Cocaine and Crack Abuse (cont.)
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Cocaine and crack abuse facts
- What is cocaine? What is crack?
- How is cocaine abused?
- What are cocaine's effects on the body and the mind?
- What causes and prevents cocaine abuse and addiction?
- What are symptoms and signs of cocaine abuse and addiction?
- How is cocaine addiction diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for cocaine and crack addiction?
- What are symptoms and signs of cocaine withdrawal?
- What are the long-term effects and the prognosis for cocaine and crack addiction?
- Where can people find more information about cocaine and crack abuse?
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
What are symptoms and signs of cocaine abuse and addiction?
Cocaine abuse is a disorder that is characterized by a destructive pattern of using cocaine that leads to significant problems or distress. Cocaine addiction, also called cocaine dependence or cocaine dependency, is a disease that is characterized by a destructive pattern of cocaine abuse that leads to significant problems involving tolerance to or withdrawal from the substance, as well as other problems that the use of cocaine can cause for the sufferer, socially or in terms of the person's work or school performance.
In order to be diagnosed with cocaine abuse, an individual must exhibit a destructive pattern of abusing this drug that leads to significant problems or stress but not enough to qualify as being addicted to it. This pattern is manifested by at least one of the following warning signs or symptoms of use or abuse in the same one-year period:
- Recurrent cocaine use that results in a lack of meeting important obligations at work, school, or home
- Recurrent cocaine use in situations that can be dangerous
- Recurrent legal problems as a result of cocaine use
- Continued cocaine use despite continued or repeated social or relationship problems as a result of the drug's effects
In order to be diagnosed with cocaine addiction, an individual must exhibit a destructive pattern of abusing the substance that leads to significant problems as manifested by at least three of the following signs or symptoms in the same one-year period:
- Tolerance, which is either markedly decreased effect of cocaine or a need to significantly increase the amount used in order to achieve the same high or other desired effects
- Withdrawal, which is either physical or psychological signs or symptoms consistent with withdrawal from cocaine, or taking it or a substance that is chemically related in order to avoid developing symptoms of withdrawal
- Larger amounts of cocaine are taken or for longer than intended.
- The individual experiences persistent desire to take the drug or has unsuccessful attempts to decrease or control its use.
- Significant amounts of time are spent either getting, using, or recovering from the effects of cocaine.
- The individual significantly reduces or stops participating in important social, recreational, work, or school activities as a result of using cocaine.
The individual continues to use cocaine despite being aware that he or she suffers from ongoing or recurring physical or psychological problems that are caused or worsened by the use of the drug.
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