Addiction is a painful experience for everyone involved. Often people who have not experienced addiction do not fully understand physical versus psychological addiction and wonder which category cocaine and other hard drugs fall into. Before we can decide if cocaine is physically or psychologically addictive, we need to investigate both terms.
What is Physical Dependence?
As the name suggests, physical addiction causes noticeable changes in the body. The most common symptom of physical addiction is an intense sensation of need—an extreme craving. As addiction progresses, the physical symptoms increase as well. The early stages include exhaustion, aches, and increasingly intense headaches. Afterward, the addicted person can expect to experience loss of appetite, physical illness, and diarrhea. Severe hot flushes, feeling cold, sweating uncontrollably, and shaking are also common side effects of addiction.
What is Psychological Addiction?
While physical addiction can seem very alarming due to its similarities to a severe illness, psychological addiction can be just as painful. During the former, the addict’s body seems to turn against them in search of the next fix. In the latter, the addict’s actual mind turns against them to try and get at the drug. Common symptoms include distracted thoughts that always return to taking the drug, mood swings, and thoughts constantly trying to rationalize taking the drug. Addicts may also suffer sleep loss, nightmares, or dream often about taking the drug.
Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
Is cocaine physically or psychologically addictive? This is somewhat of a trick question. It is extremely addictive on both levels. Both the physical and psychological symptoms include an array of extreme combinations of symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can last months before the patient begins to normalize. Because of this severity, addicts almost always need a full cocaine addiction treatment program. Since cocaine hits fast and wears off fast, overuse occurs very rapidly so few people escape without being tracked by the full effects of the addiction.
At Chapman House, we understand the pain that cocaine addiction can bring to a family. As a dedicated outpatient facility, we are ready to help people regain a normal life with a new set of skills to help fight addiction. We have a dedicated cocaine treatment program and are ready to help at a moment’s notice.