Cocaine increases dopamine and adrenaline levels in the brain and provides the user with feelings of euphoria, increased energy, mental alertness, self-confidence, and boosted sociability. 2 Cocaine also causes a host of negative side effects that include: 3
Long-term cocaine abuse can lead to severe health issues such as dramatic weight loss and malnourishment, bowel decay, sexual dysfunction, sleeping difficulties, lung and heart problems, movement disorders, memory loss, and blood infections. 4 Repeated cocaine use also increases the risk of seizures, stroke, heart attack, coma, and death.
Cocaine is a very addictive drug due to the way it interacts with the reward system of the brain. 5 Over time, cocaine alters the structure and function of the brain so that it becomes unable to produce normal levels of dopamine on its own. 6 People who abuse cocaine find it difficult to feel pleasure in the absence of the drug, and eventually the brain starts craving the drug because it becomes the only source of pleasure.
People who develop a dependence on cocaine will go through withdrawal when they quit using the drug. Because cocaine is such a fast-acting drug, most individuals quickly crash and begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms within a few hours of their last dose. Unlike the severe physical symptoms, such as vomiting and shaking, that are experienced during withdrawal from other drugs like alcohol and opioids, the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are predominantly psychological and include: 10
Getting through cocaine detox can be a grueling process, and if withdrawal is not properly handled it can result in serious health complications as well as a much higher risk of relapse. Some symptoms of cocaine withdrawal, such as severe depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and actions, can become life-threatening if not properly treated. 10 Due to the significant risks associated with cocaine withdrawal, when undergoing cocaine detox, we highly recommend doing so under medical supervision at a professional cocaine detox center.
Landmark Recovery of Las Vegas offers a cocaine detox program that can safely guide you through withdrawal from cocaine. Our experienced clinical specialists provide 24/7 medical monitoring and will promptly treat any health concerns that may arise during your cocaine detox. We also provide medications and other evidence-based therapies to help reduce intense cravings and manage specific cocaine withdrawal symptoms such as agitation, anxiety, drowsiness, and fatigue. 10
Once cocaine detox is completed, and you are medically stabilized, you will be ready to enter the therapy phase of recovery. Landmark Recovery of Las Vegas’ personalized cocaine treatment integrates individual and group counseling with a variety of proven behavioral therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy, to help identify the underlying causes of cocaine addiction and develop the positive thought patterns and coping skills needed to prevent relapse and maintain long-lasting sobriety. 11
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1) National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Cocaine Research Report: What is Cocaine?https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-cocaine
2) National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Cocaine Research Report: How does Cocaine Produce its Effects?https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/how-does-cocaine-produce-its-effects
3) National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Cocaine Research Report: What are the Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Use?https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-are-short-term-effects-cocaine-use
4) National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Cocaine Research Report: What are the Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use?https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-are-long-term-effects-cocaine-use
5) Nestler EJ. The neurobiology of cocaine addiction. Science and Practice Perspectives. 2005;3(1):4-10.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18552739/
6) National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Cocaine Research Report: What are some ways that cocaine changes the brain?https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-are-some-ways-cocaine-changes-brain
7) Statista. (2021). Percentage of U.S. adults that used cocaine within the past year from 2018 to 2019, by statehttps://www.statista.com/statistics/806271/past-year-cocaine-use-us-adults/
8) Department of Health and Human Services. (2019). Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Agency Epidemiologic Profilehttps://dhhs.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/dhhsnvgov/content/Programs/Office_of_Analytics/SAPTA_EPI_Profile_Nevada_2019a(1).pdf
9) Southern Nevada Health District. (2020). Fentanyl deaths increasing in Clark County Las Vegas Review-Journal. (2018). Nevada’s death rate from meth, other stimulants highest in nationhttps://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/news-release/fentanyl-deaths-increasing-in-clark-county/
10) Las Vegas Review-Journal. (2018). Nevada’s death rate from meth, other stimulants highest in nationhttps://www.reviewjournal.com/life/health/nevadas-death-rate-from-meth-other-stimulants-highest-in-nation/
11) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Treatment Improvement Protocol 45: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.https://store.samhsa.gov/product/TIP-45-Detoxification-and-Substance-Abuse-Treatment/SMA15-4131
12) National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Cocaine Research Report: How is cocaine addiction treated?https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-treatments-are-effective-cocaine-abusers