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Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that when used can take over a person's life. Cocaine can be used in many different ways including smoking, injecting sniffing and snorting. There are many health risks associated with the use of cocaine. If the drug is used intravenously the risk of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis transmission are very high. Cocaine is a stimulant and its addictive power comes from the pleasure and euphoria a user feels after it has been used. The
chemical dopamine is released into the brain when cocaine is used and the user constantly craves that release. Cocaine effects include increases in involuntary bodily functions including heart rate and blood pressure. Cocaine also causes changes in sleeping and eating patterns as well as the way in which a person functions mentally and physically. The period of time in which the high is felt and its intensity are highly dependent upon the manner in which it is used.

Some cocaine users develop a tolerance for the drug meaning they need more cocaine to achieve the same result that less used to give them. Continued snorting of cocaine can lead to nasal problems and smoking can lead to respiratory issues. People who use cocaine on a regular basis and find that they need more and more to achieve the same high are experiencing tolerance. As time goes on regular users of cocaine usually find that they have become dependent on the drug and are unable to stop using even if they want to. Once this dependence has occurred, it is almost impossible for a person to stop using on their own. If they are able to stop, often times they relapse during the cocaine withdrawal period. Cocaine withdrawal means that a person is having withdrawal from the drug. During this time, people may experience severe and even painful cravings and side effects as the body tries to rid itself of the drug.

For people who find they cannot do this on their own, many treatment facilities offer medical detoxification for people coming into their programs. Cocaine treatment is very helpful for people who want to stop doing cocaine but are not sure what steps to take. Treatment facilities offer a safe environment in which
people are able to talk openly and honestly about any issues or problems they are having. These facilities also give addicts the tools necessary to live without
cocaine. Many people seek treatment for cocaine addiction each year finding happier and healthier lives without the use of drugs or alcohol.

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