Cocaine is a highly addictive substance used by many for intense happiness, sexual arousal, or loss of contact with reality. The substance can be highly addictive and habit-forming. Those who want to cease cocaine usage generally have to attend cocaine addiction rehab.
Cocaine is derived from South American coca leaves and can be snorted, dissolved, and injected into a vein, or inhaled as smoke. The drug was mostly used in the 1900s as a treatment for illnesses, but it’s become more widely known as a drug to induce intense highs.
Although it was derived as a form of painkiller, it’s now commonly used as a recreational activity. When sold, the powder is often mixed with non-psychoactive substances like corn starch, flour, talcum powder, or sugar. Street dealers do this to dilute the product and increase their profits.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine — or Coke, C, Snow, Powder, and Blow ― can appear as a fine, white powder or in crystal form. Some substance users choose to combine cocaine with heroin, which is known as “speedball.” Both substances are labeled as Schedule II drugs, which means there’s a high potential for abuse. Schedule II drugs have a high rate of severe psychological or physical dependence.
Some other Schedule II drugs include:
The use of Schedule II drugs can be debilitating as they are highly addictive and the need for a more intense high grows. While cocaine has a high potential for abuse, it’s administered — on the rare occasion — in doctor’s offices for procedures that require anesthesia. For example, cocaine hydrochloride solution can be used and is mostly applied as a topical local anesthetic for the upper respiratory tract.
This method isn’t so popular today as better products have been developed in place. The use of cocaine in medicine was popular in the 1880s as it found its value in eye surgery. Doctors valued the use of cocaine in medicine as it constricted the blood vessels and reduced blood flow. It was popular for its ability to reduce bleeding in the mouth, throat, and nasal cavities.
It was even published in 1887 that the U.S. Surgeon General was recommending cocaine be used to treat depression. He claimed that there was no such thing as cocaine addiction. However, by 1914, the Harrison Narcotics Act labeled it an addictive drug that was to be under federal control.
Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
The first sign of addiction includes the craving for a substance and then the disregard of consequences that come with the use of that substance. Cocaine abuse can be easily overlooked, frequent use and dependence can be a sign of addiction.
People use cocaine for a number of reasons, but some of those could be:
- Peer pressure
- An escape outlet
- The feeling of instant gratification
- Misinformed about drug
How Cocaine Addiction in Women Occurs
Cocaine addiction can affect anyone, but women tend to become more dependent on that lifestyle. Women are more susceptible to the harmful effects of cocaine and the grip it can take on one’s life.
Cocaine addiction stems from personal medical history, family history, psychiatric patterns, and employment issues. Conversely, men have a higher rate of substance abuse but face less of an effect from the drug or fewer complications than women.
When cocaine is absorbed through the mucous membrane, the dopamine center of the brain is affected. This center controls the feeling of reward and motivation. If used often and long enough, cocaine — or any other drug — will produce that dopamine and make those feelings known.
The continual use of cocaine and its effect on the dopamine levels means that individuals will have to increase their dosage to feel more. It also means that past activities they found meaningful and fun are no longer effective in creating that dopamine. These activities will seem less interesting, and the individual will want to abuse substances instead.
If this is the case for you, the best option is to seek cocaine addiction rehab and take part in a cocaine detox.
Women and Cocaine Addiction
Women tend to become more dependent on cocaine than men, but why? Genetics plays an important factor, even accounting for nearly 50 percent of a person’s risk factor, but genetics doesn’t just pick on women. Men and women are equal in their likelihood to abuse stimulants. However, women become dependent on the drug and escalate more quickly in their addiction.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that the standard for addiction studies was tailored to include women, not just men. Even with this inclusion, men abused drugs at a faster rate than women. It’s suggested that men still tend to use illicit drugs more than women because they have easier access to it. Although this doesn’t mean that schoolgirls as young as fourteen aren’t giving it a try.
The use of cocaine and other stimulants occur in similar patterns across male and females, even as young as high schoolers; that accounts for close to 1 million Americans that have tried cocaine for the first time. These students tend to try these stimulants around the same age but have different lasting effects.
Cocaine has a strong effect on the brain’s activity level, and any stimulant that’s ingested can strongly influence a young mind. This is compounded when a woman experiences her menstrual cycle.
