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Cocaine Addiction – What are the Effects?

A 2019 report indicated that there are around 25 million people worldwide who are addicted to cocaine. This is a shocking statistic, especially since cocaine is considered one of the most harmful illicit drugs on the market.

effects of cocaine addiction

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug which is made from the leaves of the coca plant which is processed with other chemicals and additives. The result is a fine, white powder which are compressed into bricks before distribution.

This powder can either be snorted up the nose, rubbed into the gums, or dissolved in water before injecting it intravenously. When in rock form (crack cocaine), it is heated up and the user inhales the smoke to feel its effects.

The user will experience feelings of heightened mental awareness, increased energy, and improved self-confidence.

Why is Cocaine so Addictive?

Cocaine sends increased levels of dopamine to the parts of the brain that control pleasure. Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain and is responsible for making you feel satisfied and motivated. It is often referred to as the feel-good hormone and is a primary driver of the brain’s reward system. Dopamine spikes when we experience pleasure. Cocaine causes an unnatural spike of dopamine, creating a drug-induced sense of pleasure.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

The short-term effects of cocaine usually feel positive and enjoyable:

  • Inflated sense of confidence
  • Feeling indestructible
  • Intense euphoria
  • Talkativeness
  • Increased energy levels
  • Alertness

However, some people experience more negative sensations when on cocaine, such as:

  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

What Are the Effects of Cocaine Addiction?

The problem with cocaine is that your body begins to build up tolerance against it, and you start needing more and more of it to feel the high you are used to feeling. But this comes with an array of negative physical and psychological effects:

  • Mood problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Seizures and/or convulsions
  • Chronic headaches
  • Lung damage
  • Disintegration of the nasal septum
  • Chronic insomnia
  • Engaging in risky and/or criminal behavior

Step Away – Drug Rehabilitation Center South Africa

At Step Away, we have programmes suited to individuals who are struggling with cocaine addiction. We open our doors to those who are in early or late stages of addiction.

Contact us to find out more.

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