Cocaine Abuse Symptoms, Signs and Addiction Treatment

Cocaine usually tops the list when it comes to common illicit drugs. It is a powerful stimulant that is frequently abused and is highly addictive. Users typically snort the drug in powder form, but it can also be turned into a liquid and injected or into a rock and smoked. Cocaine users typically experience a sense of euphoria immediately after taking the drug. This blissful feeling is what makes users want to take the drug again and again, which leads to abuse and addiction.

Cocaine is not physically addictive, meaning there are no physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it, as is the case with many other illicit drugs. This is one of the most misleading cocaine abuse facts, because many people think this means they can’t become addicted to it. A study by the Substance Abuse and Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) reports that up to half of drug-related visits to emergency rooms in the United States are related to cocaine abuse. Even casual use can lead to a cocaine problem, but help is available, so call 1-800-943-0566 for more information.

Cocaine Abuse Quiz question 1

Signs and Symptoms

The most obvious signs of cocaine abuse are a strong desire or increased need for the drug. If you find yourself constantly thinking about cocaine, regularly taking it and going to extreme lengths to get it, you may have a cocaine problem. Other symptoms of cocaine abuse and addiction occur when the drug begins to have a negative impact on the user’s life. This can include interference with your job or school and problems with relationships. Other common signs of cocaine abuse can include:

  • A need to increase the dosage to get the same effect
  • Suffering from mild withdrawal symptoms when the high wears off
  • Difficulty with stopping use of the drug
  • Using the drug more frequently and using more of it

If you or someone you know exhibits any of these symptoms of cocaine abuse, support is available. You can call 1-800-943-0566 to find out how to help a Cocaine Addict.

Cocaine Abuse Quiz question 2

Effects of Cocaine Abuse

Taking cocaine causes different reactions in everyone, and the severity of the physical effects will differ depending on several factors. The purity of the drug, how frequently you take cocaine and your physical health all contribute to how your body will react to cocaine. While the effects of Cocaine use can vary, the typical reaction to taking this drug includes the following symptoms:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Constriction of blood vessels
  • Dilated pupils
  • Headache
  • Malnourishment
  • Severe paranoia
  • Psychiatric problems

In some cases, severe health problems arise after a person takes cocaine, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Seizure
  • Sudden death

Any of these serious health issues can occur when you take cocaine, even if it’s your first time using the drug.

Cocaine Abuse Quiz question 3

Cocaine Abuse Treatment

Cocaine addiction is more psychological than physical, so treatment for cocaine problems focuses largely on changing the mind of the addict. As the draw to use this drug is so powerful, treatment at an inpatient cocaine rehab center is often the most effective way to overcome a cocaine addiction. Cocaine withdrawal does not cause severe physical symptoms, but a variety of mental and emotional difficulties can arise when you stop taking it, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Feeling agitated or restless
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Chronic headaches
Cocaine Abuse Quiz question 4

Cocaine rehab centers can help you deal with the psychological symptoms of stopping the drug, while teaching you ways to avoid further abuse. Treating a cocaine addiction involves interrupting and redirecting the thoughts and actions that lead to using and abusing the drug. Cocaine rehab programs provide both individual and group therapy designed to help you figure out why you started abusing the drug in the first place. Once you admit and examine the cause of your cocaine problem, rehab program staff will help you learn new ways of dealing with those feelings without turning to drugs.

Cocaine Abuse Quiz question 5

Cocaine Statistics

Older research claimed that cocaine use peaked in the 1980s and started to decline after that time. More recent SAMHSA studies showed that cocaine use began to rise in the 1990s, and today, it is the second most popular illegal substance used in America, behind marijuana. An estimated 15 percent of Americans aged 12 and older have used this drug at least once. That’s approximately 37 million people.

Cocaine Abuse Quiz question 6

Teen Cocaine Abuse

More than 8 percent of high school seniors said they used cocaine in the past year, according to a SAMHSA study. Cocaine abuse is most prevalent among older age brackets, with 18- to 25-year-olds being the most common users of this substance. It is estimated that cocaine use among high school sophomores declined during 2010, from 2.3 percent to 1.6 percent; however, cocaine abuse facts are still a vital part of high school drug education programs.

Resources, Articles and More Information

Cocaine has always been one of the most commonly abused drugs, and government studies over the years show that cocaine problems are still prevalent in society. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and SAMHSA are both valuable sources for information and articles about cocaine abuse. For more information about cocaine abuse and treatment, call 1-800-943-0566 today.

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  • Is cocaine physically addictive?
  • What are the symptoms of cocaine abuse?
  • What are some of the common effects of taking cocaine?
  • Can cocaine ever cause severe health problems?
  • How can rehab centers help patients overcome cocaine abuse?
  • Is cocaine abuse a 1980s problem?
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