No one really ever begins using cocaine with the idea in mind that they will one day be addicted to it. It is a glamorized party drug that often sneaks up on the user who tries it and begins using it innocently initially.

When I started using cocaine, I did it out of curiosity. When the high first hit me it made me feel like I could party longer and it gave me feelings of aliveness and being invincible. That’s how it hooks you.

Cocaine starts out as something people try because someone at a party pulls it out and offers it up, usually. From there it can quickly become a necessary party favor that accompanies you everywhere you go.

Most people who develop a cocaine addiction, don’t even realize that it’s happening and before they know it, they can’t live with out it. Cocaine can be extremely deceiving to a user and most do not recognize they are playing with fire before it’s already burning them.

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1. Cocaine addiction can happen overnight

Addiction sneaks up on people and before they even know it has hit them, it’s too late. When I was using, I cannot give a definitive answer as to when I crossed over from recreational use into dependency. All of a sudden it just became this thing I couldn’t go out without and no matter how hard I tried to stay away, I couldn’t.

2. Cocaine affects your sense of self-worth, causing a vicious cycle.

The come down from cocaine is absolutely miserable. Not only do you feel the physical effects of it, which cause anxiety, paranoia and insomnia amongst other things, but you also begin to develop an extremely low sense of self-esteem.

Something about the come down makes you feel like a terrible person and in your mind, as you are withdrawing, you tend to focus on all the negative things in your life. This causes you to feel bad about yourself as a person and actually feeds into the addiction, subconsciously. Then, you use again to make yourself feel better and the cycle begins again.

3. Cocaine affects the neurotransmitters in the brain.

When using drugs or even drinking for that matter, most people are not concerned or even aware of what is really happening inside their bodies as they ingest these chemicals and toxins.

What we don’t realize is that cocaine affects the chemical make up inside our brains by interfering with the neurotransmitters used for communication.  When using cocaine, the brain releases extra dopamine, which, in turn, causes the user to experience feelings of pleasure. What it also does is create a reward pathway in the brain, which ties these feelings with its stimulus, cocaine. This is how addiction starts.

4. It is a party drug that once you enter into that party, it’s hard to get away.

Cocaine, I’ve always said, is the gateway into what feels like a secret society. Once you start using it, you get invited to the after parties and after hours where everyone else is doing it too. You walk in and are often shocked to see people there that you wouldn’t expect to see and because you are all sharing in the using experience together it creates a false sense of connection to others.

Not only that, but once you know who has it and who uses it, cocaine tends to start showing up a lot more in your face. Next thing you know, you are surrounded by it, making it much harder to say no or walk away, especially when drinking is involved.

5. Cocaine is an equalizer for alcohol, making it much more attractive.

One thing cocaine is known to do is to have somewhat of a cancelling effect on alcohol. When you are drinking and using cocaine simultaneously, the cocaine allows you to drink more and party longer without feeling drunk or blacking out.

A lot of people end up using cocaine as the antidote to being able to consume more alcohol. This can be a dangerous combination for people, making it a necessity and companion to alcohol.

That’s how my addiction continued. Whenever I would drink, I would then always associate it with cocaine and couldn’t seem to go out for drinks without immediately wanting it or feeling that I needed cocaine in addition to my “happy hour.” Then, happy hour always turned into sunrise, which is how I eventually and finally realized I had a cocaine addiction.

Cocaine can be one of the sneakiest addictions of all. If you or someone you love is struggling with a cocaine addiction, don’t hesitate to ask for help. It could save your life.

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