It can be difficult, if not impossible, to realize the effects of cocaine addiction when you’re the addicted party. Addictions, in general fall under the disease category because of how drugs alter the brain’s normal functioning abilities. Diseases also become progressively worse when left untreated, much like a cocaine addiction.
Until a person realizes his or her reasoning abilities have been compromised by cocaine’s effects, cocaine addiction help will seem unnecessary. Rather than wait until there’s no denying cocaine’s destructive effects on your life, consider the potential risks involved with forgoing cocaine addiction help and trying to go it alone.
Cocaine’s initial effects on the brain create an abnormal surge of three vital neurotransmitter chemicals: dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. With ongoing cocaine use, brain cells become unable to produce these chemicals on their own. In a sense, repeated cocaine use “fries” brain cells and actually destroys the brain’s grey matter in the process.
A study conducted by the University of Cambridge in England scanned the brains of 120 cocaine addicts. The results showed a widespread loss of grey matter that corresponded with the length of time each person used cocaine. In effect, cocaine addiction not only alters brain functions, but also changes its overall structure and physiology.
These effects account for why it’s so difficult for long-term users to stop using on their own. While it’s not uncommon for someone to want to go it alone, cocaine addiction functions much like an actual disease that takes on a life of its own.
Cocaine addiction help programs specialize in helping addicts recover from the damaging effects of cocaine on the body as well as the damage caused in their lives. Considering the condition the brain is left in by the time a person is ready to stop using, without cocaine addiction help, addicts fight a self-defeating battle ripe with frustration and considerable risk.
A person may choose to stop using cocaine by gradually tapering dosage amounts or by going “cold turkey.” Regardless of the method used, making it through the withdrawal period poses the greatest challenge in getting off the drug.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, many people try to self-medicate withdrawal symptoms with alcohol or even anti-anxiety medications, such as Valium. While self-medicating can help relieve withdrawal symptoms, a person may quickly find him or herself trading one addiction for another.
Cocaine addiction help offers medication therapies designed to alleviate withdrawal effects without the risk of becoming addicted. Cocaine addiction help also helps recovering addicts work through the emotional/psychological issues that drive the addiction cycle.
Cocaine addictions carry a high potential for relapse, even after a person stops using for a long time. Ongoing brain deterioration leaves a person with impaired cognitive functions, which affects a person’s ability to control his or her impulses. Poor impulse control makes it that much more difficult to fight drug cravings when going it along.
Cocaine addiction help programs provide the types of ongoing medical care and support needed to overcome drug cravings and maintain abstinence. As brain deterioration effects also make a person more prone to developing depression and anxiety disorders, cocaine addiction help programs treat resulting disorders while treating the addiction problem.