Cocaine became a popular party drug in the 1970s and 1980s. It is considered an illegal stimulant drug and continues to be an enormous social and legal problem today. The drug came into existence between 1890 and 1945, when Asia was one of the world’s largest markets for cocaine. It was initially regarded as an intoxicant and medicine for users as far apart as Shanghai and Bombay. Today, cocaine addiction remains prevalent in Australia as well as globally. Addiction to cocaine has also led to unfortunate cases of heart attacks and deaths caused by overdose each year. Research has shown that men are twice as likely to use or abuse the drug as compared to women.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a powerful and extremely addictive stimulant drug. The source of cocaine is Erythroxylon coca. These coca leaves have been chewed and ingested by people in South America for thousands of years. People ingested those leaves for their stimulant effects. Humans managed to isolate cocaine hydrochloride, the purified chemical, from the plant centuries ago. In the first half of the 1900s, purified cocaine was used as the core active ingredient in a wide variety of elixirs and tonics. People believed that these products could treat a great array of illnesses. By now, you might already have heard that cocaine was even used as an ingredient in the early formula of Coca-Cola®. Before synthetic local anaesthetic was widely developed, surgeons utilised cocaine to block pain. However, medical professionals soon learnt that the powerfully addictive substance could adversely alter brain function and structure if used repeatedly. Cocaine is a street drug. Its appearance resembles a white, fine, crystalline powder. It has aliases such as Blow, Powder, Snow, C and Coke. Street coke dealers also cut or dilute cocaine by adding non-psychoactive ingredients such as flour, baking soda, talcum powder and corn starch to increase profits. It is also common for cocaine to be tainted with psychoactive stimulants like amphetamine; other drugs like heroin (also known as Speedball); and chemically related local anaesthetics like procaine. Addicts normally abuse two chemical forms of cocaine: the water-insoluble cocaine base and the water-soluble hydrochloride salt. Users either snort or inject the hydrochloride salt. The base form of cocaine is usually created by processing the drug with water, sodium bicarbonate or ammonia. The mixture is then heated to remove the hydrochloride. This produces a smokable substance known as ‘Crack’ due to the crackling sound it makes when smoked. Cocaine is much like other drugs of addiction. The drug targets and over-stimulates your brain. It negatively affects the user’s reward system, which is designed to release short-term feelings of pleasure. After repeated use, cocaine alters how the brain works. It teaches the individual that they can only achieve the same feelings of euphoria if they use cocaine more often and in higher amounts.
Addiction Effects of Cocaine Usage
The feelings of euphoria are often short-lived. Individuals who are addicted to cocaine often experience various negative physical and psychological effects. High levels of paranoia is common among cocaine abusers. They tend to lose touch with reality; these people may see something or hear sounds that do not exist. Individuals suffering from cocaine addiction have also been diagnosed with serious health problems. These medical problems pertain to heart problems, respiratory failure, and nervous system complications that cause strokes. When a cocaine addict injects the substance, they may cause further damage without knowing it. They may be too distracted to be aware that they are sharing needles. By doing so, they increase the risks of infection of the injection site as well as contracting HIV or Hepatitis.
Can a user overdose from Cocaine?
Yes. Cocaine overdose leads to stroke, heart attack, seizures and death.
Cocaine addiction and overdose is on the rise. It is so important to treat a cocaine addiction as early as possible before the addict reaches stages that can cause long term harm to the body.
Cocaine addiction can be treated through medicine and clinical therapy.
The most effective therapy is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which helps to change the person’s drug use expectations and behaviours and also helps to manage triggers and stress.
Entering Salt Recovery for cocaine addiction
In recovery, you can address cocaine addiction in a safe and private environment. It’s an environment away from negative triggers and where there’s lots of positive empowerment and guided support.
Once you are settled, the treatment process can begin. Recovering at Salt recovery will incorporate many therapies. You may attend group and individual therapy, and there are five-star amenities and activities to take advantage of, too. Therapy sessions include:
Psychotherapy: This therapy treatment is a big part of dual diagnosis treatment. Cognitive behavioural therapy, in particular, helps you learn how to cope and change negative thinking.
Support Groups: These are great when dealing with a dual diagnosis that can feel isolating. Support groups let clients share frustrations, celebrate successes and find referrals for specialists. They also provide a space for forming healthy friendships filled with encouragement to stay clean.
Holistic wellness practices: Art therapy, meditation classes and other forms of wellness practices help deal with dual diagnosis. Often, a person’s mental health is the big cause of substance abuse disorders. Removing negative triggers and introducing healthy habits allows a person to rest. It also helps calm their mind and learn the tools they need to prolong their recovery for the rest of their lives.
Excitability, dilated pupils, runny nose, weight loss, mood swings, social isolation
Risky behaviours, nosebleeds, boost in confidence, talkative habits, changes in sleeping and eating patterns
White powder residue around the nose and mouth, burn marks on the hands and lips, deterioration in hygiene habits
Financial difficulties, loss of interest in things that once brought joy, increased need for privacy
Spoons, razor blades, plastic baggies and other drug paraphernalia in the person’s room or clothing pockets