Cocaine addiction doesn’t usually happen overnight. With that being said, how quickly a cocaine addiction develops may depend on whether you are snorting it, ingesting it, or smoking it. Smoking cocaine as crack is truly playing with fire. For the purpose of this article, we are not referring to crack use, which can produce an addiction much quicker.
We at Asheville Detox want to show you how casual cocaine use can quickly turn into a serious problem for you or for someone that you love.
Stage One: Initiation and Experimentation
Here is where it all begins. Initiation is where someone tries cocaine for the very first time. The reason why an individual chooses to experiment with cocaine in the first place may vary a great deal, at times depending on the person’s age. Some are looking to fit in with their peers, while others are simply curious. Many don’t consider the long-term consequences of their actions.
Some people, after satisfying their curiosity never do cocaine again. Others may find that the drug is available, their friends are using it, and they are in a depressed or anxious state of mind, and as a result, they want to continue using cocaine.
At this point, the individual is moving into experimenting with cocaine further. They may want to see what it is like to do cocaine at a party, or in other fun, social atmospheres. At this point, they don’t feel cravings for cocaine, and they are able to make a conscious decision on whether they want to use or not. They may decide to use it impulsively, but right now there is no dependence on the drug. They can easily let it go if they want to.
Stage Two: Regular Use
If the individual continues to experiment with cocaine on a more than a periodic basis, it turns into regular use. This doesn’t mean that they use cocaine daily, but rather they use it every weekend, perhaps. When they decide to use it depends on the person. It is during this time that they might decide that they don’t need to have anyone else around for them to use the drug.
Using cocaine can become a problem during this stage, as it may hold negative consequences on the person’s life. For instance, the person may miss work because they are too tired after staying up all night doing cocaine. Although they aren’t really addicted at this point, they think about doing cocaine more often. They can quit if they want to, without help from anyone else.
Stage Three: Risky Use
When the individual reaches this stage, they have started to use more than before, and as a result, it is having negative consequences in their daily life. Disappointing their family, friends, and employers becomes a regular occurrence. Performance in work or school begins to suffer at this point. Financial difficulties will likely ensue, where they didn’t exist before now.
Although the cocaine user may not realize it, a change in their behavior will occur. Some red flags that you can watch out for at this point include:
- They ask you for money or steal it from you instead.
- They stop taking care of responsibilities at work or at home.
- They try their best to hide the fact that they are using cocaine.
- They hide their drugs in places they can easily access.
- They hang out with different groups of people than before.
- They are no longer interested in activities they once cared about.
Stage Four: Dependency and Cocaine Addiction
A person is dependent or addicted to cocaine when they have become completely reliant on it. Their dependence may be psychological, physical, or both. If they were to stop using cocaine, their body will enter withdrawal mode. Many people find withdrawals to be so difficult, that they continue to use rather than try to get help. At this point, the individual believes that they need to use cocaine in order to get through life.
When a cocaine addiction takes over, the individual often loses complete control over their choices and actions. During this stage, a person often reaches a breaking point. Their addiction has overtaken them and is presenting a serious threat to their mind and body. This is where they have reached a crisis. This is where someone with cocaine addiction is at the greatest risk of overdosing or witnessing their entire life falling apart.
There is good news about hitting rock bottom. There is nowhere to go but up. This is the time when many people reach out to a rehab center to begin receiving treatment. When they make this choice, this can mark the time when their cocaine addiction comes to an end.
How to Tell If Someone You Love Has a Cocaine Addiction
It can be difficult at first to know if someone you care about is experimenting with cocaine. However, here are some indications that might show up if they are using cocaine habitually:
- Their sleep patterns are different
- They are ignoring personal hygiene
- They are acting secretive
- You catch them lying
- They are involved in risky behavior
- They have frequent mood swings
- They are paranoid
- They have lost interest in things they used to enjoy
- They are having money problems
Getting Help at Asheville Detox
When reading through the different stages of cocaine addiction, where do you find yourself? Let’s face it, no one really wants to end up in stage four, where your whole life has gone out of control. Nevertheless, wherever you are in this moment, we at Asheville Detox are here to help bring your life back to where it was before you tried cocaine for the first time.
Our experienced team of friendly and compassionate people is ready to help you help yourself. We will do whatever we can to make your withdrawal period as safe and as comfortable as possible. Rely on us to stand by you as you make this wise decision to change your life. Contact us today and let’s begin again.