Cocaine Addiction & Abuse: Causes, Symptoms & Detox in Wisconsin
Cocaine has been a popular party drug for decades. Consequently, many users may not realize the harm they are doing by using the drug regularly. Since cocaine is a highly addictive substance, you can quickly come to depend on the drug to feel “normal.” This is a dangerous scenario that could potentially damage your health, relationships, and career.
Fortunately, there is an answer. At Midwest Detox, you can access high-quality detox experts and facilities. But if you’re unsure about detoxing, continue reading to learn more about cocaine abuse, addiction, and recovery:
Cocaine Addiction: Causes & Risk Factors
Unlike many other types of addiction, there aren’t always underlying reasons to explain cocaine abuse. Repeated use of the drug simply builds up dependence and cravings. That said, there are certain risk factors that can greatly increase the chance of developing a cocaine addiction:
- Boredom - Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that increases levels of dopamine in the brain, producing a sense of euphoria, increased energy, and heightened alertness. Many people who simply feel bored use cocaine to experience these pleasurable effects.
- Social Acceptance - In some social circles or environments, cocaine use may be seen as a way to fit in, gain acceptance, or appear more confident and outgoing. Peer pressure or the desire to conform can influence individuals to try cocaine.
- Coping With Stress - Some individuals may use cocaine as a means to cope with stress, anxiety, or past trauma. The short-term effects of cocaine can provide temporary relief from emotional pain or distress, but it is not a healthy or sustainable coping mechanism.
- Performance Enhancement - Some people may use cocaine to improve their performance in various aspects of life, such as work or athletics, due to its stimulating effects.
- Experimentation - Some people may try cocaine out of curiosity or a desire to try new experiences, particularly during adolescence or young adulthood when risk-taking behavior is more common.
- Self-Medication - Individuals with undiagnosed or untreated mental health disorders may use cocaine to self-medicate. For example, people with depression or ADHD might use cocaine to alleviate feelings of sadness or increase focus and concentration.
- Escapism - Cocaine use can provide a temporary escape from reality, allowing users to avoid dealing with personal issues or challenging situations. This avoidance can perpetuate a cycle of drug use and addiction.
Signs & Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse
People who abuse any drug, including cocaine, are going to exhibit many of the same tell-tale signs. For example, someone abusing cocaine might attempt to lie or hide their addiction. This, in turn, will likely cause them to withdraw from friends and family and even neglect their responsibilities. Over time, cocaine addiction often leads to significant financial and legal issues as well.
However, these issues are not enough to determine if someone is abusing cocaine. You should also look for more overt signs and symptoms, including:
- Dilated pupils
- Runny or bloody nose
- Frequent sniffling or sneezing
- Nosebleeds due to irritation of the nasal passages
- Weight loss
- Insomnia or sleep disturbances
- Increased heart rate or blood pressure
- Excessive sweating
- Repetitive movements
Cocaine addiction is often most detectable by the signs and paraphernalia the user leaves around after using the drug. Some of the most common things include:
- Razor blades, mirrors, or other surfaces used for freebasing cocaine
- Rolled-up dollar bills, straws, or small tubes
- Small plastic bags, vials, or containers
- Pipes or other smoking devices (if smoking crack cocaine)
- The smell of burnt plastic (if smoking crack cocaine)
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
Cocaine is different from many other addictive drugs insofar as the withdrawal symptoms can kick in as soon as the “high” starts to wear off. This is why so many users end up going on a cocaine binge, repeatedly chasing a high to get rid of the withdrawals. For example, a person might use an entire 8-ball of coke (the slang for about 3.5 grams of cocaine) in one night, as they continue to snort small amounts to maintain a constant high. Naturally, this only worsens the inevitable symptoms of withdrawal and increases the risk of addiction.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of cocaine withdrawal:
- Intense cravings for more cocaine
- Fatigue, exhaustion, or excessive sleepiness
- Increased appetite and potential weight gain
- Depression, anxiety, or irritability
- Mood swings or emotional instability
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure)
- Agitation or restlessness
- Vivid and unpleasant dreams
- Slowed thinking
- Suicidal thoughts or ideation
How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your System?
The amount of time that cocaine stays in your system will vary. Its detectability will also depend on the type of test used. Here is a breakdown of cocaine’s detectability based on the detection method:
- Blood Test - Cocaine can be detected in blood tests for up to 12 to 48 hours after the last use. This short detection window makes blood tests less common for detecting cocaine use unless the test is conducted quite soon after ingestion.
- Urine Test - Cocaine metabolites, primarily benzoylecgonine, can be detected in urine for up to 2 to 4 days after the last use for occasional users, and up to 7 to 10 days or more for chronic users.
- Saliva Test - Saliva tests can detect cocaine for up to 24 to 48 hours after the last use.
- Hair Test - Hair tests can detect cocaine for up to 90 days or longer after the last use. Hair testing provides a more extended detection window compared to other testing methods but is less commonly used due to the higher costs and more complicated sample collection process.
Short & Long-Term Side Effects of Cocaine Abuse
People who abuse cocaine often use the drug for its short-term effects. However, this doesn’t mean that all of the short-term effects are positive. Moreover, regular cocaine use can have a detrimental effect on your health. Here are some of the most common short and long-term side effects:
Short-Term Side Effects
- Increased energy
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Heightened alertness and increased talkativeness
- Decreased appetite
- Increased body temperature and sweating
- Insomnia or sleep disturbances
- Muscle twitches
Long-Term Side Effects
- Cocaine addiction
- Tolerance, requiring increased amounts of cocaine to achieve the same effects
- Severe weight loss and malnutrition
- Chronic nasal problems, including nosebleeds, sinus infections, or perforation of the nasal septum
- Respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath (for those who smoke crack cocaine)
- Cardiovascular issues, such as irregular heartbeat, heart attack, or stroke
- Mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation
- Cognitive impairments, including difficulties with memory, attention, and decision-making
- Social and interpersonal problems, including relationship issues, job loss, and financial difficulties
- Increased risk of accidental overdose and death
Cocaine Detox In Brookfield, Wisconsin
Cocaine addiction is a difficult and painful condition, but there is always hope to beat it. If you make the decision to seek out treatment, you can overcome your addiction and get a new lease on life. If you’re in need of immediate cocaine detox, Midwest Detox is here to help.
Do you live in Brookfield, Waukesha County, or the larger Milwaukee area? Are you in need of a private cocaine detox center to begin your recovery? If so, Midwest Detox can provide everything you need to detox from cocaine in a safe, comfortable environment. Visit our site or call us directly at 414-409-5200 to take the first step toward sobriety.