Cocaine addiction is a psychological desire to use cocaine regularly. The intense euphoria produces strong cravings and quickly develop into addiction. Cocaine use can result in cardiovascular and brain damage. The symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include mood swings, dysphoria, depression, anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, phychosis, schizophrenia, psychological and physical weakness, pain and compulsive craving and drastic changes in personality.
Cocaine addicts develop a transient manic-like condition similar to amphetamine psychosis and schizophrenia, whose symptoms include aggression, severe paranoia, and hallucinations, including the feeling of insects under the skin, or "coke bugs, also known as formication during binges. Cocaine addicts often scratch their skin bloody and develop scabs.
Cocaine has positive reinforcement effects. Good feelings become associated with the drug, causing an addict to take the drug as a response to bad news or mild depression.
The addict's immediate craving for more soon after use is due to the short-lived high that usually subsides within an hour, leading to prolonged, multi-dose binge use. It is followed by a "crash" (also known as a "come down"), the onset of severely dysphoric mood with escalating exhaustion. Cocaine addicts often try to soften the crash by taking sedatives such as alcohol, marijuana, Xanax or heroin.
Crack cocaine is the freebase form of cocaine that can be smoked. It is the most addictive form of cocaine. Smoking crack results in a short but very intense high.