According to the United States government, cocaine is a substance that comes with a high risk level for abuse and ultimate dependence. This is another way of saying that it is addictive. Cocaine addiction can place a powerful physical and mental hold on the individual, and shaking that grasp can be all but impossible without clinical care. The happy news for those who are struggling with cocaine addiction is that clinical care is readily available, and with it, recovery is attainable. Even a serious cocaine abuse problem doesn’t stop you from enjoying ultimate addiction recovery and freedom.
Above It All Treatment Center provides that freedom to those who struggle with all kinds of substance abuse issues, including addiction to cocaine but also alcohol, meth, opiates and all kinds of prescription and street drugs. Our dual diagnosis facility also helps individuals facing co-occurring mental health disorders. Our mission is to help those battling addiction develop the skills they need to maintain sobriety over the long run. Hope and healing are here for you—but first, it is helpful to understand exactly what you are up against.
Understanding Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine is a stimulant, and those who ingest it do so in a number of ways. Cocaine can be snorted through the nose, dissolved in water and then injected into the vein, or even injected just under the skin, in a process called “skin popping.” Cocaine can also be ingested by way of a pipe, something that is most common with “crack” cocaine.
Like so many dangerous and addictive drugs, cocaine works on the pleasure centers of the brain, specifically increasing production of dopamine. This leads to a “high” feeling, but before long it grows all but impossible to achieve further highs, or to experience any kind of happiness or peace of mind at all, without the aid of increasingly large doses of cocaine. It rewires the brain, and can create strong physical and mental dependence.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
There are different ways in which you can identify cocaine addiction in a friend or loved one. Because snorting is the most common form of cocaine ingestion, you can be alert to some of the physical effects of taking cocaine through the nose—including:
- Lost sense of smell
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Chronically runny nose
- Difficulty swallowing
More broadly, cocaine can impact individuals in a number of ways. Some common personality changes include restlessness, anxiety, irritability and paranoia. Additionally, cocaine can lead to a number of common health problems—among them:
- Heart problems, including heart attacks
- Respiratory problems/ respiratory failure
- Strokes and other problems of the nervous system
- Problems of the digestive system
- Major infections of the skin
- Major allergic reactions
For those who use cocaine by way of the needle, the possibility of other serious infections is also possible—including HIV. Cocaine use can ultimately be fatal, but there is no one for whom cocaine addiction recovery is not possible with the right clinical intervention and ongoing, supportive care. We seek to offer these things at Above It All.
How to Help a Loved one with Cocaine Addiction
If you have a loved one who is struggling with cocaine addiction, the first step is to know that it is not your responsibility to “fix” anyone, nor force anyone into treatment. Your job is to offer love, support and encouragement, but also to candidly express your concern. Let your loved one know that you care about them and are ultimately worried about their health. Suggest rehab to them, and let them know you will be there to support them at every step of the way. Remember as you do so that addiction is a mental health disorder, not a choice; it can adversely affect a person’s behavior, but it is important to remember that this is the disease.
Ultimately, your goal should be to help your loved one seek clinical treatment through a center like Above It All, then to provide your ongoing support and encouragement as they continue down their recovery journey. Our interventionists and treatment specialists can assist you in encouraging your loved one to get the help that they need.
Get Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
Our mission at Above It All Treatment Center is to provide a pathway to lasting sobriety. Our evidence-based approach encourages clients to awaken to their own self-worth, and to seriously commit themselves to self-recovery. Our methods have been proven to be effective. We believe that this hope is available for all. If you or someone you know is battling cocaine addiction, we encourage you to contact us today.