While cocaine is known as a popular party drug, it is also known as a very dangerous one. This drug is produced by an extraction process of the active alkaloid in cocoa plants typically found in tropical regions around the equator. It’s sold as a white powdery substance and can be inhaled through the nose, smoked, injected with a needle, rubbed into the gums, or less commonly swallowed.
Cocaine use often starts off as a recreational drug used to dance longer, drink more, stay awake longer to get more work done or to “be more creative”. Since cocaine is such a short-acting drug, it’s easy to become addicted to this substance by chasing the high over and over again until none is left, then leaving the user with a hard crash; extreme cravings for the drug, sleepiness and fatigue, anxiety and irritability as well as paranoia are some of the most prominent side effects when coming off of cocaine.
Dependence on cocaine begins to occur when the brain becomes accustomed to the altered dopamine levels that are brought on by extended cocaine use. When dopamine levels in the brain fall below what it’s been used to by cocaine use, withdrawal symptoms kick in, giving the user extra incentive to return back to the drug and begin the process of getting high all over again. This process at some point or another begins to be compulsive, leading to a strong addiction and need for the drug being the focal point of daily existence.
Long-term use of cocaine not only causes major psychological, financial and social issues but also includes a number of physical issues such as cardiovascular damage: blood clots leading to heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke, chest pain from tightening of the vessels, irregular heart rate and permanently increased blood pressure. If snorted for long periods of time, the mucous membranes in the nose will become damaged and eventually die which will expose the cartilage lining in the nose. After the septum is exposed, this too will eventually die, creating a hole and causing breathing problems.
Individuals that suffer from cocaine addiction often slowly withdraw from society as they are constantly spending their time figuring out how to get their next high and are seldom interested in activities they might have once been interested in. Regular responsibilities become an issue and production in work or school could very well become non-existent.
While physical withdrawals may not be as severe as other drugs, the psychological withdrawals can be very intense; therefore detox can be of great benefit to help manage cocaine withdrawal symptoms in a safe and controlled environment. After a detox phase, treatment is recommended so that the user is able to find a solution to their cocaine addiction. Residential treatment programs often provide the highest level of care as people are able to remove themselves from the stressors of everyday life, allowing time for new and healthier habits to be established. Any Lengths Retreat is an all men treatment center that utilizes the 12-step program in order to stay sober and treat addiction with an optimal method of recovery. We believe that working a solid 12-step program is the solution to recovery and to live a life of sobriety.