Most people are aware that use of cocaine can result in changes to the body and mind of the user. However, when the drug use develops into an addiction, the effects will no longer be limited to the user alone. The user’s whole family will likely to suffer especially when the habit puts everyone in financial peril. These effects will, unfortunately, become much hard to prevent as time goes by and the addiction continues.
The Early Days
It’s difficult to notice the early signs of cocaine use in a family member. Even if the person is a spouse, drug users usually take careful steps to hide this fact. The only visible changes in the beginning might be more alertness, excessive talking and they will also be more energetic. The may also be more sensitive to stimuli such as sound and sight. They may eat and sleep less.
When a person takes cocaine for the first time, it causes their blood vessels to constrict. They may have a higher body temperature and they may also have dilated pupils. In large doses, cocaine can affect temperament, causing the user to register erratic and violent behaviour. The use may also become anxious, paranoid or irritable. Cocaine interferes with the rhythm of the heart and can thus cause the user to have a heart attack.
In the Long Term
Cocaine will eventual cause changes in the brain of the user. The use of cocaine will no longer be a choice for the person. They will need the drug to feel normal and without it, they’ll be anxious or moody. These are withdrawal symptoms. The user’s tolerance levels will also be increasing and certain physical effects will also become apparent.
The user may experience nosebleeds, organ damage, paranoia, panic attacks etc. They may also contract diseases such as hepatitis C if they’ve been injecting the drug. Ulcers may also develop due to reduced blood flow to body organs.
The Family Members
When one person becomes addicted to cocaine, it can be devastating to the entire family. For starters, the habit will cause a behavioural change as the user is likely to become secretive. They may also become more erratic. Arguments about the drug use will undoubtedly come up and this can be made worse when it results in problems at work and financial difficulties. Many marriages don’t survive addiction.
Cocaine rehabilitation is the best way to try and deal with this addiction problem. In rehab, the user will need to undergo detox. During this period, the remnants of the drug are eliminated from the body as the body tries to adjust from the physical dependence on the drug. Individuals undergoing treatment can be assisted with:
· Management of the withdrawal symptoms
· Picking the best treatment options
· Diagnosis of other physical and psychological issues the user may have
· Medical supervision of the detoxification.
Detoxification is, however, just the start. Individuals will still have to brave many challenges ahead to stay away from cocaine.