Breaking Habits

Psychological Effects and Addiction

Cocaine has a very powerful stimulating effect on the nervous system, it raises levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure and movement in the brain's reward circuit; the effects generally last from 15 to 30 minutes, or only 5 minutes depending on how it is taken.

Neurons release dopamine in response to a pleasurable stimulus, such as the smell of good food or the thought of having sex. It is then recycled back into that same neuron, thus shutting off the signal between neurons. Cocaine stops the dopamine from getting back into the neuron - it stops the dopamine from being recycled - resulting in an accumulation of dopamine. This amplifies the message to and response of the receptive neurons, and ultimately disrupts normal communication.

The excess dopamine gives the user a feeling of enhanced well-being, euphoria, alertness, motor activity and energy. Some describe increased sensations of sexuality and competence. Long term usage can lead to gradual changes in the brain's reward system, as well as other systems in the brain, which seriously raise the risk of addiction. Stimulating this brain area with cocaine feels good. And it can create a powerful craving to use more cocaine. Repeated cocaine use leads to tolerance (that is, increasingly higher doses are needed to attain the same effect), dependence, and addiction. There is no "safe" frequency of use for cocaine. It's impossible to predict whether a person will become physically or psychologically dependent on cocaine.

After using cocaine regularly for an extended period, dependence (addiction) develops. When dependence is present, stopping cocaine suddenly leads to withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal from cocaine are more psychological than physiological. Typically, cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • depression and anxiety
  • fatigue
  • difficulty concentrating
  • inability to feel pleasure
  • increased craving for cocaine
  • physical symptoms including aches, pains, tremors, and chills

Cocaine withdrawal is rarely medically serious. In certain people, withdrawal from cocaine may cause suicidal thoughts. Typically, withdrawal symptoms from cocaine addiction resolve within one to two weeks. However, intense craving for cocaine may return, even years after the last episode

How does hypnotherapy help you to stop taking cocaine?

The most important thing is that you want to stop taking cocaine and make the positive changes to your life. The sessions include cognitive behaviour therapy explaining how the brain works and why cocaine is so addictive. Hypnotherapy helps get to the root of any problem overcoming anxiety and depression, creating more confidence and helping you to re-programme your thought process. Hypnotherapy appeals to the subconscious brain getting you to weaken neurons that have sustained old habits that are bad for you and help you create new pathways for a healthier, happier future. Sessions can vary from 2 - 12.