What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug. It is commonly used recreationally, and cocaine use often leads to dependency and addiction. Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant. It is an illegal drug, and is most often found in a white powder form. It can be ingested, smoked, snorted or injected. Crack cocaine is found in a rock, crystal form and can be smoked or free-based. Cocaine causes an intense “rush” and “high”.
Cocaine Dependence and Addiction
Cocaine increases levels of dopamine in brain circuits controlling pleasure and movement. Dopamine is the chemical involved in the pleasure circuit of the brain. Cocaine causes excessive amounts of dopamine to build up between nerve cells. The flood of dopamine causes the cocaine “high”. The brain assigns a much higher reward or pleasure value to the drug. With chronic use, the pleasure center of the brain is dysregulated, often rendering the user unable to experience pleasure naturally.
The effects of cocaine are characterized by an intense rush of pleasure, often followed by a crash. With the onset of dependence or addiction, the user will often experience cravings, urges, obsessions and compulsions. This phenomenon can hijack the users sense of values, judgment, reason and morality; leading to high risk and destructive behaviors to seek, obtain and use the drug.
The short-term effects can be an experience of extreme happiness and alertness. Irritability and hypersensitivity are also common side effects. Long-term use can lead to paranoia, as well as bizarre and violent behavior. There are also significant health risks associated with cocaine use.
Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
Many forms of treatment are available for those struggling with cocaine use disorder. Most commonly, 12-step, cognitive behavioral, and other behavioral interventions are utilized. It is important that the client work with a multi-disciplinary team equipped to deal with the medical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and behavioral needs of each individual.
Treatment often involves outpatient treatment and social support as well. In most cases, changes need to be made to the environment, lifestyle, relationships and social experience to promote long-term recovery. Sobriety and positive change happen within a community. It is crucial to have the healthy connections necessary to meet the needs of the individual. Otherwise, the sufferer will often revert to the chemical and culture “counterfeit” to meet those needs.
Center for Cocaine Addiction Treatment in Gilbert, Arizona
Cocaine addiction treatment from Renaissance Recovery Center in Gilbert, Arizona offers each client a customized treatment plan designed to meet his or her individual needs. Our approach to cocaine addiction recovery is holistic; involving group and individual counseling, which addresses the spiritual, emotional and psychological aspects of recovery. Contact Renaissance Recovery Center at (480) 526-7738 for any questions or to get a free assessment.