Did you know that some people may get addicted to cocaine after using it only once? In fact, cocaine is so addictive that it is linked to 50% of overdose deaths in the U.S.
Cocaine is made from the leaves of coca plants, which are native to South America. It is a stimulant drug that increases energy and alertness. Health care workers also use cocaine as local anesthesia, but the recreational use of cocaine is illegal.
Cocaine usually comes in the form of a fine, white powder, which users may snort or rub into their gums. This drug is also called blow, coke, crack, rock, or snow.
To maintain their ‘high’, users take cocaine repeatedly. Prolonged use may lead to cocaine tolerance, so users take cocaine in increasingly larger amounts to get the same effect.
How widespread is cocaine use?
2014 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed that there are approximately 1.5 million Americans who use cocaine. The majority of these users fall under the age of 18 to 25 years old. Men have twice the number of cocaine overdose-related deaths than women.
Despite that, it has been found by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) that women experience more intense highs and get addicted to cocaine faster. This is, apparently, because the average woman is more sensitive to the rewarding and motivational effects of cocaine due to the hormone estradiol.
What does cocaine do to the body?
Cocaine is a stimulant, which means that it triggers the central nervous system to release high levels of dopamine.
Dopamine is a chemical responsible for pleasure and reward. Normally, it is released during pleasurable situations and when the brain is expecting a reward, prompting us to seek out pleasurable activities.
Cocaine blocks dopamine transporters, preventing dopamine from being transported into the neurons. This leads to the build-up and accumulation of large amounts of dopamine, which stimulate the nerve cells around them, leading to euphoria.
Long-term exposure to high dopamine concentration makes the brain less sensitive to its effects. Therefore, the person will now have to take cocaine more frequently and in stronger doses to feel high.
What are the effects of cocaine on the body?
Unfortunately, cocaine can have many negative side effects. In terms of its effects upon our physical health, the side effects include the following:
- Faster heart rate
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
What are the effects of cocaine upon behavior?
In addition to side effects on the body, they can also affect people’s behavior, including the following:
- Aggression and irritability
- Anxiety and depression
- Impaired judgment
Cocaine can change the genetics in neurons and brain cells. It also narrows the blood vessels (vasoconstriction), so the person might experience abnormal heart rhythms, leading to a heart attack. In fact, heart attack and brain attack (stroke) are the most common causes of death in people with cocaine addiction.
Why do people get addicted to cocaine?
In the short-term, cocaine use can lead to loss of appetite and insomnia. Some may even experience:
- extreme happiness
- mental alertness
Using large amounts of cocaine can lead to unpredictable and violent behavior. Since some users get to enjoy better brain and physical performance, they begin to crave these effects of cocaine.
But since cocaine is highly addictive, prolonged use can lead to cocaine tolerance. Tolerance to the drug means that the same dose no longer produces the same effects. The person will now be forced to use higher amounts of cocaine, which negatively impacts overall well-being.
Who is at risk of cocaine addiction?
Because cocaine is a highly addictive drug, anyone who uses it is at risk for cocaine addiction.
However, the following people have a higher risk:
- Those who already have an addiction to other illicit drugs
- Those with a family history of drug dependence
- Those with mental health problems
How to know if you have cocaine addiction?
People who are addicted to cocaine may not recognize it at once. If you begin to crave cocaine and ignore the consequences of using it, you may already be addicted.
Here are the signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction:
- You now need large amounts of cocaine to get high
- You cannot stop using the drug even if you want to
- You ignore health problems related to cocaine use
- Your relationships, job, and overall quality of life are already affected
- You don’t mind spending precious time and money to get cocaine
- You are very irritable and anxious
- You lose touch with reality (psychosis) and experience hallucinations
- You experience withdrawal symptoms when you are not on cocaine
What are the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal?
A patient having symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can often have an increased craving for the drug. The other symptoms are the opposite extremes of the effect of cocaine use:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Increased appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anhedonia (cannot feel pleasure)
- Tremors, neuralgia (nerve pain), muscle pain
The user can experience these symptoms as soon as 90 minutes after the last dose and last for 7 to 10 days.
