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Awareness For People Struggling With Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine, the drug that during a time was normalized and then a decade or two later stigmatized to no end. What happened next? It seemed to have certainly fallen out of the spotlight and national attention.

The widespread occasional recreational use of cocaine is still alive and well. Surprisingly, only a small proportion of people who use with some regularity go on to develop a serious habit. Relative to the addiction rates of heroin and methamphetamine, of course.

There exists a well-defined separation of the camps users can belong to. That is unique to cocaine, considering most of the other hard drugs don't have such a defined separation between recreational users and those who have become addicted.

Cocaine users who do go on to fall into a serious habit tend to be mostly intravenous users, smoke crack-cocaine and/or they have the means and resources to keep chasing the high and increasing their amount of cocaine being used.

The typical habitual cocaine user experiences a cycle of addiction similar to what is experienced by amphetamine users. Cocaine addiction is not a dependence; your body will not need it the way it would, say, heroin. This results in a perpetuation of the cycle of binging, crashing, starting over. This is responsible for people who do not use cocaine everyday and don't feel the need to, despite using it.

When the party inevitably runs dry a user is left to deal with the psychological obstacles presented by heavy cocaine use. The comedown results in an unusually profound sleep and even a craving for it. The cravings can arrive three to eight days after the binge ended. During that time it is common for the person to recall the euphoric memories of how they felt when they thought they were on top of the world. Just like every other liberation of the user from the bondages of an addictive substance, that period of recall and persistent emotional issues is when the risk of relapse peaks.

If relapse can be avoided the cravings subside in time and emotional regulation returns to its intended function. Cocaine manipulates the pleasure/reward systems of the brain, accounting for the sadness and depression experienced in cocaine withdrawal. Sustained use will result in a neurological adaptation that places the pleasure/reward in the backseat, so to speak. With cocaine effectively replacing the neurotransmitters at their roles the brain is tricked into not producing those chemicals itself. Thus, when cocaine is stopped the brain has no backup system to maintain the processes it forsook because of cocaine. Because of that our emotional and mental well-being will be affected, the brain essentially doesn't have the capability to let us feel pleasure or joy upon cocaine cessation.

There is another unique aspect to cocaine that makes relapse as common as it is. Several of our neurochemicals involved in our learning and memory capacities are affected by cocaine as well. It has a mean habit of creating very vivid memories of times you used, literally tempting a recovering cocaine user to come on back to the euphoria being related through memory.

Cocaine can have pronounced effects on the mind such as aggression, panic, paranoia, irritability and even hallucinations. All resulting from the neurological tampering that takes place with heavy persistent cocaine abuse.

There is more to it than the psychological effects. It has a myriad of physical effects as well. Blood pressure can spike and result in high blood pressure. Arrythmia is reported as a common side-effect along with severe weight loss. With the different routes of administration come additional health risks to offer.

Cocaine is often mixed with abusing alcohol and sedatives in general during the comedown. This is where the infamous "speedball" was birthed as a way even out the effects of the two separate substances, which would be heroin and cocaine The comorbidity addictions at play demand a terrible price and may result in sudden death or respiratory depression on a whim or it might bestow euphoria. Despite not feeling like it, both substances are as hard at work as they are individually. The warning signs of overdosing are masked, making the practice extremely risky and life-threatening.

There is a silver lining, there is hope! If a person decides to engage in a treatment program they can expect to claim victory and cease using it. Treatment centers success rates are quite satisfactory and comforting, some claim as high as 80%!

If you can spot these very subtle effects in yourself or someone around you who uses cocaine habitually, the problem can be easily resolved before it even has a chance to mature. The signs are just so subtle and tend to go unnoticed in light of the extreme euphoria induced by cocaine.

Concurrently using cocaine and alcohol produces a metabolite in the liver known as cocaethylene. It is a very dangerous substance in its own right, we suggest you look into the cocaethylene articles if you regularly drink alcohol when you use cocaine.
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