Cocaine addiction is one of the most common types of afflictions that people seek help for. Other names for cocaine are coke, blow or powder. Cocaine is a strong stimulant and anesthetic which comes as a white powder that is extracted from the coca plant, grown and harvested in South America. It is a central nervous system stimulant that affects the brain by stimulating high levels of dopamine, a brain chemical associated with pleasure and reward. Over time, it adversely effects every part of the body with potential for severe long-term effects. It can cause changes to genetics in brain cells, nerve cells and proteins, among other permanent effects.
While the drug is certainly available in Australia, the purity level is known to be quite low as drug dealers typically add other substances to it in order to stretch their supply and increase their profits. Although most people today recognise that cocaine is addictive, many people are still drawn to it. The price of cocaine in Australia is one of the highest amongst the illegal substances on the market. This drug is mostly preferred by the wealthy upper class.
It’s also common for people who experiment with cocaine to do so in environments where other substances are being used. Therefore, many people who have a cocaine addiction may likely have a dependence to other substances, such as alcohol or marijuana. This is referred to as poly-drug use and can be especially dangerous, as risk of fatal overdose increases. The effect of this drug causes an increase in heart rate and triggers a surge in blood pressure, giving people a euphoric rush of energy and alertness. There are several ways of ingesting cocaine, but the majority of users snort it, often causing significant damage to the nose. The effects of snorting it do not last long, ranging approximately 15-30 minutes. The substance can also be smoked (also known as “freebasing”), injected intravenously or swallowed. Smoking or injecting cocaine results in a more intense high but lasts for an even shorter period, about 5 to 10 minutes. People addicted to cocaine will use frequently in order to maintain the high. When the drug is injected, poses a higher risk of overdose compared to when it is snorted. Cocaine abuse is particularly dangerous because long-term use can result in much strain on the heart. The most common cause of death in frequent cocaine users is stroke or cardiac arrest.
Other effects of using cocaine include:
The psychological addiction from cocaine is often the most challenging part to overcome, although there are certainly physical symptoms of addiction as well. Individuals who use cocaine frequently will develop a dependence on it, meaning they need to have it in order to feel normal. Once a dependence has developed, a tolerance will develop and withdrawal symptoms will occur when stopping use.
Our Online Assessment Form will let us know if detoxification is required before the patient commences our cocaine rehab program.
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