An estimated 1.5 million cocaine users aged 12 or older (0.6 percent of the population) were recorded in 2014. Even worse, adults aged 18-25 years recorded higher usage of cocaine than other age groups. These statistics show how much of a plague cocaine addiction is in our society, especially amongst younger people, and this begs the question: why is cocaine addictive? But first, let’s talk about the basics.
What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine, as defined by drugabuse.gov, is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. Cocaine is ethically used by medical practitioners as anesthesia and even by pharmaceutical companies. As such, it should be used by only medical practitioners in minute dosages when necessary.
However, the white crystal powder became a staple in the streets and served as a means of escape for your adults and adolescents. So, instead of dealing with their early life problems, they succumb to the easy way out: cocaine. That, in some ways, answers the key question: why is cocaine addictive?
Due to the increasing demand for cocaine, the availability and supply are off the charts. It is not uncommon to see drug dealers peddling these products discreetly; you may miss the dealings if you don’t pay attention.
Why Is Cocaine Addictive?
With the shocking statistics about cocaine addiction amongst young adults, it is not out of place to ask: is cocaine chemically addictive? The answer to that question will provide insight on why the number of cocaine addicts is high.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the addictive nature of cocaine is attributed to the disruptive change it evokes in the brain when used repeatedly.
In plain terms, excessive cocaine usage can cause increased levels of dopamine in the blood, triggering a certain level of euphoria in the body.
Eventually, the body gets used to this substance that induces euphoria, and the initial dosage becomes insufficient. And this causes an increase in the dosage and, subsequently, an increase in dependence on cocaine. In some cases, cocaine becomes the only euphoria source for a person, and then they crave it every time to meet that need.
Interestingly, the dosage of cocaine needed to feel it’s effects varies amongst different individuals, so it is not set in stone. It is just a factor of how long an addict has been using and their body’s tolerance. The higher the tolerance level, the higher the dosage. The lower the tolerance level, the lower the dosage.
With the explanation above, is cocaine chemically addictive? Yes, it is! The level of damage caused by cocaine addiction can not be overemphasized.
Its short-term effects include:
- Heightened alertness to the happenings of the surroundings
- Oversensitivity to touch, sound, and sight
- High susceptibility to getting irritated
- Overt paranoia – the user becomes very distrusting of people around
- Increased heartbeats
- Increased blood pressure and temperature
It long-term effects, on the other hand, include:
- Higher susceptibility to respiratory diseases
- Faulty sense of smell, the perpetual occurrence of nosebleeds and runny nose, which could be attributed to the constant snorting
- Extreme bowel deterioration, which could be attributed to the constant intake of cocaine from the mouth
- High susceptibility to STDs, this is mainly for those who share cocaine needles with several people.
How to Get Help With a Cocaine Addiction!
Cocaine addiction can be difficult to beat. Nevertheless, help and treatment are accessible for people that want to take their life back.
At Enlight, we are a luxury and affordable drug and alcohol rehab center in Ventura Country, California. We have a proven track record of successes with rehabilitating users battling cocaine addiction. And we can help you too! Reach out to us today for help with addiction. Recovery awaits you.