Category: Cocaine Abuse

Information about cocaine abuse and the harmful effects it can cause, signs and symptoms of abuse and how you can get help at Narconon Fresh Start for someone who is addicted to cocaine.

Babies Born to Cocaine Addicted Mothers

Cocaine AddictionWhile for most women the idea of using an illicit drug such as cocaine during pregnancy seems out of the question, there are some who are so heavily addicted that they cannot stop themselves from using no matter the consequences of their actions. Cocaine use during pregnancy can affect a pregnant woman and her unborn baby in many ways. During the early months of pregnancy, it may increase the risk of miscarriage. When the drug is used late in pregnancy, it may trigger premature labor. It also may cause an unborn baby to die or to have a stroke, which can result in irreversible brain damage.

Babies exposed to cocaine before they are born might start life with serious health problems. Babies of women who use cocaine regularly during pregnancy are between three and six times more likely to be born at a low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds) than babies of women who do not use the drug. Low birth weight can result from poor growth before birth, premature birth or a combination of both. Low-birth weight babies born to cocaine addicted mothers are much more likely to die in their first month than normal-weight babies. Those who survive are at increased risk of lifelong disabilities including mental retardation, cerebral palsy, visual and hearing impairment.

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Nola’s Son Overcame his Crack Cocaine Addiction at Narconon Fresh Start

Learn more about cocaine abuse and how you can help a loved one overcome cocaine addiction.

Several studies also indicate that even when a mother reports she is not using drugs, a urine screen may indicate otherwise. In one of these studies, 26% of pregnant women who tested positive for cocaine denied using it. More reliable methods for detecting cocaine exposure involve testing the newborn’s hair or meconium (the infant’s earliest stool). Hair analysis, however, can give false positives for cocaine exposure. In New York City, the great majority of infants coming into foster care are born to women who abused cocaine or “crack” during pregnancy.

While babies born to cocaine addicted mothers may show little to no withdrawal symptoms when born, they have their fair share of issues to overcome. The first being a lower Apgar score. The Apgar score is a simple method of quickly assessing the overall health of a newborn baby immediately after birth. The five areas examined include appearance/complexion, pulse rate, reflex irritability, activity and respiration effort. There is evidence that the use of cocaine shortly before birth can be associated with cerebral infarction (stroke) which damages the brain of the newborn. A CT scan of the brain may be indicated when both the infant and mother test highly positive for cocaine at the time of birth and when there are additional indications to suggest a stroke might have occurred. There is also a greater incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In one sample of babies born to cocaine dependent mothers, 15% of the infants died of SIDS – more than triple that of heroin or methadone exposed infants.

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After years of research on the long-term effects of cocaine and crack cocaine use during pregnancy the results are in. It was expected that these babies would be brain-damaged; luckily the predictions were off their mark. The studies on crack addicted newborns and cocaine addicted newborns show that most babies grow up into normal/average children and adolescents. While they are not “brain-damaged” as anticipated there is still a consequence for their mother’s actions, on average babies born to cocaine addicted mothers score about 3 points lower on tests of IQ than non-exposed children. Additionally, it has been found that these exposed children have additional struggles with their language abilities. It has been found that these children will need special education to help them reach their full potential.

Get help with cocaine addiction by calling a Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab specialist at 855-734-2223 today.

About Cocaine

Cocaine UseWhile cocaine abuse is not as widespread as it once was in the 70’s and 80’s, the use of this drug is still an issue with drug rehab programs across the United States. Cocaine continues to rank among one of the top drugs clients enrolling in treatment are addicted to. As recently as 2008, cocaine addiction ranked 5th for smoked cocaine (crack) and 8th for powdered cocaine. As more and more research on cocaine addiction takes place, we learn more about where and how cocaine acts in the brain; including how the drug produces its pleasurable effects and why it is so addictive.

