With the heroin epidemic sweeping our nation, touching every social class, race and community, it is understandable why most of our efforts have been directed toward opioid addiction. Nevertheless, why does it seem as though we have forgotten about cocaine addiction? A drug that has been around for decades and has killed thousands, never gets mentioned among politicians or lawmakers anymore.
The most recent reports show that 1.5 million Americans ages 12 and older are active cocaine users. Of that, 913,000 met the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) criteria for dependence or abuse. Many times, cocaine is used in conjunction with other drugs, such as heroin, also known as “speed balling” to addicts. Cocaine addiction is still extremely prevalent in America, so why does it appear to be disregarded?
We’ve heard it several times throughout the media. In 2014, roughly 28,000 people died of opioid-related overdoses, including heroin, fentanyl, other prescription opiates or the combination of these drugs. Here’s what some do not know. In total, roughly 47,000 died of drug overdoses in 2014. Why is that number not mentioned as much as the first? Many of those deaths included cocaine or other illicit drugs. Why have we failed to recognize the 9,000 others in news reports? Furthermore, cocaine overdose deaths rose 42% between 2001 and 2014. Again, why is this number disregarded?
Here at Clearbrook, we recognize the severity of cocaine and/or crack cocaine addiction throughout our region, as well as country. We have witnessed the devastation it can and has caused to both the addict and loved ones. We would like to give you some information regarding cocaine addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling, know that help is available and cocaine addiction can be treated. You have not been forgotten!
What You Need To Know About Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine is an extremely addictive and powerful stimulant that was originally used for both medicinal purposes and the main ingredient in Coca-Cola. After researchers discovered its addictive properties and the death rate increased, the American government banned the drug from the general public.
Cocaine can be administered in a number of different ways and comes in both a powder and crystal/rock-like form, also known as crack cocaine. Many users snort the drug, but it can also be smoked, also known as freebasing, as well as injected. Crack cocaine is mostly smoked through a glass pipe but when broken down, it can also be injected.
The Effects Of Cocaine Use
Cocaine addiction has proven to be very dangerous and can cause many negative side effects, both on a mental and physical standpoint. Even when taken in small doses, effects are produced almost immediately, which can include: energy, euphoria, talkative behavior, mental alertness, hypersensitivity, increased heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure, and dilated pupils.
Taken in larger doses, cocaine can cause erratic and bizarre behavior, irritability, restlessness, panic, violence, paranoia, and muscle twitches. Those who abuse cocaine also report the inability to sleep, staying awake for hours and sometimes days at a time. Cocaine addicts also have the potential of having cardiovascular issues, such as heart attacks and arrhythmias, and can suffer from seizures, strokes and comas.
What Does Cocaine Addiction Look Like?
Unfortunately, stigma and stereotypes are still attached to the all-encompassing disease of addiction. Many want to believe addicts are homeless, living under a bridge, wearing tattered clothing. While this possible, it is not necessarily the case for many. Cocaine addiction isn’t automatically segregated to the “deplorables”, nor is it a scene out of “Blow” or “Scarface”.
Cocaine addiction lives all around us. It could affect the executive in the corner office, the truck driver who travels cross-country or your college-aged child. A study found, as of 2014, the highest rate of cocaine use is found in individuals ranging from 18 to 25 years old. Another finding shows that many college students are trying cocaine for the first time in the month of December and their use continues to increase from year to year throughout their college experience. It’s safe to assume this is happening because college campuses are notorious for their party-atmosphere, as well as the everyday stressors college has to offer. Since cocaine is known to keep an individual awake and increase mental focus, many students may be turning to the drug to assist in their late night cram-sessions.
What should you look for if you suspect your loved one or child is abusing cocaine? Common warning signs include:
- Cut straws
- White-powdery residue
- Weight loss
- Jittery or jumpy behavior
For more examples of warnings signs and side effects, visit our Cocaine Addiction Treatment page today. Click here for more information.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment At Clearbrook
Yes, heroin and opiate addiction is ravaging our neighborhoods and destroying families, especially over the last few years. Nevertheless, cocaine addiction is a reality and many still need help. While we focus on treatment options and resources for the opioid addict, cocaine is forgotten about.
This is especially the case in regards to M.A.T (medication-assisted treatment). Medications such as Suboxone and Methadone are used to help curb opiate withdrawal and craving, but do little to treat the disease of addiction. Often times, those who abuse opioids, also abuse stimulants, such as cocaine. Since a person on M.A.T. can no longer feel the effects of the opioid, their use of other drugs, increases. This is especially dangerous and potentially life threatening.
That is why Clearbrook Treatment Centers treats the whole person, on a physical, mental and spiritual level. With over 40 years of experience, we have found abstinence-based treatment, through the implementation of a 12-step philosophy, medical detox, group therapy, and a wide array of other therapies, to be the most beneficial for lasting sobriety. If you or someone you love is struggling with a cocaine addiction, contact our Admissions Specialists today.