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What Are the Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse?

Cocaine addicts usually manifest symptoms that are sometimes misinterpreted for other health problems. Since most health problems share similar symptoms, knowing the signs of cocaine use that are being displayed correctly can potentially prevent a tragic outcome. It can help you to identify when a loved one or family member is an addict. This post will talk about these signs, what cocaine is, and the best treatment option available. Harmony Place is a drug and alcohol rehab in Los Angeles that offers comprehensive cocaine addiction treatment. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs in LA.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant that boosts energy levels and keeps the body awake while increasing the heart rate and blood pressure. Made from the leaves of coca plants, it is a highly addictive drug that makes people feel good by raising the dopamine levels flowing into the brain. Dopamine, also known as the happy hormone, is a neurotransmitter that increases feelings of pressure. While cocaine is an illegal street drug, it has legitimate medical applications. It is used as a topical anesthetic during surgical procedures.

Cocaine exists in two forms – powder and rock forms. The powdered form is usually snorted, smoked, or dissolved in water, while the rock form or crack is generally smoked. The substance is sometimes mixed with other harmful addictive drugs like fentanyl. According to a 2019 World Drug Report, 35 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reveals that more than 14% of all Americans above 12 have used cocaine in their lifetimes.

Cocaine addiction is one of the leading health issues globally. According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, cocaine abuse accounts for 40.3% of emergency department visits. NIDA reports a 29% rise in cocaine overdose deaths between 2001 and 2013. Roughly 5,000 people died from a cocaine overdose in 2013. Cocaine changes the chemical composition of a person’s brain with frequent use, making it difficult to quit using without help.

How Does Cocaine Affect the Body?

The effect of this substance is felt within minutes of taking it, depending on the method of consumption. When taken, cocaine enters the bloodstream and the brain, increasing brain activity and inducing increased secretion of dopamine. As previously mentioned, dopamine is a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger that sends signals to the central nervous system and other parts of the body affecting motor function. This explains why addicts usually have movement issues.

Although pleasure can be triggered naturally, cocaine intensifies it. As a result, the user becomes enticed to take it more often to repeat the increased euphoric experience. Became cocaine increases the level of dopamine, and it causes dysfunction in how the chemical messenger is secreted. Over time, the user loses the ability to feel pleasure and may be forced to take more to reach that level of happiness.

What Are the Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse?

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug, as mentioned. When a person snorts or injects this powerful substance, they feel a certain way. Signs of cocaine abuse can include:

  • Hyperenergetic
  • Extreme happiness
  • Restlessness
  • Irritation
  • Paranoia
  • Sensitivity to touch, light, and sound
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Erratic behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Headaches and chest pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Nausea
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
  • High body temperature
  • Haggardness

Cocaine abusers go from feeling euphoric to feeling irritable. During withdrawal, the body reacts to the absence of the substance by manifesting the following;

  • Uncontrollable cravings
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • High body temperature
  • Depression
  • Irritability

The severity of these manifestations depends on the level of abuse. A severe addict will experience these to a level that they feel is almost impossible to redeem. However, they can if they get the right help.

Cocaine abuse also has a long-term effect on the body, depending on the method of consumption. The following are some of the long-term effects.

  • Anosmia (complete loss of smell) or hyposmia (temporary loss of smell)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Trouble eating
  • Respiratory infections like asthma and pneumonia
  • Higher risk of exposure to Hepatitis C
  • Movement disorders
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Heart problems, such as myocardial damage
  • Dementia

How to Find a Cocaine Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles, CA

If you know anyone with the above signs of cocaine abuse or suspect a loved one with any of the symptoms of cocaine abuse, approach them with love and gentle care. Frequently, addicts feel helpless, so don’t criticize or judge them. If you stay in Los Angeles, there’s no better treatment center to refer them to than Harmony Place. Harmony Place is the number one center for cocaine addiction treatment in LA, with state-of-the-art facilities. Our programs not only focus on treating addiction but addressing the underlying emotional trigger and any mental health concerns. Our unique combination of therapies and individualized treatment options puts clients on a path to recovery. Our programs include detox, residential inpatient, outpatient, and dual diagnosis treatment in Los Angeles.