Author: John Carter

What is Cocaine? National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA

how addictive is cocaine

But there are a few medication options doctors are having some success with. Cocaine is a stimulant drug derived from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. According to a 2022 study, close to 25 million people around the world use cocaine. Behavioral treatment includes psychotherapy and other psychosocial interventions.

The combo leads to the production of a metabolite called cocaethylene, which is considerably stronger than cocaine or alcohol alone. Once the high wears off, coke can leave you feeling depressed and extremely tired for several days. The short-lived high is also often followed by an intense desire to use more and difficulty sleeping. That also depends on how it’s consumed, along with other variables, like your dose and whether you’re taking other substances. Crack is cocaine freebase that’s been processed into a rock. Some people process cocaine into a rock and smoke it, which we’ll get to next.

But it carries many risks, including overdose and serious physical and mental side effects as well as addiction. If you or someone you know has problems with cocaine use, seek help from a doctor or mental health professional. This article lists the physical, behavioral, and psychological signs of cocaine use and the symptoms of cocaine intoxication. It’s essential to be aware of these signs, symptoms, and health effects of cocaine use to break the habit and get treatment if needed.

Behavior treatment

Cocaine, also known as coke, is a powerful stimulant derived from the coca plant. It is abused by several methods, including snorting it through the nose, smoking it, and injecting it intravenously. Globally, it is the second most frequently used illicit drug. Combining cocaine with alcohol and other substances also increases the risk of addiction. To diagnose a cocaine addiction, your doctor will discuss your current usage and health history.

  1. Using cocaine during pregnancy can cause problems for both the parent and the developing baby.
  2. People there have chewed and eaten coca leaves for thousands of years to help them stay alert and lessen their appetites.
  3. The treatment is focused on detoxification (also referred to as detox) and behavioral therapies.
  4. In the early 1900s, cocaine was a common ingredient in herbal remedies for all sorts of illnesses.

Having drug paraphernalia, or other items for using cocaine in your home or apartment can be a sign of addiction too. Long-term or frequent use can break down tissue, causing sores. In severe cases, the septum (the cartilage between your nostrils) can develop a hole.

In the early 1900s, purified cocaine was the main active ingredient in many tonics and elixirs developed to treat a wide variety of illnesses. The signs of cocaine use disorder (CUD) are often difficult to recognize. Since many people abuse cocaine at parties or social events, they may not know they are addicted. However, an individual tolerating the drug will experience withdrawal symptoms after stopping use. The euphoric effects of cocaine use are accompanied by physical effects, including a rapid heart rate, sweating, and pupil dilation (widening of the pupils). Cocaine can also cause other adverse effects, such as anxiety, crawling sensations on the skin, hallucinations, and paranoia.

Long-Term Effects

Some of the side effects of cocaine depend on how you take the drug. If you snort it, you might have nosebleeds, loss of smell, hoarseness, nasal irritation, runny nose, or trouble swallowing. Smoking crack can damage your lungs and worsen asthma symptoms. If you inject it, you could develop tracks (puncture marks on your arms) and infections, such as HIV or hepatitis C.

how addictive is cocaine

Behavior treatments show promising results for helping people through cocaine addiction. Treatment can be done on an outpatient basis or as part of a residential treatment program. Interventions focusing on behavior are often used along with medications. Drug dealers can also dilute (cut) cocaine with other substances. Cocaine is addictive because it inhibits dopamine’s reabsorption via nerve cells, creating a sense of euphoria.

How is cocaine addiction treated?

People develop a tolerance to cocaine, and they need to take more to achieve the desired effects. It’s possible to die from an overdose of crack or any other type of cocaine. It’s important to spot the symptoms of overdose and get help immediately.

What is the most important information I should know about cocaine?

These approaches help to maintain abstinence from cocaine after detox. Often, behavioral therapy is initiated right when you begin detox, or even before you stop using the drug. And you might need to continue your behavioral treatment for months or even years after you stop using cocaine.

Risk Factors of Cocaine Abuse

Many people start to build a tolerance after their first use of cocaine. The drug is made from the leaves of the coca plant, which grows almost nowhere other than the northern and western regions of South America. People there have chewed and eaten coca leaves for thousands of years to help them stay alert and lessen their appetites. If you believe someone has overdosed on cocaine or another substance, take them to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately. For example, you may need medication for the treatment of abrupt or severe changes in your blood pressure. You might need counseling, supervision, and medication if you develop depression and suicidal ideation.

While there are no medications designed specifically to treat cocaine addiction, some medications with other purposes can be helpful, such as antidepressants. Some people report that cocaine helps them think and perform tasks more quickly. Many users begin to crave the feelings that cocaine creates. When people use the stimulant, excessive amounts of the chemical dopamine build up in the brain. In 2015, a study published in the Journal of Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry also explored the addictive potency of drugs based on a variety of factors. Researchers suggested that cocaine was the third most addictive drug.

Cellulitis (a severe type of skin infection) and necrotizing fasciitis (destruction of the infected tissue), and a systemic infection can develop as well. Sharing needles can increase the risk of HIV and hepatitis B. There are a number of complications of cocaine addiction, and they can differ depending on your method of using the drug.

Mixing alcohol and cocaine has also been shown to increase cravings for each substance, leading to a higher risk of dependence. Cocaine — aka coke, blow, and snow — is a powerful stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant. It usually comes in the form of a white, crystalline powder.