Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that also carries serious health dangers. It is a powerful stimulant that comes from the leaves of the coca plant. Most drugs cause addiction over time, but cocaine addiction can occur after using it for the first time. Cocaine may be used in its pure form or used in the form of crack.
Things you should know about cocaine:
- According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 1.9 million people aged 12 or older reported using cocaine in the past year. This represents 0.7% of the population aged 12 or older.
- Cocaine use is highest among adults aged 18–25, with 1.2% of this age group reporting past-year use.
- Cocaine use is also highest among people who are unemployed (1.4%) and those who have annual incomes of less than $20,000 (1.3%).
People with a cocaine addiction often have trouble quitting on their own. According to NIDA, “Most people who try to stop using cocaine on their own will relapse within a few months.” Fortunately, behavioral therapies can help people develop skills to resist cocaine use and successfully recover. If you need cocaine addiction treatment, call us today at 833.647.0392.
Dangers of Addiction to Cocaine
There is a long list of the dangers of using cocaine, including the risk of death. In addition to the risks listed here, some dangers depend on how the person uses the drug. Cocaine can be snorted, ingested, smoked, or injected. Each of these carries its own risks.
5 of the dangers of cocaine use are:
- Heart problems
- Mental and mood changes
1. Risk of Cocaine Drug Addiction
Cocaine carries dangers of addiction similar to those of other drugs. However, it has a unique effect on the brain. It keeps the brain from absorbing dopamine, which is the brain’s pleasure chemical, which results in euphoria. When the drug wears off, dopamine levels fall, leading to feelings of anxiety and depression. This effect is similar to that of most drugs, which cause an increase in the release of dopamine.
However, cocaine makes your brain more sensitive to stress. As a result, thoughts and experiences that might be slightly upsetting are now very troublesome. Depression, anxiety, and anger are more easily triggered. At the same time, your brain becomes accustomed to higher amounts of dopamine. You’ll need higher doses of cocaine to feel good, and you will feel worse when you aren’t taking the drug.
2. Heart Problems
Studies have found that heart-related issues are the most common cause of deaths due to cocaine use. Use because of cocaine addiction can cause cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke. Cocaine users are at risk of sudden death from cocaine. However, they are also at higher long-term risk of heart problems because of cocaine’s effects on the cardiovascular system.
Cocaine use constricts blood vessels, which increases blood pressure and makes the heart work harder. Over time, this can lead to an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and other cardiovascular problems.
Overdose frequently occurs with cocaine addictions. It can occur from taking a high amount of cocaine or using cocaine with other substances. When a person mixes cocaine with heroin, the stimulating effects counteract the sedating effects of heroin. The person may take more heroin to feel the effects. When the effects of cocaine wear off, respiratory failure can occur. When a person combines cocaine with alcohol, the body creates a toxic substance known as cocaethylene. It is known to be 30% more harmful than cocaine itself and remains in the system longer.
Symptoms of an overdose include seizures, tremors, muscle twitching, and psychosis. A person may also have a heart attack or stroke. Overdoses are life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
Seizures are another one of the dangers of addiction. Cocaine addiction is one of the most common causes of toxicity or drug-induced seizures. In most cases, they are usually generalized seizures. However, seizures can lead to permanent brain damage or death. They can be due to cocaine overdose or long term use, but they can also indicate another medical issue, including stroke.
5. Mental and Mood Changes
Drug addiction and mental health concerns go hand in hand for several reasons. These include changes in the brain from drug use and the stress of addiction itself. When it comes to cocaine addictions, its effects on mental health and mood can include:
- Anger and aggression
- Paranoia and hallucinations
- Suicidal and homicidal thoughts
- Depression and anxiety
- Decreased decision-making ability
Some studies have found that up to 30% of people who use cocaine develop psychotic symptoms that last after they stop using the drug. These symptoms can include paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations.
Seek Cocaine Addiction Treatment at Midwest Detox
The dangers of cocaine addiction can be scary. However, you can recover with proper treatment. At Midwest Detox in Maumee, Ohio, we are experienced in treating cocaine addictions. We address all aspects of this drug addiction, helping you to recover and get your life back. Contact us today at 833.647.0392, or contact us online to learn more about our cocaine addiction treatment program.