People often wonder what why others seek the use of controlled substances and drugs like cocaine and why someone is unable to control their use of it. Addiction isn’t normally a cut and dry affair of simple choices and bad actions. People turn to drug use for a variety of reasons including stress in their personal life, dealing with depression, the allure of risky behaviors, etc. To assign a single reason to everyone who’s ever used cocaine is both naive and can be insulting to those trying to fight it’s addictive properties.
One of the reasons cocaine is addictive is due to the actual ‘high’ incurred upon use. Being a stimulant, one of the more prominent feelings are like that of an extreme intake of caffeine. In fact one of the reasons some people initially use cocaine is for the boost of energy it gives them. For some people, they report an increased ability to focus and ‘push through’ difficult lack of motivation for some activities. Because using cocaine also triggers increased dopamine in the brain, which are essentially neurotransmitters that are associated with pleasurable feelings, a feeling of ‘euphoria’ also accompanies the overall sensation of being ‘high’.
The feelings one experiences on cocaine can vary quite a lot depending on how it’s taken. Injecting it instead of snorting it can be accompanied with a near immediate chill or tingly feeling throughout the body. Those that rub it in their mouth will notice a ‘numbness’ in the area. In fact, cocaine used to be use as a local anesthesia in dentistry for this specific reason before it’s addictive properties were fully understood.
After the focus and increased sense of pleasure wear off, the user is left with an increased feeling of ‘reality’ than before the dosage. Because of the feeling of the high, the feeling of ‘normal’ is perceived somewhat worse than before taking the drug when coming down. Some people can navigate this difference, but many people seek the high to combat the low and will use more cocaine to achieve that elevated feeling. This continuing seeking of the high, however, is diminished due to the body’s ability to build up tolerance to the effects of cocaine. Since the drug has side effects which can hospitalize a user who overdoses on it, this search for the high can be lethal when it transforms into addiction. The body doesn’t build a tolerance to the side effects, only the feeling of the high, creating what could be seen as a ticking clock counting down to the overdose that puts the person into the hospital for such events like heart attack or stroke.
At Northbound, we work with patients to fight addiction to substances like cocaine to regain control of their life to live it how they want without the weight of addiction. Locations in Newport Beach, Seattle and St. Louis are staffed with experts on addictive behaviors and substance abuse so that patients can safely return to a sober life, free from the fear of a possibility of overdosing and other negative effects of drug use. Call a counselor today to discuss treatment and options at (866) 511-2458.