To fully understand what cocaine tolerance is requires a breakdown of a significant amount of technical information to the level where the average person can relate to it. This is because the actual mechanism of cocaine tolerance is more about brain chemistry than watching for signs and symptoms. Tolerance can promote dependencies. However, the signs and symptoms are there, so it is connecting the technical jargon with the simplified real world situation to communicate just what cocaine tolerance is.
Basics of Tolerance Build Up
To achieve cocaine tolerance, which is, by the way, an undesirable result, the addict must use the drug continuously in very high doses for long periods of time. Persons close to the user should easily detect this type of behavior. The length of time it takes to develop cocaine tolerance depends on the dose and frequency of use, which determines how the addicts body will reach a point where the effects of using cocaine actually diminish. Obviously, this will be different for each person, based on their individual body chemistry.
From Coke Tolerance to Cocaine Addiction
A conclusion that needs to be avoided is that because cocaine tolerance leads to addiction, using the drug at a level that significantly reduces the possibility of becoming tolerant to it means it is possible to safely use it. Since everyone is different, it is impossible to know with any certainty that regular use at any dosage level will not lead to addiction. The proven road is that regular use will lead to addiction.
The way to know tolerance has been reached, and exceeded, is that the user needs a regular supply of the drug to maintain normal behaviour. The catch is that normal behaviour prior to using the drug may be significantly different after regular use, so people close to the addict need to make an evaluation based on the addicts most recent behaviour. A “new normal” may be the result of using cocaine.
There are other signs to watch for, such as an increased appetite and general fatigue. Look for a change in the person’s behaviour when they are not using cocaine as another way to determine if cocaine tolerance has been reached. Once the tolerance level has been reached, the jump from user to addict is a very short distance.
The Underlying Motivation
People become addicted to cocaine because of its ability to create intense feelings of pleasure. In short, it is an escape route from reality for a short period of time – generally about 15 minutes. Once people come down from the high, reality is boring or uncomfortable, and the user can become tired or depressed. Using cocaine every 15 minutes can become expensive quickly, but it also accelerates reaching the point of cocaine tolerance. Upon reaching that point, the user has to choose between walking away from using it altogether, or take the next step – which is addiction.