Why is cocaine so addictive?

Cocaine Addiction Rehab is necessary for someone struggling with abuse of the drug. Cocaine is a strong central nervous system psycho-stimulant extracted from cocoa leaves typically combined with hydrochloride to produce the common salt, white powder form of the drug. There are three methods of ingesting cocaine, which include: snorting, smoking or free basing, and injection with a needle.

Cocaine works by increasing levels of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that creates pleasure. In a normal brain, dopamine is released and binds to the dopamine receptors, the brain then using special dopamine transporters recycles the dopamine. A person’s brain that is inhibited with cocaine will block the recycling process causing a build-up and constant firing of dopamine in the brain, leaving the user with euphoric and pleasurable effects.

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When cocaine is snorted, the nasal tissue absorbs the substance to enter the blood stream. Smoking cocaine enters the blood stream via the lungs and injecting cocaine sends the drug immediately into the bloodstream. Smoking and injecting cocaine causes the quickest and most intense high, however there is a trade off for using the drug these two ways. The more intense the high is, the duration of that high is shortened immensely. The method of snorting cocaine will cause the user to have a less intense high that lasts anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes. The user who smokes or injects cocaine has a more intense high that will last about ten minutes.

Regardless of the transmission route, the high is short lived.

As a result, cocaine users are looking to continue the high by ingesting more and more. Many cocaine abusers are binge users who show signs of cocaine abuse such as taking repeated doses over and over chasing the illustrious high further and further that was experienced from the first dose, greatly increasing the risk of overdose.

The repeated use of cocaine will alter the user’s brain chemistry causing long-term changes in the brains reward systems that are emotionally devastating. The simple fact is that cocaine causes an extreme change in the way dopamine is chemically processed in the brain. Statistics show that most cocaine users will experience little or no pleasure for the first year of sobriety. Unfortunately for all of these reasons, without proper emotional and medically supervised chemical support, relapse is frequent and cocaine rehab is encouraged.