Patients with a substance use disorder often struggle with the desire to quit and the inability to control their cravings and behavior. Those with a severe cocaine dependency can even find themselves at a high risk of premature death. Fortunately, Dr. Daniel Bober can help patients suffering from cocaine addiction in Hollywood, FL, establish an effective treatment plan to help manage cravings and rebuild a healthy lifestyle. With over 15 years practicing as a board-certified psychiatrist, patients and their families can feel confident in Dr. Bober's expert care.
Cocaine Use in the U.S.
Cocaine hydrochloride, commonly referred to as cocaine, is an illegal plant-based drug that is extracted from coca leaves. The drug is typically used as a white powder or may be injected or smoked as freebase1. Crack can also be produced using cocaine. How the drug is consumed impacts the duration and intensity of its effects, however, the high typically lasts less than an hour2.
Chronic users typically develop a tolerance to cocaine and must consume increasing amounts, exacerbating the severity of their addiction and health risks.
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 14.4 percent of individuals 12 years of age or older have used cocaine during their lifetime3. Additionally, of those nearly 39,000 individuals, over 5,000 reported using cocaine within the past year and nearly 2,000 had used in the past month3. Chronic users typically develop a tolerance to cocaine and must continually use in larger amounts to achieve the same euphoric feelings, increasing the severity of their addiction and related health risks4.
Recognizing Cocaine Use
Classified as a stimulant, individuals using cocaine will often exhibit noticeable changes such as:
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Heightened confidence
In large quantities, cocaine use can cause violent and unpredictable behavior2. Friends and family may also be able to tell if someone has been using by looking for obvious physical signs such as track marks from injecting, burned lips or fingers from smoking, or frequent nosebleeds and runny nose from snorting.
Long-Term Health Effects
While many users are familiar with the short-term effects of cocaine such as increased heartbeat, tremors, and heightened blood pressure, there are serious long-term health effects. The drug can cause problems that affect the respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous systems5 such as:
- Heart palpitations or heart attack
- Development of movement disorders
- Severe paranoia
- Inability to perform sexually
- Suicidal tendencies
However, health risks largely depend on the method of use. While overdose can affect first-time users, individuals who use cocaine continuously are obviously at an even higher risk of overdosing and dying as a result2.
Treating Cocaine Dependency
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has not yet approved any medications to be used in the treatment of cocaine addiction6. However, Dr. Bober has developed relationships with trusted and experienced therapists in the area. These doctors may recommend techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or contingency management (CM) for patients struggling with cocaine addiction. While CBT focuses on building cognitive skills to avoid relapse and help patients cope with the issues in their lives associated with their drug use, CM uses positive reinforcement to help motivate patients to remain sober. In addition to these highly effective treatments, many patients also find community support groups to be crucial in maintaining a substance-free lifestyle.
Between 2000 and 2016, over 10,000 deaths in the U.S. were attributed to cocaine overdose7. Do not allow yourself or a loved one to become a statistic. Find the help you need today by calling Dr. Bober's office at (954) 967-6776.
- Defining cocaine - Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association
- Effects of cocaine use - National Institute on Drug Abuse
- 14.4 percent of individuals 12 or older have used cocaine in their lifetime - National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Patients addicted to cocaine build a tolerance - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Long-term health risks of cocaine - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- There is no medication approved for treatment of cocaine addiction - National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Over 10,000 individuals died due to cocaine overdose between 2000 and 2016 - National Institute on Drug Abuse