“Moderation in all things” is a proverbial saying that makes good sense – most of the time. However, moderation isn’t always possible for all people and some things are best left alone. Cocaine is a good example, as use of the drug can spiral out of control very quickly.
Human nature drives people to seek out pleasurable activities that release Dopamine in the brain’s reward system, which for some people, can lead to cravings and addiction. “Feel good” activities that release Dopamine include cocaine and other drugs, as well as alcohol and behaviors such as gambling, sex and binge eating.
Some people are able to use cocaine in moderation without ever becoming addicted. Sometimes, the brain’s reward system takes over, cravings sneak in, and in spite of all the best intentions, moderation is no longer possible. This may come as a complete surprise to occasional cocaine users who are shocked to discover they are no longer in control.
Sometimes, addiction occurs when cocaine is no longer just a drug for occasional social events. The path from using cocaine as a party drug to an avenue of relief is a very small, often indiscernible step. It’s all too easy to remember those happy feelings resulting from use of cocaine, and to turn to the drug during life’s inevitable rough patches. A drug once reserved for good times becomes a way to self-medicate stress, anxiety or depression associated with financial difficulties, relationship troubles or work stressors.
It’s important to keep in mind that nobody intentionally sets out to become addicted to cocaine, and there is no way to predict who will become addicted and who won’t. Maybe the original intention is to try the drug just once, or to use it once or twice a year, or once or twice a month. The problem is, there is no way for the user to know when biochemical changes are occurring and use of cocaine is no longer a matter of choice. Cocaine use is no longer enjoyable, it is an addiction – a chronic illness that like diabetes, asthma and hypertension, must be carefully managed and monitored over the course of a lifetime.
If you haven’t tried cocaine, it’s best to forego moderation and all the risks that come with even occasional use. If you use cocaine and you find that cravings are taking control, seek treatment soon – before addiction gets the upper hand. Waiting only allows addiction to become deeply entrenched and provides opportunity for all the problems that accompany addiction, such as damaged physical health, broken relationships, financial difficulties, career problems and legal issues.