Cocaine binging and cocaine addiction
If you’re worried about your cocaine use and want to know the difference between a binge and addiction, we can help.
You may have had a cocaine binge recently and are worried about it becoming a bigger problem. Perhaps you need more information around the long-term effects of cocaine addiction. We’ve put together all the facts so that you can decide on the best way to move forward. Read on to find out more.
What are the similarities and differences between a cocaine binge and addiction?
A drug binge is classed as taking large quantities in one session.
DrugWise suggests that a typical ‘weekend user’ might take a quarter-gram of cocaine in total, while heavy users are more likely to take several grams in a shorter period of time. A cocaine binge has distinctly unpleasant after-effects, including:
- Lack of, or poor-quality, sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Feelings of unhappiness
It is important to know that cocaine use and binges can lead to addiction, where you experience an uncontrollable desire to take the drug. The NHS states that you do not need to be taking cocaine on a daily basis to have an addiction.
If you are addicted to cocaine, you will likely suffer from most or all of the above symptoms. Using cocaine on a more regular basis and with more severity can increase the risk of long-term damage to your physical, mental and emotional health. Risk of suicidal thoughts, co-occurring mental health conditions like panic attacks and feelings of anxiety and depression are also amplified with long-term cocaine use. The physical risks include:
- Damage to the nose, such as the soft tissue, cartilage and septum; and lost sense of smell
- Heart problems including strokes, embolisms, heart attacks
- Breathings issues with risk of pneumonia, acute respiratory distress and asthma
- Risk of brain damage, aneurysms, strokes, seizures and long-term memory problems
- Digestive difficulties, tears and ulcers in the stomach and intestines
- Kidney and liver complications
- Infectious diseases (if injected), such as gangrene, ulcers, hepatitis and HIV
You can read more about the short-term and long-term effects of cocaine here. If you have tried to reduce or stop but have found that you have always gone back to cocaine, then it is likely that you have an issue which needs to be addressed.
See more details of how to get help at the bottom of this page.
How does cocaine abuse lead to cocaine addiction?
Cocaine is a highly addictive substance. As its euphoric effects are short-term and wear off quickly, you may find that you binge and take more of the drug in a single session in order to continue feeling its effects.
Overtime, as you continue to use cocaine and your tolerance to the drug increases, you may then find that you need to take an increased quantity more frequently in order to continue experiencing the same ‘high’.
When your brain is repeatedly exposed to cocaine in this way, it can become increasingly dependent on its ‘positive’ effects. After a cocaine binge, your brain will temporarily stop producing dopamine on its own, leading you to crave cocaine’s mood-boosting properties once again. So, what may start as a recreational habit can turn into a more persistent temptation where you take cocaine to ease the discomfort of withdrawal.
At this point, it can become difficult to refrain from limiting your cocaine use. If you lose control of the habit and the drug is taken regularly, it can have serious lasting effects on your mental health.
What are the signs that someone is addicted to cocaine?
As cocaine use escalates into an addiction, the substance takes over every aspect of your life and causes more and more problems as you lose control of everything. If your life is being negatively affected as a result of your cocaine use, this is a definite sign that you should seek help. These areas of people’s lives are often impacted when they become addicted to cocaine:
- Work performance
The exact signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction differ depending on the user, but there are various common indicators of an issue with cocaine misuse which needs addressing.
The following behavioural symptoms are common with cocaine addiction:
- Acting impulsively or being over-energetic
- Behaving recklessly
- Borrowing/stealing money
- Losing control of cocaine use
With regards to your health, cocaine addiction can lead to you repeatedly suffering from any of the following longer-term effects:
Over time, cocaine addiction can escalate into cocaine use disorder, making these negative effects even more severe and cause you to experience:
- Persistent paranoia
- Outbursts of anger
- Hallucinations and delusion
- Irreversible brain damage
If you are experiencing any alarming effects of cocaine and you cannot stop taking it, you should seek help as soon as possible.
How to stop taking cocaine
It is important to know that it is possible to quit cocaine. In order to do so safely, you will need to request medical advice.
Detox, residential programmes, talking therapies and support groups are all recommended methods of treating cocaine addiction. The most effective way to get better, and achieve a sustained recovery from cocaine addiction is to access professional support. Manor Clinic can help with any questions you have by making an enquiry.
How to get help if you are worried about cocaine binging or drug addiction
If your use of cocaine concerns you, remember that there is help available and you are doing the right thing by acknowledging your need for support.
We understand that it isn’t always easy to get on the path to recovery, and that letting others know that you have a problem which you cannot conquer alone can be extremely scary. But by doing so, are taking the first crucial step in your recovery journey.
At Manor Clinic, we offer a free cocaine addiction assessment to anyone looking for our support. This will allow us to understand your situation and assess your specific needs. Together we can determine the best methods of helping you to overcome your addiction.
Treatment takes place in a supportive, comfortable and confidential setting, with specialists who are trained in addiction and experienced in treating issues just like yours. We may recommend medically-assisted detoxification, which removes cocaine from your body carefully and safely. We also offer tailored courses of therapy to help you work through underlying issues.
Our rehabilitation centre provide intensive, supportive residential care structured around you. Here we can monitor and guide you through your recovery, creating positive, lasting new daily habits in a safe and comfortable environment.
For more details please call 023 8046 4721 or click here to book a FREE CONFIDENTIAL ADDICTION ASSESSMENT. Alternatively, you can enquire online and one of our team will get back to you via your preferred contact method.
While the current coronavirus restrictions and social distancing measures are in place, we are offering online support to both new and current patients. We continue to offer access to inpatient services where this is required. For more information on our online therapy service, please visit our Priory Connect page or read our latest online therapy blog. For the latest information on how Priory are responding to coronavirus, and keeping our patients and staff safe, please visit our COVID-19 preparedness blog.