A common dilemma for people trapped in addiction is the inability to control the compulsive and obsessive use of drugs. A common theme in most cocaine addiction stories is that once addicted, people will do anything it takes to feed this drug habit. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the inability to stop using cocaine despite personal, social and health consequences is one of the main characteristics of addiction. In fact, drug use will continue even if it endangers the addict and their loved ones. There are varying reactions when it comes to the use of cocaine. While some individuals are able to consume this drug recreationally without becoming addicted, this may not be the case with crack cocaine which is the freebase form of this drug.
In Kenneth’s cocaine addiction story titled “I am greater than my addiction” he recalls that although he began using cocaine at seventeen, he avoided using crack cocaine for years. However, he explains that after trying crack for the first time, he became addicted right away and his life was never the same. There are multiple dangers associated with the use of cocaine addiction. In recent research studies, scientist believe they have uncovered evidence to the fact that cocaine abuse can cause brain cells to cannibalize themselves. This process is referred to as overactive autophagy which describes a form of cellular death directly linked to cocaine consumption.
In most cocaine addiction stories, the residual side effects of prolonged use of this drug may include:
Although recovery from cocaine addiction is not a fast or easy process, it is possible and extremely rewarding. Most recovery addicts, like Kenneth will tell you that they gained valuable insight about themselves and the process of addiction in rehab that has made a significant difference in their lives. Many have been able, after participating in one or more treatment programs, to resume happy and productive lives.
An important element of addiction is often the need to recount the harrowing experiences of addiction in order to help others avoid the pitfalls of this deadly disease. Ironically, in many instances, this reminder also serves as a relapse prevention mechanism for some. According to Kenneth, his first-hand experience of addiction drives his desire to help others. In his own words he said, “The best thing I learned in treatment was to love myself. I want to go speak to kids or others that are at risk of addiction and share my experience with them”.
It is common in most cocaine addiction stories for people to wait until they have lost everything and are on the brink of losing their lives before seeking or reaching out for help. This does not have to be the case. Symptoms of cocaine addiction manifest quickly. Seeking help at the onset of an addiction can prevent years of suffering and the potential for irreversible mental and physical damage that accompany long term use of this drug. Treatment options vary based on the duration of the addiction and the emotional, physical and psychological damage that may already have occurred due to the addiction. People with underlying mental problems co-occurring with addiction also need dual diagnosis treatment to address these primary condition simultaneously. The NIDA cautions that addiction is a progressive and debilitating brain disease that in most cases requires appropriate medical treatment to overcome.
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