Health Complications of Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction can result in extremely negative consequences for your physical and mental health. Many initially use cocaine in a social or party setting. If they form a dependence then they are more likely to begin using the drug alone. This can quickly develop into a full-blown addiction.
Cocaine is often used in a “binge” method. This is for multiple reasons. One reason is that the euphoric and desirable effects of cocaine use do not last very long. Another big reason is that the negative effects of cocaine withdrawal are severe and it’s tempting to want to put them off for as long as possible. In order to avoid withdrawal, those who use cocaine often use the drug repeatedly over the course of many hours. The eventual comedown from cocaine is deeply unpleasant and many experience negative thoughts including suicidal ideation.
People often do not think of cocaine as one of the most problematic substances because it is expensive and associated with those who have fame and fortune. What people forget is that cocaine and crack cocaine are essentially the same drug. Crack has a negative stigma that is not typically associated with cocaine. Ironically, crack is not necessarily less expensive or less harmful due to the temptation towards binge use. It is not uncommon for a person who is abusing crack to spend hundreds of dollars during a single binge.
If you or someone you know is abusing cocaine or crack cocaine, it’s important that you attempt to have an intervention immediately. Because these substances are so addictive, the shift from abuse to addiction can be rapid. Early intervention can prevent permanent health complications that may result from cocaine and crack cocaine abuse and addiction. Reach out to the professionals at Oasis Recovery to speak with a specialist about treatment options.
Health Complications of Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine abuse and addiction is even more worrisome in modern times because drugs are often cut with dangerous and potent synthetic substances like fentanyl. The combination of cocaine and fentanyl, an extremely potent opiate, can be deadly. This is similar to the dangers of intentional “speedballing” which is historically a combination of cocaine (an “upper” and stimulant) and heroin (a “downer” and depressant).
Abuse of cocaine can have extremely detrimental effects on a person’s body.
- Prolonged abuse of cocaine is associated with liver damage and impact on kidney function.
- A person’s vocal cords and esophagus are often damaged and this can impair speech.
- Heart problems are common for those who have abused cocaine. Related issues include high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. Cocaine abuse and addictions put a person at risk for heart attacks.
- Cocaine addiction changes the brain. Brain damage from cocaine abuse can lead to seizures and strokes.
- Gastrointestinal issues (GI issues) are common when someone abuses cocaine over time. Repeated appetite suppression, weight changes, and malnutrition can result in long-term impact on the body. A person can accidentally create a habit of disordered eating alongside permanent digestive issues.
- Those who inject cocaine are likely to have permanent “track marks” at injection sites and scars from abscesses.
An individual who has snorted cocaine for an extended period of time may also experience problems including:
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Loss of sense of smell
- Issues swallowing
- Hoarse speech
- Damaged nasal septum
Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
If you or a loved one is showing any of the following common signs of cocaine addiction, consider reaching out for professional help as soon as possible.
- Prioritizing use
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Increase in use
- Hiding amount of use
- Loss of interest
- Lack of responsibility
- Relationship issues
Common symptoms of cocaine addiction can include:
- Bursts of energy or excitement
- Increased anxiety
- Lack of pleasure from hobbies and interests
- Being secretive
- Active at unusual hours
- Awake for unusually long periods of time
- Changes in social behavior
- Rapid weight change
Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can include:
- Slowed movements
- Acute depression
- Increased appetite
- Disturbing dreams
Withdrawal symptoms can vary for a number of reasons including:
- Length of cocaine abuse
- If other substances were also being abused
- Underlying medication conditions
- Previous history of substance abuse
Because withdrawal symptoms can be unpredictable and the physical effects on your body can be demanding, it is considered ideal to undergo withdrawal under a medically supervised setting. This allows for emergency medication intervention in case it is necessary.
Mental Health Plays An Essential Role in Addiction Treatment
Prolonged use of stimulants and uppers like cocaine can create permanent mood instability, increase anxiety, cause severe depression, hallucinations, and put individuals at risk for suicidal ideation.
On the path to recovery, mental health therapy plays an essential role in learning methods to cope with high-risk triggers as you pursue lasting sobriety. Drug abuse and addiction often are deeply enmeshed with trauma and a lack of healthy coping mechanisms. Those with substance abuse disorders tend to have co-occurring mental health disorders and are in need of a dual diagnosis from a trained and certified mental health counselor.
Traditional and holistic therapies can help clients learn how to better manage past trauma and begin to move forward. Oasis Recovery’s cocaine addiction treatment program offers a wide array of therapeutic treatment options. Our mental health therapies include but are not limited to::
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Individual therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
Contact Oasis Recovery about Cocaine Addiction Treatment
If you or someone you love is struggling with a cocaine addiction, it’s essential to get them the help they need as soon as possible. Oasis Recovery in Asheville has a team of expert medical doctors and mental health practitioners who can help your loved one break the cycle of abuse and learn effective coping mechanisms for sober living. Our cocaine addiction treatment options, relapse prevention programs, and aftercare services help create a supportive environment to ensure lasting sobriety. Reach out to us today to speak with a specialist who can assist you in choosing treatment options tailored to your particular circumstances.