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Cocaine Addiction

There are few drugs that induce the same strength of dependency as cocaine, and a cocaine addict requires very intensive treatment and long aftercare therapy to break the cocaine addiction, and to learn to manage the strong cravings back to relapse and abuse.

Cocaine works through a dopaminergic method of activity in the brain, and when cocaine is ingested it creates both a release of extra dopamine, and causes that dopamine to stay present and active within the brain for a longer period. Dopamine is very associated with reward and pleasure, and so an increase in dopamine creates a rush of pleasurable sensations and a euphoric high. Unfortunately, when the effects of the cocaine wear off (and cocaine is a very short acting drug) the dopamine levels fall below baseline and there is an immediate craving for more cocaine, both to feel the great high and also to rid depressive feelings and after effects of a cocaine indulgence.

With the development of an addiction and tolerance, the brain requires ever greater amounts of cocaine to feel the same effects; and because cocaine can induce neurological changes, when no cocaine is present in the brain users can feel extreme emotional and psychological lows of depression and dysphoria, and as well extremely intense cravings to use.

The cravings of cocaine addiction are so intense that few people have the necessary willpower to overcome cravings back to use when trying to quit cocaine within the community and temptation and access to more cocaine. Most people need to get out of the home environment, and detox off of cocaine with professional help in a facility away from access to drugs.

Cocaine addictions are amongst the toughest to successfully treat, and cocaine addictions respond well to a combination of psycho social and pharmacological therapies. Long term participation in aftercare and long term pharmacological psychiatric maintenance helps to reduce cravings back to abuse, and increases the probability of ultimate success.

A cocaine addiction almost invariably requires professional intervention and treatment.