For people recovering from cocaine addiction at a drug rehab center, it is essential to understand the steps, processes, and benefits of receiving treatment at a private facility. The main goal of cocaine addiction treatment is to abstain from the drug, to prevent relapse, and to rehabilitate the person into a non-self-abusive state of mind. The process of detoxification begins when the user ceases to use the drug, and its effects have completely worn off. This is the part of treatment that is often carried out in a hospital or an inpatient setting. In these places, medication can be used to decrease the withdrawal symptoms. The detox process for cocaine however, is very difficult without proper assistance-such as an addiction specialist. The withdrawal symptoms can unfortunately last for days, which is why nursing professionals attempt to transition the user from an abuser, to a permanently sober individual who is once again a productive member of society.
The more challenging aspect of the treatment process is yet to come at this point though. The psychological addiction to cocaine can range from moderate to severe. For those more severely addicted, it is often the case that they have relapsed once or more times after undergoing therapy. These people may also suffer from severe mental illness and could need the higher level structure of guidance and monitoring in an inpatient drug treatment center.
After the drug treatment program, patients are urged to pursue sober-living houses or communities so that mentors and supporters can provide help and encouragement on a daily basis. After-care is also granted based on the client's needs. Support and understanding from family and friends is also extremely beneficent for recovery. Statistics show that including family and close friends in group therapy can help bring a new level of trust and help from those closest to the patients.
It is important to know prior to receiving treatment, that there are no FDA approved medications for long-term treatment of cocaine addiction-an unfortunate truth for those looking forward to "wean" the drug out of their system. As a result, the primary course of action is going "cold turkey;" or in other words, undergoing full withdrawal from drug use and detoxing thoroughly. Severe withdrawals and cravings mark the cleansing process in an efficient manner; also, the NDA consider the findings of alternative medications as something worth researching for; there are already several prototypes currently being tested. This includes a vaccine that will stop cocaine in the blood stream before it reaches the brain.
As cocaine continues to be one of the most abused substances in the United States, and an enforcer of unintentional drug-related deaths, it is imperative that the population gain knowledge on the beneficial effects of professional treatment for this affliction, as well as to support those around them who suffer from it.
To be clear, cocaine is a strong central nervous system stimulant composed of powdered hydrochloride. The stimulant increases levels of dopamine in the brain which is associated with pleasure. Cocaine also affects the production of dopamine in the brain by stalling it from recycling, thus causing an abnormal build up, amplifying the message to the brain. It is this common effect that is responsible for the sense of euphoria felt while taking it.
There are three ways of ingesting cocaine. Smoking it, shooting it, and snorting it. Snorting cocaine is the process in which the powder is inhaled into the nostrils and is absorbed into the blood stream. Although not as potent as shooting, or smoking the drug, snorting cocaine will bring on side effects for up to 30 to 35 minutes. When 'shooting' the drug, cocaine is injected directly into the blood stream with a needle. This practice can lead to especially severe health issues including greatly increasing the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Smoking cocaine involves inhaling smoke and vapor off of the burning substance, and is absorbed into the blood stream from the lungs. Both shooting and smoking this drug allows for it to absorb into the blood stream and reach the brain extremely quickly and more potently. Though this also means that the high is experienced for a shorter time.
Some of the effects of cocaine are increased energy, reduced fatigue and mental alertness. As mentioned above, the speed at which the cocaine is absorbed and the intensity of the dose will alter the strength of the side effects. This introduces the risk of addiction quickly. As the trip only lasts a short period of time, users will have to re-administer the drug to continue experiencing it. This leads to higher dosages, especially when used in succession many times. The amount of drug needed to reproduce the original effect must get larger and larger with every use. It is common for those suffering from cocaine addiction to go on binges and ingest the drug repeatedly during a short period time.
Cocaine also has several physiological side effects that include constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, increased body temperature, heart rate and increased blood pressure. It can cause headaches, abdominal pain and nausea. Also, because this drug reduces appetite chronic users can be known to be malnourished. To be considered is the fact that each method of ingesting the drug also has its own set of side effects. For example, snorting can lead to the loss of sense of smell, nose-bleeds, swallowing problems, hoarse voice, and chronically runny nose. The ingestion of the cocaine into the stomach can also cause severe bowel gangrene.
Prolonged use, and binge pattern cocaine abusers can become irritable, restless and extremely anxious. Even more severe is the heightened sense of paranoia. Sometimes users can fall into a temporary state of full-blown paranoid psychosis, in which people lose touch with reality and experience auditory, or hearing hallucinations.
Regardless to the method or quantity that cocaine is abused in, those addicted to cocaine are constantly at risk of a serious health emergency, including heart attack or stroke which can lead to death. These risks skyrocket when cocaine is paired with other substances. Research found that when cocaine was consumed with alcohol, the human liver took the two components and created a third, named cocaethylene. This new substance highly intensifies cocaine's euphoric effects and is associated with a substantially greater risk of sudden death than cocaine is alone.
No one deserves to suffer from cocaine addiction, though it continues to ruin many innocent lives. If you know someone who suffers from cocaine addiction or any other form of substance-abuse behavior, or if you yourself are looking for a safe and healthy recovery, then reach out to us. We can help. A Center for Addiction Recovery is a private addiction treatment center that provides long-term residential treatment, short-term outpatient treatment, as well as traditional and holistic therapies.