Cocaine is known to be a very addictive drug. While not everyone who uses this drug becomes addicted, a majority of users will speak of the powerful draw they feel to use the substance. For those who do develop an addiction to cocaine it can be one of the most difficult habits to break.
When a person becomes addicted to cocaine they lose control over their drug use. They feel a strong need for cocaine, even when they know it causes them problems with their health, their mental welling and problems in their social life (school, work, relationships, etc.). Getting and taking the drug becomes the most important thing in their life.
How does cocaine addiction develop? When a pleasurable event occurs, the brain naturally produces a large quantity of dopamine. When a person uses cocaine the process that makes this happen is thrown off course and the re-uptake of the dopamine that was released is blocked. The buildup of dopamine that occurs between the synapses in the brain when cocaine is abused causes the neurons in the brain to be continually stimulated. This is most likely what causes the euphoric state that cocaine addicts find so pleasurable. This euphoric state and the constant bombardment of the brain tissue with dopamine is the primary reason people find cocaine so pleasurable and begin to abuse the drug.
The cocaine abuser’s drug use will likely escalate if left unchecked and develop into an addiction problem. When the cocaine user begins to think about using the drug around the clock, actually uses the drug numerous times a week, begins intravenously using cocaine or smoking crack they are now displaying signs of cocaine addiction. Additional signs of cocaine addiction include a complete disregard for all other areas of their life that do not involve drug use. They will lose focus on eating healthy (or even eating at all), getting enough sleep, their relationships with others and their general wellbeing. Many cocaine addicts use of the drug is limited only by the high cost of cocaine and its’ immediate availability.
When an addict goes on a cocaine binge the resulting side-effects often include a crash from their extreme high. They experience feelings of anxiety, depression, paranoia, extended periods of sleep and cravings for the drug. Their withdrawal symptoms will cause them to lack motivation, feel an absence of pleasure in all things and suffer from boredom. Many cocaine addicts will use other substances while they are going through cocaine withdrawal to alleviate their symptoms. They may turn to other drugs as alcohol, marijuana or heroin to take the edge off their comedown.
Because drug cravings are one of the most common withdrawal symptoms of cocaine addiction, continued use of the substance is common unless the individual receives help for their addiction problem. The user’s drug craving is often spurred by a pre-conditioned cue such as a specific smell or location they have linked with previous cocaine use. If the person does not use cocaine when they experience a “cue” there is a gradual lessening of the craving induced cue overtime. However, some conditioned cues may exert an effect years afterward.
Entering a drug rehab program such as Narconon Fresh Start will help to end the conditioned cues and provide the necessary skills to remain cocaine and drug-free once rehab is over. As a long-term residential drug rehabilitation program, Narconon Fresh Start addresses the issue of cocaine addiction alongside the individual’s reasons for choosing drug use as a means of solving their problems. Whether the initial problem the individual was suffering with was boredom, stress, relationship issues, low self-esteem, problems at work, etc. the staff at Narconon Fresh Start will be able to help. Their ability to help their clients identify, confront and resolve their personal issues during drug rehab is a key reason why this program is so successful; with a high percentage of their graduates remaining substance free after graduation.