What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly powerful and addictive substance, classified as a stimulant drug. The drug we know as cocaine today is produced from coca leaves, which are found primarily in parts of South America. Before the harmful effects of this drug were fully known, it was actually used to treat various illnesses, and was even an ingredient in early recipes for Coca-Cola.

Research eventually showed that this drug can in fact be incredibly addictive and inhibit proper brain functioning after continued used.

Now classified as a Schedule II drug, cocaine is recognized as a substance with a high potential for misuse, abuse, and addiction. When purchased on the street, cocaine comes in a fine, white powder that is referred to by many names including powder, blow, snow, and coke. Purchasing this drug from an unknown dealer can be particularly dangerous, as many dealers will dilute their product with substances such as flour or baking soda in order to increase their profits. The chemical forms of cocaine can be consumed in a variety of ways, including through snorting, injecting, or smoking.

Risk Factors for Cocaine Addiction

Individuals of any race, age, sex, or socioeconomic status can develop a life-threatening addiction to cocaine. However, it is important to acknowledge that certain factors can increase the likelihood of someone becoming addicted to this drug. These risk factors can include:

  • Lack of Family Involvement: Individuals who grew up in a household with little parental supervision, or in households where chaos and disorder are present, are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as experimentation with drugs. This can be attributed to the lack of supervision and fear of consequences. A chaotic household may also push certain individuals to use as a way to escape the stress of daily life.
  • Family History: Extensive research has shown that certain individuals may have a genetic disposition for developing a cocaine addiction. Those with a blood relative that has battled alcoholism or drug addiction have a higher chance of developing an addiction themselves. 
  • Peer Pressure: Those who spend time with friends who experiment with drugs and alcohol are at risk for developing an addiction, simply because they feel pressure to participate as a way to fit in. Particularly in adolescent years, individuals will engage in risky behaviors such as drug use for fear of social ostracism. Individuals who begin using drugs such as cocaine at an early age are more likely to develop an addiction as they reach adulthood.
  • Mental Health Issues: it is not uncommon for those with an addiction to cocaine to also have a mental health disorder. In fact, many of those with a substance abuse disorder turn to drugs as a way to cope with the negative feelings and emotions brought on by their comorbid disorder.  While the drug may provide a temporary escape, it ultimately does not properly treat the mental health issue and can lead to further damage.

Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction

Identifying a cocaine addiction in a friend or loved one can be tricky at first, as many individuals suffering from a drug dependency and in need of cocaine addiction treatment attempt to hide their drug use from those around them. Over time, however, their misuse of cocaine will become apparent through a series of signs and symptoms. For example, someone battling an addiction to cocaine may begin to abandon their responsibilities at home, work, or school. Their performance on tasks is likely to decline, resulting in poor performance reviews and grades.

Further, individuals in need of cocaine treatment often become withdrawn and secretive. Many users isolate themselves from friends and family as a way to avoid discussions about their drug use. They will try to downplay their drug abuse by lying or hiding drugs in their possession where it can’t be found. Many addicted individuals will experience legal troubles as their drug use becomes more and more risky. They may find themselves arrested or serving time in jail for possession of cocaine.

Some of the physical symptoms of cocaine addiction you may notice in a user include track marks on the body from injecting the drug, nosebleeds, dilated pupils, hoarseness, runny nose, and difficulties swallowing.

When such symptoms are present, it is crucial that cocaine addiction treatment is sought out immediately from a professional and reputable source. Early intervention allows for the best chance at long-term recovery.

Effects of Cocaine Use on the Body

Whether snorted, injected, or smoked, the side effects of cocaine use are felt quickly. Cocaine works by releasing large quantities of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter that plays a large role in the brain’s pleasure and reward systems. The rush of dopamine in the brain after cocaine has been consumed is what leads to the characteristic “high” associated with the drug. Further, the intense, pleasurable feelings brought on by cocaine use are what makes it such a highly addictive substance, leading users to seek out the high time and time again. The high of cocaine use is characterized by certain effects, including euphoria, elevated mood, increased energy, and inflated self-esteem. Some users turn to cocaine with the hopes that it will increase their performance on tasks such as studying or playing sports.

