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Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that, despite the associated risks, is commonly abused in America and many other areas in the world. Oftentimes, people experiment with cocaine, as it is a socially-acceptable drug in many party scenes. While these individuals have zero intention of becoming addicted to cocaine, cocaine addiction occurs rapidly. This is because cocaine produces intense euphoric and energizing effects that people become accustomed to. Once an addiction to cocaine develops, individuals require professional drug and alcohol treatment.

Cocaine addiction treatment involves drug detox, residential treatment, and outpatient programming. Individuals who attend evidence-based addiction treatment programs are more likely to achieve long-term sobriety. Physical dependence and psychological addiction to cocaine are not easy to overcome, however, with the help of professional clinical and medical guidance, recovery is attainable.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant that is derived from coca leaves. In the early 1900s, pure cocaine was the active ingredient in a variety of medicinal therapies used to treat certain illnesses. Also, it was an ingredient in the soda known as Coca-Cola. While cocaine was used to block pain during surgeries before the development of synthetic local anesthetic, it is now considered a schedule II drug. Schedule II drugs indicate a high potential for abuse.

Cocaine is typically a fine, white powder that users snort. However, some people also smoke the drug or intravenously inject it for a faster and stronger high. Freebase cocaine, or crack, is the substance created when cocaine is processed with ammonia or baking soda to produce a pure, smokable substance.

Unfortunately, street-dealers often cut pure cocaine with other substances to increase their profitability. For example, cocaine is usually cut with substances like cornstarch, talcum powder, flour, baking soda, and other non-psychoactive substances. However, some dealers may cut cocaine with other dangerous substances, making the abuse of cocaine extremely risky. Cocaine has a number of street-names, including coke, snow, powder, white girl, or blow.

Cocaine binds dopamine receptors in the brain to amplify signals sent from one neuron to the next. This causes dopamine receptors to become overwhelmed. Next, a buildup of dopamine occurs, leading to the pleasurable and euphoric effects of cocaine. Because cocaine is a stimulant, it causes an increase of energy, feelings of excitement, connection to others, and more.

Signs of Cocaine Addiction

When a person uses cocaine the effects begin almost immediately, lasting up to a few hours. Because cocaine is short-acting, people often use the drug multiple times in one night.  While under the influence of cocaine, a person may exhibit any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Euphoria
  • Increased energy
  • Talkativeness
  • Mentally alert
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Decrease in sleep
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure

Using large amounts of cocaine causes less desirable side effects, such as erratic or violent behavior, irritability, restlessness, anxiety, paranoia, and muscle twitches.

Individuals who abuse cocaine in excess are at high risk for developing an addiction. Addiction is medically diagnosed as a substance use disorder. The criteria established by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, (DSM-V) can be used to diagnose cocaine addiction. Additionally, these signs can help individuals to decipher whether their loved one needs help for cocaine addiction. The signs of cocaine addiction include:

  • Being unable to stop or cut down on substance abuse
  • Taking drugs in larger amounts than you initially intended to
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of drug use
  • Having cravings and urges to get high
  • Having troubles at work, school, or home due to substance abuse
  • Continuing to use despite the problems that drug use has on one’s relationships
  • Ignoring social, occupational, or other activities that a person used to enjoy
  • Using drugs even if it is putting your life in danger
  • Continuing to use drugs even if it is making a physical or psychological problem worse
  • Developing a tolerance, therefore, needing to use larger amounts of drugs
  • Feeling withdrawal symptoms when not using drugs

If you or a loved one is experiencing two or more of these symptoms, you are most likely suffering from cocaine addiction. Individuals afflicted by an addiction to cocaine should immediately seek professional cocaine addiction treatment.

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine abuse is extremely dangerous, as it can result in hospital visits and severe adverse health effects. While cocaine abuse can range from recreational use to a compulsive addiction, any form of cocaine abuse has the ability to result in severe health effects. Long-term effects of cocaine abuse include:

  • Increased risk of heart attack, seizures, and strokes
  • Development of stress-related disorders
  • Poor decision-making abilities
  • Gastrointestinal complications
  • Disturbances in heart rhythm
  • Risk of coma or sudden death

Many individuals who abuse cocaine also mix it with other drugs or alcohol. For example, some people use cocaine while drinking so they are able to stay awake longer, socialize better, and drink more. Also, people often mix cocaine with depressants like benzodiazepines or opiates. This is referred to as “speedballing.” If a substance is mixed with another, the risk of overdose is increased. Polydrug increases the risk of dangerous and potentially fatal side effects. Additionally, it also increases the risk of developing an addiction to cocaine.

