Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is known by a variety of 'street names', such as coke, charlie, candy, snow and blow. Taken by users to provide an instant feeling of euphoria, white 'lines' of cocaine powder are usually 'snorted' through the nose or dissolved in water and injected.

As a powerful stimulant, cocaine users experience an instant, pleasurable 'high', and a sense of intense alertness and energy. More shy, quiet introverted users can immediately feel confident, becoming animated and talkative.

As tolerance to cocaine quickly develops, the pleasure response of a temporarily speeded- up mind and body is usually short-lived. The 'crash and burn' sensation is experienced shortly after taking the drug, which requires a higher and more frequent dose to achieve the same intense 'high.'

Users feel driven to repeat the experience, which very quickly develops into an addiction.

Symptoms and Warning Signs

Cocaine users rarely see themselves as being addicted. As an addiction of psychological dependency, withdrawal symptoms associated with cocaine are experienced as psychological rather than physical.

Even though there are no physical withdrawal symptoms, the key signs of cocaine addiction are still recognised, which are::
  • Difficulty controlling amounts used
  • Continuing to use despite worsening symptoms

The emotional withdrawal symptoms of cocaine are:
  • Tiredness
  • Mood swings, depression
  • Anxiety attacks, nervousness
  • Difficulty concentrating, irritability

However, physical signs of cocaine use itself can be often clearly visible, including:
  • Runny nose and nosebleeds
  • Bloodshot eyes / dilated pupils
  • Elevated speech patterns
  • Insomnia / long periods of sleeping
  • Loss of appetite, weight-loss

Further serious affects on the body:
  • Deterioration of the nasal bone cartilage
  • Stomach , chest pains
  • Raised blood pressure, cardiac arrest, heart failure
  • Seizures , strokes, convulsions
  • Auditory hallucinations, paranoid psychosis
  • Fatal overdosing
  • Blood-related diseases such as hepatitis and HIV

As with all drugs, the most important consequences of cocaine addiction are psychological, social, and emotional. Treatment for dependency on cocaine can take many different forms. There is no one-size-fits-all solution and there are no substitute medicines.

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