Corporate Office:
2101 Magnolia Avenue South, Suite 518
Birmingham, AL 35205

Understanding Addiction:
Cocaine Addiction

What is Cocaine Addiction?
Cocaine is an illegal drug that is highly addictive. A central nervous system stimulant, the substance produces a feeling of euphoria, and users can develop a tolerance over time, escalating consumption as they attempt to reach the "high" of early use. Users will snort cocaine in powder form, inject it as a liquid, or heat it to a rock crystal to smoke, referred to as crack.

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Overview Signs & Symptoms Treatment Programs at Bradford


Common Street Names for Cocaine:

  • Crack
  • Rock
  • Scramble
  • Blow
  • Bump
  • Snow
  • Coke
  • Dust
  • Candy
  • Icing

Signs Someone is Using Cocaine

Common signs of cocaine addiction can include:

  • Unusually high levels of energy
  • Paranoia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Light or sound sensitivity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Elevated body temperature
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Erratic behavior
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nose bleeds

The list above does not include every sign or symptom of cocaine addiction. If you or a loved one are using cocaine, seek professional help immediately.

How Does Cocaine Affect the Body and Brain?
Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system, binding to the dopamine transporter in the brain, which then blocks the removal of dopamine from the synapse. Users often feel an immediate sense of euphoria or high, but ultimately experience a crash as dopamine is depleted. Over time, users can become tolerant of the substance's effects and consume more and more cocaine to achieve the same euphoric feeling. The brain begins to identify cocaine as the primary source of reward, and the person can no longer feel the positive reinforcement or pleasurable feelings of natural rewards. This is a hallmark of cocaine addiction and creates a dangerous cycle of use and withdrawal.

According to Partnership for a Drug-Free World, the short-term effects of cocaine are intense, followed by a "crash" as the brain attempts to re-regulate itself: "intense depression, edginess and a craving for more of the drug. Regular users experience greatly increased heart rate, muscle spasms, and convulsions. The drug can make people feel paranoid, angry, hostile, and anxious — even when they aren't high."

Frequent users can develop health conditions such as physical damage to the nose, loss of smell, chronic cough, and arrhythmia. Cocaine can cause severe or even fatal medical events such as seizures, stroke, or heart attacks.

Treatment for a Cocaine Addiction

A person can overcome cocaine addiction with a comprehensive, professional drug rehab program. Treatment often begins with supervised medical detox, followed by residential and/or outpatient drug rehab programs. Clinical group and individual therapy sessions address physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, helping a person determine why they chose to use cocaine.

How Long is Cocaine Addiction Treatment?

The intensity and length of a treatment program for an addiction to cocaine will vary by person and their level of care required. A clinical professional will review the person's use history, general health, and any co-occurring disorders and also consider court-mandated or professional licensure requirements when recommending a treatment program. The average residential drug rehab program is between 17 to 30 days. Depending on the severity of the addiction and the patient's progress, clinicians may recommend extended (90-day rehab) or long-term rehab programs. Many people also continue their treatment in an intensive outpatient or continuing care program after an inpatient rehab.

Break Free from Addiction at Bradford

Bradford offers proven treatment for drug addiction through our complete continuum of care. Our clinical and medical professionals address emotional, spiritual, and physical needs in a comprehensive approach to long-term sobriety.

We offer:

  • Established treatment based on 12-Step principles
  • A continuum of care including inpatient, outpatient, extended care, and continuing care services
  • Onsite medical stabilization and detox services
  • Proven tools to address multiple forms of trauma
  • Individual gender-based and transitional living programs
  • Programs tailored to fit the needs of professionals in healthcare, legal fields, sports, and veterans
  • Free online Family Program
Substance Abuse Disorder
You can overcome cocaine addiction. Make the first step to sobriety today by calling 888-SOBER-40.

Long Term Drug and
Alcohol Program for Men

Long Term Drug and
Alcohol Program for Women

It doesn’t have to be this way forever.
It can all change at Bradford.

Contact Us Now

Since we opened our doors 40 years ago, our innovative inpatient and outpatient programs have been making healing and hope possible.

For more information or immediate confidential help, please call us anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For non-emergency inquiries, please complete and submit the online form.

Emergency Contact

Healthcare providers, healthcare organizations, social service agencies, or law enforcement authorities contact us 24/7.
Call 1-888-SOBER-40 or fill out our emergency contact form.
For emergency inquiries, please complete and submit the online form.