Overcoming Cocaine Abuse and Addiction With Support
Cocaine use disorder is a severe public health concern. It is among the third most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. According to recent statistics, about 2% of American adults use this psychostimulant drug frequently. Cocaine has varying effects on the human body, such as euphoria and alertness.
Most of the illicit cocaine in the American market is manufactured outside the United States and smuggled into the country by drug dealers. This drug reacts with the body’s central nervous system and has euphoric effects. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies cocaine as a Schedule II substance.
Drugs and cocaine can devastate your life and the lives of your loved ones. But you can recover from addiction with support and comprehensive treatment at our rehab facility.
Read on to learn more about cocaine rehab and how it can improve your outlook on life!
What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a psychoactive stimulant extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. This plant is native to and farmed predominantly in South America. It’s a psychoactive drug that makes you feel good, but it’s highly addictive and has a high potential for misuse.
People who take the drug regularly may build up a tolerance, necessitating a higher dose of the drug to achieve the same effect. Cocaine withdrawal often happens when users drastically reduce or stop using the drug. But cocaine detox in a rehab center with medical supervision can minimize withdrawal symptoms and get you started on the road to recovery.
How People Use Cocaine
Different people use cocaine using different routes of administration. This drug was initially prescribed as a treatment for cholera and chronic fatigue. Cocaine hydrochloride, a topical anesthetic, is still widely used in the medical industry.
Most people who start taking cocaine do so voluntarily, and the drug has very few recognized medical uses. Cocaine is banned for any purpose other than medical use, and the illegal formulations sold on the black market are exceedingly dangerous.
Illegal cocaine is often marketed as a white powder. It varies in purity levels and is often cut with other dangerous substances. The most common routes of administration for cocaine include:
The most common method of administration is snorting. When snorted, the drug rapidly enters the brain, producing a powerful high. But the effects of the drug wear off quickly, and the user must then deal with the discomfort of withdrawal.
Intravenous cocaine use can cause vein collapse and the spread of infectious illnesses. Cocaine injected directly into a vein is one of the most lethal forms of drug use, and it is a leading cause of overdose-related visits to the emergency room.
Both pure cocaine and crack are forms of the drug that can be smoked. Cocaine is frequently mixed with baking soda to form a hard rock that is smoked as crack. When smoked in its purest form, or “freebasing,” cocaine’s psychoactive effects are felt nearly instantly and persist for up to half an hour.
The effects of crack typically wear off faster, and the crash is more potent than freebasing because crack cocaine is usually not as pure. This can trigger intense cravings for more drug usage within minutes after a chronic user finishes their dose.
Cocaine is usually injected or snorted into the body and seldom swallowed. Those who ingest cocaine orally often “boost” their high by taking another dose shortly after the first one wears off. This practice can expose them to fatally high concentrations of the drug.
Cocaine has many slang names, including coke, blow, snow, crack, and rock.
Effects of Cocaine
Cocaine is a stimulant that heightens activity in the brain and the sympathetic nervous system. Cocaine gives the user an “energy boost” that might lead to euphoria, heightened productivity, and vigor.
Some of the short-term effects of cocaine include:
- A feeling of intense happiness and joy, also known as euphoria
- Enlarged pupils
- Increased awareness
- High energy
- Talking excessively
Below are the adverse effects of chronic cocaine addiction.
- Increased alertness
- High blood pressure
- Sensitivity to light, sound, and touch
- Low appetite
- Increased aggression
- Narrowed blood vessels
- Elevated or irregular heart rate
- Increased temperature
- Muscular twitching
- Sudden death
Because the high from cocaine and the short-term effects wear off rapidly, there is an increased risk of repeating doses over several hours or even days. A “crash” frequently occurs when the effects of cocaine wear off in chronic users. This may lead to a depletion of energy and depression.
The Risks of Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine abuse and addiction have detrimental effects on health. Chronic cocaine usage might cause damage to the cardiovascular system and other organs. Cocaine can lead to cardiac problems like irregular heartbeat and even heart attacks. Long-term cocaine use may also cause inflammation of heart muscles, reduce the ability of the heart to contract, and cause blood vessel rupture.
Those who regularly use cocaine may be malnourished. Many people who use this substance neglect healthy eating habits while high, leading to gastrointestinal complications like ulcers.
The kidneys are also vulnerable to the damaging effects of cocaine use, which can ultimately result in renal failure in extreme circumstances. Other potentially lethal effects of cocaine usage are listed below:
- Decreased cognitive functioning
- Extremely high blood pressure
Using cocaine during pregnancy may also lead to harmful effects on the unborn child. This psychostimulant usually increases the heart rate and blood pressure. Fetal oxygen deprivation may happen because of decreased blood supply to the uterus.
