Cocaine has occupied a prominent place in America’s culture for a long time. The drug was in the original recipe for Coca-Cola (we should note that it was legal at the time). It is the subject of any number of hit songs. And cocaine is often used to note a particular kind of excess—especially among the wealthy and amoral—in movies.
In Reality, Cocaine Is Not Cool
All of these things might make the drug seem glamorous or cool or worth the risks that come with it. The reality, however, is that cocaine is none of those things.
Cocaine Is a Cause for Concern
Because cocaine is a powerful stimulant, users often experience an intense high during which they feel extremely alert and full of energy. They may also experience feelings of extreme happiness. The desire to experience—and to keep experiencing—those feelings lead to repeated use. As a person builds up tolerance to cocaine, they must take more and more to achieve the same high—a sure sign that a substance use disorder has developed.
Even if you think of the energy, alertness, and happiness as positive, desirable side effects of the drug, it is important to remember that cocaine can also cause a range of decidedly undesirable side effects, too. Those side effects may include:
- Anger, irritability, and/or feelings of paranoia
- Heightened sensitivity to light, sound, and/or touch
- Headaches, convulsions, and/or seizures
- Heart disease, heart attack, lung or bowel damage, and/or stroke
- Issues related to sexual function
- Nosebleeds, loss of sense of smell, frequently runny nose, and difficulty swallowing for those who snort the drug
Negative Side Effects
Once a person begins to experience negative side effects—or other problems in their day-to-day life due to drug use—they may be eager to stop using cocaine. Unfortunately, withdrawal from the drug comes with its own set of dangerous symptoms. Those may include:
- Extreme cravings for cocaine that may be difficult to resist
- A marked increase in appetite
- Vivid and disturbing nightmares
- Increased mental health concerns like depression and/or anxiety
- An inability to experience pleasure or sexual arousal
- Challenges concentrating and/or slowed thought processes
- Fatigue, exhaustion, and/or restlessness
- Nerve pain, chills, tremors, and/or muscle aches
Those lists of dire symptoms may make it seem that once you have started using cocaine you are permanently stuck between a rock and a hard place. Either you can experience the negative effects that come with continuing to use the drug or you can experience the negative effects of trying to get off the drug. Neither option may seem very appealing.
Fortunately, there is a solution to this particular conundrum. If you are using cocaine, the time to get help is right now. And the place to get that help is a fully accredited residential treatment center.
How Residential Treatment Helps
While it is true that, in some cases, a robust outpatient program may be able to help you stop using cocaine and reclaim your life, a residential treatment program is much more effective for many people. After a medically supervised detoxification program, the rehabilitation portion of treatment offers both group and individual therapy—both of which will help you develop the strategies you will need to weather the temptations that will undoubtedly come when you return to daily life.
You will also have the opportunity to address any co-occurring mental health disorders that may accompany—or be contributing to—your substance use disorder. Effectively managing depression, anxiety, trauma-induced issues, and other mental health challenges is an important part of ensuring you can maintain your hard-won society over the long haul.
The Aviary Recovery Center Can Help You Conquer Cocaine
As we have noted, when you are in the grips of a substance use disorder, it may very well seem that you don’t have any good options available. If you keep using cocaine, for example, your physical and mental health will continue to take a beating. And if you stop using cocaine, you may find the withdrawal process difficult to bear.
But compassionate and personalized help—grounded in expertise and experience—is available at The Aviary Recovery Center. No matter your current situation, we will listen to you with respect and design a treatment program that addresses your specific needs. Our goal is to make sure you leave treatment with the resources and support you need to start your recovery with confidence. Our commitment to a continuum of care ensures you can count on us for help in the crucial early days of recovery.
Despite the way it is often represented in popular culture, cocaine is not cool. In fact, it can upend your life in myriad ways. If you need help, we hope you will reach out to The Aviary Recovery Center right away.