The Dangers of the Cocaine Experience and When to Consider Cocaine Addiction Treatment
It’s not uncommon for a cocaine “high” to bring on feelings of exhilaration, energy and even a sense of invincibility. These effects not only drive continued drug use, but also warp the mind in the process. Herein lies the dangers that come with using cocaine.
Cocaine has and will always be one of the most highly addictive drugs on the market. Even the most strong-willed of individuals will have difficulty managing, reducing or stopping cocaine use once a pattern of use starts to take shape.
Without needed cocaine addiction treatment help, the likelihood of maintaining abstinence for any length of time is slim to nil. Understanding how this drug all but attacks the brain’s chemical system can go a long way towards knowing when to consider getting cocaine addiction treatment.
The Physical Effects
The feelings of euphoria, confidence and boundless energy cocaine incites come at a high cost to the brain’s chemical stability. With each dose of this drug, cocaine forces brain cell sites to release large amounts of essential neurotransmitter materials, most especially dopamine. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the physical effects of cocaine in the brain mark the start of the cocaine addiction process.
These same physical effects create a state of dependency in the brain to the point where users start to experience uncomfortable withdrawal effects in the absence of the drug. By the time a person enters cocaine addiction treatment, cocaine’s effects have reconfigured brain chemical pathways in harmful ways.
The Mental Effects
Cocaine’s effects on dopamine chemical processes account for much of the danger associated with the cocaine experience. Elevated dopamine levels not only account for the sought after effects of the drug, but also the mental effects that characterize the addiction mindset.
Dopamine acts as a primary regulating neurotransmitter within the brain’s reward system. The reward system determines what drives or motivates a person’s interests and behaviors from day to day. Much of the cocaine addiction treatment process centers on undoing the thinking and behavior patterns that develop during the course of drug use.
The Emotional Effects
The emotional effects of cocaine tie in directly with fluctuating neurotransmitter levels that result from frequent cocaine abuse. According to the Journal of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, the euphoria that results from rising dopamine levels drives a person to keep using the drug, which in turn “trains” the brain reward system to place value on the behaviors that make cocaine use possible.
Over time, long-term users enter into a roller coaster ride of emotions and mood states, some of which can be violent. For these reasons, many who enter cocaine addiction treatment experience symptoms of deep depression for months into the recovery process.
When to Consider Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Someone struggling with an addiction problem will experience marked declines in his or her overall quality of life. Job loss, relationship discord, financial problems and health problems (both physical and psychological) start to develop over time. In the absence of needed cocaine addiction treatment help, these conditions will only get worse.
If you or someone you know struggles with cocaine addiction and have more questions, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-736-5356 to speak with one of our addiction specialists.