Table of Contents
- What Is Cocaine?
- Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse
- Why Is Cocaine Addiction Dangerous?
- Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options
- Cocaine Abuse: by the Numbers
- Help is Available for Cocaine Abuse in California at West Valley Detox
Everybody who deals with substance use disorder is on their journey to recovery. This is true whether they struggle with alcohol abuse, painkiller addiction, or other types of mental illness. For those who suffer from cocaine addiction, it’s imperative to seek a cocaine addiction treatment program. At West Valley Detox in California, we offer just that.
What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is an illegal stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant. It produces intense feelings of energy, alertness, and euphoria when ingested. Cocaine is typically snorted or injected, but it can also be smoked in a pipe or mixed with marijuana to create a smokable form called “crack.”
The effects of cocaine are short-lived, lasting only a few minutes to an hour depending on the method used. However, these intense highs come with significant risks and dangers that can lead to long-term physical and mental health issues. Some of the potential side effects include increased heart rate, insomnia, paranoia, anxiety, depression, and an increased risk of stroke.
How Does Cocaine Work?
Cocaine works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system. When cocaine is smoked, snorted, or injected it enters the bloodstream and quickly travels to the brain. Once in the brain, cocaine binds to certain proteins called dopamine transporters, preventing them from returning dopamine to neurons where it can be reabsorbed.
This causes an increase in the amount of dopamine present in the brain, resulting in a feeling of euphoria and increased energy. Cocaine also increases levels of other neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which can create feelings of alertness, pleasure, and excitement. In addition to its stimulating effects, cocaine can reduce appetite and cause insomnia.
Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine abuse can cause physical and psychological symptoms, which may vary depending on the frequency and amount of drug use. Common physical signs of cocaine abuse include the following:
- Dilated pupils
- Increased heart rate
- Raised blood pressure
- Nosebleeds (if snorted)
- Needle marks (if injected)
- Weight loss
- Restlessness or agitation
- Changes in sleeping patterns
Psychological symptoms also present themselves in cocaine abuse. Some psychological symptoms of cocaine abuse include the following:
- Changes in appetite and sex drive
- Concentration problems
- Delusions or hallucinations
- Intense cravings
What are the Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse?
The short-term effects of cocaine abuse can be extremely dangerous and include the following: Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
- Extreme hyperactivity
- Irritability or paranoia
Cocaine also suppresses appetite and sleep. Chronic users may experience severe paranoia, hallucinations, strokes, and seizures. Other immediate side effects of cocaine use include panic attacks, irritability, restlessness, and anxiety. In addition, cocaine can cause insomnia and depression. Additionally, because cocaine is often cut with other substances such as baking soda or amphetamines, users may experience more serious side effects from these additives.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse?
Cocaine abuse can have long-term effects on an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Long-term use of cocaine can damage the body’s organs, including the heart, lungs,s, and kidneys. It can also increase the risk of stroke or heart attack due to its interference with the function of blood vessels.
In addition, long-term cocaine abuse can lead to an increased risk of mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Long-term use of cocaine can also cause changes in the brain which can lead to cognitive impairment, including difficulty with concentration and memory problems. It has also been linked to increased violent behavior or suicidal thoughts.
Long-term cocaine users can also become reliant on the drug and may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using. These symptoms can include irritability, fatigue, insomnia, and depression.
Why Is Cocaine Addiction Dangerous?
Cocaine addiction is a serious health issue, and the dangers of cocaine abuse are far-reaching. Cocaine use affects both physical and mental health, and it can lead to long-term issues such as brain damage and heart problems. Cocaine addiction also increases the risk of developing other mental health disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.
Additionally, cocaine addiction can lead to financial difficulties as people often spend large amounts of money on the drug. This can put undue stress on individuals and their families, leading to further related issues. Other risks associated with cocaine use include an increased risk of contracting infectious diseases like HIV or AIDS due to sharing needles and the danger of overdose.
Why is Cocaine Addictive?
