Cocaine might’ve been popular in the 1980’s, but its popularity has only grown since then. In fact, it’s the second most illegally trafficked drug in the world. Today’s cocaine addiction treatment centers constantly redefine their services to meet the needs of individuals suffering from cocaine abuse—but the ever-growing numbers are certainly demanding.
Cocaine Use in the United States
In the United States, alone, about 35.3 million Americans over the age of 12 have reportedly used the drug, as reported by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The powerfully addictive stimulant, used in its powdered hydro chloride salt form, is snorted, injected and smoked every year by adolescents and adults alike. Among high-school students, an average 8.5 percent of twelfth graders will have abused the drug. Today, it’s the most frequently referenced illicit drug used—reports American Addiction Centers.
How Is Cocaine Abused?
Modern alcohol and cocaine addiction share similar relevance to one another. As such, rehab for cocaine addiction in some cocaine addiction treatment centers promotes the drug’s awareness frequently. Cocaine is frequently inhaled through the nose—where it’s quickly absorbed into the user’s bloodstream via their nasal tissue.
While it’s possible to inject cocaine via a needle—releasing the drug directly into the bloodstream—this method isn’t as prevalent. Cocaine is a fast-acting substance which is delivered quickly to the brain, resulting in:
• Increased energy
• Mental alertness
• Reduced fatigue
The quicker cocaine is absorbed into the bloodstream—the more intense its high. A typical cocaine high lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, typically followed by a light withdrawal period which instigates further consumption of the drug. Rehab for cocaine addiction can be difficult for patients for this reason, as patients are often chronic abusers of the substance. Many who abuse cocaine, in fact, do so in binges—consuming doses of the drug, repeatedly, within a short period of time.
Cocaine’s Impact on the Brain
Because cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant, it rapidly increases the brain’s dopamine levels. Dopamine is a chemical which regulates pleasure within the brain’s reward circuit, and artificially increasing this chemical can create long-term cognitive and emotional difficulties for the user.
Specifically, cocaine prevents the recycling of dopamine—causing the chemical to build up in the brain. Ultimately, this disrupts the brain’s normal communication—creating a euphoric effect among its users. If used repeatedly, cocaine might alter the brain’s reward system entirely—and even the brain’s other reward systems—resulting in addiction.
The Dangers of Cocaine Use
Understandably, cocaine addiction treatment centers have studied the drug’s dangers for a while. Cocaine might’ve been popular in the 1980’s, but it’s just as relevant today. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that modern-day cocaine use has grown, slightly, since 2002.
The negative symptoms of cocaine abuse can exist even when a person seeks rehab for cocaine addiction, as long-term cocaine abuse can result in prolonged withdrawal effects. Upon use, cocaine results in:
• Increased agitation
• Dangerous dis-inhibition
• Involuntary muscle tics
• Shifts in focus and concentration
Among cocaine’s adverse effects, heart damage poses the highest risk for users. Both acutely and chronically used, cocaine can damage cardiovascular tissues. This can result in aberrant heart rhythms, ischemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and hypertension.
If the cocaine user doesn’t seek cocaine treatment and rehab, they may not get the medical assistance needed to prevent the drug’s other cardio-toxic impacts, like aortic ruptures, myocarditis and overall decreased cardiac function.
While cocaine primarily impacts the heart negatively, it can also increase the user’s risk of a stroke—or even brain damage, as the drug interrupts the heart’s blood supply to the brain. Cocaine treatment and rehab studies suggest that alcohol and cocaine addiction, alike, can result in kidney damage, too.
Modern Cocaine Abuse Treatment
Cocaine treatment and rehab became widely available in the 1980’s, and it’s only grown in effectiveness until today. Because the long-term health impacts of alcohol and cocaine addiction are both serious, it isn’t rare to see programs offer assistance for both struggles on a side-by-side basis.
Those struggling with a cocaine addiction can find solace at inpatient facilities, which accommodate for them throughout their treatment. Typically, these facilities offer not only medical recovery—but cognitive behavioral therapy, round-the-clock supervision, and therapeutic interventions to help their patients.
Other programs, meanwhile, help struggling individuals on an outpatient basis—wherein therapeutic interventions are offered without the requirement of on-site residence. Treatment methods like contingency management can help previous users avoid future cocaine use, while cognitive behavioral therapy can help them understand the cause of their addiction.
If you or a loved one struggles with cocaine use, abuse or long-term addiction, don’t hesitate to contact a cocaine addiction center today. Specialized providers assure the ongoing comfort, safety and long-term health of patients—both helping them recover and achieve a brighter, substance-free, future.