Cocaine Addiction and Abuse

Cocaine is a stimulant that produces effects of euphoria and alertness similar to caffeine. Cocaine is addictive and expensive, earning its status as the “rich man’s drug.”

Understanding Cocaine

Cocaine is a white, powdery substance that reacts with the body’s central nervous system, producing energy and euphoria. Common methods of using cocaine are snorting, smoking (freebasing), or injected. Other names for cocaine are coke, blow, or powder.

Cocaine Effects and Abuse

Any use of cocaine is considered abuse because it is an illegal substance. Cocaine increases levels of happiness-inducing chemicals that are naturally produced by the brain, which is why people feel euphoric when they use it.

Other effects of using cocaine include:

  • Talkativeness
  • Excitement
  • Alertness
  • Anxiety
  • Overconfidence

How people use cocaine alters the potency and duration of the effects. The effects of snorting are short-lived, lasting approximately 30 minutes. Smoking or injecting cocaine is more intense but lasts for an even shorter period, about 5 to 10 minutes. Most cocaine users will dose frequently in order to maintain the desired effects. Injecting the drug poses a higher risk of overdose than snorting.

If you or someone you know is abusing cocaine, get help now.

Addiction to Cocaine

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug, but it may be hard to recognize an addiction to it. Craving cocaine and ignoring the consequences that come with it are signs of an addiction.

The psychological addiction is often the hardest part to overcome, although there are undeniable physical symptoms of addiction as well. Someone who uses cocaine frequently will develop a dependence on it. The dependence on the drug leads to tolerance and addiction.

Questions about treatment?

Call now to be connected with a compassionate treatment specialist.

Cocaine and Other Drugs

Many people who experiment with cocaine usually do so in environments where other substances are being used. In this setting, many people are poly-drug users. Poly-drug use is dangerous and increases the potential of fatal overdose.

Cocaine and alcohol are frequently used together, to the point where alcohol can be a trigger for recovering cocaine users. For this reason, it is important to abstain from all drugs during recovery.

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Treating a Cocaine Addiction

An addiction to cocaine can be hard to beat. However, help and resources are available for people who are ready to take their life back. Learn more about treatment and recovery for cocaine addiction now.

Signs of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is a highly addictive substance. What starts off as seemingly harmless experimentation can quickly develop into a potentially life-threatening addiction. Common signs of cocaine use include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Long periods of wakefulness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overconfidence
  • Over-excitement
  • Paranoia
  • Runny nose or frequent sniffles
  • White powder around nostrils

Dangers of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is a dangerous in part because of its highly addictive potential, but it also poses serious risks on a person’s overall health. There are both short- and long-term dangers associated with cocaine use. Cocaine abuse constricts blood vessels, which causes an increase in unhealthy blood pressure. Snorting cocaine can also cause serious damage to the nasal cavity and septum.

The effects of cocaine are felt relatively quickly and are short-lived compared to other substances, roughly 30 minutes. Taken in smaller doses, cocaine produces effects of happiness, sociability, concentration, and a decreased need for sleep.

However, larger amounts of cocaine are particularly dangerous. Large doses can cause violent behavior, nosebleeds, heart attacks, strokes, and even death. Common side effects of cocaine use include:

  • Aggression
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Panic attacks
  • Slowed thinking
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
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The long-term side effects depends on the frequency and amount of cocaine used for an extended period of time. Over time, cocaine abuse can affect the brain, lungs, heart, kidneys, and gastrointestinal system. Continued abuse of cocaine can also lead to harmful behavioral and physiological side effects.

Questions about treatment?

Call now to be connected with a compassionate treatment specialist.

Recognizing a Cocaine Addiction

While abuse often leads to addiction, they are not the same. Cocaine abuse often causes immediate negative consequences, but some people who abuse cocaine are capable of quitting on their own. Cocaine addiction is more complex.

Cocaine use disorders are measured on a spectrum ranging from mild to severe. The criteria are based on the negative impact that cocaine has on the user’s life.

Withdrawal from Cocaine, Treatment, and Next Steps

Cocaine use releases excess amount biochemicals in the brain. After a cocaine binge, the brain isn’t able to produce natural amounts of the chemicals on its own. This is why those who are addicted need the drug to simply feel normal.

Cocaine withdrawal doesn’t typically produce physical symptoms, but psychological symptoms can range from depression to fatigue.

Giving up cocaine doesn’t require medical detoxification and is generally not life-threatening. However, finding treatment, whether it be rehabilitation, therapy, or a 12-Step program, can increase the chances of successfully quitting. Treatments help people cope with withdrawal, cravings, and reestablishing a drug-free life. Find treatment for a cocaine addiction now.

Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal

Cocaine’s euphoric rush fades quickly, meaning withdrawal symptoms follow shortly after the last dose. Many cocaine users binge in order to delay the withdrawal symptoms. Cocaine binging can lead to fatal overdose.

Common symptoms of withdrawal from cocaine include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Restless behavior
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Questions about treatment?

Call now to be connected with a compassionate treatment specialist.

Duration of Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms start within hours of stopping use. However, the worst cravings and withdrawal symptoms appear during the first month. The intensity of withdrawal symptoms depends on the amount taken and the frequency of use.

Withdrawal symptoms can last for months after the last dose. Some symptoms can be uncomfortable, making it difficult drug to quit. Severe depression and suicidal thoughts are the most dangerous side effects of quitting cocaine “cold turkey.”

Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

First 1-3 hours Symptoms emerge as soon as usage stops. Users start to feel irritable, anxious, exhausted and have an increased appetite. Cocaine cravings actually decrease during this period.
Week 1 Intense cocaine cravings arise. Users feel exhausted but have trouble falling asleep. Vivid, unpleasant dreams are common, as well as depressive mood swings.
Weeks 2-4 Depression and strong cocaine cravings continue. Recovering users might find it hard to concentrate or stay on an “even keel” emotionally. Irritability and agitation are also common.
Weeks 5-10 The mind and body begin to heal, and withdrawal symptoms diminish. Cocaine cravings can still crop up during this period. General anxiety and uneasiness sometimes return as well.

Cocaine Detox

Supervised detoxification can provide a safe environment for cocaine addicts to get sober; however, all treatment programs require work and dedication.

“The biggest thing to remember is when you start treatment or when you’re trying to get sober, it’s uncomfortable — and that’s the point. You have to be uncomfortable, because you’re trying to change things. Once that uncomfortable feeling starts to become comfortable, that’ll be your new normal; sobriety will be your new normal.” – Donnie L., in recovery from cocaine addiction

Quitting cocaine, however, may not require full-time medical attention. Outpatient detoxification is a less time-consuming, effective rehabilitation option for many recovering cocaine users. Patients visit a hospital or treatment center 10-12 hours a week. On-site doctors and counselors perform physical and mental check-ups during addiction recovery.

Learn the differences between inpatient and outpatient rehab today.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

The most difficult withdrawal symptoms to overcoming cocaine addiction are anxiety, depression and cravings. Many treatment options are available to help with conquering a cocaine addiction. Some options are:

  • 12-Step groups like Narcotics Anonymous
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Individual and Group counseling

Cocaine addiction is difficult to overcome, but help is available. Contact us now to begin a cocaine detox or other forms of treatment.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Making the decision to find treatment for cocaine addiction is the first step toward recovery. It’s also the most important step.

Treatment for a cocaine addiction often includes behavioral therapy and inpatient rehabilitation. These methods greatly increase the chance of a successful recovery.

If you or someone you love has a cocaine addiction, contact us for help today.

Treatment Centers for Cocaine Addiction

There are thousands of treatment centers in the country, but not all of them are right for everyone. Those looking for help need to find a center that specifically offers treatment for cocaine addiction. It is important that this center is also able to treat other drugs being used and co-occurring mental conditions. Some of the most well-known treatment centers for cocaine addiction include:

Call us now to find a treatment center that’s right for you.

Inpatient Rehabilitation for Cocaine Addiction

Inpatient treatment is one of the best ways to take control of a cocaine addiction. These rehab programs provide an environment where people trying to get clean won’t be tempted to use cocaine. Most rehabilitation treatment lasts 30 to 90 days but can be longer depending on the individual’s needs. Typical rehabilitation programs include: mental health counseling, support groups, and 12-Step or alternative programs.

Inpatient rehab is also a safe environment for supervising cocaine detox and treating withdrawal symptoms.

Questions about treatment?

Call now to be connected with a compassionate treatment specialist.

Support Groups

Once a recovering cocaine user is clean, it’s important to have a support system in place. Actively participating in support groups is one of the best ways to prevent a relapse. Participants are able to connect recovering addicts with others who have been through the same thing.

There are several support groups specifically for those with a cocaine addiction. Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous are the most well-known. These are 12-step programs that provide addicts with the opportunity to receive help from former cocaine addicts who can best understand how hard the road to recovery can be.

Ongoing Recovery

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a popular counseling framework used to treat addicted people. Cognitive Behavioral therapists teach patients to recognize untrue negative feelings about themselves for what they are: false, intrusive thoughts to dismiss from their minds. This type of therapy provides a sense of accountability that is essential to maintaining the motivation needed to reach recovery.

Take Control of Your Life

There are endless benefits to overcoming a cocaine addiction. Recovery is about finding yourself again and no longer being dependent on a powerfully addictive, and expensive, substance.

Take your life back by getting treatment today.