The answer to why do people use cocaine is not a simple one. People have individual differences and there are several possible reasons people choose the substance of abuse they choose. However, no matter which substance people choose, the substance will convincingly seem to meet an unfulfilled need for them initially.

Why Do People Use Cocaine? At First It Is a Choice

Of course, after a period of heavy or prolonged drug abuse, we can lose our degree of choice. When we start out, we can choose freely to use or not, but when a Substance-Use-Disorder develops, physical-and-psychological-dependence strip away choice. Instead, compulsion and obsession settle in and we feel compelled to continue substance use, are mentally preoccupied with using, and are emotionally dependent upon using as a coping strategy for life. Cocaine usage statistics are staggering. A Cocaine Use Disorder, or what we commonly call cocaine-abuse-or-cocaine-addiction, has dynamics of its own that compromise our judgment and impulses. The impact of an addictive process in the brain eventually puts us at the mercy of biological and neurological effects that ‘need’ more cocaine. Until we get-help to stop and remain abstinent, the brain cannot heal from this addictive process. This is the crux of how we lose choice in the matter. And, one of the most compelling answers to why do people use cocaine? is that they are addicted and feel very little ability to choose not to. A Cocaine Use Disorder is diagnosed when at least 2 symptoms of the disorder are present. The symptoms of cocaine addiction are below:
  • Cocaine is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  • There is a persistent desire to reduce use or stop use, or unsuccessful efforts to do so.
  • A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain, use, or recover from the effects of cocaine.
  • There are cravings, or strong urges to use cocaine.
  • Recurrent cocaine use results in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  • Cocaine use continues despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of cocaine.
  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are foregone or reduced because of cocaine use.
  • Recurrent cocaine use occurs in situations that are physically hazardous.
  • Continued cocaine use occurs despite knowledge that use causes or worsens a recurrent physical or psychological problem.
  • Tolerance develops which causes one to need more of the drug over a period to achieve the desired results.
  • Withdrawal symptoms occur when use is stopped, or the usual dose is reduced.

Why Do People Use Cocaine? Usually They Want to Feel Better

Regarding the use of crack cocaine specifically, the initial appeal typically lies in how that substance works in the brain and body, and its unique effects that set it apart from other substances. Since cocaine is a stimulant, it increases brain and nervous system activity. As it does, the brain is flooded with natural ‘feel good’ chemicals at unusually high levels, producing an intense sense of pleasure and reward, elevated energy and motivation, and a sense of confidence and mastery. People who turn to substance abuse, and who feel a lack of any of these qualities in their everyday lives, are particularly vulnerable to cocaine-use or the use of other stimulants similar in their effects.

Why Do People Use Cocaine? There May Be Unresolved Mental Health Issues

When a Cocaine-Use-Disorder is present, there is always the possibility that underlying mental health problems are in play. And, these mental-health-problems are more easily seen and treated when one has stopped the use of cocaine. Consequently, they lie under the more obvious effects of cocaine use and can be more accurately diagnosed when cocaine use is no longer occurring. The drug can also lead to cocaine psychosis. Such a situation is also called a dual-diagnosis-problem. Dual diagnosis issues occur when there is both a substance problem and a mental health problem at work simultaneously. In these cases, it is common that cocaine is used to self-medicate unresolved mental health symptoms or conditions.

Why Do People Use Cocaine? Often to Self-Medicate Depression

Untreated depression is a primary answer to our original question: why do people use cocaine? Depression’s-symptoms are the perfect set up for using cocaine to get respite from a depressive illness. Low physical energy, lack of motivation, down mood, poor self-esteem and slowed cognitive functioning are all symptoms of a clinical depression. Cocaine offers just the opposite–quick energy, drive, euphoria, confidence and enhanced mental focus—the seemingly perfect antidote for all the woes of depression. Cocaine is physically and mentally addictive.

Seek Treatment If You Have a Cocaine Problem

Recovery from cocaine addiction is possible with the right help. How to get cocaine out of your system can be complicated and dangerous.  There are also cocaine addiction hotlines that you can call.   There are effective treatment programs to help you or a loved overcome a cocaine problem of any severity, and to meet your individual needs, preferences and your-insurance-coverage requirements for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. If it is time to, give us a call today.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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