Cocaine addiction is a relatively common disorder among people who use drugs on a regular basis, and its effects are very harmful in the short and long term.
To better understand this active disorder, let’s see what one of its essential characteristics consists of: craving for cocaine use.
What is envy?
Craving is a phenomenon that occurs in the context of addiction and consists of a strong urge to use the drug the person is addicted to.
It is an English terminology that we use in Spanish because of the difficulty of finding an exactly analogous word in our language. The literal English translation could be “deseo” “antojo” or “anhelo impetuoso”.
Craving is one of the essential elements of any substance dependence disorder plays a key role in relapse of people who need to detoxify the substance in question.
Since it is a personal experience, craving does not affect everyone in the same way, there are even several types of craving that also act differently in the body, causing particular symptoms in each case.
Characteristics of craving in cocaine addiction
This subjective experience of intense desire is particularly experienced in drug addiction, cocaine addiction being one of the most paradigmatic examples that we can find of the development of craving. after all, it is one of the most widely used illicit drugs, and it has a very high addictive potential greatly activating the reward system of the brain and causing a psychostimulant effect.
Craving is associated with great physical and mental discomfort if the person cannot consume the substance to which they are addicted in a short time, which can be linked, in the long run, to the appearance of several psychological or psychophysical disorders. serious.
Types of food cravings
As indicated, there are several types of craving associated with cocaine addiction which do not always have the same effect on the person, since their effects depend on both their physical constitution and their psychological attributes.
1. Envy as a response to lack of pleasure
Envy as a response to lack of pleasure occurs when the person is bored or has nothing to do to pass the time. Any activity that does not involve the consumption of the specific drug that generates the craving.
It is a type of need that develops in the face of a lack of activities that can generate pleasure for the person, which is why they end up resorting to the consumption of cocaine, the substance that has generated pleasure in the past.
then, instead of participating in healthy social events where they have a good time, the person chooses to use the drug again to which he is addicted due to the strong need he feels to do so.
2. Craving in response to withdrawal symptoms
This mode of craving is the only one associated with the abstinence syndrome and occurs when the person notices that the drug consumed does not provide the same effects as before.
That’s to say, when you experience a decrease in satisfaction associated with the use of the drug in question, the person will feel an impulse and an intense need to consume another dose again to feel the desired effect.
The decrease in experience with the drug consumed can also lead to the appearance of certain psychological or emotional disorders, linked to cases of anxiety, stressful symptoms or depressive symptoms.
3. Craving as a “conditioned” response to drug cues:
This psychological phenomenon occurs when the person receives a stimulus that immediately reminds them of the use of the drug in question y por ende, being a strong impulse to consume it as soon as possible.
The impulse triggering the urge can be very varied: from a number or a telephone number associated with a certain person, from the music of a disco or from a person’s voice.
4. Craving as a response to pleasurable desires
This type of need occurs when the person mixes their drug of abuse with another pleasurable activity such as sexual activity, consumption of alcohol or other substances, etc.
In this way, when the person performs the natural pleasurable activity, he experiences a strong desire to consume the drug that he had previously consumed with this pleasurable activity without the drug.
Differences between craving and abstinence syndrome
Although they may appear to be similar elements, craving and withdrawal syndrome They are not the same and each of them has its own characteristics that affect the person in a different way.
The abstinence syndrome consists of a set of symptoms, both physical and psychological, of great discomfort felt by the person who stops using cocaine at a given moment and which generate great anguish and suffering.
While the withdrawal syndrome occurs only as an effect of cocaine withdrawal, Craving can be produced by abstinence but also by other drug-related stimuli or due to certain emotional states.
In addition, the withdrawal syndrome is short-lived and time-limited (lasts about 3 or 4 weeks and begins 24 or 48 hours after the start of abstinence), whereas the craving can appear every day in a variable way after you stop using the drug.