What Causes Cocaine Addiction?

It is not uncommon for individuals to wonder what causes cocaine addiction, and most people only have a vague idea of what the answer might be. There are some who believe that only a specific type of person will be affected by addiction and that they themselves could never develop such an illness because a) they have plenty of willpower, and b) they are well educated.

The misconceptions surrounding all types of addiction and the fact that addicts are so generally stereotyped can easily lead unaffected people to believe that addiction is a lifestyle choice. The truth is that nobody chooses to become an addict – why would they?

Addiction can have devastating consequences for the life of the affected person but also the lives of all those they care about. Nobody would choose to continue abusing a drug as destructive as cocaine if they had a choice.

The Stereotypical Addict

If you have little experience of addiction, you might have an idea in your mind of what addicts look and act like. You may believe, for example, that all addicts might be from a poor background and will probably have left school with very little education. You might see them as weak or bad people who are unable to hold down a job and who steal from their loved ones. You may also believe that all addicts are well known to the police and have ties to criminal gangs.

The reality is that very few people fit the profile of the stereotypical addict, and just because you might be well educated, come from a wealthy background, and have a job does not mean that you cannot have an addiction.

In truth, addictions such as cocaine addiction can affect anyone. In fact, more often than not these days cocaine addiction affects those from wealthy backgrounds and those who have good jobs and a good education.

There is no discrimination when it comes to addiction – if you abuse a substance such as cocaine, you are at risk of becoming addicted no matter what your background.

What Are the Causes of Cocaine Addiction?

If you think you might have developed an addiction, it is natural for you to wonder what causes cocaine addiction. This is usually one of the first things that people look for when realising the fact that their use of a particular substance may be out of their control. That, and the symptoms of such an illness.

It is difficult to pinpoint an exact cause of addiction in each person. What might have caused cocaine addiction in one may be completely different to the cause for another person’s illness. There are so many things that can trigger addiction, making it a complex illness and one that is difficult to prevent. The only way to ensure that you will not develop an addiction to this substance is to avoid it in the first place.

Nevertheless, although there is no single cause of cocaine addiction, there are factors that increase the risk of developing one. Among them are:

  • having a family history of addiction
  • having a mental health problem or a family history of mental health problems
  • being exposed to drugs such as cocaine at an early age
  • emotional trauma

If you were brought up in a home where addiction was a problem, you are at a higher risk of developing an addiction yourself in later life. It is logical to assume that having witnessed the effects of addiction first-hand that you might do all you can to avoid being affected yourself, but children of addicts often go on to develop an addiction. Scientists believe that it is partly to do with genetics and partly to do with having learned how mood-altering substances can be used as a coping mechanism.

In the case of mental health problems, there is a strong link between substance abuse and addiction. Many people who have mental health issues such as depression or anxiety will try to self-medicate with substances like alcohol and drugs. These substances can offer temporary relief but often this relief is replaced by a worsening of the symptoms and the onset of an often-crippling addiction.

Emotional trauma can also cause addiction. Past experiences such as neglect, abuse, being bullied, and the death of a loved are enough to send some individuals straight to mood-altering substances in a bid to escape painful memories.

The environment in which a person grows up can also influence their likelihood of developing an addiction. Relationships with others, peer pressure, and quality of life can all play a role in an addiction developing.

When considering what causes cocaine addiction, it is important to remember that it is not as straightforward as having one or more risk factors; there are some people who develop an addiction to cocaine without having one single risk factor. Others will have every single risk factor that we listed in the above paragraphs and yet still never be affected.

What are the Signs of Addiction?

Now that you know what causes cocaine addiction, you may be wondering what the signs are. Spotting the signs of addiction in yourself might be difficult because the way in which drugs such as cocaine affect the brain can prevent you from seeing things clearly.

In your mind, cocaine might be the only thing that helps you to feel good. Moreover, any negative consequences that you might be experiencing can be easily explained away so that you do not have to face up to the fact that you have a problem. So ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you regularly use large amounts of cocaine?
  • Are you unable to stop using until you have none left?
  • Do you need more cocaine than before to achieve the desired high?
  • Do you experience withdrawal symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or sleep problems when the effects of cocaine wear off?
  • Have you tried to quit cocaine but found yourself going back to it again and again?
  • Are you spending less time with family members and more time with other people who use cocaine?
  • Do you lie to those you love about your cocaine use?
  • Do you feel guilty after using, especially when you have promised yourself that you wouldn’t?
  • Are you becoming paranoid, aggressive, or violent when under the influence of cocaine?
  • Have you been losing weight?

If you have answered yes to one or more of the above questions, it is likely that you have a problem and that you need help to get better.

Why Must Cocaine Addiction Be Treated?

If you have developed a cocaine addiction, it is important that you seek help as soon as possible. Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that can have negative consequences on all areas of your life. Your mental and physical health is likely to suffer if you continue to abuse this drug, and you might find that relationships with the people you love are damaged.

You should also know that you are risking a cocaine overdose every time that you use the drug, particularly if you are also using it with other drugs or with alcohol. If you are smoking it, you could be risking breathing problems and all the diseases and illness associated with smoking.

Where to Get Help for Addiction?

If you are worried that your cocaine use has spiralled out of control and you are unable to regain control of your life, you need to seek help immediately. Even if you are not using cocaine every day, you can still be addicted.

An indication of addiction is an inability to control your use once you start. So if you have tried to quit or cut back on your use but found yourself unable to resist the pull of the drug, it is likely that you have an addiction and that you need help.

Your GP can refer you for treatment at your local drug treatment service or you can refer yourself if you would rather not visit the doctor. There are also charities operating across the UK that provide vital services for those with addictions.

You can call us here at Sanctuary Lodge if you are looking for information or if you are interested in getting started on a treatment programme right away. We are a private clinic and we are helping people just like you to overcome addictions to all types of substances every single day. If you would like to know more about what causes cocaine addiction and the types of programme that are available to help overcome this illness, please call us today.