Many drug addicts seeking addiction treatment are abusing cocaine or crack-cocaine.
What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a naturally occurring alkaloid usually extracted from the leaves of the coca shrub, which was originally found in the Andes Mountains of Peru and Bolivia. With its appreciation as a lucrative cash crop, it is now cultivated in Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, the West Indies, Ecuador, and Java.
Short-term effects of Cocaine use can include:
- Constricted blood vessels
- Dilated pupils
- Increased heart rate
- Higher blood pressure
- Loss of appetite
- Faster breathing
- Raised heart rate
- An increase in body temperature which leads to sweating
- Dilated pupils
- Strange, erratic, at times violent behavior
Long-term effects of Cocaine use can include:
- Mood Disturbances
- Auditory Hallucinations
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug. They work in the same way as nicotine by tapping into the brain’s natural reward (dopamine) pathways. The drug binds itself to the proteins in the brain that are responsible for transporting the dopamine. As a result, the dopamine builds up in the synapse to create a “high.” You experience pleasure every time you take it and a distinct lack of pleasure once it wears off, thus reinforcing the compulsion to take more.
Some people who try cocaine become addicted to it relatively quickly. Once a person has developed an addiction, it can be difficult to overcome. Over time, a person with a addiction could find their feelings have flat lined and the only way they can feel anything resembling pleasure is to use the drug.
The facts about who a “typical” cocaine addict is may surprise you. The majorities of people who become addicted to cocaine are gainfully employed and have full-time jobs. In response to a survey conducted by Narcotics Anonymous, over 40 percent of cocaine addicts admitted that they have supplied the drug to co-workers.
Cocaine Treatment Options
Every individual is different and so there are many different cocaine treatments out there. The doctor must work with a psychologist to determine what treatment would work best for the drug addict and the one the individual would be most likely to stick to. Once this is determined the cocaine treatment begins.
The majority of individuals seeking treatment for drug addictions is for cocaine use. As a result doctors are very well educated in cocaine treatment and know what works and how to make it work. Of course, the drug user must be willing to put forth the effort to change and be dedicated to staying clean. And, if they are, they will be able to beat their cocaine addiction through cocaine treatment.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one method of cocaine treatment. This method focuses on teaching the drug user how to recognize the situations where cocaine use happens, avoid these situations altogether, and then cope with their feelings and emotions in another way that does not include drug or substance abuse.
Behavioral interventions are another method of cocaine treatment. This method focuses on changing the individual’s habits and lifestyles so they can start new. This requires the elimination of the drug friends, focusing on breaking the habit, identifying triggers that create the urge for cocaine use and more. It takes some time for a drug user to be stable but at this point cocaine treatment may continue on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Counseling is also an important part of cocaine treatment. Individuals frequently feel embarrassed, guilty and shameful. However, counseling helps them understand their addiction and overcome it.