Cocaine Addiction – Symptoms, Side Effects, How to Get Treatment & Rehab

Cocaine Addiction – Summary

A cocaine addiction can cause both short and long term issues. Cocaine use can be closely linked to lifestyle and the actions of your peers. Help4Addiction is dedicated to help you overcome your reliance on the drug and help you manage temptations that may be presented to you in the future. Although typically a drug linked with socialising, long term use can lead the user to use harder, more dangerous, forms of the drug.

3ps-consultation Cocaine Addiction - Symptoms, Side Effects, How to Get Treatment & Rehab

If you think you are suffering from an addiction like this, you need to act now. You might even be worried about a family member or friend. Here at Help4Addiction, we provide support on the phone, providing immediate advice. We have helped countless individuals get the rehab treatment they need for every type of addiction including cocaine. If you need to find a rehab facility now near you or just want to talk, we’re only a phone call away, call 0203 955 7700 to speak to one of our experts ready to help.


What Is Cocaine?

Before we discuss everything you need to know about cocaine addiction, it’s helpful to understand a little more about this drug.

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Made from the leaves of the coca plant, native to South America, cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug. It has existed in some form in society for thousands of years, and while it has been used for medical purposes such as for anaesthesia, recreational use is illegal. Typically, when bought on the street the drug will be mixed with other substances such as talcum powder and it can even be cut with other drugs, making it more dangerous.


Users will often refer to the drug as another name, particularly when communicating online or through text On the street cocaine may be known as:


  • Blow
  • Coke
  • Snow
  • Powder
  • Stash
  • Big C
  • Line
  • Bump
  • Pearl


The drug is typically condensed down to a powder and snorted through the nose or rubbed onto the gums. It can also be dissolved and injected directly into the bloodstream. Using cocaine will often involve taking the drug frequently through a short period which will provide a constant or continuous high for the individual.


It is the second most trafficked drug in the world today and the second most commonly used drug throughout all of Europe. 7.5 million people between 15 and 34 have used cocaine at least once in their life and as such cocaine addiction is a serious concern.


Is Cocaine Addictive?


It is possible to use cocaine once and not become addicted to the substance. There are countless people who have done this and suggested to others that the drug is not addictive. However, it’s important to be aware that this is often the exception and not the rule. Cocaine is an addictive drug and many users will find that they become dependent on the product. Cocaine addiction can start gradually and then quickly grow out of control due to a high level of dependence.


How Addictive Is Cocaine?


Cocaine actually creates the greatest dependence psychologically for any drug. A tolerance for cocaine develops incredibly quickly and this means that individuals often feel they need to take more to get the same high they experienced before. The level of addiction people experience when they take cocaine is one of the reasons why it is so dangerous. People who take cocaine feel that they can not escape their independence and constantly crave a stronger level of abuse. This occurs despite the horrific effects that the drug can cause.


Why Is Cocaine Addictive?


There is a multitude of reasons why cocaine is addictive. As already mentioned cocaine is often taken or added to other drugs and substances. Many people mistakenly believe that this reduces the impact of the substance but this is not the case. Instead, it’s likely and indeed common for mixing cocaine with heroin or amphetamines to make it more addictive and dangerous.


Since the drug is a stimulant, it provides pleasure to the person who uses it. That individual, when on a high, will experience a sense of euphoria which then becomes impossible to resist. The fact that individuals feel they need to take more and more to get the same type of high also impacts the level of addiction.


Cocaine Addictive Properties


When you take cocaine, you cause your brain to create increased levels of a chemical known as dopamine. This is located in the reward centre of your brain. As such, it is linked to the feelings of pleasure and indeed a movement. When you experience something pleasurable such as an orgasm or watching a movie at cinema neurons interact and releases the dopamine. After a period, the dopamine reverts back and the signals shut off. That’s why we don’t constantly feel pleasure.


With cocaine the interactions between neurons are disrupted and the dopamine level builds up. Then, when the cocaine hits the brain, the massive amount of dopamine is released and this causes the euphoria. After multiple times the brain begins to change. This makes it more difficult to feel the same reward or the same level of reward without the addiction. The brain becomes more tolerant and you need the higher kick to get the same effect.


