Cocaine use symptoms can include anything from uncomfortable side effects like nose bleeds, sleeping issues, and anxiety to extreme and long-term health disorders like psychosis, high blood pressure, and addiction. While someone may try cocaine one or two times and notice little or no side effects, it’s this false sense of confidence and security that’s led over 1.4 million people to cocaine addiction.
This article covers everything about cocaine use symptoms, splitting them between behavioral, physical, and mental side effects. You’ll also learn how cocaine affects the brain and the most effective ways to treat cocaine addiction and abuse in you or a family member.
Cocaine is an illicit stimulant and controlled substance known to increase energy, attention span, heart rate, and breathing rate. Cocaine, also called “blow,” “coke,” and “snow,” is usually snorted, smoked, or injected and induces a short-lived but intense “high” by flooding the brain with dopamine. Dopamine is most notably involved in helping us feel pleasure or satisfaction as part of the brain’s reward system. When someone uses cocaine, the brain subconsciously links “pleasure” or “relief” with low-commitment, high-risk drug use.
If you’re struggling with a mental health disorder along with substance use, there’s a chance you have co-occurring disorders. Also called dual diagnosis, co-occurring disorders are defined by the presence of a substance use disorder and concurrent mental health disorders caused or contributed by each other. Compared to tackling one health condition at a time, co-occurring disorders can be harder to manage without professional addiction treatment.
For example, cocaine’s interaction with dopamine can put individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at a higher risk of developing an addiction. This is due to ADHD’s impact on impulsivity, executive dysfunction, and sensitivity to rewards, including the reinforcing effects of stimulants. This is the main reason why medications like Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin, and other FDA-approved stimulants target dopamine levels as well, but in a controlled and medically safe dosage.
Additionally, untreated or undertreated ADHD is at high risk for stimulant, opioid, alcohol, and cannabis abuse, as users try to self-medicate and manage their symptoms. One problem with cocaine is the massive rush of dopamine, which is toxic to the brain and body. When there’s an excess of dopamine, the body’s response is to ‘down-regulate,’ essentially closing off dopamine receptors. This process leads to more cravings and heightened usage, with the body signaling a lack of response by closing off even more receptors. Overtime, cocaine’s desired effects are reduced and its health risks stay the same.
Cocaine has several effects on the brain, chemically interacting and damaging important functions.
If you or a family member is exhibiting any of the following signs, call an addiction treatment center right away. The following symptoms can be attributed to cocaine’s effects on behavior, actions, and beliefs.
Behavioral symptoms of drug use can be treated using evidence-based and holistic therapy methods, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma-informed therapy, and adventure therapy. Therapy methods like CBT are essential during addiction treatment to help individuals reframe their cognitive beliefs and views on drug use and unhealthy coping skills.
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These cognitive and psychosocial symptoms of cocaine use can be treated through comprehensive addiction treatment that includes medical detox, full or part-time treatment, and continued aftercare support.
Oasis River Recovery partners with numerous private insurance providers. Our team is committed to assisting you in quickly and effortlessly verifying your insurance coverage for treatment.
At Oasis River Recovery, we pride ourselves on offering evidence-based and holistic healing modalities that treat every aspect of cocaine addiction and abuse. Our treatment center specifically provides partial hospitalization and on-site sober living facilities off the Ocoee River in Ocoee, Tennessee. Clients are immersed in nature and actively partake in breathwork classes, hikes, kayaking trips, and other excursions that tie into individualized treatment plans.
Some of our treatment therapies and healing modalities include:
If you or someone you know is using cocaine or displaying any signs of drug use, contact Oasis River Recovery Center. While Oasis River specifically focuses on holistic and experiential treatment, our partnership with Health Care Alliance North America gives clients access to five other centers offering various rehab programs and therapy methods. Call today, and one of our admissions agents can help you get started.
Dr. Brady J. Schroer is a psychiatrist in Asheville, North Carolina and is affiliated with Pardee UNC Health Care-Hendersonville. He received his medical degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
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