Every year, millions of people abuse cocaine without knowing the answers to important questions about this dangerous drug. For example: How does cocaine affect your body and mind? How long does cocaine stay in your system? And how can you tell if you need treatment for cocaine addiction?
Cocaine is a stimulant. As described by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), cocaine binds to receptors in the central nervous system, preventing them from removing a naturally produced neurotransmitter called dopamine. This causes a buildup of dopamine, which is associated with reward, pleasure, and motivation. Excess dopamine causes the euphoric rush, energy boost, and heightened sensitivity that are characteristic of cocaine use.
The effects of cocaine can be intense, but they are usually fairly brief. If a person snorts cocaine, the effects will typically begin within a few minutes and last for no longer than half an hour. If someone smokes the drug, they may begin to feel the effects almost instantaneously, but they will fade within 5-10 minutes.
The intensity and brevity of cocaine’s effects can prompt people to use the drug multiple times within a short period. This can increase their risk for myriad negative outcomes, including addiction and overdose.
Determining how long does cocaine stay in your system can depend on several factors, such as:
The answer to the question, “How long does cocaine stay in your system?” can also be influenced by which part of your system you’re referring to. In other words, different types of drug screenings can detect the presence of cocaine for varying lengths of time:
If you are researching the question, “How long does cocaine stay in your system?” you may suspect that you have a problem regarding your use of this harmful substance.
To be diagnosed with cocaine use disorder (which is the clinical term for cocaine addiction) you need to be assessed by a qualified professional. The following questions can help you determine if you should make an appointment for an assessment:
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consult with your family doctor or contact a cocaine addiction treatment provider to schedule an assessment.
The longer you struggle with untreated cocaine addiction, the greater your risk becomes for serious and potentially irreversible harm. Here are a few examples of possible negative effects of cocaine addiction:
You don’t have to wait until you “hit rock bottom” before you get professional help. Delaying treatment only jeopardizes your health. It may also put your life in danger. When you get the care you need, you can regain control of your thoughts and behaviors, so that you can live a healthier and more satisfying life.
Inner Voyage Recovery Center is a truly special place, where the darkness of untreated cocaine addiction can give way to the light of renewed hope and sustained recovery. Our outpatient treatment center near Atlanta, Georgia, is a trusted source of quality care and comprehensive support. Here, experienced professionals offer customized services in a safe and welcoming environment.
When you’re ready to end your cocaine abuse and start living the life you deserve, the Inner Voyage Recovery Center team is here to help. To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our admissions page or call us today.