Walking the streets of Southern California, one becomes keenly aware of the emphasis that society places on female standards of beauty.
Despite genetics, pregnancy, stress or any other relevant variables, women are expected to be stylish and thin. In LA especially, it seems the skinnier a woman is, the better. In a recent survey, more than 63 percent of female respondents answered “no” when polled about whether or not they were content with their current weight.
How does this relate to cocaine?
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that directly impacts the brain.
Cocaine’s strong neurological impact makes it evermore addictive in nature. For women, the compulsion to use cocaine is often derived from a combination of social, familial, environmental, and genetic variables. Cocaine is especially appealing to women who crumble under the pressure to be thin using the traditional “healthy” methods such as incorporating exercise into a nutritious diet. When these avenues fail, cocaine can present itself as a viable alternative method of weight loss, simply because of its appetite-suppressing abilities.
Specifically, cocaine’s short-term effects are often sought by women as it:
- Suppresses the appetite
- Heightens awareness and social proclivity
- Induces feelings of euphoria
- Provides a burst of energy
Short-term effects of cocaine generally dissipate within an hour or less. Thus, on a Friday night, for example, a female may snort cocaine several times throughout the course of a night, sneaking into the bathroom to do so behind closed doors. Women can become addicted to cocaine and a strong psychological compulsion contributes to the addiction. When an addiction begins to grow, willpower becomes less of a determining factor in the equation.
The pressure to be thin is intense and unrealistic for many women. When women feel as though they have failed to meet societal expectations, such loss can foster feelings of worthlessness, uselessness, despair, and self-loathing. These feelings coincide with how addicts feel after using drugs.
The two negative thought patterns work together within the victim’s mind and compel destructive behavior in a detrimental direction, keeping the woman engrossed in unhealthy, cocaine-ridden habits to “fix” inner conflict and to relieve feelings of guilt, remorse and regret. Inevitably, the cocaine serves as a short-term solution to a deeper, long-term problem; it contributes to the overall demise of the afflicted individual, until the only way “out” is through professional addiction treatment services.
Cocaine’s short-term effects are deemed favorable by many users. In addition, withdrawal from cocaine is characterized by an unpleasant backlash of symptoms. This combination of characteristics stirs up a recipe for an addictive cycle that pushes addicts into an abyss of mental darkness.
Consider the cycle of cocaine abuse in hypothetical Exhibit A:
- Woman A has low self-esteem and difficulty dealing with her emotions from the start.
- Woman A turns 19. She jogs to the gym and makes a mental note of the females
- who weigh less than her or appear to be “more attractive.”
The next night, Woman A desperately flirts and acts out with attractive males in an attempt to validate her self-worth.
- The night is coming to a close. Woman A wants to continue staying out in hopes of scoring a date to further validate her desirability. Her natural energy supply is depleted; her self-esteem is at an ultimate low. Offered cocaine by a fellow partygoer, she accepts.
- Woman A is suddenly euphoric, chatty, and amicable. Her entire disposition shifts.
- Woman A seeks out more cocaine to be ingested “in the future.”
- Woman A wakes up the next morning feeling nauseous, depressed, and lethargic. The wheels of her mind spin uncontrollably; she figuratively drowns in self-loathing. Before the sun sets, she has purchased more cocaine and secretly snorted it, keeping her family members oblivious to the behavior, and tonight, she’s not going to a party. Her compulsion to use cocaine is fueled by her regret of using it the previous night.
- Woman A rides the rollercoaster of euphoria and short-term pleasure followed by intense depression and self-resentment. She is addicted, unhappy, and unable to help herself despite her best efforts.
Locate Professional Treatment
In terms of the latter, cocaine addiction requires professional treatment. Cocaine addiction is an insidious disease that affects the addict’s neurological makeup, dampens the spirit, and wreaks havoc on the body. Female addicts, more so than male cocaine addicts, often face concurrent disorders such as depression and/or anxiety. Thus, the need to undergo professional treatment is evermore apparent in such cases.
Although on a general level, women experience fewer poignant effects from cocaine when compared to men, the desire to stay trim and lean can drive an intense addiction that would otherwise have fizzled out with the latest party. Eventually the women addicted to cocaine seek out and use the drug simply to feel normal; the drug no longer produces a high or represents a positive part of their life, aside from its short-term ability to manage weight.
Female cocaine addicts can learn to replace unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthy alternatives through:
- Outpatient programs
- Inpatient rehabilitation programs for cocaine addiction
- Substance abuse counseling and therapy
- Participation in local 12-step meetings such as Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
Through treatment, compulsions toward quick fixes to dropping weight and staying awake are reversed. For more treatment help, you can check out our cocaine rehab guide for more help. Unhealthy coping strategies are replaced with sustainable stress-reduction techniques.
Through hard work, and with the aid of a solid support network, female cocaine addicts can go on to lead sober, fulfilling lives.