What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant derived from the coca plant and is the second most frequently used illegal drug in the world today. Primarily developed for medicinal purposes and found in many medications, cocaine became well-known for its numbing abilities. In the late 1800s, cocaine was also the main ingredient for Coca-Cola. Eventually, cocaine’s addictive qualities became apparent to the medical profession and pharmaceutical companies. The United States government made cocaine illegal in 1922 after thousands of deaths were reported. It became popular again in the 1970s and ’80s for the quick high people received after taking the drug. A popular form of cocaine is crack which is smoked. By removing the hydrochloride, cocaine turns from a powder form into a harder “rock” form. Cocaine can also be put into a syringe and injected. In any form, cocaine is a deadly drug that kills tens of thousands of Americans every year. At our Northeast addictions treatment centers, we are helping to save lives by successfully treating cocaine addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Use
If you are suspicious that your loved one may be abusing cocaine, here are some signs and symptoms of cocaine abuse that you should be aware of.
- Weight Loss– Cocaine is a stimulant that suppresses the user’s appetite. Abusers may not eat for days or for even up to a week. If sudden and drastic weight loss occurs or the individual appears malnourished and has gaunt-like features, this may be an indicator of cocaine use.
- Runny/Inflamed Nose– Snorting is the most common form of consuming cocaine. Oftentimes, a cocaine user’s nose will appear red and inflamed, and constant sniffling may also occur. Furthermore, due to the damage cocaine creates within the nasal cavity, nosebleeds are common.
- “Track Marks”– Cocaine and crack cocaine both have the ability to be injected with a hypodermic needle. Usually, once a cocaine user progresses to this level, it is difficult to use in any other form. By injecting any substance, including cocaine, the user will feel the euphoric effects faster, because the chemical enters the bloodstream immediately. Injection soon becomes the method of choice for the user. Injection marks, also known as “track marks,” become more apparent and usually are accompanied by bruising of the skin. If a user continuously injects in the same veins, abscesses and infections can occur. Typically, the first “red flag” that a person may be injecting illicit substances is when they begin wearing long sleeve shirts and/or pants in warmer weather.
- Apparent Insomnia– As stated earlier, cocaine is a stimulant, so naturally a person that abuses the chemical will more than likely stay awake for longer periods of time. Although their minds and bodies crave rest, it is nearly impossible to fall asleep at the peak of cocaine high. Cocaine users have been known to stay awake for days, even up to a week straight.
- Legal Issues– Cocaine is highly addictive and very expensive, meaning an addict may go to great lengths to get their fix. As an addict progresses further into their addiction, their morals and values become compromised. Things they thought they’d never do become more justifiable as their dependence on cocaine grows stronger. They drive under the influence, shoplifting from retail stores, steal from family members, friends, and other homes, sell drugs, and even turn to prostitution.
- Tooth Decay– Known as “crack mouth,” the teeth decay because of the chemical on the teeth and also lack of personal hygiene.
- Loss of Interest in Normal Life Activities– Cocaine will take over the abuser’s life. Normal things like hobbies, work, religion, and spending time with family will seemingly disappear and not become a priority anymore. If a loved one was once a very active person and interested in spending time with friends and family and is now seemingly withdrawn from everyone and everything, there is a chance that drugs are involved.
What Happens When You Stop Abusing Cocaine?
When someone stops using cocaine, it can be very difficult from a psychological standpoint. Almost immediately after use is stopped, a crash occurs. This creates extreme depression, irritability, agitation, anxiety, and paranoia. This happens because the pleasure center of the brain has gotten used to getting cocaine and now it has been removed. The craving to fill that void can be immensely powerful, making it difficult to stop using cocaine alone. This is why a drug rehab center with experience in treating cocaine addiction is imperative.
Cocaine Rehab Program at Clearbrook
From your first phone call to our Admissions Staff at Clearbrook Massachusetts and Clearbrook Pennsylvania, a plan is set in place immediately for the person suffering from cocaine addiction. The information gathered from you during your initial intake is passed on to our medical and clinical teams so they are better prepared to effectively help you from the moment you are admitted to our facility. This information allows for our staff to begin devising necessary treatment plans and aftercare plans that will better assist you in achieving lasting sobriety.
If you or a loved one is in need of a cocaine treatment center, give our trained staff a call today to learn more about our options with cocaine addiction treatment. For more information regarding our Clearbrook rehab facilities, please contact us today. For decades, we have helped patients get sober from cocaine and crack cocaine addiction. We can help your loved one safely detox from the drugs and give them the necessary tools to achieve continued sobriety.