Casual Cocaine Use May Be A Bigger Problem Than You Think

Casual Cocaine Use May Be A Bigger Problem Than You Think

Cocaine is often portrayed in Hollywood movies and TV shows as a grand ‘ol time. The party drug makes users feel powerful, social, and gives them the ability to keep going all day long. The Wolf of Wall Street is a great example of the glamorization of cocaine. Those Wall Street boys were high all the time and partying like there was no tomorrow.

However, in real life, tomorrow always comes and our actions have consequences that are more serious than what is depicted in fictional stories – because they are real.

Cocaine use and abuse is a very serious problem that might not seem like it at first. Cocaine is a high-functioning drug which means people can very well go about their daily life, use cocaine and have seemingly no issue at all. This is exactly why many people who frequently use or are addicted to cocaine don’t feel the need to seek treatment. However, if a person let’s their cocaine use got for too long, they may end up suffering in the long run.

What is a high-functioning cocaine addict?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there are 11 pieces of criteria that are considered when diagnosing a person with substance use disorder:

  • The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  • There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful effort to cut down or control use of the substance.
  • A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance, or recover from its effects.
  • Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use the substance, occurs.
  • Recurrent use of the substance results in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  • Use of the substance continues despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of its use.
  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of use of the substance.
  • Use of the substance is recurrent in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
  • Use of the substance is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance.
  • Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
  • A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect
  • A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.
  • Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
  • The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for that substance (as specified in the DSM-5 for each substance).
  • The use of a substance (or a closely related substance) to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

A person has mild substance use disorder if they meet 2-3 criteria, moderate substance use disorder if they meet 4-5 criteria, and sever substance use disorder of they meet 6 or more. It’s very likely that if a person is in the mild range of substance use disorder, they have the ability to be high functioning.

High-functioning cocaine addicts have their own set of criteria – or habits – that are typically seen. Here are some tell-tell signs of cocaine addiction in which an individual can is high functioning:

  • Exhibiting cocaine use symptoms: speaking quickly, unusually high energy levels, extreme confidence, euphoria, anxiety, irritability
  • Working late, sleeping less
  • Rationalizing their cocaine use
  • Frequently hanging out with people who are known to use cocaine
  • Financial instability
  • Exhibiting cocaine withdrawal symptoms: agitation, fatigue, weight loss, depression, anxiety, lethargy, sinus issues

What are the long-term effects of prolonged cocaine use?

One of the scariest things about high-functioning cocaine users is that they can continue to use the drug for years and years while thinking that they have everything under control. Despite the fact that an individual is able to keep it together, their prolonged use of cocaine will catch up to them eventually.

Here are some of the serious side effects that may present themselves after years of cocaine use:

  • Chronic sinus issues
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Weight loss and inability to gain weight
  • Chest pains
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Seizures
  • Brain Bleeding
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Cognitive deficiencies
  • Tooth loss
  • Gum disease

What are some successful treatments for highly functioning cocaine addicts?

Many people who seek treatment for a cocaine addiction are addicted to more than one substance so that fact must be taken into consideration when treatment is sought. Successful cocaine rehabilitation treatment will be able to target poly-drug use as well as take into account psychological issues, family dynamic, social factors and environmental factors.

For some people, all they will need is drug detox and counseling. Others will need cognitive behavioral therapy to help target the root of the issue and begin to develop new, healthier habits. Inpatient rehab may very well be the best way for a person who has cocaine use disorder to get the treatment that they need. Rehab facilities are able to guide their patients through detox while monitoring them to ensure that the process is completed as safely as possible.

On the other hand, others will do well with outpatient treatment that allows them to continue participating in their daily routine. Outpatient treatment gives people the tools that they need to kick their substance use to the curb and shows them how to implement them into their life right away.

Seeking cocaine addiction treatment in Florida at Intrepid Recovery

Intrepid Recovery offers both inpatient and outpatient treatment options for people who are looking for the support they need to get clean and sober. Our health care professionals will work with you through every step of treatment even after you leave the building so you can live the healthy life that you so deserve. If you have any questions about our facility or need to discuss a cocaine addiction, don’t hesitate to call our helpline!

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