If you’ve fallen into a pattern of abuse with cocaine, it’s likely that you know the impact it has on your mood from firsthand experience. What you may not know is that prolonged abuse of cocaine has its own negative impacts on your overall health and wellbeing. From the information below, you’ll learn how it prevents you from enjoying a full range of health, activities, relationships and pastimes you may have been missing because of this impact. The good news is that this maladaptive behavior and substance dependency isn’t a one-way street — there’s hope for recovery. With the right help and mindset, you can be free of drugs and take hold of all those opportunities and activities you’ve been absent from because of cocaine.
Cocaine Is Preventing You From Living a Healthy, Productive Life
How precisely does the abuse of this drug infringe upon your ability to form lasting, healthy relationships, achieve success in your chosen profession and live a well-rounded, active life? Most drugs tend to hijack the brain’s pleasure and reward systems. Dopamine and serotonin production are influenced in one or more ways. Cocaine takes full control, inducing a fog of euphoric, high-energy pleasure that impacts all parts of the brain. This blanket-like impact also applies to the negative sensations caused by the drug.
Cocaine pushes the brain to produce excessive amounts of dopamine and serotonin, and as a result can initially produce a high that mimics the manic stage of manic-depressive personality disorder. As with all drugs, brain chemistry doesn’t return to normal after the direct impact of cocaine has subsided. Users experience excessively low levels of neurotransmitters, which leads to a feeling of depression or despondency. Short-term impacts of cocaine use include:
• Increased heart rate, blood pressure and ambient body temperature
• Increased respiration
• Contracted blood vessels
• Erratic, unusual and violent behavior
• Dilated pupils
• Hallucinations of all senses
• Poor sleep patterns
• Loss of appetite
• Intense craving for the drug
• Irritability and excitability
• Paranoia or anxiety
• Panic and psychosis
• Convulsions and seizures
• Death from high doses
Because cocaine interferes with your brain’s ability to produce and process neurotransmitters, using cocaine even recreationally can cause you to swiftly lose interest in other areas of life. This can lead to poor job or school performance, missing deadlines for tasks and projects, neglect of personal relationships with friends and loved ones, and increasing isolation from positive influences. Friendships become centered on how well you access cocaine and how willing you are to share — hence, shallow and uncaring relationships replace deep interpersonal ties.
Drug seeking also becomes a central preoccupation as abuse worsens. You may have allowed yourself to cease group activities, such as sports, public music venues and even enjoyment of a movie with friends, to source and obtain cocaine. Losing employment because of this preoccupation is also a risk, since obtaining more cocaine takes on greater importance than finishing the project you were assigned or making the sales calls you must in order to earn your living.
Long-term impacts of cocaine abuse are really where things like activity-oriented pastimes become difficult, even if you feel the desire to participate. These complications can include:
• High blood pressure, which contributes to the risk for heart attacks, strokes and fatal circulatory events
• Desiccation and destruction of sinus cavity tissues and mucus membranes of nose and throat, which leads to a compromised immune system
• Renal failure, liver damage and damage to the lungs
• Respiratory failure, especially if smoked
• Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
• Prolonged auditory and tactile hallucinations
• Disorientation, apathy, inability to maintain focus and exhaustion
• Delirium and/or psychosis
• Severe depression
• Increased and irrational risk-taking behaviors
• Severe mood swings and intense irritability
• Severe tooth decay
• Severe reproductive damage, sexual issues and infertility
While cocaine can be incredibly addictive and difficult to stop using, there’s hope to reverse or stop much of these long-term issues from becoming irreparable. Specialized cocaine rehabilitation programs are available to help you kick the habit and reintegrate into your social scene.
How Cocaine Rehabilitation and Recovery Services Can Help You
The issues cocaine abuse causes are both extensive and impactful on the body and mind, making a specialized treatment program essential. While outpatient counseling is available for those who are only occasional users of the drug, an inpatient regimen may be more helpful for more entrenched habits. Detoxification is the first step, no matter how minor the drug habit may be. This allows you to safely rid your system of the dangerous drug in caring surroundings with dedicated medical professionals nearby. Once your system is clear of the dangerous toxins, then rehab can begin.
Because cocaine can produce an addictive bond upon the first use, it’s a difficult habit to break. However, for some individuals, an outpatient program may be best. This consists of visits to a physician and therapist on a weekly basis and the attendance of group meetings or therapy sessions on a regular schedule. Additional meetings are also often available if the need for support arises. Outpatient cocaine rehabilitation programs allow individuals who’ve retained their jobs and family connections to seek help without further disruption to their routines or advertising they have a drug problem to their communities.
For those with more pressing needs or prolonged addictions, inpatient cocaine rehabilitation programs offer counseling, medical supervision and behavioral therapies to recondition them for social activities and healthy pastimes. Since malnutrition and many systemic effects are a hallmark of prolonged cocaine use, these programs also offer nutritional support and help in structuring a healthy living style once individuals return to their lives.
If you know the time to seek help has arrived, but are at a loss as to what the next step should be, helplines are excellent places to begin. They offer resources, information and support in the way that’ll provide the most assistance to you. Are you ready to make the journey back to yourself and a healthy, productive life? Call the hotline at 800-447-9081 to discover the options available to you. Professionals are there to support you in any way they can, and believe in your recovery.