Basic studies have shown that mixed levels of estrogen and progesterone reinforce the effects of stimulants for women. During this time, women have also reported increased feelings of high heart rate. When the levels of estrogen are high and progesterone levels are low, the stimulant intake rate is increased.
Women also tend to have higher rates of relapse after seeking help for their addiction. An important factor in staying sober would be to take part in a cocaine detox.
Cocaine Withdrawal and Complications
The abuse of cocaine can lead to many health consequences, including:
- Organ damage
- Sudden cardiac arrest
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Bleeding on the brain
- Possible strokes and seizures
- Respiratory failure
- Mental health disorders
- Erosion of nasal cavity
Many users continue to smoke in a “marathon” as they want to avoid the crash that comes along with the high. A marathon is a binge in which the addict only stops when they become too exhausted to continue or they run out of supply.
Substance abusers use illicit drugs in a cycle. How they choose to take the drug affects the duration of the drug’s effects. For example, when snorted, cocaine only lasts about 15 to 30 minutes. When the drug is injected, it lasts approximately five to 10 minutes. This means most users will take the drug frequently as they want to maintain the effects.
When this cycle continues, it becomes harder for the addict to seek cocaine addiction rehab. A form of withdrawal can occur if they do not meet their daily supply.
This means that a person will experience physical and mental symptoms after stopping or reducing doses of that drug. Symptoms some may experience from withdrawal include:
Although the withdrawal process usually involves detoxification, there is the help of a trained professional. Nevertheless, there are other options available for cocaine addiction rehab and recovery.
Cocaine Addiction Recovery Options
Cocaine recovery can be a long process, but it can also be a forgiving process. Cocaine is a fast-acting drug, but the effects don’t last long. Don’t let addiction issues impact your relationships with family and friends and take part in cocaine addiction rehab today.
Some comprehensive treatment options for both men and women include detoxification, inpatient therapy, outpatient therapy, telehealth, and aftercare.
This process involves removing toxins from the body. Professionals believe this process rids the body of the buildup of toxic substances, such as alcohol or cocaine, that can cause illness. Detoxification is often paired with residential treatment programs as trained professionals can overlook the process.
Also referred to as a residential treatment program, inpatient therapy requires a patient to stay at least one night in a healthcare facility. This allows a professional to diagnose treatment for the addict that will be tailored to their specific needs. Requiring them to stay in this environment removes them from the discouraging activities they participated in daily before. This process usually requires a form of detoxification and aftercare.
Allows an individual to continue their daily activities such as work and outings with friends. This therapy doesn’t require an overnight stay or any long duration at a facility. It’s a less intense method of treatment that is offered; the program requires the addict to attend meetings or one-on-one sessions with a medical professional to determine a treatment plan. After completion, aftercare is highly recommended.
Telehealth is a form of treatment that is offered online. It can be in the form of a cell phone, computer, laptop, iPad, etc., and allows the treatment to be conducted through a tele-meeting. A tele-meeting is an online meeting conducted through the use of technology and apps like Zoom or BlueJeans. Substance users can get care from providers such as therapists or counselors for concerns that include depression, anxiety, relationship, or family issues.
This process is generally described as ongoing or follow-up treatment for individuals dealing with addiction recovery. This is an important process as it can encourage the recovering addict to continue sober living, keep from relapse, and live with a sense of purpose. In an aftercare program, a treatment plan will be created to benefit the addict in their recovery.
Stats about Cocaine Addiction
Since cocaine is an illegal stimulant, anyone found with the substance on them can face criminal charges; more than half of drug offenders in federal custody go to jail because of cocaine.
It was reported in 2017 that 1 in 5 recorded deaths in the U.S. was from cocaine overdoses. The drug is so easily addictive, individuals can use it once and find themselves seeking it again and again. With such a high addiction rate, cocaine has become a regularly used coping substance where nearly 5 million Americans use it daily.
The most common age group to consume this substance is 18- to 25-year-olds. This range of adulthood plays an important role in the likelihood they attend a cocaine recovery program.
Cocaine Recovery at New Directions for Women
Cocaine recovery can be overwhelming, but it’s a significant step in the direction of getting sober. If you or anyone close to you is suffering from cocaine addiction or withdrawal, contact us today to create a recovery plan designed for you.