Cocaine is one of the most heavily abused drugs in the world and its addictive potential is well-known. Cocaine’s ability to create a powerful, intense feeling of euphoria when used makes it highly addictive. In addition, cocaine has an incredibly fast onset of action; users can begin to feel its effects within minutes of taking it. This fast-acting and intense feeling of pleasure can be incredibly reinforcing for users, leading to compulsive use.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options
Cocaine addiction is a serious and dangerous problem that requires professional help to overcome, but there are several treatment options available. The first step in treating cocaine addiction is detoxification, which involves managing the physical symptoms of withdrawal and abstaining from using the drug. After detoxification, counseling, and therapy can be used to address any underlying psychological issues and to provide support in maintaining long-term abstinence.
What is Inpatient Residential Treatment for Cocaine Addiction?
Inpatient residential treatment for cocaine abuse is just one of our comprehensive programs designed to help individuals struggling with cocaine addiction. It involves living in a facility where the person can be closely monitored and supported through their recovery process. Treatment often includes individual and group therapy, 12-step programs, counseling, life skills classes, relapse prevention strategies, medication assistance, and other services.
An inpatient residential setting provides a safe and supportive environment for those with addictions. This type of treatment allows individuals to focus on their recovery without the distractions of everyday life, which can be essential for achieving long-term sobriety.
What is Medically Assisted Treatment for Cocaine Addiction?
Medically assisted treatment (MAT) for cocaine abuse involves the use of specific medications to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms during recovery. This type of treatment, which is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), can be used in combination with behavioral therapies or as an independent treatment option.
The most commonly used medications for MAT in cocaine abuse are buprenorphine and naltrexone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication that helps reduce cravings for cocaine, while naltrexone works by blocking the effects of the drug on the brain’s reward system. Other medications may be prescribed to help with anxiety or depression associated with cocaine addiction.
MAT can also be used in conjunction with behavioral therapies to help individuals learn how to manage and cope with their cravings for cocaine. Behavioral treatment can include cognitive-behavioral, motivational interviewing, and contingency management.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on changing thoughts and behaviors that are associated with drug use, while motivational interviewing helps to uncover the underlying causes of drug use and to help a person make healthy changes. Contingency management involves setting up incentives or rewards for abstaining from drug use, such as vouchers or points that can be redeemed for goods or services.
Cocaine Abuse: by the Numbers
Cocaine addiction is a serious problem in the United States. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there were an estimated 1.9 million current cocaine users aged 12 or older, which accounts for about 0.8% of the population aged 12 or older. Of these users, approximately 509,000 were classified with a cocaine use disorder.
Cocaine Abuse in California
According to statistics, California has one of the highest rates of cocaine abuse in the country. In 2017, an estimated 1.1 million people aged 12 or older reported misuse of cocaine in their lifetime. Of those, 899,000 reported using it within the past year and 600,000 used it within the last month. Cocaine-related emergency department visits in California increased by 38 percent from 2013 to 2017. In that same time period, cocaine-related deaths more than doubled. Although the rates of abuse are troubling, there is hope for recovery.
Cocaine Abuse in Sherman Oaks
Sherman Oaks is no stranger to cocaine abuse. According to a survey conducted by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, there were more than 1,500 people in Sherman Oaks who reported abusing cocaine in the past year.
Cocaine Abuse in Tarzana
Cocaine abuse is a growing problem in Tarzana and the surrounding Los Angeles area. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cocaine use has nearly tripled among adults aged 18-25 in the past 20 years. This increase has been especially pronounced in urban areas like Tarzana due to its proximity to major drug distribution centers.
Cocaine Abuse in Studio City
In the city of Studio City, California, cocaine abuse has become a major problem. According to the most recent statistics from 2020, there were nearly 12,000 individuals seeking treatment for substance use disorder in Los Angeles County – up to 70% of them being related to cocaine abuse.
Help is Available for Cocaine Abuse in California at West Valley Detox
Any sort of substance use disorder is difficult to deal with, especially cocaine abuse. At West Valley Detox, we want to help those who are struggling with addiction recover on an individualized basis. If you or a loved one would like to find out more, you can contact us here.