It seems natural to see a depressed person using cocaine, but the repeated use quickly progresses to addiction. The next day, cocaine addiction might become a part of the depression, which is quite a worrisome situation.

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The definition of cocaine abuse includes the persistent use of cocaine to increase the stimulation that it causes. As a schedule II controlled substance, cocaine hydrochloride has some legal, medical applications as a pain reliever and a vasoconstrictor. But, it’s illegal to use it as a stimulant for pleasurable effects.

How Cocaine Causes Addiction?

Being a highly addictive stimulant drug, cocaine provides the users with a burst of energy and floods the brain with pleasure creating a euphoric feeling. When snorted, smoked or injected, cocaine increases the dopamine level, and the person starts feeling high. Once tolerance develops, the user tends to require more and more cocaine to feel the same. 

What Are The Effects Of Cocaine Addiction?

Cocaine addiction has both physical and psychological effects. Depending upon the amount, body, and user’s emotional state while taking the drug, the effects vary greatly. Here are some of the major effects of cocaine:

Psychiatric Effects

Cocaine addicts experience excitement, increased energy, physical and mental strength, less fatigue and hunger, decrease in pain sensation, or a false sense of grandeur. Further, it leads to the loss of consciousness, stroke, and may affect the vital support functions such as respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.

Brain Effects

For people who often use this drug, cocaine depression is quite common. The reason is that cocaine releases norepinephrine that intensifies the alertness of the nervous system. Most of the time, people feel relieved and enjoy resting afterward, but there is nothing to feel relieved once the effects wear off. As the drug rapidly wears off, people feel disappointed and depressed. 

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Besides, increased dopamine and serotonin cause temporary feelings of pleasure. When these neurotransmitters return to their normal level, people crave for the drug. They progress to cocaine dependence and start feeling cocaine withdrawal symptoms that make them feel depressed.

Lung Effects

Direct effects of smoking cocaine include breathing complications, chronic bronchitis, coughing, chest pain. Using techniques like deep inhalation or breath-holding to maximize the amount of drug inhaled may cause the lungs to collapse. The lungs get filled with fluid that may cause respiratory failure or death.

Cardiovascular Effects

Abnormal heart rhythms, weakening of the walls of the aorta, narrowing of the arteries, decreased blood flow, etc. are some of the chronic effects of taking cocaine. It may also cause Angina, which further leads to a heart attack. 

Infections

Though infectious complications aren’t directly related to the use of cocaine, it increases the risk of infections. The addicts often complain of swelling, abdominal pain, lockjaw, fever, redness at the injection site, nausea, and vomiting. 

Contagious viruses such as hepatitis C, hepatitis B, can be transmitted by using non-sterile needles for injecting drugs.

How To Diagnose Cocaine Addiction?

The most common treatments for cocaine addiction are therapy and counseling. Sessions with trained therapists can help addicts to make changes in their thought process and behavior.

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For people who need to treat cocaine abuse as a depressive disorder, rehabilitation facilities offer treatment programs that help to cope with the cravings. There are antidepressants that not only improve mood but also alleviate the depression symptoms. 

However, prevention is the best cure for any drug addiction. 

Conclusion

Remember that the health risks related to cocaine addiction are more extreme and degrading than we believe. If you suspect someone abusing drugs, help them to diagnose the effects, and start a new life.