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Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

Cocaine Addiction

An Overview of

Cocaine Addiction in
the United States

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that comes from the coca plant of South America. As a street drug, cocaine looks like a fine, white, crystal powder. It is a central nervous system stimulant that affects the brain by stimulating high levels of dopamine, a brain chemical associated with pleasure and reward. Over time, Cocaine negatively affects every part of the body with potential for severe long-term effects. It can cause changes to genetics in brain cells, nerve cells and proteins, among other permanent effects.

Popular nicknames for cocaine include blow, coke, crack, rock, and snow.

There are several ways people use cocaine: snorting powder through the nose, rubbing it into their gums, or dissolving the powder and injecting it into the bloodstream. Some people inject a combination of cocaine and heroin, called a Speedball. Another popular method is to smoke cocaine that has been processed to make a rock crystal, also known as crack-cocaine.

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Cocaine's Impact on Americans

Cocaine Facts & Statistics

Any use of cocaine is considered abuse because it is an illegal substance. Cocaine abuse is particularly dangerous because continued use can cause strain on the heart. The most common cause of death in frequent cocaine users is stroke or cardiac arrest-which is a possibility from the very first use. If you or someone you know is abusing cocaine, get help now.

Short term health effects of cocaine use include:

  • constricted blood vessels
  • dilated pupils
  • nausea
  • raised body temperature and blood pressure
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • tremors and muscle twitches
  • restlessness

Some long-term health effects of cocaine depend on the method of use and include the following:

  • snorting: loss of smell, nosebleeds, frequent runny nose, and problems with swallowing
  • smoking: cough, asthma, respiratory distress, and higher risk of infections like pneumonia
  • consuming by mouth: severe bowel decay from reduced blood flow
  • needle injection: higher risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis C, and other bloodborne diseases, skin or soft tissue infections, as well as scarring or collapsed veins
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How to Know if Someone is Addicted to cocaine?

Signs & Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug. Craving cocaine and ignoring the consequences that come with it are signs of an addiction.
The psychological addiction is often the hardest part to overcome, although there are undeniable physical symptoms of addiction as well. Someone who uses cocaine frequently will develop a dependence on it, meaning they need to have it in order to feel normal. Once a dependence has developed, a tolerance will develop and withdrawal symptoms will occur when stopping use.
Once someone becomes addicted to cocaine, it can be very hard to stop. This is because cocaine abnormally increases the level of dopamine in the brain, eventually reprogramming the brain reward system.

Withdrawal symptoms for cocaine include:

  • depression
  • fatigue
  • increased appetite
  • unpleasant dreams and insomnia
  • slowed thinking

Many people who experiment with cocaine usually do so in environments where other substances are being used. For this reason, many people with a cocaine addiction may also have a dependence on other substances, such as alcohol or marijuana. This is known as poly-drug use and is especially dangerous, as it increases the risk of fatal overdose.

Cocaine and alcohol are frequently used together, to the point where alcohol can be a trigger for recovering cocaine users. For this reason, it is important to abstain from all drugs during recovery. Using heroin and cocaine together (known as a “speedball”) is arguably the most dangerous of all drug combinations that include cocaine.

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What to do when someone is addicted to cocaine?

Los Angeles Treatment Options for Cocaine Addiction

Currently, there are no government-approved medicines available to treat cocaine abuse.

Treatment for a cocaine addiction typically involves detox and therapy in an inpatient rehabilitation program and these programs greatly increase a person’s chances of a successful recovery. Inpatient treatment is one of the best ways to take control of a cocaine addiction as it provides an environment free from temptations and distractions.

Behavioral therapy may be used to treat cocaine addiction. Examples include:

  • cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • contingency management or motivational incentives—providing rewards to patients who remain substance free
  • therapeutic communities—drug-free residences in which people in recovery from substance use disorders help each other to understand and change their behaviors
  • community based recovery groups, such as 12-step programs.
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Find Lasting Recovery from Cocaine Addiction at
Starbridge Recovery in Los Angeles, CA

At Starbridge Recovery, we can help you or your loved one learn how to live a healthy life without relying on cocaine.

Seeking help through cocaine addiction treatment at Starbridge Recovery can be your path to freedom from the constant cravings to use Cocaine. We teach people who are struggling with cocaine addiction how to get over the emotional and physical hurdles of quitting. Our Cocaine Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles includes therapists who can coach patients through rough days.  Plus, we provide support groups that can offer lasting comfort and care. 

Deciding that you are ready to stop using is a big step and the options can seem overwhelming.  We offer free consultations to help decide if our luxury treatment facility is right for you.  Our dedicated and passionate staff are here to share our expertise and help you achieve the mental and physical health you desire.  Retreat to our state of the art facility where we will give you the individualized attention you need to finally experience lasting recovery.

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