Cocaine Addiction & Abuse Facts

Although cocaine is highly addictive, millions of people use this drug every year. Below, we’ll discuss some cocaine addiction and abuse facts so you can understand the seriousness of this illegal substance. It’s important to be aware so you’re able to protect yourself and your loved ones.

If you or your loved one need a safe space to recover from addiction, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn more about our short- and long-term recovery programs.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is an illegal stimulant that comes in a white, powdery form. When ingested, it reacts with the central nervous system to increase energy and produce euphoria.

How Cocaine Causes Addiction

When a person takes cocaine, it causes a near-immediate release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates the reward center of the brain and is responsible for feelings of pleasure. Usually when dopamine is released, it’s recycled back into the brain. However, cocaine prevents this from happening, so instead, the dopamine builds up. This large quantity of dopamine causes the brain to make a positive association with using the drug, making a person want to take it again and again.

After repeated use, the user’s reward system adapts to the large quantity of dopamine, accepting this as its “normal” state. This means the user must take more of the drug to experience its effects, which can lead to overdose. It also means that when the user isn’t on cocaine, the brain’s dopamine levels are at an all-time low, causing serious withdrawal symptoms. The person often turns to the drug to eliminate these severe symptoms.

Signs Someone is High on Cocaine

When someone is high on cocaine, they will likely exhibit the following indicators:

  • Overexcitement
  • Overconfidence
  • Extreme talkativeness
  • Irritability
  • Hypersensitivity to light, touch, or sound
  • Increased alertness
  • Increased anxiety

The effects of cocaine don’t last long. Depending on how it’s ingested, a person’s state will be altered for as little as five to thirty minutes. Since its effects wear off so quickly, users take the drug back-to-back to maintain their high.

Significant Risk of Overdose

There is a very high risk of overdose when using cocaine for several reasons:

  • Frequent doses. Using cocaine repeated in one sitting causes an immense strain on the heart. This can quickly lead to stroke or cardiac arrest.
  • Impure substance. Drug dealers often lace cocaine with other substances like amphetamines and opioids without the user knowing. Taking several doses of cocaine with these additives can quickly lead to death.
  • Taken with other drugs. People who take cocaine often do so in environments where other drugs are present, such as alcohol or heroin. While the risk of overdose is already high when taken alone, mixing cocaine with other drugs can prove deadly.

Consider Myrtle Beach Recovery

Knowing these cocaine addiction and abuse facts can help you recognize when it’s time to seek help. If you’re addicted to cocaine or struggling to maintain your sobriety, consider reaching out to Myrtle Beach Recovery. We offer short-term and long-term recovery programs, providing a safe place to work through the 12 Steps.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you on your path to sobriety.