Cocaine Addiction – Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

Inpatient, long-term (90 days or longer) cognitive behavioral therapy has had success in reducing and eliminating cocaine use and preventing relapses. Treatment must be designed to meet the individual’s needs in order to achieve the best results. At this time, there are no approved medications for treating cocaine addiction.

If you feel you or your loved one must be placed in a rehabilitation treatment center for cocaine abuse, please call 1-877-929-6887 or fill out a patient placement form and The Way Out Recovery will aid in placement.

Cocaine Addiction Overview

Cocaine stimulant drug that is highly addictive. The powdered cocaine can be inhaled, smoked, or dissolved in water for injection. Crack cocaine is the street name for cocaine that has been reprocessed to create a rock crystal, which is the smoked. Its name is onomatopoeic, derived from the crackling sound produced when the crystal is heated. Several health agencies contend that a person can become addicted to crack cocaine after one use, but all three methods of ingestion can lead to addiction and other health problems, including hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, as well as other infectious diseases.

The delivery system determines how quickly its effects are realized. The more quickly cocaine is absorbed into the blood stream, the more intense the effect. Injection and smoking are more effective than inhaling. However, quicker absorption also means the effects are shorter lived.  Inhaled, or snorted, cocaine produces effects that last for twenty to thirty minutes, where the other methods may only produce a high lasting less than half that time. Subsequently, use increases as the abuser pursues the effects. Because of this, cocaine is a drug subject to bingeing – repeated use in short periods at higher doses.

Multiple drug use is common among cocaine abusers (as well as all substance abusers).  Combining cocaine with alcohol, or other drugs, increases the danger posed by each substance.  Research has also revealed that cocaine and alcohol are processed in the liver to produce cocaethylene, a substance associated with a greater risk of sudden death than cocaine or alcohol alone.

Effects of Cocaine Addiction

In addition to the risk of addiction, cocaine abuse produces a number of negative physical consequences:

  • Headaches
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Heart attacks
  • Respiratory Failure
  • Seizures
  • Strokes

Abusers may also experience severe paranoia and auditory hallucinations.

Signs of Cocaine Addiction

There are several indicators of addiction, and they may appear alone or in combination with other signals. Many of the most noticeable signs of cocaine addiction are:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Hyperactivity
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased temperature
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Nosebleeds
  • Runny nose/frequent sniffling
  • Tremors
  • Weight loss

There are also behavioral indicators of cocaine addiction:

  • Apathy
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Change in groups of friends
  • Change in school grades or behavior
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Depression
  • Erratic behavior
  • Extreme swings in energy and lethargy
  • Financial problems
  • Increased need of money
  • Increased time away from family
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • Missed work/school
  • Paranoia
  • Thoughts of suicide