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Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction has reached epidemic levels in the United States, as the highly addictive stimulant continues to be readily available throughout this country; according to many current news reports, cocaine is the most widely abused stimulant in America. The highest rate of cocaine addiction in the U.S. has been reported to be in young adults that are between the ages 19 to 25 years old. A cocaine addiction will be obsessive and compulsive due to the effects of the chronic use of the drug on brain functioning; eventually the compulsion to take cocaine will begin to completely take over the user's life. In time, a cocaine addiction will interfere with normal functionality within the family and at the workplace.

The path to cocaine addiction starts with the act of experimenting with the stimulant for the very first time. After using cocaine for an extended period of time, a person's ability to choose not to take the drug will be severely compromised. Depending on the dosage, purity level, and method of ingestion, the effects of cocaine will peak after about 30 minutes, but can last as long as 3-4 hours.

Since cocaine is reported to be a powerful stimulant, the immediate physical effects of the drug may include rapid breathing, dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, chills, and hyperactivity. Blood pressure has also been reported to rise with cocaine use, as the drug causes the coronary arteries to begin to constrict; additionally, the diminished blood supply to the heart may cause a cocaine user to begin to experience a variety of cardiovascular problems. Other more common physical symptoms of cocaine use can include a constantly runny nose, nosebleeds, and a dramatic loss in weight.

A cocaine addiction can cause many emotional and social symptoms that, over time, will become increasingly obvious to loved ones. A primary symptom of chronic cocaine use may include periods of extreme energy followed by excessive sleeping. An individual who develops a cocaine addiction will eventually begin to lose interest in normal activities, and becoming withdrawn and depressed. Erratic behavior, including bouts of rapid talking and irritability are also common, in relation to cocaine use. The psychological issues that have been linked to cocaine use may include paranoia, auditory hallucinations and depression.

Isolation is one of the most prominent social symptoms of a cocaine addiction; thus, it is not uncommon for a cocaine addict to distance themselves from their family and friends. It may become difficult for a person that is struggling with a cocaine addiction to be able to hold a job, partly because of frequent absences due to the physical strain and partly because relationships at work may become problematic.

Nearly all individuals suffering from cocaine addiction will believe that they can stop using this drug on their own, without the assistance professional drug treatment; unfortunately, most of these attempts will result in failure to achieve long-term abstinence. When a person is suffering with a cocaine addiction, they should find a drug rehab program that has a history of high rate of success in treating individuals with this type of a substance abuse problem, in order to receive the professional help that they so desperately need.