Cocaine Abuse in California

Apart from marijuana, cocaine is considered one of the most commonly abused drugs in the State of California. In 2006 alone, over $34 million worth of cocaine was seized in various raids across the state. For a problem of this scale, however, admissions for cocaine addictions make up just a small percentage of total treatment numbers.

Although the reason for such low numbers isn’t known, perhaps it’s because addicts don’t quite understand the physical and emotional consequences of cocaine abuse. Another option is that family members cannot recognize the signs of cocaine abuse, or don’t know how to approach the subject with their loved one if they do sense a problem.

Physical Consequences of Cocaine Abuse for California Addicts

Although cocaine is said to be a psychological addictive drug, it carries very real physical consequences as well. Cocaine use stimulates the central nervous system, constricts blood vessels in the body and makes your heart race. The drug may evoke a feeling of euphoria, but with each use, it becomes more difficult to maintain the same feelings and results in the intense desire for larger amounts. Each increase in dosage, however, puts greater strain on your heart and the blood vessels in your brain, making you more at risk of stroke or heart attack.

The delivery method of the drug can have physical consequences as well. If cocaine abusers share needles to inject the drug, they’re also at risk of contracting diseases like HIV or AIDS and, somewhat more commonly, hepatitis. Smokers put themselves at risk of lung disease and even lung failure.

Beyond the physical consequences, cocaine abusers put themselves at a greater risk of developing mental disorders and seeing profound impacts on their personal lives as well.

Cocaine Addiction TreatmentPsychological Consequences of Cocaine Abuse for California Addicts

Since cocaine users experience such an intense high, it’s often very difficult for them to tolerate the down times. After an extended time, cocaine abusers are more likely to experience depression. Often, cocaine abusers develop mental disorders similar to schizophrenia and can be anxious and irritable without the drug. Cocaine drug withdrawal can also be severe enough to lead to suicide attempts or cause you to behave erratically, irrationally and sometimes even illegally.

If cocaine abuse causes you to behave in any of these ways, it can also be damaging to your health. There is a benefit to this erratic behavior, however, because it can help serve as an indicator of your cocaine problem to friends and family.

Identifying Cocaine Abuse

Friends and family may dismiss the early signs of cocaine abuse if they don’t know what to expect. Periods of intense highs and intense lows are common in cocaine abusers, and shouldn’t be dismissed as bad or good days. Other signs to watch out for include:

  • Prolonged respiratory illnesses
  • Headaches
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Social and behavioral changes

If you notice any of these symptoms in your California loved one, consider discussing your concern with them, or contact a counselor to help you do so. Since overdose and death are common risks for cocaine abusers, it’s vital to get them help at a California drug treatment center.

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