Knowing the Signs of Cocaine Addiction

For those who struggle with it, cocaine addiction is a serious issue that can impact people across numerous walks of life. The help of a support system is often vital for overcoming such an addiction, and one major role that those close to you can provide is help with noticing and identifying the addiction to begin with.

At Moonlight Mountain Recovery, we’re here to offer a wide range of caring addiction treatment programs around Boise, Pocatello and other parts of Idaho, including both inpatient and outpatient drug rehab programs that include every major addictive drug – cocaine among them. Here are some basics on how cocaine typically impacts the brain, plus some of the signs that friends, family or others close to someone addicted to cocaine might notice and could prompt them to take action.

How Cocaine Interacts With the Brain

To fully understand the dangerous nature of cocaine addiction, it’s important to know just how this drug interacts with the brain. Cocaine is a stimulant that works by increasing levels of dopamine in the brain – this is the chemical responsible for pleasurable feelings and rewards. It also blocks the reabsorption of dopamine, keeping levels artificially high and prolonging these pleasurable effects.

Over time, the brain becomes dependent on cocaine to produce dopamine and regulate mood. This is what leads to addiction – without cocaine, the brain struggles to function properly and individuals feel intense cravings and negative withdrawal symptoms.

Given how addictive cocaine can be, it’s important for those close to someone struggling with addiction to recognize the signs early on. Our next few sections will go over some of the most common.

Mood and Personality Changes

As with many drug addictions, cocaine use often leads to significant changes in mood and personality. Those who are addicted may become irritable, agitated or even aggressive when they don’t have access to the drug. They may also experience intense highs followed by extreme lows as their brain struggles to regulate dopamine levels.

These mood shifts can also lead to drastic changes in behavior – someone who is normally calm and reserved might become hyperactive and talkative when using cocaine, for example. This can be a red flag for those close to the individual that something is not right.

Social Changes

Down related lines, cocaine addiction often leads to changes in social behavior. Someone who is addicted may withdraw from friends and family, instead choosing to spend time with other drug users. This can have a major impact on their relationships and lead to isolation.

Additionally, cocaine use often leads to increased risk-taking behaviors as individuals chase the intense highs they experience while using the drug. This can lead to problems at work, legal issues or other negative consequences.

Cognitive Changes

People struggling with cocaine addiction often experience changes in their cognitive function. This can include difficulty concentrating, memory issues and trouble making decisions. As the brain becomes more dependent on cocaine, these effects can become more severe and impact daily life.

With cocaine in particular, there is also a risk of overdose which can lead to permanent brain damage or even death. Paying attention to any cognitive changes and seeking help for addiction early on can potentially prevent these tragic outcomes.

Appearance Changes

On the physical side of things, cocaine addiction can also lead to noticeable changes in appearance. Someone who is addicted may experience weight loss, dental problems, and skin issues as a result of drug use. They may also have track marks on their arms from injecting the drug, or nosebleeds from snorting it.

While these changes may not always be immediately apparent, loved ones should pay attention to any sudden or drastic shifts in someone’s appearance as it could be a sign of drug addiction.

Health Problems

Some of the most severe consequences of cocaine addiction are the health problems that can arise from long-term use. Cocaine is a powerful drug that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular issues even in young and otherwise healthy individuals.

In addition to these major concerns, regular cocaine use can also cause respiratory problems, digestive issues, and damage to organs such as the liver and kidneys. Seeking treatment for addiction can not only save someone’s life but also prevent long-term health complications.

We hope this information has been helpful in understanding the impact of cocaine addiction on the brain and body. If you or a loved one is struggling with this addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. At Moonlight Mountain Recovery, we offer personalized treatment plans to help individuals overcome their addiction and rebuild their lives. Recovery is possible, and we are here to support you every step of the way. Contact us to learn about any of our drug or alcohol rehab programs around Boise, Pocatello and nearby areas of Idaho.

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