Cocaine often referred to as blow, is a powerful narcotic with a long history of use as a party drug. Usually snorted as a “bump,” cocaine is used to achieve a rush of euphoria that alters the brain’s dopamine production. The high is short-lived, so repeat use is common. It would seem, then, that finding a solution to cocaine addiction would be as cut and dry as any other. Yet, here we find a unique problem.
Cocaine is highly glamorized as a cool and recreational habit. And this casual acceptance of drug use has blurred the lines of any educational initiative. In turn, we are faced with a serious problem: how can we educate on the dangers of addiction when cocaine use is so heavily normalized?
Cocaine: the Devil’s Dandruff
Cocaine is a potent, stimulant narcotic that is often sold as a powder. There are many ways to use cocaine, but the most popular methods are inhalation through the nose or application directly to the gums. Cocaine can also be sold as a rock or crystal, which can be smoked in a pipe. This is known as crack cocaine, and it is arguably more dangerous than its powdered cousin.
Why Is Cocaine Addictive?
Cocaine works by overstimulating the brain with excessive amounts of dopamine. The result is a quick, euphoric high that cannot be replicated at the same levels in a sober brain.
This contrast often leads to a dangerous cycle, wherein a user feels the need to abuse the drug in order to maintain their high. In other cases, addicts use cocaine to stay energized through busy work and social schedules. No matter what the cause, cocaine is relentless. It strikes like lightning. The high is quick enough that many unwittingly follow their recreational habit into a deep pit of addiction.
Cutting a Deal
Just like any hard drug, there are variations of cocaine that range in purity and potency. The purest cocaine is very expensive and is only found among those who can afford it — the famous and the well-to-do.
The other type of cocaine, the stuff that is sold on the streets, is often cut with highly hazardous chemicals that offset the price of the drug. There are even dealers who will mix similar white substances, like flour and baking soda, into their cocaine as a way to trick buyers into purchasing a “knock-off” variation of the drug.
Of course, this leads to added risks. Cocaine that is laced with other ingredients is almost always undetectable before use. This puts users at an incredible danger to ingest something that could cause an overdose or spark an early addiction.
Is Cocaine Addictive?
Cocaine is highly addictive. It alters the brain to associate positive memories and emotions with the feeling of being high. The process grows uncontrollably with repeated use, eventually warping a user to “need” a fix in order to achieve a level of pleasure that cannot be achieved through normal brain function.
Because a cocaine high is so short, addicts find themselves using the drug several times a day, and this is often in conjunction with other substance abuse.
Cocaine Abuse Symptoms
Hallmark symptoms of cocaine abuse include anxiety, restlessness, weight loss, and mood swings. Cocaine addicts also tend to find themselves in financial distress, as cocaine is a very expensive habit to maintain. This explains how some cocaine users eventually find themselves turning to other, less expensive narcotics like heroin.
How to Quit Cocaine?
Cocaine abuse, like any other serious addiction, requires the attention of medical professionals who can address both the physical and mental damages of abuse. The best course of action is a rehabilitation program that approaches recovery from both detoxification and therapeutic point of view. With the right help, a cocaine addict can hope for a positive foundation, from which to mount their lifelong commitment to sobriety.
Struggling with an addiction? Give us a call and talk to one of our representatives, today. We are here to help you start your journey toward recovery.