According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant located in South America. Cocaine has been used for medical health purposes such as for anesthesia, but is an illegal drug because of its addictive properties. Cocaine may be snorted, injected, smoked, or even rubbed onto the gums. Cocaine can have several adverse effects on the person: extreme happiness or energy, mental alertness, hypersensitivity, irritability and paranoia, to name a few.
Medline Plus notes that cocaine can cause a person to feel a “crash” after their high, leaving them with feelings of sadness and exhaustion for days. When consumed, cocaine sends elevated levels of dopamine, a natural chemical messenger in the body that produces “happy” feelings, causing intense feelings of energy and alertness. People who use cocaine may experience health-related issues, such as: headaches, convulsions, seizures, heart disease, mood problems, sexual trouble, lung damage, HIV or hepatitis, and more.
The strong feelings from the high may cause a person to want to achieve this “high” again, leading them to consume higher doses of the drug, and more frequently. This can make it harder for the person to think, sleep, recall things from memory, and more. Rehab International claims that 15,000 Americans die each year to cocaine use and complications. While cocaine may produce a “happy” feeling for those who consume it, it is addictive and deadly.
While the effects of cocaine addiction are harmful, treatment and recovery is possible. The NIH has stated that no medications are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat cocaine addiction, but there may be some vaccines or medical interventions that can be used to treat cocaine overdose. Behavioral interventions such as contingency management, also known as motivational incentives, have proven effective to treat cocaine addiction in the past. Examples of this may be earning movie tickets for passing a urine test, or earning points for abstaining from drugs. Additionally, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been used to help individuals “retrain” their brain into thinking more positively and productively.
If you are addicted to cocaine or any other drug, speak with a health care professional today. Our team of licensed, experienced experts at New Vista Behavioral Health can hear your concerns and determine the best plan of treatment for you. Our world-renowned, residential treatment facilities offer a home-like atmosphere so that you can relax and focus solely on your recovery. Take control over your addiction. Call us today at 844-406-1239.