New Jersey Cocaine Addiction Treatment

At Absolute Awakenings, we are aware of the serious health-related threats that cocaine addiction poses to men, women, and families. Start Healing Today.

Cocaine is an addictive stimulant that’s been abused for thousands of years. Derived from the leaves of the coca plant, cocaine is one of the most addictive substances known. It’s also the strongest naturally-occurring stimulant and has powerful effects throughout the body, particularly in the brain and cardiovascular system.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

What Does Cocaine Do?

Cocaine dramatically increases the levels of all of the major neurotransmitters in the nervous system, including the pleasure-chemical dopamine and to a lesser degree, norepinephrine and serotonin. This buildup of dopamine prompts feelings of euphoria and elation, while cocaine’s amplification of serotonin and norepinephrine affects a person’s mood and energy levels.

Cocaine also causes stress hormones, like cortisol, to accumulate in the brain. Things get even worse, as cocaine is broken down and converted into benzoylecgonine in the liver, a toxic substance that forces major blood vessels to constrict, placing excessive stress on them and raising blood pressure.

Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

About 2 million American adults are regular cocaine users, with 65 percent of that number having cocaine use disorder (cocaine addiction). Almost 20,000 people die from the complications of a cocaine overdose every year. 

Although people are attracted to cocaine because of its ability to produce euphoria and high levels of energy, it also leads to the following effects:

  • Agitation, irritability
  • Temper outbursts
  • Hypersensitivity to light and sound
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia 
  • Profuse sweating 
  • An inability to sit still/restlessness
  • Racing heartbeat 
  • Sleep problems

The long-term effects of cocaine abuse partially depend on how a person uses it—by injection or inhalation.

  • Snorting (nasal use). Chronic nosebleeds, destruction of the mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses, eroded or destroyed nasal septum, loss of smell, chronic runny nose, and problems swallowing.
  • Injecting cocaine (IV use). High risk of contracting lethal infections like hepatitis and HIV, damage to one’s veins, abscesses, infected skin, damage to the heart from bacteria entering the bloodstream, and overdoses.

No matter how a person consumes cocaine, the long-term consequences include heart problems, particularly arrhythmia, high blood pressure, and weakened blood vessels. 

Depression and anxiety are also commonly found in people who abuse cocaine. A serious psychological condition called cocaine psychosis can cause a person to lose contact with reality. Hallucinations, such as the feeling that insects are crawling under the skin (formication) are typical of cocaine psychosis, as are aggressive behaviors.

Cocaine Addiction and Alcohol

When a person drinks alcohol while using cocaine, a chemical called cocaethylene is produced in the body. Cocaethylene prolongs cocaine intoxication and enhances the high, but it’s also highly toxic and can result in liver failure and seizures. Drinking alcohol while using cocaine is 25 times more likely to cause death than cocaine alone. Of all two-drug combinations, alcohol and cocaine are the most likely to result in death.

Signs of Cocaine Addiction

The signs and symptoms of cocaine abuse vary from person to person, and many people won’t show all of the symptoms listed here.

The most common symptoms of cocaine abuse include the following:

  • Mood swings
  • Unusually high confidence
  • Decreased appetite
  • Heightened secretive behaviors
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Agitation
  • Unusual energy levels and alertness
  • Paranoia, suspiciousness
  • Depression
  • White powder residue on mouth or nose
  • Declining personal hygiene
  • Financial problems
  • Injection marks (“track marks”)

 

  • Excitability
  • Rapid speech, unusually talkative
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Self-isolation
  • Insomnia, interrupted sleep, or little sleep
  • Energy peaks followed by crashes
  • Anxiety
  • Bizarre or aggressive behaviors
  • Deceptive behaviors, lying
  • Nosebleeds
  • Burn marks on the lips or hands
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Chronic runny nose without a medical cause

Cocaine Addiction Treatment in New Jersey

If you or someone close to you has been suffering at the hands of a cocaine abuse disorder of any severity, there is help available. At Absolute Awakenings in New Jersey, we provide residents of New Jersey and all surrounding areas with the comprehensive cocaine addiction treatment they need and the quality clinical care they deserve. 

Absolute Awakenings follows an evidence-based approach to treating alcohol and substance abuse disorders. Every person we serve receives individualized care based on their unique needs. To learn more about our program of cocaine addiction recovery in New Jersey, call us today. Our recovery specialists are waiting to assist you or a loved one in your fight against cocaine addiction.

Resources

Andrews P. Cocaethylene toxicity. J Addict Dis. 1997;16(3):75-84. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9243342/

Connors NJ, Hoffman RS. Experimental treatments for cocaine toxicity: a difficult transition to the bedside. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2013;347:251-7

How many people use cocaine? Drug Policy Alliance. (n.d.). Retrieved July 10, 2022, from https://drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/cocaine/how-many-people-use-cocaine 

Jatlow P, McCance EF, Bradberry CW, Elsworth JD, Taylor JR, Roth RH. Alcohol plus cocaine: the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Ther Drug Monit. 1996;18(4):460-464. doi:10.1097/00007691-199608000-00026

Nestler E. J. (2005). The neurobiology of cocaine addiction. Science & practice perspectives3(1), 4–10. https://doi.org/10.1151/spp05314

NYC Health. (n.d.). Cocaine Abuse & Addiction. Cocaine. Retrieved July 10, 2022, from https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/cocaine.page 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2022, January 26). What is the scope of cocaine use in the United States? National Institutes of Health. Retrieved July 10, 2022, from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-scope-cocaine-use-in-united-states 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2022, May 2). What is cocaine? National Institutes of Health. Retrieved July 10, 2022, from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-cocaine 

Wang, J., Deng, X., Wu, Y., Huang, Y., Hou, S., & Zhang, Y. (2021, June 7). Sub-lethal toxicity and elimination of the cocaine metabolite, benzoylecgonine: A narrative review. Annals of Palliative Medicine. Retrieved July 10, 2022, from https://apm.amegroups.com/article/view/71546/html