Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug meaning that it is a substance with a high potential for abuse, and frequent use of the drug can lead to severe physical and psychological dependence. The effects of cocaine occur almost immediately, and the drug can be ingested in a variety of ways. The most common form is cocaine powder, which is either snorted or rubbed on the gums to produce an effect that starts within 1 to 3 minutes of taking the drug and typically lasts for 15 to 30 minutes.
People with severe cocaine use disorder may choose instead to inject or smoke cocaine, which is known as smoking crack. When taken in these forms, the effects of cocaine begin within seconds and will produce a high that typically lasts for 10 to 20 minutes. Those who use cocaine frequently have a high risk of developing cocaine abuse, which creates a physical and psychological dependence on the drug.
Side effects for frequent cocaine users can include depression and anxiety, mood swings, intense euphoria, increased energy and alertness, an increase in risky behaviors, restlessness, lying about drug use, financial problems, withdrawing from family and friends, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, damage to nasal passages, dilated pupils, constriction of blood vessels, loss of sense of smell, difficulty swallowing, chronic runny nose, irritability, delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia.
This form of substance abuse can also cause symptoms of cocaine withdrawal as the drug is exiting the bloodstream. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can include both physical symptoms and mental symptoms, such as exhaustion and fatigue, difficulty concentrating, depression and anxiety, cravings for the substance, body aches and pains, tremors and shakiness, chills, and suicidal thoughts.
When developing cocaine addiction, individuals will typically undergo a three-stage process. The first stage is tolerance, which is where the user develops a need for an increasing amount of substance in order to feel the desired effects or to avoid the negative effects associated with withdrawal. The second stage is craving, which is where the individual begins to feel intense urges to use the substance which can result in continued use or relapse.
For drug abuse involving cocaine specifically, the risk of relapse is high even after physical withdrawal and abstinence from the substance, which is why addiction treatment programs at a rehab facility are recommended to recover from cocaine use disorder. The last stage is dependence, which occurs with repeated use and is classified by the body becoming dependent upon the substance. The body fails to function normally and goes through dangerous withdrawal symptoms when the substance is not present in the bloodstream.
If you are struggling with cocaine abuse and are suffering from withdrawal symptoms when the drug is exiting your bloodstream, then you should consider receiving addiction treatment. At Fusion Recovery we offer programs such as medical detox and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in addition to our counseling and behavioral therapies. While ending your cocaine dependency can be a struggle, it’s not one you have to go through alone.
To begin treatment at Fusion Recovery, contact our admissions counselors by sending a message on our website or calling our phone number to get started. We believe that everybody deserves high-quality and compassionate care, as well as an effective treatment plan to help overcome substance use disorder.