In small amounts, cocaine makes you feel euphoric, cheerful, clear and alert. The user becomes chatty and self-confidence increases. It can also cause a temporary decrease in appetite and less need for sleep. With repeated use of cocaine, long-term changes can occur in the brain, especially in the reward system. This then leads to an addiction, which causes a lot of physical and mental damage and which, due to the high price of cocaine, gets most users into financial difficulties.
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Quitting cocaine is difficult for many. The chance of a relapse is high and the mental withdrawal symptoms are severe. Castle Craig's professional guidance can help you.
Where does cocaine come from?
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that is highly addictive. Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant that often grows in South America. Centuries ago, the indigenous peoples there used coca for religious and medicinal purposes. The stimulating effect of the coca plant is used to combat fatigue and hunger. It was also used to increase stamina.
The Spanish brought coca to Europe, where it was used occasionally until the 19th century. The active ingredient was first isolated from the coca plant in 1859. Many doctors, including Sigmund Freud, experimented with cocaine in the late 19s. For example, it was used as a therapy for morphine addiction, but the patients were found to become addicted to both substances.
How does it work?
Cocaine has a strong stimulating effect on the central nervous system. It causes an increased concentration of dopamine in the brain (dopamine plays a major role in the experience of pleasure and happiness).
The effect of cocaine is almost immediately noticeable throughout the body. Locally it has a narcotic effect and centrally it is a strong stimulus on the brain. The latter is because the body's natural adrenaline response to stress is mimicked. In small amounts, cocaine makes you feel euphoric, cheerful, clear and alert. The user becomes chatty and self-confidence increases. It can also cause a temporary decrease in appetite and less need for sleep. With repeated use of cocaine, long-term changes can occur in the brain, especially in the reward system. This then leads to addiction.
The Effects of Cocaine
The short-term effects of cocaine on the body include narrowed blood vessels, dilated pupils, an increase in body temperature, increased heart rate and an increase in blood pressure. Frequent cocaine users can also suffer from a 'cocaine psychosis'. In this condition, the user can become paranoid, confused and depressed, and experience hallucinations.
The use of cocaine sometimes seems to increase performance (for example at work or school), but it quickly results in a deterioration in performance. The addiction to cocaine can be very expensive and it can then lead to criminal behavior to keep the habit going. It often causes quarrels and tensions with family and friends.
Cocaine use can cause headaches and nausea. As appetite diminishes, users may experience weight loss. Malnutrition causes the general condition to deteriorate significantly. In severe cases, people who use cocaine have a heart attack or stroke, which can be fatal.
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The treatment for cocaine addiction at Castle Craig
In our Castle Craig we have more than 20 years of experience in treating patients addicted to cocaine. This starts with a detoxification period.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a proven method of preventing addiction relapse. CBT is actually aimed at challenging negative thoughts and is used to help cocaine addicts to abstain from cocaine and other substances.
Check the page about 'Our Addiction Care' to learn more about our various addiction programs.