Cocaine or coke is a stimulant derived from the coca leaves. This recreational drug is commonly snorted, inhaled or dissolved and injected into the veins. Cocaine is one of the most abused drugs in the world, second only to marijuana. Due to its addictive nature, it is important to recognize the signs of cocaine addiction and overdose and to receive treatment at a cocaine addiction treatment program for women as soon as possible.
How Cocaine Works
Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that works by inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Since these 3 neurotransmitters are not being reabsorbed as quickly, the net effect is stimulation and excitability.
Cocaine also affects the reward center of the brain. The reward center is in the limbic system of the brain, consisting of the amygdala, the hippocampus, the hypothalamus, and other areas. The reward center of the brain responds to pleasurable activities by flooding the brain with dopamine and other neurotransmitters, creating a euphoric, pleasurable sensation. Normally, the reward center helps your mind associate beneficial activities such as sex or exercise with pleasure, but in the case of drugs like cocaine, the reward system plays a role in the development of addiction. Over time, users will develop a tolerance to cocaine, requiring larger doses to get high. The combination of reward and tolerance make cocaine very addictive.
The rush and euphoric feeling from cocaine don’t last long, typically 1 hour or less. Afterward, users often experience feelings of:
These sensations of letdown and fatigue are often referred to as a cocaine crash. Users using more and more need to seek out addiction therapy services.
The Symptoms and Signs of Cocaine Addiction
As a person becomes addicted to cocaine, their actions will revolve around getting more of the drug and getting high. When these symptoms are noticeable, it’s time to enter drug rehab for women. Common cocaine addiction symptoms include:
- Obsessing about cocaine
- Financial problems because of borrowing or stealing money to get cocaine
- Problems at work, school or in relationships
- Less attention to personal hygiene
- Enlarged or dilated pupils
- Runny nose or nosebleeds because of snorting cocaine
- Extreme self-confidence
- Mood swings
Another sign of cocaine addiction is one or more episodes of a cocaine overdose. The signs of a cocaine overdose include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Dangerously high blood pressure
A cocaine overdose is potentially life-threatening, so seek immediate medical care. If necessary, a physician will treat a cocaine overdose with benzodiazepines, to counteract the cocaine.
Treatment of Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction treatment involves behavioral therapy and inpatient rehabilitation. The Willows at Red Oak Recovery offers a cocaine addiction treatment program for women. We offer an individualized treatment program and dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis care targets both the addiction and underlying mental health issues.
Because our program is designed around the needs of women, you can feel at ease sharing your experiences and learning from other women recovering from addiction. If you are seeking addiction care in North Carolina, give us a call today at 855.773.0614. We’re here for you when you or a loved one experience the signs of cocaine addiction.