Understanding the Benefits of Fellowship By Estil Wallace Just like with investing in the stock market, it’s in your best
While America’s ongoing opiate crisis may be a hot topic in today’s news, cocaine has kept its place as one of the most prevalent and dangerous drugs of abuse. It’s well-known that cocaine is highly addictive and its portrayal in mainstream media has led to a common association with mood swings and unpredictable behavior.
These depictions can be understated, at best. In reality, using cocaine can have dangerous, lasting effects on a user’s mind. Beyond the primary dangers of cocaine use and addiction, users of the stimulant are at risk of developing a serious condition called cocaine psychosis.
What Is Cocaine Psychosis?
Cocaine psychosis is when cocaine interacts with a person’s mental state on chemical and psychological levels, causing them to experience symptoms that may resemble bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. If you use cocaine, you may be beset by paranoia and anxiety. You may become increasingly angry or depressed and lose touch with your values.
For many, cocaine psychosis includes hallucinations–seeing or hearing things that aren’t here–and delusions that are divorced from reality. Cocaine psychosis can mean that you’ll feel strong violent tendencies and you may even become suicidal. People close to you may begin to say you’re not yourself, that they don’t recognize you, or that you’re acting strange, even scaring them. Don’t ignore these warning signs.
How Long Does It Last?
After the initial high fades, acute-onset symptoms of early psychosis can appear almost immediately. Depression, feeling disconnected from reality, anxiety, and physical discomfort all manifest among a whopping majority of users within the first few minutes of coming down from a cocaine high. These feelings are often part of the urge to use again right away, as re-upping your high becomes a two-for-one that gets you feeling good and takes away the discomfort. Of course, it’s a cyclical problem and, by the time you’re ready to stop for the night, you’re looking down the barrel of hours of mental and physical distress.
Continued cocaine use will also cause long-term effects. It’s been clinically linked to ongoing paranoia, depression, and a state of increasingly-heightened sensitization, meaning that a person becomes more and more tightly-wound and susceptible to the same symptoms of cocaine psychosis as time goes on and the addiction deepens. These effects can last for weeks or months after use and can increase in strength and duration over time. It can even greatly increase your chances of developing general psychosis, mental instability, and delusion later in life.
What Are My Chances?
Though this may read like a list of worst-case scenarios, these effects are anything but rare as cocaine psychosis may occur in over 50% of people who use the drug. Men are more likely to experience psychosis and delusion brought on by cocaine. Long-term cocaine use has been proven to lead to long-lasting negative effects on your mind and body. At a certain point, heavy cocaine use will produce permanent neurological damage, even after you stop using.
Even more dangerous is the likelihood that cocaine abuse will interact with and worsen any underlying mental health problems you may already have, even if you’re not aware of them. Using cocaine would be dangerous enough if it only developed the symptoms we’ve discussed above; unfortunately, one of the other consequences it presents is the exacerbation of hidden psychological instabilities. Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and delirium are just some of the examples of disorders that cocaine can cause to rise to the surface that may not have previously affected your life. Suddenly, you’re not just fighting a cocaine addiction–you’re fighting a cocaine addiction and requiring treatment for a rapid-onset mental illness that you’ve never before experienced.
Don’t Think It Can’t Happen To You
Cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs in today’s society. This means that the inherent danger of cocaine psychosis and its other destructive consequences are especially insidious and difficult to shake. Once you or a loved one are deep in the grips of cocaine addiction, you’ll be driven to acquire and use the drug again and again, even when you can see the negative effects on your life.
Addiction can be strong enough to drive people to act in complete defiance of their best interests, their mental and physical health, and even their survival. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it can’t or won’t happen to you. No matter how strong your willpower, you can’t control the chemical structure of your brain the way cocaine does. By the time you’re fighting cocaine on the combined fronts of addiction, psychosis, and possible exacerbation of mental illness, you should be seeking swift professional help.
Cocaine can lead you to feel isolated and trapped within your mind. Fighting this addiction is one of the toughest roads you’ll walk in your life, so don’t make it harder by thinking you have to do it on your own. This doesn’t have to be “your problem” for you to handle on your own–getting help is one of the most effective things you can do for your recovery. At Cornerstone Healing Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, we offer evidence-based treatment that combats addiction on every front: mental, physical, psychological, social, and personal. Our team is made up of highly experienced professional medical staff, therapists, and individual counselors who work to help you break free of the maze of addiction and the psychological traps it can lay. Call 800-643-2108 to learn more. Whether it’s you or a loved one, we’re happy to help figure out the best way forward to getting sober and staying sober.
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