How Cocaine Addiction Destroys Families: 10 Things To Know

Every drug seems to have its own personality. Marijuana is obviously the most relaxed. It does the least direct damage to the body and personality, meaning it is the most open to chronic use. Heroin also mellows a person out but is far more addictive and undercutting of the personality.

But what is the personality of cocaine? Well, where heroin might numb a person’s senses and render their behavior docile to the point of dysfunction, cocaine will stimulate the senses. It will crank every dial in their body and mind way past the point of safety and good taste.

This makes it the drug of choice for many single people. But what those single people find is that they build a habit that is difficult to shake by the time they start a family.

So, let’s talk about what cocaine does that makes it so damaging to families in particular.

1. It Causes Erratic Behavior


The most obvious place to start is with cocaine’s primary effect. Cocaine stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain, which causes feelings of excitement, euphoria, and bursts of energy. But similar to how humans are not meant to use the maximum capacity of their muscles, they are not meant to feel these (usually positive) feelings at their maximum capacity either.

Feeling this way can cause cocaine users to become highly impulsive and impatient. And there is nothing that will ruin a marriage or harm children faster than being impatient.

2. Part of Erratic Behavior is the Lows Too

But while cocaine is well-known for the highs of erratic pleasure, Hollywood often forgets to tell the other side of the story: When one is dependent on cocaine, it becomes the only pathway one has to pleasure. That means following the high of pleasure, there is a low of depression.

This low usually expresses itself as periods of disinterest, low motivation, and lack of empathy.

3. Cocaine Rewires the Brain

Both sides of that coin—erratic highs and depressive lows—are not just symptoms of the high cocaine gives you. The brain is actually rewired to feel that way. What does this mean? Well, it means that one’s natural responses will be shifted more and more towards those behaviors.

The damage here is that it becomes harder and harder to act in any other way than that.

4. Addiction Lowers One’s Humanity


This might sound like an overdramatic statement, and perhaps even unscientific. What is one’s “humanity”? And what does cocaine do to strip it away? In this case, humanity means one’s uniquely human ability to control themselves. It lowers the willpower to do anything but seek cocaine. Offer a cocaine addict food or cocaine, and they will choose cocaine every time.

5. Dependency Like that Skews Priorities

It is a physiological fact that cocaine addicts prioritize cocaine over survival. So, it should come as no surprise that they prioritize cocaine over obligations that they have as well. This can range from work engagements to time with their kids to simple things like chores and paying bills.

The reason cocaine addicts prioritize their cocaine use over everything else is that they will get sick with withdrawal symptoms if they stop using cocaine. The cocaine detoxification process can be extremely uncomfortable, so people do everything in their power to continue using cocaine and avoid withdrawal.

6. It Also Quickly Ruins Finances

No one is surprised by this, but it is worth mentioning anyway: Cocaine is expensive. Even when the individual units that someone buys are not expensive, it is a financial burden to deal with the endless amount an addict will need in the pursuit of being satisfied.

Addicts will frequently empty their bank accounts to have a steady supply of cocaine. Why do this? Well, they would buy more if they could. They just always want to push their limits.

7. There is Help Out There


Tragically, this is something that many addicts tend to forget. The life of an addict seems highly predestined. Where the possible reactions another person might have to an addict’s situation is uncertain, the comfort of their vice is highly certain. And the tragedy of this is profound.

Consider all of the negative things said about addicts in this very article. It is very easy for one to look at all those things and get highly judgmental towards them.

8. Addiction is a Disease

People all too often characterize addiction as a weakness of character. But in every way, from the chemical to the psychological, addiction is not a choice of the addict. It might be a result of their choices but recovering from addiction is not as simple as making different choices.

It has to be treated as a disease, not as a choice that can be easily undone.

9. Recovering from Addiction Takes Time

When a person first starts using cocaine, they are likely not thinking of the time it will take out of their life later on. But while there are many damaging parts of cocaine addiction, this is the most damaging if only because it is the source of so much damage.

Recovering from addiction means fighting those depressive episodes, using supplements to deal with side effects, and in general fighting to become normal after being in an altered state for so long. And it is hard to go to a child’s piano recital or a date with your spouse during this.

10. But Recovery is Possible


It can be hurtful and scary for many addicts to imagine, but recovery is possible. The scariest part about that is wondering what the addict’s situation will be like after recovery has taken place. The altered state offered by cocaine tends to feel crucial to one’s personality.

Similar to depressed people worrying that antidepressants will strip them of their personality, cocaine addicts similarly grow to identify with their addiction. What are they without it? How do they spend their time recreationally without this drug that is almost literally a happy pill?

Part of recovering is finding the answers to those questions.


Should you or someone you love be struggling with cocaine addiction—even if cocaine addiction does not seem that bad at the moment—do not be afraid to reach out. You could save their life. For more details go to