In 2018, cocaine was the second most common drug associated with overdose and fatalities in the United States. Data provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates as many as six million Americans used cocaine during the year 2019. For many who struggle with a cocaine addiction, achieving sobriety is challenging and sometimes impossible without comprehensive detox, and addiction treatment services at a treatment facility qualified to provide support for cocaine addiction. 

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant grown in South America. When used, cocaine interacts with the body’s central nervous system to produce elevated feelings of energy and euphoria. The leaves of the plants are pressed into a fine white powder that is generally snorted through the nose; however, cocaine can also be rubbed directly onto the gums, smoked, or mixed with liquid and injected into the veins. Before the development of synthetic anesthetics, medical professionals used cocaine in medical settings to block pain. Today, however, the powerful and dangerous nature of cocaine is better understood. Cocaine is classified as a schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse; however, it can still be used in certain medical circumstances. 

Is Cocaine Addictive?

In its pure form, cocaine is one of the strongest natural stimulants known to man. However, when sold, it is no longer a pure substance. Cocaine is often cut with other substances, including laxatives, creatine, caffeine, sugar, and other anesthetics to make it more profitable for those selling it. Cocaine is a highly dangerous drug due to its addictive nature. 

Unlike other narcotic drugs, cocaine does not have any notable physical withdrawal symptoms. This is not to say that it does not significantly impact the body in other ways. Long-term cocaine use can lead to multiple health complications, including respiratory failure, heart attack, stroke, and death. 

Although not physically addictive, cocaine is mentally addictive. When someone uses cocaine, the drug interacts with the dopamine receptors in the brain, stimulating the central nervous system and increasing dopamine levels. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain responsible for feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Unfortunately, the elevated mood one receives from cocaine use is short-lived. A typical “high” from cocaine only lasts between five and thirty minutes. This often results in overdose, and high levels of abuse as addicts use more and more cocaine to feel and maintain their high. 

Eventually, repeated use leads to changes in how the brain processes reward. Addicts become less able to feel joy and happiness without using cocaine. When they try to reduce or stop using, withdrawal symptoms including agitation, anxiety, irritability, paranoia, and aggression often occur. 

How to Find Cocaine Addiction Help Near Me

Cocaine is highly addictive. Therefore, when looking for cocaine addiction help near you, it is important to find a treatment center that focuses on helping you learn healthier, safer coping mechanisms vital for resisting triggers and cravings. These critical relapse prevention skills will be essential to helping you continue your sobriety journey and reduce the risk of relapse in the future. The most successful therapies for cocaine addiction include cognitive-behavioral therapies, group therapies, and individual counseling sessions focused on your specific treatment needs goals. 

Our skilled team of treatment providers will work with you to design a treatment program that gets you the help you need to overcome cocaine addiction at any of our three Southern California addiction treatment centers. If you are ready to begin your journey to sobriety and freedom from cocaine, reach out to our admissions teams in Sherman Oaks, La Crescenta, or Van Nuys to learn more about how our programs can help you.