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Millions of people abuse cocaine with the assumption that because the drug is not extremely addicting physically, there is no danger in casual use. Unfortunately, using cocaine causes chemical changes within the brain which result in a lack of serotonin production over time. The brain ultimately stops creating serotonin unless it is given cocaine and this leads to great bouts of depression and sadness for the user. This interference with the chemical messengers within the brain, also known as neurotransmitters can lead to great psychological dependence on this drug.
The signs of cocaine addiction are not always evident on the outside. An addict may not use the drug all the time, he or she may not spend tons of money on the drug and to the average individual there may be no physical signs of addiction—but it’s still there! The symptoms of cocaine addiction are often very psychological in scope which is why this addiction often goes unnoticed by so many for so long. The truth is, it can take time for the true effects of cocaine addiction to show on the outside and by the time they do, the damage has already been done.
Recognizing the Signs of Cocaine Addiction
On the outside, the individual who is addicted to cocaine may be skinny or not eat very often. Most people who abuse cocaine do not eat regularly when they are using because of the powerful stimulants produced by the drug. Cocaine is an appetite suppressant which causes the user to feel active and energetic but not hungry.
If a user is abusing cocaine intravenously there could be track or needle marks on their arms, legs, neck, hands or feet. Most intravenous drug users attempt to inject drugs in inconspicuous areas first but as their drug addiction progresses and vein damage also progresses there may no longer be inconspicuous areas to inject which leads to injecting in less hidden areas of the body. Intravenous drug use can also lead to infections and lesions on the skin and an increased risk of disease transmitted by the use of dirty needles.
Psychologically, there are a number of signs of cocaine addiction that can develop. According to the US National Library of Medicine, most often, the user is unable to feel pleasure and will seem melancholy or may be very depressed at times followed by times of happiness. Many addicts are happy when they are under the influence and then seem to be depressed or otherwise upset when they do not have drugs. These feelings are common when cocaine addiction has already set in.
Paranoia and anxiety are also major factors of cocaine addiction. There is even a risk of permanent paranoia or cocaine induced psychosis occurring. Chronic cocaine abuse can lead to paranoid psychosis that is quite similar to the medical diagnosis of acute paranoid schizophrenia. Cocaine induced paranoia is very common in chronic cocaine abusers and in its worst case scenario may last with the user long after he or she quits using the drug.
Getting Help for the Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
If you or a loved one is addicted to cocaine and needs help, the most important step to take is to call 800-654-0987 to talk with an addiction specialist. Our free referral network can connect you with a rehab center that will provide immediate treatment and care for cocaine addiction and the adverse symptoms of cocaine addiction that have already made your life complicated. There’s no need to further complicate an already complicated situation—simply pick up the phone and call our toll free helpline for immediate assistance.