Despite popular opinion to the contrary, yes, cocaine is highly addictive. While it may not cause the same kind of physical withdrawl symptoms as other drugs, it has powerful psychological addictive qualities. Cocaine is a type of drug that functions to increase the availability of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Producing a relatively short-term high usually leaves Cocaine users cravinging for more. Regular users of cocaine may find they quickly become tolerant to the euphoric effects of the drug. This means it will take more and more cocaine to produce the same feelings.
An increased use of the drug is usually a solid indication that a person is suffering from cocaine dependence. Physical dependence occurs when a person begins to rely on the drug to properly function. This type of dependence is also characterized by an intense craving for cocaine, fatigue and an increase in appetite. Initiating use at a younger age is one way to increase one’s risk of cocaine dependency. It is also thought to be related to increased risks of legal and psychiatric problems in later life, and is associated with reduced responses to treatment.
The symptoms of psychological dependence are usually illustrated by a major change in a person’s personality. Cocaine also becomes their top priority and they may let other activities they have enjoyed in the past take a back seat. The person may also become obsessed with making sure they always have enough cocaine.