Physical dependence and addiction are two different things. Dependence is based on the body’s need for more cocaine while the addictive qualities are related to the mindset of the individual using the drug. Addiction creates cravings which push people towards cocaine use to continue experiencing the ‘positive’ effects, ultimately ignoring the adverse side effects. Physical dependence does not necessarily, in and of itself, indicate addiction.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Heavy or frequent users of cocaine will experience psychological addiction with physical addiction possible, as well. Withdrawal symptoms can occur with physical addiction or even happen during times of lower dosage of the drug or cessation of use. Symptoms of addiction can include agitation, anxiety, inability to focus on tasks or follow directions, confusion, hostility, time distortion and poor balance. One to three weeks is the typical amount of time to expect symptoms to last.
Other signs may include the following:
- agitation and restless behavior
- alternating low and high drug craving
- depressed mood or apathy
- increased appetite
- long periods of sleep with unpleasant dreams
It is important to note cravings and depression during cocaine withdrawal can be experienced for months following cessation of long-term heavy use. Suicidal thoughts may occur in tandem with withdrawal symptoms so proper care is necessary during this time.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Cocaine dependence or addiction symptoms usually disappear over time. No effective medications are available to reduce cravings at this time. Withdrawal from the drug can cause some people to use alcohol, sedatives, hypnotics or other anti-anxiety medications such as diazepam to treat symptoms. Use of these drugs is not recommended as it shifts addiction from one substance to another in some users and can create bigger challenges when attempting to detox and get clean from cocaine.
Getting Help for Cocaine Addiction
An individual who wishes to overcome an addiction to cocaine must take the first step of admitting there is a problem. Due to its highly addictive properties, cocaine is one of the more challenging drugs to quit but it is possible with the right resources, treatment and supportive environment. Ultimately, the decision belongs to the person who is addicted to make the first move in deciding to seek treatment. Though going through withdrawal may seem difficult, it is possible to break through the other side and, once there, experience more levels of happiness and peace than was ever thought possible. Recovery is a process, a journey of discovery, which starts with acknowledging the difficult road ahead and seeking the right support team with whom to travel.
If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction, Hired Power is here to help. Our program is designed to support your recovery every step of the way. Call us today at 800-910-9299 for more information on how we can help.