Battling an addiction to cocaine is literally a war between the body and the mind. The way cocaine attacks your loved one’s senses, enticing them with promises of euphoria but leaving them feeling bruised and beaten down, is symptomatic of the drug’s deceptive allure. The beginning of their substance use probably started innocently enough, but has now turned into a perpetual compulsion driven by physical need and leading to psychological destruction.
Unfortunately, cocaine is an extremely addictive drug that takes most users by surprise. Understanding why this is and learning more about cocaine addiction can help you get your loved one the treatment they need.
How Cocaine Attracts New Users
The neurological factors that cause cocaine addiction are well researched and documented, but there is a simpler factor influencing its prevalence: the perpetual party. Cocaine is notoriously popular among crowds and individuals looking to keep the party going. Wherever, whenever, with whoever – just as long as the party does not stop.
This misconception and the mystique of the atmosphere created by cocaine abusers leads many people to try the drug just to get a taste of the lifestyle. Unfortunately, this taste often leads to a dark and sinister addiction.
Ask anyone who is battling a cocaine addiction and, more often than not, their response will be: I never thought it would get this bad. Chances are your loved one is facing the same situation.
Is Cocaine Addictive After One Use?
Physically speaking, cocaine can become addictive after one use depending on the person using the drug. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that cocaine stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain, which facilitates the development of addiction and drives compulsive, addictive behaviors.
This neurological manipulation can drive a person to chase after that initial feeling, even after one use. This causes them to spiral out of control quickly to achieve that euphoric sensation that cocaine brings.
Considering that nearly six million Americans over the age of 12 admitted to using cocaine in 2017, the potential for your loved one to find themselves lost in the depths of a cocaine addiction rather quickly is not hard to imagine. Additionally, the actual number of people addicted to cocaine continues to increase annually, with an average of one million people using cocaine for the first time every year.
What Makes Cocaine So Addictive?
As a central nervous system stimulant, cocaine elevates vital bodily functions, such as body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. People abusing cocaine will generally experience specific physical traits, including:
- Needing less sleep
- Having less of an appetite
- Experiencing more energy and focus
- Feeling more talkative and excitable
- Experiencing increased self-confidence
However, once the euphoria begins to wear off, your loved one will generally want to use more cocaine, leading to an increased tolerance or a need for a greater amount of the drug to achieve the same high.
Cocaine is also addictive because of the effect it has on neural pathways within the brain. It directly impacts the reward center by stimulating chemicals like dopamine and serotonin.
- When dopamine floods your loved one’s brain like this, it creates a strong reinforcement for the drug-taking behavior by lighting up their pleasure sensors.
- This causes their brain to become acclimated to the excess dopamine and helps the brain develop a tolerance to the chemical – becoming less receptive over time to the floods of dopamine.
- As this tolerance to the excess dopamine develops, your loved one is faced with the problem of having to take increasingly larger amounts of cocaine to experience the same levels of pleasure.
- This results in an addiction to the drug to produce the same effects and further reinforces their drug- seeking behaviors.2
Cocaine Addiction Can Come to An End with Real, Expert Help
While the grip of a cocaine addiction can be both rapidly impactful and significantly destructive, getting your loved one the help they need to face their substance use disorder and overcome the disease can be achieved.
Finding a treatment center that provides comprehensive diagnostic assessment and proper detoxification protocols are imperative to make sure your loved one’s addiction is properly diagnosed and their symptoms appropriately monitored as they detox.
Fortunately, there are qualified clinical treatment programs available that can guide them through the process and back into a healthy existence. At a treatment center like Ranch Creek Recovery, your loved one will be able to face their addiction and begin their recovery journey with the help and support of those around them.
Individualized, Holistic Cocaine Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
At Ranch Creek Recovery, your loved one’s addiction can stop forever, and they can regain their life. With a highly experienced and acclaimed cocaine treatment team, we help addicts quit all forms of cocaine use.
Learn about our cocaine addiction treatment program or contact us today. We’re here to help in any way we can.