine, they are putting their health at risk. Cocaine can cause heart problems, seizures, and even death.
Health problems result from all forms of cocaine abuse. Smoking crack cocaine causes severe respiratory tract problems, such as asthma and bronchitis. Injecting cocaine puts one at risk for diseases like hepatitis, collapsed veins, and HIV. Finally, snorting cocaine can destroy the inside of the nose.
Cocaine addiction is also a serious social problem. When someone is addicted to cocaine, they will continue to use the drug despite the risks it poses to their health and well-being. The cocaine trade is notoriously violent, and few other drugs have the reputation for street violence that cocaine has.
Cocaine addiction, like all other forms of addiction, can lead to criminal behavior. Many people who are addicted to cocaine will resort to stealing or selling drugs in order to get money to buy cocaine.
How Is Cocaine Addiction Treated?
If you are addicted to cocaine, there is help available. Drug rehab centers can provide you with treatment and support that will help you overcome your addiction.
Rehab programs typically begin with detoxification. This is the process of ridding the body of all traces of cocaine. Detoxification can be difficult, although withdrawal symptoms from cocaine abuse are rarely as intense as withdrawal from opioids or benzodiazepines.
Once detox is complete, rehab participants typically attend group therapy sessions. These sessions allow participants to share their experiences with cocaine addiction and learn from the experiences of others. Individual therapy is also often a part of rehab treatment. This allows participants to work one-on-one with a therapist to address the underlying causes of their addiction.
Rehab programs offer a variety of other treatments, including yoga, meditation, and art therapy. These treatments can help participants deal with the emotional issues that may have led to their addiction.
Rehab is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some people will find that they need longer or more intensive treatment than others. However, rehab provides many people with the tools they need to overcome their cocaine addiction and live healthy, productive lives.Take A Tour Of Our Facilities