Cocaine is a powerful and addictive stimulant, derived from the leaves of a South American plant – the coca plant. The majority of cocaine in circulation throughout the United States was imported from South America. The substance is illicit, meaning it is illegal throughout the country and it has no known medical purposes. Most people consider cocaine to be a “party drug” because it is so frequently used in social settings like nightclubs and house parties. Hollywood has done a very good job or romanticizing the drug over the years. Many individuals associate cocaine with fame and fortune – a glamorous drug reserved for the rich and the famous. The truth is, cocaine is a powerful, habit-forming drug with the potential to completely destroy the lives of those that use it.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 1.5 million American citizens have used cocaine within the past month. Adults between the ages of 18 and 25 have significantly higher rates of cocaine abuse than older adults. Studies show that this can be largely attributed to the social aspect of the drug. Those who use cocaine will experience an intense flood or energy and euphoria. The effects of the drugs only last for a short period of time – typically between one or two hours. The short-lasting effects are dangerous, because once the drug wears off, the user will be inclined to use more. This often leads to a vicious cycle of cocaine abuse, and ultimately leads to addiction.

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

There are many serious short and long-term effects of cocaine abuse. Short-term effects occur when an individual first takes the drug – these effects can be described as “the high.” Some of the short-term effects include (but are not limited to):

  • Intense feelings of happiness.
  • Feelings of anger, irritability and agitation.
  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound, sometimes to touch.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Powerful bursts of energy.
  • Feelings of anxiety and paranoia.

Once the high wears off, these feelings will typically dissipate, and will be replaced by temporary feelings of malaise, lethargy and fatigue. Those that use cocaine in a small amount one time will be able to sleep off the temporary effects of the drug in one to two days before feeling back to their normal selves.Those that use cocaine regularly will begin to feel long-term effects of the drug. These long-term effects might include:

  • Ongoing headaches and migraines.
  • Serious issues relating to the heart, including heart palpitations, heart attack, strokes or heart disease.
  • Long-term mood issues/an inability to regulate mood. This could be marked by persistent feelings of agitation or aggression, and an inability to feel happy or at ease.
  • Convulsions and seizures.
  • Sexual dysfunction, lack of interest in sexual activities, lack of a sex drive.
  • Problems relating specifically to intravenous use such as collapsed veins, abscesses, or skin infections.
  • Problems relating specifically to ingesting the drug nasally, like runny nose, persistent nosebleeds, a loss of smell, trouble swallowing and the slow deterioration of cartilage  in the nose (usually resulting in a need for reconstructive surgery).
  • Bowel decay, which can result from ingesting the substance orally.

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Interpersonal Consequences of Cocaine Abuse

There are also more than a few interpersonal consequences of ongoing cocaine abuse or addiction. The long-term effects are not just physical, they concern every single aspect of a person’s life. These might include:

  • Interpersonal problems – Addiction affects many more than just the person struggling – it affects the friends and family members of the addict as well. Those who struggle with cocaine addiction will often prioritize using their drug of choice over everything else – including their loved ones. This can cause serious interpersonal problems; fortunately, these problems can be fixed in addiction recovery.
  • Financial problems – Cocaine is not a cheap drug. Those who abuse this drug regularly or become addicted will typically find themselves in serious debt. While debt might seem completely overwhelming it can always be resolved in time, with sobriety.
  • Problems at work or at school – Those in active addiction will almost always experience a decrease in personal performance, whether that means a demotion at work or drastically dropping grades at school.
  • Legal issues – Not only is possession of cocaine illegal, but many cocaine addicts will turn to illegal activities (like theft or prostitution) in order to financially support their habit. Without professional help these legal issues are liable to continue accumulating.
  • A lack of motivation, leading to missed opportunities – Career opportunities, opportunities for advancement in life, the progression of romantic relationships, family vacations… drug addiction inevitably leads to missed opportunities. The longer addiction goes on the more opportunities will be missed, and the more difficult it will become to successfully pull yourself out of the hole you have been tirelessly digging. You will be amazed by how quickly you will regain what you believe you have “lost” once you enter into a program of drug addiction recovery.
  • Ongoing mental health issues – Those who abuse cocaine will experience mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, seeing as brain chemistry will be irreparably altered. Depression is more common, as chemicals like dopamine and serotonin – responsible for feelings like pleasure and motivation – are permanently depleted.

Regardless of how severe the consequences of your addiction have become, we are available to help. We understand that some problems might seem insurmountable, and you might wonder how you will possibly move past your current circumstances. No matter how severe a cocaine addiction has become there is always a way out. Call us to learn more about our comprehensive program of cocaine addiction treatment.

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Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Cocaine can never be used safely. Those who use cocaine repeatedly are not only at risk of addiction, but a host of other serious, long-term health-related complications. Repeated cocaine use leads to mental, emotional and physical damage. If not adequately and promptly treated, cocaine addiction will undeniably lead to permanent issues. Those who are addicted to cocaine must undergo a multi-phase recovery process in order to successfully overcome the mental and physical dependency. This process includes medically monitored detox, where a cocaine addict will safely undergo symptoms of withdrawal, treatment at an inpatient drug rehab, and ongoing aftercare. At Princeton Detox & Recovery Center, we help those who have been abusing cocaine along every step of the way. Our detox facility is geared towards treating the symptoms of withdrawal in a safe and supportive environment until physical stabilization is achieved. Once a patient has been deemed fit to transition into a drug rehab program, he or she will move immediately to inpatient. We make sure that the transition is easy and seamless, and that every individual patient is lined up with a cocaine treatment center that best suits his or her needs before the detox process has concluded. Transitioning from detox straight to inpatient rehab reduces the risk of relapse significantly. Once a patient has completed inpatient treatment (the length of the stay will vary depending on the severity of the addiction) he or she will move on to aftercare, which typically consists of sober living and continued therapy at an intensive outpatient program. At Princeton Detox and Recovery Center, we are dedicated to helping each and every one of our residents from the start of their recovery journey through their first several years of sobriety. We even offer alumni programs to those who have graduated from our treatment program and are looking for ongoing support and encouragement.

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