What Causes Cocaine Addiction?


It’s important to understand that there is absolutely no safe level of cocaine. If you take even a small amount it can be dangerous. People won’t always start by taking cocaine. Instead they will try a gateway drug like Marijuana. This isn’t as addictive or as powerful which leads people to look for something stronger. That’s when they find cocaine. Even taking cocaine once can trigger the addiction, particularly if the first time is a positive experience. Buy cocaine on the street and dealers will also provide a higher quality of the product for first buyers. This is again to ensure an individual does get addicted. People who take cocaine for the first time may get it from a friend, a family member or experience it at a party. Again, all it takes is one time to potentially trigger the start of addiction because the feeling of euphoria is completely intoxicating.  


Signs Of Cocaine Addiction


You might be worried that a loved one, friend, or family member has a cocaine addiction. So, what are the signs of cocaine addiction? Well, you might notice:


  • Changes to their mood or behaviour
  • Constant craving
  • Lying and stealing to feed their addiction
  • Erratic body movements
  • Increased energy


Their appearance may change as well. You could notice:


  • Track marks – black lines or circles on their arm
  • Burned lips
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dilated pupils


Side Effects Of Cocaine Addiction


There are both short term and long term side effects of cocaine addiction. Remember, the main effect of cocaine addiction is a short, intense high which addicts will try and elongate. That’s because it’s followed by a depression where they seek out and crave the drug.


Short Term Effects


Short term side effects will often include:


  • Changes to eating patterns
  • Issues sleeping
  • Muscle spasms
  • Paranoia
  • Hostility
  • Anxiety


After just one use, you could be at risk of:


  • Seizures
  • A Stroke
  • A heart attack


There is no safe level of cocaine and even a small dose could cause someone stop stop breathing, suffering from an overdose.


Long Term Effects


Long term effects are due to the constant increase in the amount of cocaine used. As mentioned, a greater high will constantly be needed. When one comes down from the drug, it causes a serious level of depression that is enough to make an individual do anything to get more of it.


Other long term effects include:


  • Insomnia
  • Psychosis
  • Extreme hallucinations
  • Severe carvings
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Malnourishment


Cocaine Addiction Symptoms


There are countless symptoms of a cocaine addiction that you should look out for in a friend or family member. We have already mentioned a number of these. Other signs include:


  • Increased body temperature
  • Changes in blood breasure
  • Changes in breathing
  • Nausea
  • Bizarre behavior – users often become increasingly unpredictable
  • Hallucinations – feeling there are bugs underneath the skin is particularly common.
  • Seizures – These can occur any time after taking the drug


After taking the drug for an extended period, there can be profound and serious impacts on the body. The blood vessels may be permanently damaged. There could also be liver, kidney and lung damage. Other physical symptoms will depend on how the drug has been taken:


  • Sniffed – destroy tissues in the nose and cause nosebleeds
  • Gums – tooth decay
  • Smoked – trouble breathing and bad breath


Other uses could experience:


  • Issues with reproducing
  • Constant disorientation
  • Mood Swings
  • High levels of irritability


Symptoms can he heightened if you addictied to cocaine as well as another drug, see Dual diagnosis for more information. Many former users describe the drug as a pathway to destroying your entire life and your health, so please do act immediately if you or someone else needs help.


Am I Addicted To Cocaine?


At this point, you might be asking yourself whether you have a problem. While it may not seem like it, this is actually a positive first step. Asking whether you have a problem shows you are ready and potentially even committed to making the necessary changes in your life.


Of course, you can look at the signs above to see whether you have an issue with an addiction to cocaine. But the main question you need to ask is this. Can you live without it or do you feel as though it as a crucial part of your life? Are you experiencing constant or continuous cravings for the drug that can be incredibly severe? Will you take massive steps in and out of your control to gain the drug that you want? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you do have a cocaine addiction. This could have begun the first time that you started taking the drug or after your tenth hit.


