Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system by tricking the brain to release dopamine. Cocaine can be a particular difficult drug to get off because of the intense cravings it triggers. These become particularly severe during the withdrawal phase.
If you are addicted to cocaine or know someone who is, then don’t wait. You need to act right away. Let us take a look at the symptoms of cocaine addiction.
Cocaine users get addicted to the feeling of pleasure that comes from the dopamine release. Cocaine addiction completely changes a person. The addict ceases to behave like a normal human. It is extremely distressing to see a family member undergo such change and waste away. Addiction to cocaine is usually very strong, and recovery will rarely happen without support. Friends and family have to rally around the addict and give him an alternative to the sensations provided by the powerful neurotransmitter – dopamine. The good news is that addicts have support systems they can turn to and effect a successful recovery.
Tolerance is a major symptom of cocaine addiction. It leads to an increase in dosage to achieve the high that was earlier achieved with smaller doses. Once the high wears off and withdrawal sets in, the addict feels restless and depressed. Addicts may not have any control on the amounts taken – they can take the drug for longer than intended and in amounts larger than what they desired, this happens because of the strong addictive properties of the drug. Cocaine addicts find themselves helpless against the drug, they cannot cut back on cocaine intake even if they want to. They spend most of their waking hours trying to arrange for their next fix. This severely affects their social and professional lives. A change in routine and skewed priorities point to cocaine addiction. Addicts cannot discontinue abusing cocaine even after knowing that their habit is hurting their bodies and causing extreme discomfort to their loved ones.
If you detect any of these symptoms in a family member’s behavior and health, you need to immediately take appropriate steps to wean them away from their debilitating behavior. It may not be easy for you to withhold their pocket money, not pay their rent, impose a curfew, etc, but you need to do it. If you don’t then you are acting as an enabler. They’ll grow even more dependent on your help to fuel their addiction.
Also keep a lookout for other signs of addiction such as mood swings, loss of weight, preferring seclusion to company, money management issues, gaining new friends who are most likely addicts themselves, and appearing tired and feeling fatigued when not abusing drugs.
While you can reach out and reason with an addict, the subject alone has the power to make the decision to give up drugs. Your approach will definitely play an important role. Getting angry or being brusque may invite a negative and defensive reaction from the addict. A professional family intervention carried out by an expert is the best way to broach the subject of addiction and rehabilitation.
The Villa Treatment Center can help you with answers on cocaine addiction and the path to recovery. Call us at 1-818-639-7160 and our admissions coordinator will inform you of the various avenues – psychological treatment, group therapy, body health, etc – to help the addict regain sobriety.