Why do people get hooked on cocaine? There is no single answer. In fact, there are many factors that contribute to drug abuse, including biological and environmental components. Because of these many contributing reasons, cocaine is considered as one of the most highly addictive substances out there.
So what does cocaine do to an individual’s brain? Cocaine affects the brain by increasing the amount of dopamine in the nervous system, particularly in the parts of the brain that control pleasure and movement, disrupting normal brain communication, and causing damage to the brain’s reward system. Once you’re hooked on cocaine, it’s hard to stop.
Are you addicted to cocaine or is there someone you love who is addicted to cocaine? An individual who is addicted to cocaine exhibit changes in areas of the brain that affect judgment, decision making, and learning. There are ways to identify a pattern of addiction. One of the first things to watch for is changes in behavior and appearance. Others signs that you or someone you know may be addicted to cocaine include:
- Drastic weight loss because cocaine decreases appetite in most users.
- Many cocaine addicts will begin to isolate themselves from family and friends, using all of their time to find and use cocaine.
- Missing work or the inability to hold down at job.
- People who are using cocaine will often appear restless, agitated, depressed, or nervous, especially if they are between highs.
- Poor personal hygiene.
- Serious addicts will often engage in illegal activity like theft, prostitution, and even homicide to get cocaine.
Is it possible to treat cocaine addiction? Currently, there are no FDA approved medications used to treat cocaine addiction, but it has been concluded that a combination of behavioral and pharmaceutical treatments may ultimately prove more effective.
- Medication for cocaine addiction treatment – Even though there are no medications specifically for cocaine addiction, medications designed for other addictions have produced some positive results in clinical studies.
- Behavioral treatment for cocaine addiction – This has been the most successful method for treating cocaine addiction. Popular psychotherapy modalities include:
- Motivational incentives (MI) – Utilizing a prize/reward-based system, MI’s have proven successful in helping cocaine addicts to achieve initial abstinence while motivating them to remain in treatment.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy – Used primarily to prevent possible relapse, CBT helps cocaine addicts to stay away from the drug and other substances. CBT helps patients by teaching them to recognize, avoid, and cope with situations that would have led them to use cocaine in the past
If you or a loved one who is suffering from cocaine addiction, you don’t have to face it alone. There are many options available, and people who are willing to devote their time and expertise to help those who suffer from this horrible addiction. You can seek cocaine addiction treatment from the following professionals:
Cocaine addiction treatment centers/detox clinic – Patients stay from one to 12 months in the facility with the supervision of staff and addiction professionals. There are addiction recovery centers in NC that are designed specifically to help those struggling with addiction and are equipped with all of the tools necessary to promote success. Detox is overseen by a physician and clinical staff, who monitor and supervise cocaine withdrawal for 24 hours a day on an inpatient basis.
Clinical psychologist or psychiatrist – These experts specialized in cocaine addiction treatment. We all know that many addictions are rooted in the past problems, like childhood trauma or depression. A mental health professional can help patients with these issues as well as cocaine withdrawal symptoms. Seeking the expertise of a trained professional can increase your chances of recovery.
Cocaine addiction support group – Overcoming addiction is a serious and a difficult task and does not need to be achieved alone. An individual can join a support group to keep on track, and to find a sense of community.
Physician – An individual can speak first with his/her physician. This professional can provide education about the harmful effects of cocaine, and they will also guide patients towards the right treatment and help find a clinic or a mental health professional.