Tolerance to Cocaine: Addiction and Treatment 

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Understanding Tolerance to Cocaine and When Help is Required

Cocaine is one of the most powerful stimulants that can have disastrous effects on a person’s life when it is abused. In 2014, the United States had 1.5 million people that were considered to be current users of cocaine. One of the first signs that cocaine use has become a problem is a tolerance to cocaine. But what do you do to stop abusing the drug since abuse causes addiction and an addiction is not a simple thing to beat alone? 

We will explore the facts about a tolerance to cocaine, signs that abuse has led to an addiction and what to do next to beat your addiction.  

What is Tolerance to Cocaine and How Does it Form?

Drug tolerance is when the user’s body and mind begins to adapt to the constant use of a substance. In essence, it’s the body’s way to try to find balance when faced with the presence of toxic substances such as cocaine.  

A tolerance to cocaine occurs in any person who uses cocaine on a regular basis, especially when use is heavy. It may take as little as a few days before the person requires increasing amounts of the drug to get the same effect each time.  

With cocaine abuse, a condition known as cocaine sensitization can occur in which a person experiences a form of ‘reverse tolerance’. Once the person has become tolerant to the effects of cocaine, they can then have a reverse of the effect which can cause serious health problems such as cardiac arrest, respiratory failure and cocaine overdose.  

How Long Does a Tolerance Take to Form?

Unfortunately, the time that it takes to form a tolerance to a substance such as cocaine varies for each person. Some users may develop a tolerance within a few days of heavy use while some may continue to have a low tolerance due to the reverse tolerance effect. However, the cocaine high is short lived and if a person were to abuse cocaine repeatedly in one session as the effects wear off, a tolerance is expected to develop faster.  

Cocaine Addiction Signs

A cocaine tolerance is one of the signs that indicate that an addiction is present. It’s only a matter of time before all of the negative effects of an addiction start to fill the user’s life, such as financial difficulties, health issues, social problems and even criminal behavior.  

In order to know when the time has come to seek help, we will discuss the cocaine addiction signs, which are as follows: 

  • Irregular sleeping patterns
  • Financial troubles
  • Weight loss
  • Social isolation
  • Regular nosebleeds
  • Participation in risky behaviors
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Loss of motivation
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Withdrawal symptoms after not using cocaine
  • Tolerance

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

To effectively treat an addiction to cocaine, one needs to make use of the programs that have been established to treat the withdrawal symptoms, address behavioral issues and that help the addict to create strategies to avoid future relapse.  

The first stage of cocaine addiction treatment is getting rid of the toxins in the body. This is achieved through a medical detox that not only allows a patient to be monitored to ensure their safe recovery, but it can offer them medications, both prescribed and over-the-counter, to negate the effects of withdrawal. 

Following detox, the addict’s behavior and thinking is focused on in order to bring about positive changes and provide them with alternative solutions to mental issues. Before leaving rehab, a plan will be created to help the person avoid relapse in their future.   

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.

Sources: 

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-scope-cocaine-use-in-united-states

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-treatments-are-effective-cocaine-abusers