Tag: cocaine addict

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.

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.

Blessed to be here

As I celebrate my birthday today I’m so grateful to be clean and sober. I never thought I would live past my early 20’s but here I am at 33. It’s a blessing to get to experience each day with my family and friends who I love so much. While I tried everything in my power to flush it all away in my darkest days, God had a bigger plan for me. Because I realized I didn’t want to live a life filled with chaos, drugs and constant cravings I asked for help. I’m one of the lucky ones who was able to get the help that I needed to end my addiction. I enrolled in Narconon Fresh Start in 2001 looking to get off a lot of different prescription drugs I was abusing and put an end to my cocaine addiction. That’s exactly what happened too. I wanted to get clean so badly but just like any addict I had my ups and downs while in treatment. Four months later though I was graduating and feeling better than I had ever felt in my whole life! I returned home and celebrated my 21st birthday as a totally sober person and I LOVED it! Every year since I take a moment to reflect on my past and remind myself how far I’ve come. I couldn’t have dreamed up a life so blessed and I’m grateful that I was spared that awful night when I was willing to give it all up. Today is a wonderful day and turning another year older is a success in my book = )