Abuse of cocaine is a problem with which our society has grappled for over a hundred years. The drug and its derivatives have been studied extensively for their anesthetic uses and also for the thorny issues around addiction to it. Consequently, we now know more about the drug and how it acts on the body and brain than ever before, including the variety of effects that can come with its usage. Most people understand that cocaine carries a high risk of addiction, but some of the effects of cocaine use might be surprising. Cocaine addiction treatment programs exist to help individuals stop using cocaine, thereby reducing their risk of adverse effects on health and mental wellness.
What Is Cocaine and Why Is It So Addictive?
Cocaine is a stimulant drug derived from plants native to South America. Indigenous people from these regions have long used it, much in the same way that chewing tobacco is used in other parts of the world. However, in the 19th century, researchers isolated the active compounds found in the coca plant leaves, creating what we know today as cocaine.
Cocaine works by blocking the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to feelings of happiness and euphoria. When introduced to the body, certain drugs cause a tolerance to be formed, meaning that more of the drug must be taken to experience the same effect. Cocaine happens to be a drug to which the body creates tolerance very quickly, leading to higher and higher amounts being needed and, eventually, addiction.
What Are the Acute Effects of Cocaine?
Acute effects occur as the drug is being used or in the immediate aftermath of using the drug. These effects can happen immediately upon use, even for those who have never used the drug before. Some of these effects are:
- Aggressive behavior
- Energetic, hyperactive behavior
- Dilated pupils
- Muscle spasms and twitches
- Excessive talking
What Are the Chronic Effects of Cocaine?
Chronic effects happen as an individual takes the drug over a period of time. These effects will happen to people who are regularly taking cocaine. Some of these effects are:
- Increased focus on acquiring and taking cocaine
- Drug cravings
- Taking more and more cocaine in order to get the same effects
- Convulsions or seizures
- Physical symptoms related to the method of ingestion such as nosebleed or asthma
- Appetite loss and weight loss
- Cardiovascular problems and inflammation of the heart
- Risk of stroke and other neurological problems
- Cognitive decline
- Cocaine use disorder
Addiction and Other Effects of Cocaine Use
Cocaine addiction is an effect that underpins all the other potential effects of cocaine use. Addiction to cocaine can cause users to ignore or downplay the seriousness of other potentially dangerous and negative effects because of the way that cocaine rewires the brain’s reward-seeking pathways. In essence, cocaine becomes the only thing that matters. This is why, if an individual is experiencing addiction to cocaine, seeking help from a cocaine addiction treatment center is a wise choice.
Greater Boston Recovery Centers Can Help With Cocaine Addiction
Our substance abuse rehab programs provide daytime outpatient and evening intensive outpatient drug treatment programs to help you or your loved one rebuild and restore hope. Our clinicians and staff work together with clients to develop individualized treatment plans that are designed with your specific needs in mind. If you or someone you love has been struggling with cocaine addiction, reach out to our caring and compassionate staff today at 877.920.6583 and learn how we can help you get back to doing the things you love.