Be aware that taking the drug once does not mean that you can’t possibly have a cocaine addiction. Due to the traits of the drug that we have described it is possible to get addicted after your first try. The good news is that if you are addicted after one hit and recognise it, it’s far easier to stop now. Even then though, it can still be a challenge. If you have taken the drug for an extended period, it’s likely that your addiction will be out of control. Again though, it is possible to stop if you take the right steps. You’ve already accomplished the first step and that’s recognising you have an issue with addiction. Now you need to start thinking about how to beat it.


How To Beat Cocaine Addiction


For some drugs it is possible to beat an addiction simply by making sure that you recognise the issue. That way you can start cutting the drug out of your life. However this becomes more difficult with substances that are highly addictive. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug and once you stop taking it, everything in your being will tell you that you need it. You’ll have severe cravings that can last days, weeks or even months. You will enter a severe state of depression and think that the only way that you can live is to take more cocaine. Beating a cocaine addiction is never going to be easy, particularly if you have been on the drug for a long time. But it is certainly not impossible.


To beat a cocaine addiction, you need to make sure that you are taking the right steps and getting the support you require. This isn’t just about having the support of your friends, family members or the people around you. You need to make sure that you have professional support too. Professional support will guarantee that you always have individuals by your side who can help you. These are expert team members who will ensure that you don’t relapse, that you do recover and that you do get clean.


Cocaine Addiction Treatment


If you’re interested in arranging cocaine addiction treatment, you will be pleased to hear that there are a multitude of recovery centres across the UK. You’ll be able to find the one that suits your needs and we can help. Here at Help 4 Addiction, we aim to put you in touch with a treatment or rehab centre, potentially close to you. We will listen to your needs, requirements and concerns and find the most suitable treatment facility. For instance, you might have an idea of the treatment method that you, your loved one or your friend requires. We’ll work to make sure that we find a treatment centre that provides this treatment option. Simply call us for free on 0203 955 7700 and a impartial addiction adviser will be there to help advise you on the best course of action.


Cocaine Addiction Treatment Methods



  • Pharmaceutical Treatment



There are various cocaine addiction treatment methods that might be suitable to your needs and concerns. For instance, you might want to consider pharmaceutical treatment. It is worth noting that there is currently no medication approved drug that will treat cocaine addiction, Research is constantly investigating possibilities here but thus far there have been no significant breakthroughs that have moved to the market.



  • Behavioural Treatment



Treatment will typically be behavioural. Rehab facilities will provide you with the support you need to make sure that you feel as though you no longer need the drug. One example of this is contingency management. In this case, users are rewarded for displaying positive behaviour. So, for not using for a set period, patients are provided with rewards and tokens based on living healthily. This could be a gym membership or dinner at a local restaurant. Studies have shown that this can be a very effective form of treatment.


Another possibility of how to overcome cocaine addiction is to engage in cognitive behavioural therapy. This is about training the brain to learn that it does not need the drug and hopefully prevent the possibility or indeed the danger of a relapse. The treatment teaches patients how to recognise when they are more likely to use cocaine. This will often be used with other therapies maximising the potential it has to help individuals.



  • Group Treatment



Therapy will typically involve users working as a group rather than focusing on the individual. Individuals who enter rehab facilities will often be connected to others in a group. This allows them to form a coping, support system where everyone can lean on each other. It provides them with the stepping stones and the foundations they need to survive in society once they leave the rehab facility. It is indeed possible that individuals who leave without anyone to ask for help will fall back into old habits very quickly. The idea here is that they will have a support system inside and outside of rehab. It also helps to reduce issues that may lead to a relapse such as problems with depression. This is one of the best lessons on how to overcome and how to fight cocaine addiction. A cocaine rehab facility will always be the best option.


Cocaine Rehab Process


You might be wondering about the cocaine rehab process. Well, the first step is always going to be admitting that you have an issue. Once you can do this, you can seek out the help you need and quickly gain advice from professionals. They will then start the detox process and this will usually result in severe withdrawal symptoms. Be aware that while the initial stage of withdrawal may only last a couple of days, you can feel the impact for weeks or months afterwards. It’s often the case that once you enter rehab you won’t be able to contact anyone outside for a fixed period. After this you will once again be able to interact with family members and friends.


