Cocaine has been used prolifically within the United States for many years now, and since its insurgence into society in the late 1800s, it has ebbed and flowed in popularity, seeing its last large resurgence in the 1980s.
Cocaine addiction is serious and deadly. Upon using cocaine, the user experiences an acute and strong rush to the mind and body, making them feel like they are moving at 60 miles an hour while sitting still. The high is not long-lasting and usually ends in the exact opposite: a low depression and a craving for more cocaine. As a result, the addiction to cocaine forms very quickly, sometimes right after the first time someone uses it. Cocaine also makes someone paranoid, anxious, and hostile, even when they are not high on it.
Even after the first usage, cocaine drastically increases the risk of the user having a heart attack as the heart rate is increased drastically. Over time, even for a short amount of time, the risk for strokes, breathing failure, and seizures increases at a large rate. Loss of appetite, increased blood pressure and body temperature, disturbed sleep patterns, psychoses like hallucinations, and a myriad of other things are included just in the short-term effects of cocaine usage. The long-term effects include major bodily damage to the blood vessels, liver, and heart and severe psychological damage resulting in serious mental illnesses. This is just a short list; there are many more problems that result from cocaine usage. It is a highly destructive substance.
When coming off of cocaine, the first road bump encountered is a severe “crash.” What this means is that the high associated with cocaine has an equal and opposite low once the drug is not present. This is what makes it so addictive. After the crash has been surmounted, which usually does not last for too long (maybe about 24 hours), other problems lessened in their intensity (compared to the initial crash) begin to arise. These include sleep deprivation, mood changes, increased appetite, and physical slowing or agitation. After these have dissipated over the course of maybe a week or so, then the road to recovery begins.
Someone who was highly addicted to cocaine definitely feels the lack of the drug in their lives afterward. The drug made things more exciting; it put their life “in the fast lane.” A strong recovery and support group is needed in order to stay off of the drug.
Cocaine also has its very own recovery group due to its unique potency and culture. Cocaine Anonymous, or simply CA, is very prolific in the recovery world, and 12-step meetings can be found almost anywhere.
Gender-Specific Addiction Recovery Programs
In recent times, recovery centers and treatment programs have risen across the country that serve addicts based on gender specifically. It has been typical with 12-step programs to have gender-specific meetings, but recently it has been taken a step further to serve the unique, specific recovery needs of women or men who are addicted to various substances.