The National Institute on Drug Abuse calls cocaine “a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America.” Cocaine is so powerful because it increases the body’s natural chemical stimulant, dopamine, which creates a feeling of pleasure and energy.
Yet this drug, which induces mental alertness and happiness, has a dark side that frequently leads to severe addiction, requiring Washington State drug rehab.
Why is it that one person can use cocaine and take it or leave it, while others go on to become highly addicted to this drug?
This article discusses the problem of cocaine addiction. Why is cocaine addiction so hard to beat? How can a rehab program help you kick a cocaine habit? What can you expect in terms of treatment?
What are the Effects of Cocaine on the Body?
Cocaine causes people to cycle up and down quickly, requiring frequent hits of the drug to maintain the euphoric feeling that comes with the drug. That’s partially why cocaine addiction can quickly sneak up on people. While cocaine was the party drug of the 70s and 80s, it has never really gone away; there are plenty of cocaine-addicted people seeking treatment in Washington State drug rehab every day.
As tolerance quickly builds in the user, more and more cocaine is needed to achieve the same effect. Continual use of this drug can cause excessive weight loss, sleep disruption, hallucinations, and bizarre behavior. Withdrawal from the drug causes the user intense cravings that must be mitigated with professional help.
Cocaine Addiction Has a Genetic Component?
In clinical studies involving rats, scientists seem to have uncovered a genetic propensity for cocaine addiction. In one study, rats clearly exhibited “behaviors reminiscent of human addiction, including persistent cocaine-seeking.” The study, published in PNAS, sought to quantify what makes some people more susceptible to addiction than others.
Researchers found that some rats will aggressively pursue self-administration of cocaine, while others will not. Researchers took two sets of rats and selectively bred the characteristics of drug-seeking behavior in one, and restraint in drug-seeking behavior in the other. The study seemed to tie increases in drug-seeking behavior with the levels of dopamine in the brain. It concluded that the willingness to experiment with drugs like cocaine increased a person’s vulnerability to addiction; it was the continued use, along with a genetic predisposition to addiction, that made all the difference.
Beating Cocaine in Washington State Drug Rehab
Cocaine is one of the most powerfully addictive illegal drugs in Washington. Admittance to Washington State drug rehab is typically the outcome of cocaine addiction. However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse points out that there are currently no FDA-approved medications to treat cocaine addiction. Instead, Washington State drug rehab facilities rely on cognitive-behavioral therapy as a primary treatment for this troubling addiction.