When cocaine is abused long-term, it will progress into cocaine addiction. During cocaine addiction, both the body and mind become dependent on these rewarding effects. This causes the body to demand more and more of the substance to maintain balance. If an individual who is dependent on cocaine suddenly stops using, they will experience uncomfortable physiological withdrawal symptoms.

Cocaine Withdrawal and Detox

Cocaine abuse impairs the brain from producing dopamine in a healthy, natural way without the substance. Due to this, individuals dependent on cocaine experience withdrawal symptoms when they don’t use it. During cocaine addiction, the brain needs the substance to feel normal. Withdrawal occurs once an individual stops using cocaine, causing the body to experience an absence of the substance it has become accustomed to.

Cocaine is a short-acting drug, causing withdrawal symptoms to occur shortly after taking the last dose. Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Vivid dreams or nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Increased appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Slowed activity and thinking
  • A general feeling of discomfort

During cocaine withdrawal, individuals experience intense cravings or a strong urge to use more of the drug. As a result, many people continue using to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Cravings and suicidal thoughts are possible during cocaine withdrawal. Due to this, individuals addicted to cocaine should never detox at home. Drug detox centers provide safe environments staffed by medical professionals. Doctors and staff ensure the safety and comfort of individuals throughout their detox experience.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction treatment comes in many forms. However, no two treatment programs are the same. Those seeking cocaine addiction treatment should consult with an addiction specialist to determine which type of program is best suited for them. The most common forms of treatment for cocaine addiction include inpatient rehab and outpatient programming.

Inpatient Drug Rehab for Cocaine

Inpatient cocaine rehab is the best treatment option for people with moderate to severe substance use disorder. These programs offer supportive housing, around-the-clock supervision, and a safe environment that separates people from their drug-seeking behaviors. Most inpatient rehabs last between 30 to 90 days. However, some may last for several months if the patient requires further care. Additionally, medical insurance often covers the cost of inpatient cocaine rehab.

Inpatient rehab utilizes the following treatment modalities and therapies to help people recover from cocaine addiction:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • 12-step facilitation
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Holistic therapy
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Recreational and leisure activities

Residential programs emphasize on teaching patients how to live a sober life. By utilizing therapies that help uncover, address, and heal the underlying causes and conditions of a person’s addiction – patients experience long-term success. Inpatient treatment is effective in providing a solution to substance abuse. However, individuals must continue to practice new skills and establish a strong foundation for recovery. Fortunately, individuals can continue building upon their recovery from cocaine addiction with the help of outpatient programs.

Outpatient Cocaine Addiction Programming

Substance use disorders such as cocaine addiction require ongoing treatment. Due to this, inpatient programs are just the beginning of recovery. Patients often participate in outpatient treatment after completing residential rehab. Intensive outpatient (IOP) and outpatient (OP) programming are less-intensive forms of treatment. Typically, individuals with mild substance use disorder or for people who are leaving an inpatient rehab center attend outpatient programming.

Outpatient programs last for varying lengths of time depending on the patient’s needs. Additionally, patients will attend a number of therapy sessions each week. Sometimes, outpatient programs include participation in 12-step groups or sober living homes. Ultimately, the goal of the outpatient programming is to help patients adjust to life in sobriety, practice new coping skills, and prevent relapse.

Upon completion of a cocaine rehab program, patients should find a support group. Common cocaine addiction support groups include Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Cocaine Anonymous (CA). Luckily, support groups like NA and CA are completely free of charge. The goal of these support groups is to help individuals prevent relapse by connecting like-minded individuals who share their experience, strength, and hope. To reiterate, attending support groups for cocaine addiction is an effective way to stay sober after detox and rehab.

Find Help for Cocaine Addiction Today

If you or a loved one is seeking help for cocaine addiction, South Carolina Addiction Treatment Center is here to help. Our cocaine detox in South Carolina is professional and highly effective. With the combination of evidence-based therapies, medical treatment, support groups, and relapse prevention plans, our treatment center is fully equipped to treat cocaine addiction of any severity.

Contact us today to learn more about cocaine addiction treatment and start your journey to recovery.