Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Here are some of the signs, symptoms and treatment options for cocaine addiction.
For the past few decades, cocaine addiction has presented a serious problem in America. However, it has become worse in recent years. In fact, from 2015 to 2016, deaths related to cocaine overdose increased by 52.4 percent in 31 states and Washington D.C.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that creates an immediate rush accompanied by euphoria. While it’s known as a recreational drug, a person can easily form a cocaine dependency if the abuse continues.
If you or someone you know might be struggling with cocaine addiction, it’s important to understand the available treatment options. It’s also a good idea to become educated about the side effects and withdrawal symptoms from cocaine use, misuse, and dependence.
Understanding Cocaine Use
Cocaine raises the levels of dopamine in the user’s brain. It also acts as a stimulant, increasing a person’s heart rate while simultaneously creating an intense sense of pleasure.
This is why many people use cocaine as a celebratory drug. It heightens the senses while also affecting the pleasure center in the user’s brain.
Cocaine can be administered in a number of ways. The most common is by crushing it into a powder and snorting it through a straw or rolled dollar bills, preferably of high denominations.
A user can also inject or smoke it. When smoked, it’s often referred to as crack. Both of these methods of consumption are more dangerous than snorting.
Injecting or smoking cocaine creates a much more powerful high, although the effects don’t last as long as they do when it is snorted.
The methods of smoking or injecting cocaine can cause addiction to set in much quicker because the user builds a tolerance more quickly and they need to use more of it to maintain the same feelings of pleasure or escape from reality.
However, cocaine is still highly addictive when snorted. It may take someone months to develop a dependency, but when they do, they’re at risk of a number of serious side effects.
Developing a Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine is a Schedule II drug, which means it has a high potential for dependency.
Many people start using cocaine every once in a while in social situations. It’s common for a person to experiment with it and not use it again for months.
However, when a person starts using it on a regular basis and continues for a long period of time, they could be on a path to addiction. This may occur when a person starts using cocaine in private or with others who have also developed a dependency.
Addiction can also occur if a person starts using cocaine to cope with anxiety or a preexisting mental health disorder. In these cases, the user is at serious risk of damaging their emotional and physical well being.
A person who starts abusing cocaine may eventually start experimenting with injecting or smoking it. They might even start using other drugs to either enhance or offset the effects of cocaine. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to overdose.
If you or a person you know is abusing cocaine, it’s imperative to recognize the warning signs and possible symptoms of cocaine dependency or addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse
Because cocaine is a stimulant, some of the signs of abuse are easy to spot. However, once a person develops an addiction they become skillful at hiding the effects of their addiction.
In addition to the physical signs, an addict will also show behavioral changes to their personality. They may even go through sudden life changes.
Some of the most common physical signs and symptoms of cocaine abuse include:
- Weight loss
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Talking more than usual
- A deterioration in appearance
- Dilated pupils
- Bags under their eyes
- Loss of complexion and skin problems
Many times, changes to a person’s behavior become noticeable and they easily become agitated or have unexpected mood swings.
A cocaine addict may have trouble focusing or remaining engaged in a conversation and they usually exhibit signs of hyperactivity for no apparent reason.
Another telltale sign of addiction is a person starts isolating themselves from family and friends. This usually indicates they no longer have control over their drug use and they need to keep it a secret from friends and family members who would notice the change in behavior and appearance.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
If a user can’t obtain cocaine to fuel their dependence, or decides to stop on their own, they’ll begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. This happens as a result of their body becoming dependent on the drug to feel normal.
While withdrawal symptoms of cocaine aren’t as severe as those of opioids or alcohol, they can still be challenging and very uncomfortable. A person with a long-term dependence or addiction needs to seek help at a treatment center.
The withdrawal symptoms associated with cocaine are more physiological rather than physical. They can include:
- Loss of libido
- Loos of appetite
- Muscle aches
- Suicidal thoughts
These symptoms can begin within hours after stopping cocaine use. Most of the symptoms will start to fade after about a week or so.
However, an addict may experience cravings long after they stop using the drug and they may also have ongoing issues with depression.
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Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options
Everyone responds to rehabilitation approaches in different ways. It’s important that an addict engages in a treatment plan that’s right for them. In addition, the length and severity of the addiction will determine what type of drug treatment will work best.
Detox is a critical first stage every addict must go through. This ensures a person rids the body of the drug entirely and it also helps them get through the physical withdrawal symptoms.
After detox is completed, the next step of recovery is entering a treatment program to overcome the psychological effects of addiction, find the root cause of addiction, and learn relapse prevention techniques.
The most ideal situation is to find a treatment center that offers both detox and treatment so they can remain at the same facility throughout their recovery.
Drug Addiction Therapy Treatment
One-on-one counseling is a great way for an addict to learn ways of coping with life after addiction. A substance abuse professional can teach them techniques for battling cravings and handling stress.
Group therapy allows addicts to discuss their problems with others who have gone through cocaine addiction. This type of therapy allows recovering addicts to make connections and form a support system with other members.
Cognitive and Dialectical Behavior Therapies are proven to be effective at working through many of the problems of addiction and relapse.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment is necessary for those who experience addiction combined with mental health issues like ADHD, depression, or anxiety.
Ongoing Outpatient Treatment
Once a person finishes treatment at an addiction facility, they may require additional help if they feel vulnerable to relapse once on their own.
In these cases, a person can seek outpatient treatment. This involves returning to normal life but attending counseling or group sessions at the facility on a regular basis, usually three or five days a week.
12 step support groups can also be helpful and are similar to group therapy they experienced at a treatment center. There are group meetings in cities all across the country and they can be effective for aftercare shortly upon leaving a treatment center.
Find the Right Treatment Option Today
If you or someone you know is suffering from a cocaine addiction, it’s important to seek help right away. Starting treatment early after dependence or addiction develops usually shows the best chance for a successful recovery. Waiting until the time is right is always a bad idea because the best time is now.
Finding the best treatment center isn’t an easy task and there are many things to consider. We take the guesswork out of the process and have relationships with the leading treatment facilities in the country.
We match each person with the best fit for cocaine addiction recovery including detox, treatment, aftercare, and dual diagnosis options if needed.