Once your treatment plan is over, you will be able to return to your life. In most cases though, treatment will not end here. Instead, it will continue long after you leave the rehab facility. You will have been given advice and support on how to cope with challenges you’re going to face and potentially even be given job opportunities or whatever else you need.


Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms


When stopping Cocaine after rehab, there are a number of withdrawal symptoms that can occur, its important to understand and be aware of these, by doing so you will be able to better handle them as well as know that it is all part of the process. Rehab makes this easier to deal with, but just knowing what they are can prepare you to stay strong and anticipate them.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • You may feel restless
  • Depression and anxiety can kick in from the lack of drug
  • Suicidal thoughts can also enter your mind, but you need to stay strong and know it will fade
  • Difficulty concentrating and slowed thinking
  • Exhaustion
  • Chills, Tremors, Nerve Pain, Muscle Aches
  • Feeling of Emptiness
  • Cravings for Cocaine
  • Increased Appetite
  • Headaches
  • Slowed Fatigue
  • Nightmare that appear very detailed
  • Inability to experience sexual intercourse or arousal for a short period of time

Whilst you may not experience all of these symptoms, many will be present together or one after another

Cocaine Rehab Cost


Cocaine rehab cost can vary dramatically. There are deluxe cocaine rehab programs, low-cost programs and budget-friendly choices. We aim to find you the rehab facility that provides for your needs and matches your individual financial situation. It is possible to be provided with free rehab through the NHS however, this is rare and often only for extreme cases. Unfortunately people who end up in the emergency room with a cocaine addiction have often already sustained life-changing injuries. As such, it’s important to get treatment before this happens. The average cost of cocaine rehab can be anywhere between £2000 and £6000 for the total treatment. This will again depend on the type of treatment you need and the type of facility that you want. 


Visit the link for more information on Rehab costs


Find a cocaine rehab centre


If you’re wondering where to get help for cocaine addiction, then there are various possibilities. You can go and see your local doctor. They may be able to provide the advice or the expertise that you require and will often provide you with a contact for a specialist. Many people are wary of this option because they are worried about being judged or being given treatment that doesn’t provide the benefits they need.


You could look for rehab centres yourself, but with so many different options and possibilities, it can be a struggle to find the right one for you. You also won’t know whether they provide a quality solution that you can trust.

recovery-consultation Cocaine Addiction - Symptoms, Side Effects, How to Get Treatment & Rehab

That’s where we come in. At Help 4 Addiction, we want to make sure you get the precise treatment that you require. This means that we take into account your budget, who needs the treatment and where you want to go. We can find a suitable location quickly but that’s not all. As well as putting you in contact with the rehab facility, we’ll make sure that we provide immediate impartial expert advice. This can help you deal with issues that you, your loved one or family member are currently struggling with. We promise to handle your case with discretion, sensitivity and complete compassion. Getting the help you need can be a difficult process, but we’re here to be your guide and ensure that things are as easy as possible. You don’t have to struggle alone with this issue any longer.


Are you interested in learning more? Contact us today on 0203 955 7700 and we will be happy to assist you with all your needs, ensuring you get expert advice and find the rehab facility you require.


We are here 24/7 to help get you and your recovery on the right path.

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    thumbOur advice will always be led by your needs and is free, confidential and impartial.
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    Detoxification (detox) is the medical intervention required for someone who is physically dependent to drugs or alcohol. If required, medical detoxification would be the first step taken in residential rehab. Detox is used to prevent uncomfortable and dangerous (even fatal) withdrawals symptoms resulting in suddenly becoming abstinent from alcohol/certain drugs.

    The goal of a medical detox is to aid in the physical healing required following long term addiction and rid the body of all together of substance whilst providing a cushion for unpleasant symptoms of withdrawals. Detox is not considered the whole treatment for drug/alcohol addiction and it is always recommended that a comprehensive rehabilitation program is used along side to help maintain long term abstinence.

