Cocaine Use in Utah

Definition

Cocaine is a powerful central nervous stimulant that directly affects the brain by producing amazingly huge amounts of dopamine resulting in a heightened awareness and energy as well as extreme pleasure/euphoria. This is why cocaine is highly addictive and only takes one time to experiment with and become addicted to. Cocaine can be emotionally, physically, as well as psychologically addicting with intense cravings. This is why there is a high relapse rate with cocaine use. Not every person that tries cocaine is guaranteed to become addicted, however more often than not this phenomenon occurs. If addiction does not take over, cocaine has many other lethal risks involved. First time use of cocaine has been known to cause an overdose ending in a stroke, seizure, heart attack, coma, or death.

Cocaine Use in Utah

Cocaine is extremely dangerous when mixed with other drugs, especially alcohol. As if cocaine was not powerful and destructive enough; a derivative of it “crack” (crystalized rock form of cocaine which is made by boiling cocaine with water and other ingredients like baking soda or ammonia) is cheaper, easier to obtain, and produces higher amounts of dopamine. Crack is primarily smoked to allow for quicker metabolizing at higher doses in the body.

Cocaine is derived from the coca plant and further produced synthetically. It can be smoked, snorted, or injected intravenously. Cocaine is currently the most powerful stimulant or pain blocker of natural origin. This is why the cocaine user will go to all lengths to sustain their high which is relatively short lasting. Due to high amounts of dopamine being depleted, the brain’s natural glands that usually produce the dopamine shuts down and the addicted user resorts to consuming more of the drug; thus creating a vicious never ending cycle of cocaine addiction. Another side-effect from dopamine depletion (brain disease) is severe depression.

Dopamine helps regulate the brain and provides pleasure; with no pleasure, you would naturally be sad and depressed. After being depressed long enough, suicidal ideations will start to kick in and the user will do anything to avoid any further thoughts or depression. This is why cocaine/crack addicts are extremely afraid to quit altogether and will avoid withdrawal symptoms at all costs. In 2008, The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates there were 1.9 million current cocaine users, of which approximately 359,000 were current crack users.


Signs and Symptoms of Use

Common signs of crack/cocaine addiction are:

  • Sudden loss of job and inability to remain gainfully employed
  • Constantly requesting money and has none of their own
  • Personal material things of the addict start disappearing
  • Erratic behavior
  • Manipulating others or loved ones
  • Seems hyper, anxious or excited
  • Overly social and talkative
  • Personal material things of friends, family and loved ones start missing
  • Majority of relationship with friends and family are negatively affected
  • Isolation from both friends, family and loved ones
  • Involvement with the legal system
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Loss in sense of smell
  • Sniffing frequently as if has a cold or allergy
  • Agitation and hyperactivity
  • Unnatural animation
  • Nervous tics
  • Unkempt hygiene and/or appearance
  • Blisters or burn on lips
  • Weight Loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Increased spurts of energy and activity
  • Jaw clenching
  • Increased heart rate

Common symptoms of a cocaine/crack addiction are:

  • Infections and diseases from IV use
    • Heart disease
    • Liver disease
    • Kidney disease
    • Bacterial
    • Cellulitis
    • Pneumonia
    • Tuberculosis
    • Bronchitis
    • STAFF
    • Hepatitis B
    • Hepatitis C 
    • Gangrene 
    • HIV
    • AIDS
    • Abscesses
  • Psychosis
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Broken teeth
  • Gangrene in digestive system
  • Intestinal and/or bowel complications
  • Irritations to the nasal cavities and/or lungs
  • Loss of bone mass
  • Depression 
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Aggressiveness and violent behaviors
  • Panic attacks
  • Hallucinations
  • Permanent brain damage
    • Depleted dopamine
    • Chemical structure altered
  • Premature Death
  • Withdrawal Symptoms

    • Fatigue
    • Irritability
    • Headaches
    • Anxiety
    • Depression 
      • Suicidal thoughts
    • Intense cravings leading to relapse
    • Increased Appetite
    • Loss of feelings of pleasure
    • Restlessness or agitation
  • Overdose Symptoms

    • Headaches
    • Fever
    • Hopelessness
    • Anxiety
    • Extreme depression
    • Seizures
    • Convulsions
    • Coma
    • Rapid heart beat
    • Respiratory Failure
    • Heart failure
    • Stroke
    • Death

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

A cocaine addiction is considered a life threatening disease and should be treated as such. If you or a loved is currently struggling with cocaine abuse, you must seek professional help. Residential treatment is highly advised for cocaine addictions because of its highly addictive properties and psychological changes that it causes. Inpatient treatment will give your brain and body the necessary rest it requires to properly function again. This will also allow time for you to become aware of your triggers and reasons behind using. You will also be able to further develop new alternative healthy coping skills and explore your underlying and mental health issues.

To finally recover from your cocaine addiction, you must complete outpatient aftercare as part of a continuum of care so you can slowly work your way back into your normal routines. Aftercare services also ensure accountability, keep you healthy, and keep you on the right track. Upon successfully completing both inpatient and outpatient programs, you can expect to continue to regularly attend 12-Step meetings (Cocaine Anonymous; CA). You might find yourself living in a monitored environment such as sober living. Zion Recovery Center is able to provide these different levels of care and is an expert provider when it comes to cocaine addiction treatment. We develop a personalized and individual relapse prevention and safety plan dealing with the thoughts, behaviors and feelings surrounding cocaine addiction. Our clients successfully complete their inpatient residential stay in 60-90 days and our outpatient treatment program within 90-180 days. If a Zion Recovery Center client desires to move into a sober living home, we are willing to help them through every step until this occurs. Zion Recovery Center’s promise is backed by a lifetime guarantee. Call for immediate help with a cocaine addiction today.

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