Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant created from the leaves of the coca plant, which is native to regions of South America. This powerful drug increases dopamine levels in the brain, leading to both short and long-term abuse.

Cocaine has been in use in the U.S. since the mid-1800s, once used as a treatment for morphine addiction, toothaches and even depression. However, recreational use of cocaine in the United States has been illegal for more than 100 years.

Cocaine has a white, crystalline appearance and is sometimes mixed with amphetamine, opioids, talcum powder and flour. Street names for cocaine include:

  • Coke
  • Rock
  • Snow
  • Blow

Crack is another form of cocaine, produced when it has been processed into a hard crystallized form, heated, and inhaled (or sprinkled onto marijuana or tobacco and smoked).

Cocaine Use, Effects and Withdrawal

Cocaine is highly potent and habit-forming and can be injected, smoked, snorted, or rubbed onto the gums. Users can become addicted after a single use. Signs of use include dilated pupils, irregular heartbeat, restlessness and nausea.

The drug produces a euphoric high that lasts anywhere from five to 30 minutes, depending on how it is being used. Injecting cocaine creates an intense high but puts users at risk of bloodborne diseases, particularly when using a shared needle.

Some users may find they are more alert while using cocaine; however, many experience difficulty focusing. Behavioral changes such as aggression, anxiety, sensitivity to light and sound, and even violent thoughts may occur.

Snorting, injecting and consuming cocaine can lead to long-term health effects such as:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Nosebleeds
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis C
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malnourishment

Continuous abuse of cocaine can lead to tolerance of the drug, causing the user to take larger amounts with each additional use.

Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include depression, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and difficulty thinking and processing. It is advised that withdrawal be supervised by a medical professional.

How Elan Treats Cocaine/Crack Addiction

At Elan Recovery + Wellness, we use a number of treatment methods to help our guests understand, manage, and emerge from addiction to cocaine or crack, as well as any co-occurring mental health conditions:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Addiction education
  • NA meetings
  • Adaptive testing software, which helps us assess your mental health daily
  • Complete evaluation by a psychiatrist
  • If indicated, psychotropic medication to rebalance the brain chemistry
  • Weekly visits with our staff psychiatrist
  • Management of medications by our advanced psychiatric nurse practitioner

Am I an Addict?

Do you think you might be dependent on drugs or alcohol? Take a free, confidential assessment. Don’t put it off one more day. Find out.