Using state of the art technology, scientists are now able to see the dynamic changes that occur in the brain as an individual takes cocaine. They can observe the different brain changes that happen as a person experiences the rush, the high, and finally the craving for this addictive drug. They can also identify parts of the brain that become active when a cocaine addict sees or hears environmental stimuli that trigger the craving for the drug. A goal of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) is to interpret what scientists learn from their cocaine addiction research. The hope is that by doing so they will be able to help the public better understand cocaine abuse and addiction and develop more effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of addiction.

Cocaine AbuseCocaine is generally sold on the street as a fine, white, crystalline powder known as: Coke, Big C, Snow, Flake, C-dust, Yay, Yayo and Blow just to list a few of the more common terms. A few of the more frequent terms used when using and/or possessing cocaine include: Holding, Amped, Line, Rail and Geeked Up. Cocaine is processed from the South American Coca Plant. Street dealers often dilute their cocaine supply to make it go further when selling it on the street. They may add inert substances such as cornstarch, talcum powder or sugar. Or, they may choose to add active drugs like procaine (a chemically-related local anesthetic) or other stimulants like amphetamines.

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Offelia’s Son Overcame His Cocaine Addiction at Narconon Fresh Start

Cocaine, more than any other drug of abuse has direct and immediate access to the brain’s pleasure center. It causes disruption in the delicate chemistry that regulates mood, pleasure and a person’s survival drive. This drug is a potent and dangerous Central Nervous System stimulant. It works by blocking the reabsorption of dopamine in the brain (a chemical messenger that assists in normal functioning of the Central Nervous System and is associated with pleasure and movement).

In its powdered form cocaine is sniffed or mixed with water and injected. Another form of the drug has become popular as well; users are smoking a freebase form of cocaine termed Crack (named for the “crackling” sound produced when the mixture of cocaine and sodium bicarbonate is heated).

Injecting CocaineNo matter what method is used to ingest cocaine: injecting, snorting or smoking – the same risks are involved. While all forms of the drug are highly addictive, it has been speculated that the onset of addiction to cocaine may be much more rapid in the smoked form (Crack). When a person uses cocaine they will experience dilated pupils, increased body temperature, constricted blood vessels, increased heart rate and blood pressure. The effects of cocaine that entice the user to take the drug include the euphoria that comes with using cocaine, reduced fatigue, more sociable and a perception of mental clarity. The negative side effects experienced by cocaine users include restlessness, irritability, and anxiety.

When cocaine abuse develops into an addiction problem it can be difficult to give up using the drug. Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab programs have been helping people recover from their cocaine addiction issues for over 45 years and have a very high success rate of long-term continued sobriety for their graduating clients. The Narconon Fresh Start treatment philosophy is unlike other programs where clients are told they are powerless over their addiction, that they have an incurable disease and that they will be addicts for the rest of their lives. The philosophy that Narconon Fresh Start operates under is based on treating addiction to drugs and/or alcohol for what it truly is; a physical and mental problem that can and will be overcome. Their programs help clients physically recover from their addiction while simultaneously addressing the underlying issues that drove them to abuse drugs or alcohol. The methods that their centers use build up the program participant’s self-worth and makes them feel powerful over their addiction problem, not powerless.

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Narconon Fresh Start LogoAs a drug-free, long-term, residential drug rehab program Narconon Fresh Start centers provide their clients with the most effective rehabilitation technology and offer a written guarantee of success for their graduating clients. Their program uses no form of drug replacement therapy or drug substitution therapy to help their clients get off drugs and remain sober once they complete treatment. The purpose of going to drug rehab is to stop using drugs; to use a replacement medication to aid in the process leaves the addict dependent and controlled by yet another substance. The program is long-term, running on average 3 to 4 months to complete. This length of time allows the recovering individual to fully withdraw and detox, learn the program information, put into practice by using the new skills they have acquired and develop a plan for their future when treatment is complete. With thousands of graduates and decades of successful rehabilitation results, Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab centers will be able to help even the most severe and long-term cocaine addicts find lasting sobriety.

Addiction to Cocaine

CocaineCocaine 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.

Dealing CocaineHow 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.

Cocaine AddictionWhen 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.

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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 Narconon Fresh Start Logodrug 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.