Cocaine Substance Use Disorder and You

February 15, 2021

Since OARS was founded in 2015, we’ve mainly focused treating those with an Opioid Use Disorder. However, through our experience, we’ve learned that many of our patients develop co-dependence on other substance use disorders as well.

Did you know that according to the CDC, 15,883 people died from cocaine overdoses in 2019?

Made from the leaves of the coca plant that are native to South America, cocaine is a highly powerful, addictive stimulant drug. As a street drug, cocaine looks like a fine, white, crystal powder. It’s often mixed with cornstarch, talcum powder, flour, or, even more deadly, with amphetamine or fentanyl.

Cocaine, like methamphetamine, increases levels of dopamine in the brain. This excess of dopamine in the reward circuit of the brain strongly reinforces chemical dependency behaviors, because the brain eventually adapts to the excess of the dopamine. As a result, in order to consistently get the same high or more, one will take stronger, more frequent doses.

In the short term, use of cocaine has these health effects:

Dependent on the method use of cocaine, these are the long-term health effects:

If you think your loved one has a dependency on cocaine, look for these signs:

Seek treatment immediately if you notice any of those signs.

As OARS continues to expand its treatment services, we’re pleased to announce that we’ll be working with those that have a chemical dependency to cocaine. Our treatment includes:

Currently, there are no government-approved medications to treat cocaine use. However, researchers are currently testing medications used to treat other substance use disorders. OARS prescribes medications off-label that have been found effective in treating cocaine use disorder.

If you have any questions about our treatment options or want to learn more about getting into treatment at OARS, call us at 724-912-6277. We’re here to answer any questions you have to get help for you or your loved ones.