Infants of cocaine-using mothers are at increased risk for congenital disabilities, central nervous system problems, and even death.
Nasal damage brought on by chronic cocaine abuse can result in recurrent bleeding, a perpetually stuffy nose, and even a loss of smell. Smoking crack cocaine can damage the air sacs in your lungs, resulting in “crack lung,” which can make breathing hard, lead to a high temperature, make you cough up blood, and even cause you to pass out.
Cocaine administered intravenously carries a higher risk of overdose and the danger of contracting infectious infections associated with needle drug use than any other route of administration. Injecting cocaine poses significant health concerns, including skin abscesses, infections, endocarditis, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis.
Cocaine Rehab Treatment
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that boosts the levels of the brain neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone in your brain that produces a sense of well-being. Eventually, your brain will become accustomed to the constant supply of extra dopamine, and you will feel depressed if you stop taking the drug. This can build a dependency on the drug and even a cocaine addiction.
Whether you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine dependency, you can trust that the dedicated staff at Icarus Behavioral Health will help every step of the way.
Levels of Care for Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Detoxification, behavioral therapy, and inpatient care are often used to treat cocaine addiction. Below is an overview of the most common levels of care in cocaine rehab:
Detoxification from cocaine under medical supervision is the first step toward recovery. It can happen in different rehab centers like inpatient and outpatient care institutions or hospitals.
Residential and Inpatient Treatment
These treatment plans entail the person in recovery living at the facility for the duration of treatment. Inpatient and residential treatment programs provide clients with the security of a medically supervised environment around the clock.
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)
Clients in a PHP have more independence than they would in an inpatient setting. Partial hospitalization programs may benefit clients who are highly motivated to recover or have already completed more intensive programs.
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)
Participants in intensive outpatient programs can receive treatment during the day and go home at night. Clients who have shown they can function adequately without close supervision will do well in such programs.
After finishing an inpatient or outpatient program, many people benefit from staying in a sober living environment called “transitional living,” where they can receive support from peers and professionals who can assist them in accessing medical care, gainful employment, and other resources as they reintegrate into society.
Therapies Used for Treating Cocaine Addiction
Because of the complexity and chronic nature of addiction or substance use disorders (SUDs), these conditions require individualized, patient-centered treatment plans that consider the whole person. Most cocaine treatment plans use different evidence-based methods to ensure effective treatment.
Detoxification is the first step in treating cocaine addiction and can last up to a week. Medical detox is the initial phase of every drug abuse treatment program, including those that focus on cocaine addiction. Clients can begin their rehabilitation process in a residential or outpatient facility after they have completed detox.
The length of time one stays in rehab is essential to treatment. Most programs for drug addiction treatment usually last 30 to 90 days. However, some patients’ requirements may require longer-term care.
While there are pharmaceutical options for treating addiction, behavioral therapy is the gold standard for dealing with cocaine misuse. To alleviate withdrawal symptoms, doctors may prescribe certain drugs.
Here are the top treatments for cocaine addiction or abuse, as ranked by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
Motivational interviewing aims to make the person in recovery see how their addiction affects their lives and those around them. This therapy approach gives patients who feel pessimistic about getting better reasons to continue with therapy.
Although stimulants are highly addictive because of their dominance over the brain’s reward system, normal functioning can be restored with the help of contingency management, which rewards positive behavior.
People in cocaine rehab programs can benefit greatly from this approach since they are rewarded for meeting attendance, medication compliance, and low drug toxicity.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT)
Recovering cocaine addicts undergoing CBT learn to recognize and avoid potential relapse triggers. CBT also enables clients to replace destructive thought patterns with more positive ones. This method of treating cocaine addiction is also beneficial for persons dealing with other co-occurring mental illness.
Cocaine addiction is a severe public health concern with far-reaching effects on the brain and the body. Cocaine abuse not only has an adverse impact on a person’s physical and social well-being but also carries the possibility of societal shame.
Addiction is not a moral failing or a sign of weakness. Instead, it is a complex medical illness that can be efficiently treated using the proper approach.
Community reinforcement emphasizes the patient’s demonstrated pro-health behaviors found through contingency management by cultivating a reassuring social network. Relationship therapy, career skills development, and extracurricular activities are all examples of community reinforcement tactics.
Treat Cocaine Addiction at Icarus in Nevada Now
Cocaine addiction is a challenging condition to beat alone. Luckily, the addiction professionals at Icarus can help you get your life back on track through our evidence-based treatment programs. We also offer treatment for co-occurring mental health issues or dual diagnosis to match your needs.
If you or someone you love is struggling with cocaine addiction, call us today for professional medical advice on choosing drug abuse treatment programs!