Cocaine is a powerful addictive drug  and one of the most abused ones in the world. It is used as a stimulant drug or mood enhancer. Cocaine hydrochloride salt, which comes in powder form, is used by addicts to get a high. It is either snorted or injected by dissolving it in water. Another form of cocaine, which is very popular with addicts, is Crack. It is processed cocaine in form of crystals. These crystals are heated and its vapour is smoked.

With frequent use of cocaine, user becomes psychologically dependent on it and becomes a compulsive user. Due to its highly addictive nature, it is easy to become its addict after few times uses of Cocaine. Dependency on cocaine could lead to physiological problems as well as lethargy, psychosis, depression and akathisia. Its overdose could prove fatal and addict could even succumb to it.

Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is one of the widely abused drugs. It could be snorted, injected or smoked. Powder Cocaine is directly snorted. It reaches blood stream through nasal tissues. For injection powder cocaine is mixed with water to make an injectable solution. Injected cocaine goes directly into addict’s blood stream through veins. For smoking purpose crystalline cocaine is used. It is heated and its vapour is smoked.  It goes into lungs and is absorbed in the blood stream. Cocaine addiction could produce many severe health issues. If infected syringe is used to inject the cocaine solution, it also poses threat of contracting HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.

Mechanism of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine after reaching blood stream rapidly travels to brain. It is a strong stimulant and affects central nervous system. It increases level of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a brain chemical l, which acts as neurotransmitter for the feeling of pleasure and movement. Dopamine is used by brain cells for purpose of communication. Dopamine is released in the brain, when something pleasurable happens. It is then recycled in the brain cells. When an addict used Cocaine and it reaches brain, it starts preventing Dopamine from being recycled. Ultimately normal communication process in brain gets disturbed. Excess of Dopamine in brain due to cocaine use leads to highly euphoric effects. Long term use of cocaine could cause permanent changes in brain. It increases the body’s dependence on cocaine and cause addiction. Repeated use could also produce adverse psychological or physiological effects.

Cocaethylene

Poly drug use is one of the common practices among drug addicts including cocaine addicts. If cocaine is consumed with alcohol, they elevate danger of fatal consequences. They could lead to a complex chemical reaction causing severely harmful effects. Researches have revealed that when cocaine is consumed with alcohol, the human liver produces a substance called cocaethylene by mixing them. It produces highly euphoric effects. Cocaethylene is highly dangerous and could produce fatal side effects including a higher risk of sudden death in the addicts.

Treatment Options

Treatment addiction could be treated through medicines and behavioral therapies. There is no FDA approved medicine for cocaine addiction as of now, thus there are researches going on for development of a medicine for treatment of cocaine addiction. Different researches are aiming at developing a medicine to curb out craving for cocaine. Other researches involve development of medicines for treatment of withdrawal symptoms associated with cocaine. Researches are also going on to find out a treatment method to prevent relapses in treatment of cocaine addiction. A vaccine is also in the process, which could seize cocaine in the bloodstream and prevent it from reaching the brain.

As of now medicines are used to treat root cause of cocaine addiction such as any mental problem and medicines are also used for treatment of physical and mental problems associated with cocaine addiction. Medication is provided alongside behavirol therapy. Behavioral therapy especially cognitive-behavioral therapy is quite efficient in treatment of cocaine addiction. It helps in decreasing cocaine addiction and also helps in prevention of relapse episodes. The treatment plan is devised according to individual addict’s need.