How do doctors diagnose cocaine addiction?
When you go to the doctor’s clinic, you will undergo routine history taking and physical exam. Your doctor will talk to you about your cocaine use (how often, how much, how long) and any family history of substance abuse.
To determine your degree of dependence on the drug, you might discuss the effects of cocaine use on your lifestyle and relationships, and if you have experienced any withdrawal symptoms.
Your doctor will also need to assess you for high blood pressure and fast heart rate. If your doctor deems it necessary, you might also need to get some laboratory and imaging tests.
What are the available Cocaine Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles?
Like all forms of addiction, cocaine addiction includes physical, mental, and social factors. The user’s environment and family dynamics also play a crucial role. Because of its complex nature, commitment to treatment on the part of the patient is very important to a successful recovery.
At our Cocaine Rehab Center in Los Angeles, we help and guide our patients on their road to sobriety. Our supportive environment and effective therapy modalities aim to address these factors to help our patients regain their health and life back.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the following behavioral therapies have been proven effective for patients struggling with cocaine addiction:
Motivational incentives (MI)
Also known as contingency management (CM), MI is a form of positive reinforcement or a prize-based system that works by rewarding patients with incentives when they abstain from using cocaine and other drugs. This therapy can help patients achieve initial abstinence and adhere to treatment.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
In CBT, the patients master skills that will help them abstain from using cocaine. This form of behavioral therapy is effective in preventing relapse.
Patients learn how to recognize situations that will tempt them to use cocaine, how to avoid these situations, and how to cope with cocaine-associated problems.
Therapeutic communities (TCs)
Being in an environment that supports what you want to achieve is the key to recover from any form of substance abuse.
Our doctors may combine these therapies, which are all available in our facility, with other treatments they think will be beneficial to your recovery.
How is Northstar Cocaine Rehab Center in Los Angeles different?
Patients who have cocaine addiction need all the support they could get to recover from their condition. Although recovery is undoubtedly challenging, it is not impossible. All you need is the right environment, expert medical care, and unwavering commitment to the treatment process.
Our Cocaine Rehab Center in Tarzana, Los Angeles is a physician-owned and operated detox facility. We have a team of experienced and trained medical staff who will help, support, and guide patients in completing their treatment regimen and detoxification process.
Medical detoxification is an inpatient procedure, and patients must be supervised by physicians and monitored for withdrawal symptoms. The process is quite uncomfortable and may even be life-threatening. We make sure that patients are safe and as comfortable as possible during their stay in our facility.
Each patient’s condition is unique, so our doctors work with their patients to create an individualized treatment regimen based on the results of their assessments and laboratory findings. Once the patient consents to the therapy, the treatment plan will be carried out during their stay in our facility.
After discharge, we still communicate with our patients to see how well they are adapting to a sober and healthy life. We always offer guidance and follow-up care, should they need it, to prevent relapse.
Start your journey to recovery at our Cocaine Addiction Treatment Center in Tarzana
As one of the few facilities in the United States owned and operated by a licensed doctor, you are assured of high-quality experience and evidence-based treatment from some of the country’s best experts in the field.
Our cocaine addiction treatment center in Tarzana is located in one of Los Angeles’ most prominent neighborhoods. North Star Detox and Rehab Center is a 4,500 square foot building built and designed with exceptional beauty and lush landscapes. We have a pool, gym, screening room, and other amenities to provide our clients with a resort-like experience that is comfortable, clean, pleasant, and conducive to SUD treatment.
Our other services include:
- Inpatient detoxification
- Intensive residential treatment
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Group therapy
- Psychiatric treatment
- Psychoeducation therapy
Learn More About NorthStar – Our Cocaine Addiction Treatment Center in Tarzana & Los Angeles
Here at NorthStar Detox & Rehab Center, we treat various forms of addictions, including alcohol addiction, methamphetamine addiction, opioid addiction, and more.
Serving the Los Angeles area, we are one of the best cocaine rehab centers in Tarzana. Call our admissions line at 323-577-4500 Monday to Sunday between 8 am and 6 pm or complete our contact form, and a professional will reach out to you within 24hrs.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.