    Medication is often required for alcohol detox. If you are dependent on alcohol and experiencing withdrawal symptoms it is vitally important to seek medical advice prior to stopping. There is a long list of medications used when treating alcohol addiction and the exact medication given to an individual will depend on their needs/medical history. Some of these include;

    • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
    • Lorazepam (Ativan)
    • Diazapam (vailium)

    Librium and Valium are the most commonly used detox medication in the UK. All medication used to help with alcohol detox have been proven to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

    There are also a number of drugs recombined by the NHS to help treat alcohol misuse. Some of these include:

    • Naltrexone
    • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
    • Nalmefene
    • Acamprosate (campral)

    Medication is always required for heroin detox. For someone suffering from heroin addiction, the thought of detoxification (detox) can be exceptionally daunting. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates, such as heroin, can be severe and include pain, vomiting, nausea and shaking.

    There are different ways that heroin detox can be carried out, most usually either ‘maintenance therapy’ or ‘full medical detox’.

    Attempting to switch from heroin to a heroin substitute, usually on a controlled prescription, is known as Maintenance therapy. Subsites used are most often methadone or buprenorphine.

    A full medical detox from heroin will always be carried out in a residential rehab setting and will allow the individual to switch form heroin to a substitute and slowly withdraw completing treatment free of all substances. Someone using a heroin substitute can choose to have a full medical detox at any time, however detoxing substances such a methadone can often add to the length of detox required. Drugs most commonly used to fully detox from heroin are, Subutex, Suboxone and Methadone. Much like alcohol, the exact drugs used will be dependent on the individuals needs/medical history.

    Once detoxed from heroin the risk of overdose is much higher following relapse due to tolerance following withdrawal.

    The length of treatment in a residential rehab depends on a number of elements. Some substances require longer periods of detox than others.

    Private paying patients will also often choose a length of stay that suites their therapeutic and financial needs. As a rule, a full treatment program in a rehab is considered to be 28 days (often referred to as a month), however, treatment is offered in several different ways and lengths starting at 7 days.

    Treating alcohol addiction will always require a minimum of 7-10 days, this would be considered the detoxification (detox) faze. The length required for treating drug addiction can vary drastically depending on the substance being used. Detox for Heroin addiction is generally around 14 days minimum, with more time required if substances such a methadone are being used. Treating prescription drug addiction can often take the longest. The time required for treating gambling addiction, eating disorders and sex addiction will be based on the individuals needs.

    Rehab programs can be as long as an individual requires but primary treatment is normally caped at 12 weeks, with the offering for further secondary and tertiary treatment thereafter.

    *based on average rehab stays, everyone will vary dependant on needs and medical requirement/history.

    There is no need for your employer to know that you are seeking help for trauma and addiction unless you choose to involve them with the process. All employers should have a policy that explains what you do if you cannot come to work due to illness – illness to include treating alcohol addiction/treating drug addiction.

    If your work absence extends over 7 days your employer is likely to require an official statement of fitness to work which would be obtained from your GP. This would need to supply evidence of your illness as well as any adjustments required for returning to work, fazed return or reduced hours, but does not need to specify in detail the reason why you have been absent.

    If you are absent from work for 7 days of less, for example entering rehab for a detoxification (detox) on a Saturday for 7-10 days taking a full week away from work, you can self-certify your illness by letting your employer work you will not be attending work for that period of time. Exactly how an individual would do this would be dependent on a specific companies’ policies on taking sick leave.

    Any time longer than 7 days it is likely an employer will require a note from the individuals GP certifying their sickness and a fit note on return. Most companies have a clearly outlined policy on sickness and receiving sick pay so the exact requirement can vary. A rehab will always be willing to advise on time off work.

    How much does rehab cost is a very frequently asked question. The cost of treatment can range from £1,000 per week upwards depending on the place, with luxury rehab being the most expensive.

    There are free options available on the NHS but the waitlist of those looking for free treatment is longer than that for privately paying patients. Some private health insurance policies will cover treatment in some rehabs around the country.

    Choosing the right rehab centre will often be based on priced but it is important to follow guidance on the most suitable treatment centre for an individual’s needs which our expert team of advisers are on hand to offer.

