How Can I Better Understand What My Loved One with Cocaine Addiction Is Going Through?

How Can I Better Understand What My Loved One with Cocaine Addiction Is Going Through?

To truly know what our loved ones are going through is hard – all that we see are the changes on the outside. We don’t know what they’re thinking, nor do we always understand it. Addiction is considered a family disease because it affects so many people at the physical, emotional, spiritual and even financial level. Perhaps you’ve been spending some time trying to get your loved one to seek help, but they’ve been hesitant to take that step forward. Your loved one may have even decided to attend treatment but maybe you feel that having a deeper understanding of how their addiction is affecting them could enhance your ability so support them more. Addiction is a complex disease that can affect each person differently but gaining more knowledge on its effects on the mind, body and spirit can put you in better place for understanding and healing.

The Washington Post highlighted just last year that cocaine use has risen in the United States, largely in part to distribution from Columbia. Reports have indicated that cocaine use has risen to an alarming number right now – with 2015 holding the highest number of cocaine overdoses since 2006. Cocaine is an extremely addictive drug that increases the levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is a natural chemical our bodies create to give us feelings of happiness and pleasure.

Many people become addicted to cocaine as they try to reach the same “high” that they achieved the first few times of using the drug. The part of the brain that stores memories, called the hippocampus, stores what happens during that first “high” – in other words, the brain remembers the association between pleasure and cocaine, which causes a person to want to feel that way again afterwards. A number of symptoms appear when someone is high on cocaine:

  • Extreme happiness
  • A lot of energy
  • Mental alertness
  • Extra-sensitivity to lights, touches and sounds
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia

These effects don’t last long, however (they disappear within only a few minutes to an hour!), which means that a person has to get “high” again in order to feel those same effects. A common belief with addiction is that a person can simply “quit” – but it’s much harder than that. The mind and body crave the drug’s effects, and the withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly painful/uncomfortable, with some people feeling as though they would do anything to satisfy the needs of the addiction.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-campus, we are made up of 2 twelve-step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.