Whether it’s the powder that is commonly snorted up the nose, or the crack-cocaine variety which is smoked, cocaine is an extremely addictive substance.
Are you addicted to cocaine? Recreational use can easily cross the line into something more concerning. Do you recognise any of these signs of cocaine addiction?
- Your life revolves around your use of cocaine
- You’re constantly twitchy and restless
- Feelings of euphoria alternate with depression and lows
- Old friends dislike the new you – which is overbearing and sometimes aggressive
- Most of your new friends use coke/ alcohol a lot
- You’re paranoid
- You make poor decisions
- You have sexual liaisons which you end up regretting
- You’re drinking heavily along with cocaine use
- You require more and more of the drug to get the same high
- If snorting, you suffer runny noses and nosebleeds
- You’re losing weight – but not in a good way
- After a binge, you feel very low, physically and mentally
- You may need to sleep a lot
Cocaine - an extremely addictive substance
Research has shown just how addictive cocaine is. Studies have been done involving mice becoming weaned on to cocaine – this resulted in them seeking out the drug, but neglecting other needs – such as eating – just as humans do when they become addicted.
How does cocaine work?
The drug has a powerful effect on the nervous system. Dopamine, a ‘feelgood’ neurotransmitter and a hormone linked to reward, is involved in the addictive process.
When dopamine is functioning as it should, certain stimulus – such as the sight of an attractive person - causes it to be released by the neuron into the synapse (the small gap between two neurons). It joins with dopamine receptors on the neighbouring neuron. The dopamine essentially carries a message from neuron to neuron. Once its job is done, the dopamine returns to the neuron.
However, this all changes when you use cocaine. cocaine disrupts the interaction between receptors. The dopamine is prevented from its normal function, and those pleasurable feelings continue.
Unfortunately, the latest research has shown that this disruption has a serious impact on addictive tendencies.
High levels of dopamine and the feelgood sensations that go with it – imprint on the brain, causing cocaine cravings.
The result? Addiction.
Physical dangers of cocaine use
Despite the intensely pleasurable feelings go with cocaine use, the risks with this drug are very high. It is very unpredictable, and hard to know who will be negatively affected by cocaine use. It is possible to die from cocaine after a single use. It may happen after using it many times before. You can be at the peak of physical fitness and still die from cocaine use.
Physical dangers of Cocaine:
- Rapid heart rate
- Severe headaches.
- Abdominal pain.
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Vascular disease
Emotional and mental dangers of Cocaine use:
- Relationship problems
Medical Detox from cocaine addiction
As cocaine is such an addictive substance, when it comes to stopping use, a medical detox is recommended. Cross-addiction (often to alcohol) is associated with cocaine use; having doctors on hand to monitor recovery and if need be, administer appropriate medication will increase your ability to detox from cocaine safely and with minimum discomfort.
At Serena House, we offer 24-hour around the clock care which can ensure that those with addiction issues can be monitored closely. For those who have become reliant on cocaine, and used to to the continuous supply dopamine, low mood is an unfortunate consequence of cocaine withdrawal. As the ratio of staff to patients is exceptionally high at this luxury detox centre, risks such as relapse and suicide are greatly minimised.
Support in recovery
At Serena House, our addiction experts are well-versed in helping those suffering from cocaine addiction to carry on in a successful recovery. Some of our staff and therapists have suffered the same addiction and truly understand the difficulties and obstacles that can occur when in recovery in cocaine use. They can also tell you that recovery IS possible.
While it’s true that Cocaine Addiction can cause long-term – even permanent brain damage – there is hope.
Our expert techniques which combine both a medical and evidence –based approaches alongside intense counselling and a variety of therapies means you can be free of addiction.
Serena House is a private detox clinic in the heart of London that treats cocaine addiction
Talk to one of our counsellors on 020 3582 4288.