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Despite the entertainment industry’s glamorization of cocaine use, cocaine is an extremely dangerous substance. Cocaine’s dangers are well known, but its popularity as a recreational drug continues. Approximately 14 percent of the adult population has experimented with this extremely dangerous drug at some point in their lives, and no other illicit substance drives its users to the ER as often as cocaine. This physically and mentally addictive drug can harm the body in many ways, and the right treatment for cocaine addiction is vital in helping addicts leave their addiction behind and go on to lead healthy, drug-free lives.
Effects of Cocaine Use
Cocaine works quickly, therefore its effects are far more pronounced than those of many other illicit substances. Cocaine abuse has both short- and long-term effects. Often, people struggle with these effects for long periods without cocaine addiction treatment.
Cocaine users feel “high” because the drug prevents brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin from being absorbed into the body in the normal, natural way. It also interferes with brain nerves, producing an almost instant sense of euphoria. Cocaine is an appetite suppressant and can cause an overall increase in energy and induce a sense of invincibility in the user. Aside from the “desired” effects, users can also experience a number of negative reactions, including irritability, paranoia, restlessness, anxiety and panic. Short-term effects vary according to how the drug is taken. Smoking or injecting cocaine produces a brief, but very intense high, while inhaling cocaine results in a longer-lasting, albeit moderately diminished, intensity.
Although cocaine is often portrayed in movies and on TV as a “party drug” that is not as addictive as many other illegal substances, cocaine’s long-term effects are a major reason that people turn to cocaine addiction treatment centers to aid in recovery. Long-term health issues include, but are not limited to, headaches, arrhythmia, nausea, ulcers, stomach pain and even kidney damage. As with the short-term effects, the mode of use can influence the health consequences of cocaine use. Inhaling cocaine can cause nasal septum and throat irritations, hoarseness and nosebleeds. Injecting the drug can cause puncture marks and needle tracks, as well as collapsed veins and allergic reactions.
Cocaine Increases the Risk of Stroke
While most people already know that cocaine use has various dangerous side effects, the fact that it can drastically increase the risk of ischemic stroke in young adults within 24 hours of use is reason enough to seek help for cocaine addiction. A dangerous stroke can occur at any point, making the risk of stroke one of the reasons to seek cocaine withdrawal treatment.
There is no doubt cocaine is highly addictive in a large percentage of its users; however, the risk of permanent disability or even death has only been recently discovered. In fact, leading researchers recommend that young patients who suffer a stroke should be screened for drug abuse after admittance to the hospital. The actual reported number of cocaine-induced stroke victims may be far higher than reported. If drug testing were to become standard, it is likely that hospital cocaine treatment admission would be far higher than it is.
Treatment for Cocaine Abuse
Recreational cocaine use becomes an addiction when the user consistently abuses the drug and their body becomes dependent upon it. A cocaine high lasts a relatively short time, therefore users will often ingest more of the drug at one time. Users who do this have a greater chance of becoming cocaine dependent, therefore they must seek treatment for their cocaine addiction and enroll in a treatment program.
If cocaine abuse continues, both the brain and the body develop a dependency on the drug in order to get the aforementioned expected feelings of euphoria and invincibility, as well as a positive sense of self. The normal actions and functions that usually provide endorphins (personal relationships, food, sex, etc.) no longer have the same influence as before. Addiction can lead to money issues, problems with law enforcement or personal tragedy, and most users will continue using until they realize they need treatment for their addiction.
If you believe that someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction, it is important that you speak out. Getting treatment for cocaine addiction from one of the treatment options is the best way to avoid problems with addiction as well as the many physical issues that coincide with dependence. Don’t forget: cocaine addiction treatment can help addicts learn how to recover from cocaine dependence.
Getting the Best Treatment
Many cocaine treatment options stop after the patient leaves the facility, but recovery from cocaine addiction takes far longer than the typical rehabilitation period. Enrollment in a treatment facility does not necessarily guarantee the addict will be rendered immune to relapse. Aftercare is a vital component in treatment for cocaine addiction.
Cocaine addiction treatments that do not focus on providing coping mechanisms for a drug-free life outside the treatment facility are inherently flawed; rehab is important, but so is learning to cope with the pressures of everyday life after release from the program. Social activity, relationships, and jobs can all be negatively affected when the patient does not learn coping skills or lacks the ability to care for themselves post-treatment. No treatment will ensure the addict will never want to use again; however, aftercare service has the potential to help the recovering addict to remain sober.
If the patient willingly enrolls in a cocaine addiction recovery treatment program and participates in aftercare programs, the chances are greater that treatment at a cocaine addiction treatment center will facilitate and strengthen their recovery. Completion of treatment at a cocaine rehab center does not mean that the treatment is over. Patients must be must be willing to apply the lessons from cocaine rehab treatment to everyday life going forward.
There is a difference between the available cocaine treatment options. Find a treatment center that can prove its effectiveness with statistical evidence. Choose a program that will give the patient the tools they need in order to live a healthy, sober life once the facility doors close behind them.
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