Cocaine is an addictive stimulant drug widely used throughout the country. While cocaine is often used recreationally, an estimated 1.4 million Americans over the age of 12 suffered from a diagnosable cocaine use disorder in 2021. Additionally, an estimated 4.8 million people reported using cocaine at least once within the past month. A significant number of recreational cocaine users will develop an addiction over time. Thankfully, our cocaine addiction treatment in Boulder, CO is here to help.
If you or someone close to you has been struggling with cocaine addiction, contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive treatment program in Boulder, Colorado. We offer several distinct levels of clinical care, providing effective treatment options for cocaine addiction and co-occurring mental health concerns. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you start your recovery journey today.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a highly addictive and illegal stimulant. The drug is made from cocaine hydrochloride, a psychoactive compound found in the leaves of the coca plant which grows in South America. Today, cocaine is classified as a Schedule II chemical substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration. This means that while cocaine can be used for legitimate medical reasons, it has a high potential for misuse.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports, “People abuse two chemical forms of cocaine: the water-soluble hydrochloride salt and the water-insoluble cocaine base (or freebase). Users inject or snort the hydrochloride salt, which is a powder. The base form of cocaine is created by processing the drug with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water, then heating it to remove the hydrochloride to produce a smokable substance.”
Cocaine Use & Dependence
Cocaine use and dependence are significant problems across the country. Cocaine addiction affects members of all demographics, regardless of income, race, or gender. Unfortunately, cocaine addiction can lead to a range of serious short and long-term effects. Of the long-term effects of cocaine use, the development of a cocaine use disorder and the risk of cocaine overdose are the most detrimental. During 2021, approximately 24,486 people died from an overdose involving cocaine.
Short and Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use
Short-term effects of cocaine use include:
- Feelings of intense pleasure and euphoria
- Increased energy levels
- Increased sociability/talkativeness
- Increased alertness and focus
- Increased heart rate
- Hypersensitivity to sight, sound, and touch
- Decreased appetite
- Agitation and irritability
- Sleeplessness and insomnia
- Increased anxiety and panic attacks
Long-term effects of cocaine use include:
- Ongoing cardiovascular issues
- Increased risk of stroke
- Impulse inhibition/increase in risk-taking behaviors
- Legal and financial issues
- The development of movement disorders
- The development of physical and psychological dependence
- The building of physical tolerance
- The development of psychological issues, like anxiety
- Compromised cognitive function
Signs & Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
Regular use of cocaine results in long-term changes in the brain. Drugs like cocaine affect the brain pathways that respond to stress. Cocaine also works to alter the reward system. Over time, cocaine use becomes compulsive.
The most common signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction include:
- Cocaine is taken in more frequently and in more significant amounts than intended.
- A persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control cocaine use.
- A significant amount of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain alcohol, use cocaine, or recover from its effects.
- Craving or a strong desire or urge to use cocaine.
- Recurrent cocaine use results in a failure to fulfill significant role obligations at work, school, or home.
- Continued cocaine use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of cocaine.
- Recurrent cocaine use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
- Cocaine use continues despite knowledge of persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problems that are likely caused or exacerbated by cocaine.
- Physical or psychological issues that are likely to have been caused or exacerbated by cocaine use.
- High tolerance for cocaine use.
- Withdrawal symptoms were experienced without using cocaine.
If a person has more than two of the above-listed symptoms, seeking cocaine addiction treatment in Boulder, Colorado is a good idea. Contact us directly to learn more about our effective, multi-staged cocaine addiction treatment program.