While some of the short-term effects of cocaine use are desirable to users, there are also a wide variety of unpleasant side effects. These uncomfortable side effects can include paranoia, panic, anxiety, depression, and restlessness. More serious physical side effects of cocaine on the body can include tremors, constricted blood vessels, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and increased body temperature.

Prolonged use of cocaine over time can take a serious toll on the body. It is not uncommon for those suffering from an addiction to cocaine to experience abdominal pain, extreme fatigue, weight loss, headaches, heart attack, stroke, seizures, respiratory arrest, and even death.

Because of the severity of the side effects associated with cocaine use, it is crucial that anyone exhibiting the harmful short and long-term effects receive cocaine treatment early on to prevent permanent and life-threatening damage.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Those seeking treatment for a cocaine addiction have a variety of options when it comes to the components of their rehabilitation. Currently, much research is being done to identify an effective pharmacological treatment approach, though no such medication exists on the market today. Behavioral treatment methods and other holistic therapies, however, have proven successful in helping many individuals overcome their addiction to this highly powerful drug. Cocaine addiction treatment can take place in an inpatient program or outpatient setting, depending on the recovery patient’s unique needs and schedule.

One widely used form of behavioral cocaine treatment is contingency management, also known as motivational incentives. Contingency management simply involves the distribution of rewards and prizes to an individual when they abstain from using cocaine. This form of cocaine addiction treatment often involves testing the recovery patient’s urine for presence of the drug, and if they pass, they will receive a voucher or points that can be exchanged for items such as movie tickets, gym memberships, or meals. Contingency management has proven effective in the cocaine treatment process as it provides added incentives to stay in rehab, and tangible, experiential rewards.

Another effective approach for cocaine addiction treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This method of treatment helps recovery patients better recognize situations that might encourage or lead to their use of the drug. They can then avoid such situations and prevent relapse.

In most cocaine addiction treatment programs, individual and group counseling and therapy is incorporated to help address the root cause of one’s addiction and to provide a support network including family programs, as well. Community-based recovery groups, for example, allow those in recovery to discuss their addiction candidly with other with similar life experiences, without fear of judgment.

The Bluff Approach to Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Cocaine addiction treatment should be comprehensive and multi-faceted. At Bluff, we understand that no two recovery patients are alike. Each individual that enters our facility to receive high quality cocaine treatment for their addiction is given an individualized rehabilitation plan that takes into account their unique situation, experiences, and needs. We conduct a thorough evaluation of all our patients, during which we gather critical information such as history of one’s drug use, and family and medical history.

This allows us to create the most effective tailored course of action that promotes your long-term recovery and health.

Patients choose Bluff for their cocaine addiction treatment not only because of our state of the art facility, but also because we are staffed by board certified physicians trained and experienced in treating this specific type of drug addiction. Throughout each step of the treatment process, the medical team at our center offers support and guidance, from diagnosis to detoxification, through long-term recovery planning.

Bluff Amenities

At Bluff, we’ve set the standard for cocaine addiction treatment. The excellent accommodations and amenities at our treatment center ensure you receive unmatched care in a comfortable, and relaxing setting. We have something for everyone, offering meditation and yoga, equine therapy, private cottages, and more at our beautifully appointed rehabilitation center surrounded by walkable nature trails. We are not only committed to treating your body, but also your mind and spirit. We guarantee you will leave Bluff feeling rejuvenated and better able to manage your long-term care.

Contact Us Now

If you are ready to get your like back on track, contact the recovery experts at Bluff today to begin your cocaine addiction treatment today. We are standing by 24/7 to receive your inquiry and develop a plan to overcome your addiction.


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