Cocaine is one of the most psychologically addictive substances we treat because of how it stimulates and increases levels of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. It interferes with pleasure and reward pathways in the brain. Because of this, prolonged use typically results in an inability to gain pleasure and reward from what would be considered ‘normal’ pleasures.
Signs and symptoms of cocaine dependency/addiction:
- Mood changes: Panic, restlessness, irritation, feeling superior to others, fearfulness, euphoria,
- Behavioural changes: More energy, borrowing or stealing money, violent thoughts actions, reckless and risky behaviour, loss of work days, dropping activities once enjoyed, hobbies etc.
- Physical symptoms: need less sleep whilst taking, need more sleep after taking, muscle twitches, headaches, bleeding or runny nose.