Why Is Cocaine So Addictive?

Stimulant abuse affects neurotransmitter levels in the brain responsible for good and bad feelings. The brain gets used to increased amounts of these neurotransmitters to create pleasant feelings. People often get psychologically addicted to the short-lived feel-good effects of cocaine and can also develop a physical dependence on the drug, needing more to get the same effect and suffering withdrawal symptoms after a period of time without the drug.

Dangers of Abusing Cocaine

People who use cocaine often don’t eat or sleep regularly. They can experience increased heart rate, muscle spasms and convulsions. If they snort cocaine, they can also permanently damage their nasal tissue. Cocaine also affects emotions. Using cocaine can make one feel paranoid, angry, hostile and anxious, even when they aren’t high.

Cocaine interferes with the brain chemicals that create feelings of pleasure, so users need more and more of the drug just to feel normal. People who become addicted to cocaine may start to lose interest in other areas of their life like school, friends and social activities.

Cocaine can have serious health risks. Even first-time cocaine users can have seizures or fatal heart attacks. Cocaine use can also cause strokes and respiratory failure. People who inject cocaine with needles that they share with others are also at risk for contracting hepatitis, HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Many cocaine users also combine the drug with other drugs or alcohol, which is extremely dangerous. The effects of one drug can magnify the effects of another, and mixing substances can be deadly.

Cocaine Detox

Withdrawal from cocaine addiction can be physically and emotionally taxing. When cocaine use is stopped or when a binge ends, a crash follows almost immediately. This crash is accompanied by strong cravings for more cocaine. Withdrawal symptoms can begin within a few hours and may continue for up to two weeks or more. Cocaine detox should take place under the 24/7 care of medical professionals.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Tremors or shakiness
  • Paranoia
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Body aches and chills
  • Irritability and agitation

In medical cocaine detox, clients are supervised around the clock. Our detox staff can administer research-backed medications to ease cocaine withdrawal symptoms as clinically appropriate to ensure clients are safe and comfortable. A positive detox experience can enhance chances of continuing in treatment, thus reducing the risk of relapse.

At The Ranch drug and alcohol rehab, we provide a comprehensive, medically monitored drug detox program with 24/7 medical staff that ensures the highest level of comfort and care during cocaine detox. Once clients have safely moved through detox, they transition into an individualized treatment program with clients sharing similar issues. In treatment, where we’ve been able to achieve a high cocaine addiction treatment success rate, clients address the issues and situations that led to their addiction, learn healthy coping skills and begin to heal the physical, mental and emotional wounds of addiction. Learn more about our drug rehab program or call 888-503-0205.


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