Cocaine is one of the easiest drugs to become addicted to and one of the hardest drugs to stop using. Becoming a cocaine addict may happen so rapidly that anyone who uses it regularly is bound to become addicted. Cocaine is a stimulant drug that creates the perfect combination of effects to breed and maintain a lifetime of addiction. Users experience immediate gratification. The high they get from a dose of cocaine happens in seconds. When high, they feel euphoric, alert, and powerful. The problem is that these feelings are short-lived. The high wears off quickly and is replaced with feelings of deep depression and lethargy. Consequently, users will take more and more cocaine to maintain the euphoric feeling. It is not uncommon for regular users to continuously take the drug to function throughout the day.
Researchers have found that cocaine stimulates the brain's reward system and induces an even greater feeling of pleasure than natural functions. In turn, its influence on the reward circuit can lead a user to bypass survival activities and repeat drug use. A cocaine addict may cause damage to their brain and other organs due to their repeated abuse of the drug. An addict will continue to use cocaine even when faced with adverse consequences.
A cocaine addict will often do whatever it takes to get the drug. Cocaine may be found in the form of crack rocks or the more expensive powder form. Regardless of the drugs form, cocaine addicts become obsessed with the drug. Many crimes are committed because of cocaine addiction in order to obtain more of the drug. Moreover, addicts sacrifice their social lives, their professional lives, and sometimes even their entire life for this drug.
Recovery from cocaine addiction is extremely difficult because of the deep depression that results from not having cocaine. A cocaine addict will “crash” hard without the drug and this feeling can be so intense that they cannot maintain their sobriety. Knowing they will immediately feel better with a dose of cocaine is a hard fact to overcome and resist. Recent studies on cocaine and addiction have shown that, during periods of abstinence from cocaine use, the memory of the euphoria associated with cocaine can trigger tremendous cravings. Mere exposure to cues associated with cocaine use may trigger relapse to cocaine, even after long periods of abstinence.
A cocaine addict may:
- Become preoccupied with cocaine
- Behave evasively or lie about activities or whereabouts
- Borrow or steal money to buy cocaine
- Change the circle of friends and withdraw from non-using family and friends
- Compulsively seek cocaine and dwell on the next use of it
- Experience personality changes, poor judgment, and loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities