Top 10 Cocaine Addiction Symptoms
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that produces feelings of elation, energy, satisfaction, and euphoria. Every time cocaine is used, the brain adapts to the presence of the drug and compensates for its use by changing the way it responds. With every one of these changes, there is an unpredictable response, following, and resulting in an accumulated complexity of cocaine addiction symptoms, of which, the top 10 are:
1.) Intense Cravings
Intense cravings can begin within minutes after the last dose and are the main reinforcements for continued use. Once addicted, just about any reminder or “hard-wired cue” can become so overpowering that until the drug is consumed, the person finds no relief and; according to the NIDA “as the dopamine levels and pleasurable feeling subside, there is an intense desire to replicate the feelings of pleasure by administering another dose.”
2.) Loss of Interest in Other Activities
Repeat doses of cocaine inhibit motivations to participate in other activities and cocaine becomes the driving force for many of the addict’s behaviors.
3.) Unable to Enjoy Common Pleasures
As the brain becomes desensitized to the over-stimulation effects of cocaine and is no longer able to produce dopamine, naturally, other pleasures like food, sleep, fun, and sex become less enjoyable.
4.) Mood Swings
Cocaine addiction leads to many malfunctions in the central nervous system and impairs neurological systems that help to regulate emotions. Drastic moods swings can appear for no reason and “out of the blue”.
5.) Increased Anxiety
With an inability to regulate emotions and the high levels of stress the person experiences from the consequences of their addiction, anxiety can become unbearable.
Paranoia is a symptom of stimulant psychosis resulting from adverse neurological functioning and paranoia is a common cocaine addiction symptom that persists after intoxication where stimulant psychosis can occur in even the occasional cocaine user.
Again, over-stimulation of the central nervous system can have unpredictable effects and as a result of compensating adjustments, the addict often experiences intense bouts of depression after using and until their next dose.
8.) Cognitive Impairments
Cocaine affects cognition and memory in many different ways including inability to focus and short attention spans, inhibited judgments and reasoning, maladaptive behaviors, memory loss, and long-term psychiatric disorders.
9.) Sleep Deprivation
Insomnia, sleep disturbances, unusual sleep patterns, and even nightmares are common cocaine addiction symptoms. Sleep deprivation also contributes to emotional, psychological, and physical distress that can compound the situation and add to the cycle severity.
10.) Physical Health Deteriorations
Disregard for physical health deterioration is a cocaine addiction symptom that can lead to life-threatening consequences such as reduced immunology and the contracting of diseases and infections, especially with IV users and the sharing of paraphernalia.
Symptoms of exhaustion, weakness, trembling, appetite loss, nutrition and vitamin deficiencies, and dehydration are common and the disregard of these symptoms can lead to more severe health risks including overdose, cardiac failures, seizures, coma, and death.