Cocaine is typically used nasally (snorted) in its powdered form, though it can also be smoked or used intravenously. Cocaine works by increasing the amount of dopamine present within the brain, impacting the neural pathways that control reward, motivation and movement. This specific chemical substance prevents dopamine from being recycled, causing a great deal of the neurotransmitter to build up and preventing normal communication from occurring. The excessive amount of dopamine reinforces drug-seeking behavior, seeking as the brain quickly adapts and becomes less sensitive to the presence of cocaine over time. Eventually tolerance develops, and a physical and psychological takes hold.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the rates of cocaine abuse and addiction throughout the United States have been rising since 2015, and cocaine addiction is once again emerging as a major public health crisis. The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that roughly 968,000 men and women over the age of 12 used cocaine at least once over the course of the previous year. In 2018 there were an estimated 5.5 million active cocaine users throughout the country. If you or someone you love has been suffering from cocaine abuse or addiction, numerous effective treatment options are readily available. At CuraSouth we provide an integrated program of cocaine detox while preparing our clients for the next appropriate level of clinical care.