Cocaine has been around for thousands of years. It is known as one of the oldest known psychoactive substances in the world. In the 1900’s, purified cocaine was used as the main ingredient in medicine that was used to treat various illnesses. On the other end, cocaine is a powerfully addictive substance.
As of 2008, cocaine has become the second most trafficked drug in the world. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that there are approximately 2.1 million current cocaine users in the United States. The survey goes on to explain that individuals 18 to 25 years of age generally have a higher chance of getting addicted.
How Do People Get Addicted to Cocaine?
In the normal neurological communication process, dopamine is released in the brain and then recycled back. When cocaine is used, it attaches itself to the dopamine transporter, which increases the intensity felt by the user. After a time, the user only feels that intensity when high.
Cocaine is snorted, injected and inhaled. It can also be administered intravenously. Crack is the crystal version of cocaine which is smoked by the user. Cocaine creates stimuli in the brain that creates an intensely pleasurable effect. Smoking crack allows it to reach the brain and heart much more quickly, which allows an even more intense high. It is considered more potent, due to being in its most pure form. Unfortunately for the user, a tolerance is built very quickly which causes the user to need higher and higher dosages to feel the same high.
What Happens to People Addicted to Cocaine?
Absorbing toxic amounts of cocaine creates cardiovascular and cerebrovascular emergencies (more commonly known as strokes) that lead to seizures and sudden death. Along with the obvious problems of addiction, below are some long-term effects of cocaine.
Permanent damage to blood vessels of the heart and brain
High blood pressure
Liver, kidney and lung disease
Severe tooth decay
Anxiety and paranoia
Seizures and Death
Recent studies show that using cocaine just once can lead to an addiction. Unfortunately, if the user doesn’t seek help in time, cocaine will ultimately result in death. Currently, there is no medication to treat cocaine addiction, therefore, rehab is your best chance at living a normal, addiction-free life. There are many programs that are available to help. The hardest step, is the first step of seeking it out.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Cocaine is a highly dangerous and addictive drug. Therefore, if you or a loved one are abusing this drug, you should seek help immediately. Seeking help, is the first step in beating the addiction. Cocaine addiction treatment requires medical care, therapy, and detoxification. The severity of the patient’s usage will determine whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is recommended. An inpatient treatment program can run anywhere from 30 to 90 days.
How Much Does Cocaine Addiction Treatment Cost?
Addiction is a medical condition. Many health insurances will cover or, at least, pay the majority of treatment. It is important to call your health insurance to get a list of approved facilities. Rehabilitation programs run anywhere from $2000 to $25,000 depending on the facility you choose. The Department of Health may have information on low cost or free rehab for low-income individuals.
The Road Ahead
Conquering any addiction takes internal strength, perseverance, and emotional support. Taking responsibility for your actions and seeking help can prove to be difficult, but it will eventually save your life. The first step is reaching out to a family member or a professional. You can live a sober, successful life beyond drug use!