Cocaine is a Class A drug that is extensively used for recreational purposes. It is often referred to as a party drug because of the way it makes users feel; it is a drug that induces feelings of confidence and euphoria. Those who take it tend to feel on top of the world and full of confidence, and they will be alert and want to party all night.
However, the effects of cocaine do not tend to last for very long and because of this users are often tempted to take more of it to prolong the high. This is very often how cocaine addiction starts. A pattern of continuous regular abuse of the drug can easily lead to increased tolerance, which is almost always followed by psychological dependence.
How Does Cocaine Addiction Develop?
When thinking about how cocaine addiction starts, it is important to remember that many people get caught in the cycle of abuse and withdrawal. What usually happens is that a tolerance to the effects of the drug develops, which makes it less effective than before. So those taking cocaine will require more of the drug to achieve the level of satisfaction that they need.
Nevertheless, cocaine is also associated with crashing comedowns when the effects of it wear off. This can leave users feeling not only severely depressed but also feeling run down for many days afterwards. To avoid this comedown then, many individuals continue taking cocaine.
Cocaine is a very strong and very addictive drug, and users experience intense cravings for it whenever the effects wear off. It is these cravings that often lead individuals to develop addictions.
Addiction to the drug is more a psychological issue than a physical one when it comes to cocaine, with those who try to quit the drug usually experiencing low moods and depression. This can lead to them believing that they cannot cope without the drug, meaning that they quickly get caught in a cycle of abuse that they just cannot break.
Are You Addicted to Cocaine?
If you have been abusing cocaine and are still at the stage where you believe it to be a drug that makes you feel great, you are unlikely to be ready to accept that your use might be at a problematic stage. Most addicts are unwilling to see themselves as such and will live in denial until they get to the point where this is no longer possible.
What most do not realise when first starting to take cocaine is that while it can make them feel great, it can also make the user feel over-confident and even aggressive. Cocaine is often responsible for some people feeling very arrogant and taking unnecessary risks. This can then lead to them putting themselves and others in harmful situations.
If you are worried about your cocaine use and believe that it may be getting out of control, it is very likely that you do indeed have a problem. The following questions may give you an idea of how serious your situation is:
- Do you regularly binge on cocaine?
- Do you continue using the drug until you have none left to avoid the crash?
- Do you find it difficult to stop using cocaine once you have started?
- Do you find it impossible to resist the drug even when you have promised yourself or others that you would not use it?
- Do you need to use more cocaine than before to achieve the high you desire?
- Do you suffer from low moods, anxiety, sleep problems, and fatigue when the effects of cocaine wear off?
- Have you lost interest in spending time with anyone other than your drug-taking friends?
- Have you begun to neglect your responsibilities at home or at work because of your drug taking?
- Are your relationships with loved ones suffering because of your cocaine use?
- Do you often feel paranoid or aggressive while under the influence of the drug? Do you experience these feelings when not under the influence?
If you have answered yes to one or two of the above questions, it looks as though your cocaine use is a problem. If you have answered yes to more than that, you almost certainly require professional help to overcome a cocaine addiction.
Consequences of a Cocaine Addiction
It is easy for cocaine use to develop into problem use and most people do not realise that they have crossed the line until someone they love expresses concern. But you should know that cocaine addiction can have profound consequences for both you and your loved ones.
In terms of your own wellbeing, you are at risk of an overdose every time you use the drug. Taking cocaine in increasingly high doses can significantly raise the risk of overdose. Once you have developed an addiction, you will more than likely find that you need to increase your dose regularly to achieve the level of high you desire.
You might also be tempted to take cocaine with other chemical substances such as alcohol; this too can raise the risk of overdose. High doses of the drug can cause your temperature to rise, which can then result in convulsions. You will be at risk of heart problems and cardiac arrest too.
Cocaine use can also cause mental health problems. If you have a history of mental health issues, then cocaine use can trigger a relapse. If there is a family history of mental health problems, you may have a higher risk of developing them yourself and cocaine use could bring them to the fore.
You should be aware that cocaine addiction can have grave consequences for your overall well-being and can affect your relationships with those you love. Your family members and friends will find it hard to understand the changes in you. If they are unaware that you have been abusing cocaine, they will struggle to understand what is going on, particularly in the early days.
However, as time goes by, they may realise that substance abuse is the issue and they will probably beg and plead with you to get help. If their pleas are falling on deaf ears, they may become angry and frustrated and will not understand why you will not get help. It is hard for those with no experience of addiction to understand the pull that it has over the individual with the illness. To them, you will be making a conscious decision to continue using cocaine even though it is causing huge problems for yourself and the rest of the family.
As you might imagine, cocaine addiction can also cause problems for the family in terms of finances. Cocaine users tend to spend large sums of money feeding their habit, and as the habit grows, so too does the amount of money required to buy cocaine each week. With such strong compulsions to use, cocaine addicts will often become desperate to get the drug and will do anything they can to achieve that aim. If that means spending money that was meant for bills or other essential items, then so be it.
Family members of cocaine addicts often suffer financial problems as the illness spirals out of control. Without treatment, the addict may get to a point where he or she will take desperate measures to get the drug; this can include getting involved in criminal activities.
The Importance of Treatment
From reading the above, it is easy to see how cocaine addiction starts and how it can quickly spiral out of control. Because the drug is so addictive and so powerful, overcoming an addiction is difficult – but not impossible. It is important to seek help as soon as possible if you have an addiction to cocaine as the illness is likely to only get worse with time.
The problems you are facing now will almost certainly exacerbate, and you could be at risk of losing everything you hold dear. To get your life back on track, please reach out for help today. You can talk to your GP about the local drug treatment services available in your area, or you can call us here at Liberty House Clinic for information about the programmes we provide.