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Insomnia From Cocaine Use

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Does Cocaine Lead To Insomnia?

A person struggling with a cocaine addiction may not be able to find any enjoyment in life without the drug, so they start using it more often in an attempt to feel better. The more a person uses cocaine, the less productive sleep they get. Many people who use cocaine develop a co-occurring disorder of cocaine addiction and insomnia.

Even with low doses of cocaine, a person experiences a rush of dopamine into the central nervous system (CNS). Cocaine stops the brain from reabsorbing this dopamine, so when a person uses cocaine, they may become overly energetic and elated. Actually, cocaine speeds up the whole body, and as the initial high wears off, the brain and circadian cycle are interrupted; especially after long-term use.

Insomnia is defined as habitual sleeplessness, or an inability to sleep. Whether it’s a result of caffeine, stress, anxiety, change of environment, depression, eating too late, alcohol, or cocaine, insomnia is difficult to manage.

Sleep disruption is common in people who struggle with cocaine use.

Some of the most frequently reported sleep problems with cocaine addiction are:

  • sleep deficits
  • declines in sleep quality and quantity
  • lack of awareness of sleep problems
  • impairments in learning and attention

The truth is that cocaine-induced insomnia is more than just a sleep problem; it can actually contribute to relapse. As a result of relapse, a person may start a vicious cycle of using cocaine to try to feel normal.

Cocaine use can also lead to cognitive deficits involving sleep patterns, and even though people don’t realize it, they become addicted and use more of the drug to try to get back on a normal sleep schedule.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a naturally-occurring derivative of the coca plant. It’s a water-soluble white powder that can be snorted, inhaled, smoked, or injected into the veins. Cocaine belongs to a drug class known as CNS stimulants and is used for the feeling of euphoria and an increase in energy it produces.

The effects of snorted cocaine take a few minutes to be fully active, then wear off after 15 to 30 minutes. Smoked or injected cocaine kicks in almost instantly, but wears off faster than when the drug is snorted.

In some cases, the high from cocaine will last up to an hour, but for the most part, cocaine produces a short-term euphoria characterized by intense bursts of energy. The psychological effects of cocaine don’t always wear off as rapidly as the initial high, and it’s common for the drug to disrupt sleep patterns.

Someone might stay up late as a result of cocaine, but this habit can have vast effects on the body and mind. Continuing to use cocaine can result in cocaine addiction—which becomes the obsession and compulsion to use a drug.

What Are The Dangers Of Cocaine-Induced Insomnia?

Sleep is vital to our physical and mental health. Getting the right amount of sleep contributes to healing and repairing the heart, as well as the blood vessels, and allowing the brain to rest.

Cocaine may impair the brain’s ability to gauge its own need for sleep. Sleep deficiency is a common contributor to heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Not only does insomnia lead to mental and physical problems, but it can also contribute to the likelihood of relapse. Dr. Robert Mallison of Yale stated that “unlike most people with chronic insomnia, including alcoholics, cocaine users do not perceive sleep problems and may not ask clinicians for treatment to improve sleep,” (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

Because sleep problems aren’t always recognized, they aren’t addressed, and therefore they persist over time. As a result, insomnia can lead to cognitive impairment, which often renders treatment less effective.

Withdrawal Symptoms Of Cocaine

When a person suffering from cocaine addiction stops using the drug, they may first experience a crash followed by withdrawal. Depending on the amount of cocaine they used, withdrawal can last anywhere from one to three weeks. Certain withdrawal symptoms, like depression, can last for months after a person stops using cocaine.

Certain cocaine withdrawal symptoms may be exacerbated by insomnia, including:

  • agitation
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • lack of pleasure
  • restlessness
  • general discomfort
  • vivid and unpleasant dreams
  • fear and anxiety
  • paranoia
  • suicidal thoughts

Cocaine does more than disrupt sleep patterns. From 1999 to 2015, there were 86,468 cocaine overdose deaths in the United States. That is an average of 15 people per day.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Cocaine use can lead to addiction after just a couple uses, but overcoming cocaine is possible. Addiction is a disease recognizable by the obsession and compulsion to use a drug. Even though recovery may seem bleak, addiction is still treatable, and so is insomnia.

In treating a co-occurring disorder, many people will attempt to stop using drugs, but neglect to treat the mental disorder as well. Failing to treat an insomnia disorder that occurs with cocaine addiction is known to cause a relapse.

Overcoming a cocaine addiction isn’t always easy. Withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, and irritability can make recovery hard, but they don’t make it impossible.

The trusted professionals at an inpatient drug rehab center understand addiction and help addicted individuals overcome the obsession and compulsion to use cocaine. Treatments focus on attitudes, behaviors, relapse prevention, accountability, and understanding how individuals react to their environment.

Contact us today to learn more about cocaine addiction and treatment options.