    There are certainly pro’s for both treatment near by and traveling for treatment with one of the most asked question being should I get rehab near me? There are rehabs all over the UK and around the world that all offer expert programs, let’s look at how to choose a rehab.

    Local treatment

    Being close to home gives certainly has benefits. Visitors are normally permitted in rehab following the first 7 days stay, therefore if an individual is in treatment for a length of time longer than that being local will make it easier for loved ones to visit.

    Most rehab centres will also provide a full aftercare plan for someone following treatment, this will include ongoing aftercare in the specific treatment centre. Living close by can make it easy to take full advantage of ongoing aftercare. There can also often be the option for ongoing care with an individual therapist, again being close by will allow that treatment to be carried out face to face.

    Some individuals wish to be local but are willing to look broader, for instance the greater city of residence (London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

    Treatment Away

    Getting treatment away from home can be very appealing to some. Being out of the local area makes it a lot harder to just walk out of treatment as resources locally are unknown. Some also take comfort in knowing that they are not near home and focus more on treatment.

    As the price for treatment can vary so much from one residential treatment centre to another, private paying patients often would rather travel to keep the cost down. Those using private health insurance may also have to travel to find a treatment centre covered in their policy.

    When opting for treatment away from home this can be anywhere in the UK and also abroad. Aftercare can still be carried out and very successful using tools such as The Online Rehab.

    There is no right or wrong when choosing where to go to residential rehab, but our expert advisors are always on hand to help provide information on all possible options.

    Whilst millions of people in the UK have taken recreational drugs (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, GHB, heron, ketamine, methadone, and prescription drugs) and drank alcohol not all become ‘addicted’. Most recent reports show that 279,793 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol misuse services in the last year with over half of that being from opiate addiction and a quarter for alcohol.

    There are several risk factors invoiced in addiction and those using drugs and alcohol socially, simply take the risk. These risks are as follows;

    Tolerance – basically, if a substance is used repeatedly an individual’s tolerance to it will build. This will result in more of the same substance being required to get the same effect. In the long run this can easily lead to addiction and physical dependencies.

    Environmental risks – these can include influences such a peer pressure and stress as well as physical or mental abuse of an individual (particularly as a child). Overall, those who live with frequent pressures and stress are more likely to reach for a substance to cope and are therefore at higher risk of becoming addicted.

    Drug type – it is very well known that certain drugs are simply more addictive than others. Using substances such as heroin increases the risk of becoming addicted for need to ‘chase’ a high as well as physical dependency.

    Drug administration – how a drug is administered can affect its addictive qualities. A drug injected rather than smoked or snorted will release a quicker and more intense high thus making it psychologically (and in many cases physically) more addictive.

    Biological factors – it is now widely reported that being an addict is not only psychological but also biological. This includes your genetic makeup, mental health, sex and age. It is also reported to be 8 times more likely for the child of an addict to become an addict themselves.

    Its believed that addiction is approximately half genetics and therefore some are 50% more likely to become addicted than others.

    How do you help a loved one trapped in addiction?

    The first step is to help and encourage the individual to become willing to accept help. They do not need to be shouting this off the rooftops, but they do need to be willing to go into treatment. There are ways to help someone become willing to get treatment for alcohol or treatment for drugs.

    Set boundaries – set boundaries and stick to them. Once you have laid them out follow through with whatever consequences you have set however hard it is.

    Stop finances – if you are financially supporting someone stopping these finances can be the quickest way for the addict needing to ask for help. With no money to acquire a substance an addict’s options become very limited.

    Intervention – getting together with other family members/friends/colleagues and staging an intervention is often very successful in the fist stage of acceptance and gaining an admission to residential rehab.

    You can’t make them quit, this can lead to dangerous withdrawal. Boundaries are very important in helping someone become willing to get help. Unfortunately you cannot do someone’s recovery for them and without self-motivation it is very hard to make it work.

    The next step is to call our highly trained advisers 0203 955 7700.

    There is a huge range of rehab options available and where to start can be completely over whelming so let us help.