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 was well known for its numbing abilities. For many years, it was used as a local anesthetic for particular surgeries, as well as an antidote for nausea, tooth pain and sinus pain. In the late 1800’s, cocaine was also a 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.
Signs & 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 which 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 for consuming cocaine. Often times 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 in the peak of a cocaine high. Cocaine users have been known to stay awake for days, even up to a week straight.
- Legal Issues– Because of being so highly addictive and expensive an addict will go to any means to obtain cocaine. 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, shoplift from retail stores, steal from family members, friends and other homes, sell drugs and 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. 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.
If you, a loved one, a co-worker, or anyone else would like to stop using cocaine and find they can’t do it on their own, the first step has to be taken.
From your first phone call to our Admissions Staff at Clearbrook Treatment Centers, 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 team 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.
Cocaine Rehab Program at Clearbrook
If you or a loved one are in need of a Cocaine Treatment Center, then give our trained staff a call today to learn more about our options with cocaine addiction treatment. For more information regarding our detox and rehab facility, please contact us today. We have decades of helping with cocaine and crack-cocaine addiction, and can help your loved one safely detox from the drugs and give them the necessary tools to achieve continued sobriety.