Cocaine is a potent stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca plant. This drug has a high potential for addiction, and abusing it can impact people’s health, relationships, finances and overall well-being. Here’s what you need to know about cocaine use.
How Does Cocaine Affect the Brain and Body?
Cocaine’s effects on the brain involve a dopamine rush that occurs soon after use. People under the influence of cocaine experience heightened pleasure and sexual arousal, increased talkativeness and a sense of improved concentration.
Besides the enjoyable, alert feelings associated with cocaine use, some less desirable side effects can include paranoia, anxiety, irritability, restlessness and sensitivity to light and touch. Taking larger doses of cocaine or combining it with other substances such as alcohol can be particularly risky, since it can lead to unpredictable and violent behavior or an overdose.
Physical signs of cocaine use include:
- Dilated pupils
- Higher body temperature and blood pressure
- Elevated heartbeat
- Appetite loss
How Cocaine Abuse Can Harm Health
Aside from the dangers of addiction and overdose associated with cocaine use, lasting health consequences can include extreme fatigue, chronic headaches, heart disease, seizures, significant weight loss and death. Drug users are also more vulnerable to mental health issues such as depression, and these intertwined conditions can magnify each other.
Those who regularly snort cocaine might experience nosebleeds, a lost sense of smell, recurring severe sinus infections and a perforated septum. People who inject cocaine can develop collapsed veins and bloodborne infections from reusing or sharing needles.
Cocaine Addiction and Withdrawal
Cocaine is one of the world’s most addictive drugs. After people develop a tolerance, it will take increasingly higher doses of cocaine for you to achieve the desired effects.
As physical and psychological dependence worsens, users will have urges to keep taking cocaine despite mounting negative consequences. They’ll also go through withdrawal when they try to quit. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can vary in severity and include drug cravings, hopelessness and suicidal thoughts.
How to Safely Stop Using Cocaine
Trying to stop using cocaine cold turkey is dangerous and is not something anyone should attempt without medical supervision. Medically managed detox sets the stage for a successful recovery by allowing the body and brain to clear themselves of all harmful substances in a safe environment, with health professionals carefully monitoring symptoms. Once your loved one is stable, they can move into primary treatment.
Being in a setting where experienced help is nearby if severe withdrawal side effects threaten your loved one’s well-being can build the foundation for your next stages of treatment. At Vista Taos, our providers can create a personalized detox treatment plan designed to address the unique symptoms associated with cocaine abuse.
If you’re ready to learn more about how your addicted loved one can start their journey toward holistic health and wellness, our admissions counselors are ready to take your call. To learn more about medically supervised detox in Taos, New Mexico, contact us today.