Cocaine is most commonly insufflated, smoked or injected. Cocaine produces a euphoric effect that typically lasts 15-30 minutes. Continued use results but become less intense after each use unless the amount used in increased. The pleasurable effects diminish after a short amount of time and the user has to increase the dosage or use a more powerful route of administration such as through injection.
Over time or sometimes very quickly, this has severely damaging effects on the body. These effects can include heart attack and stroke which are sometimes fatal. The psychological and social effects ranging from mood swings, relationship loss and discord, family issues, financial and job difficulty and arrest.
Cocaine addiction is characterized by continued use of cocaine despite negative consequences and a desire to stop but an inability to do so. The repeated use of cocaine often leads to dependence.
Typically, addicts build a tolerance to cocaine requiring an increase in consumption to experience euphoria. Psychological dependence develops causing the user to become obsessed with obtaining and using cocaine. Because of the profound psychological dependence, cocaine addiction is extremely difficult to treat alone.
The euphoric high of cocaine is short-lived but cocaine withdrawal symptoms can last much longer. The body begins to compensate by blocking pleasure centers in the brain which leads to feelings of depression and hopelessness. Addicts often feel they either have to use cocaine or experience an emotional breakdown.
Relapse is common as addicts continue use to avoid the painful physical and emotional consequences of cocaine withdrawal.
The recommended first step in cocaine addiction treatment is detox. Detox is the medically supervised cleansing of the drug’s physical effects on the body. The cocaine detox process can be assisted with medication if needed to assist with depression and anxiety.
Beyond physical detox, addicts often need to work on psychological issues that may have led them to becoming addicts and helped to maintain the addictive lifestyle. There may be early childhood issues, trauma, poor coping skills or underlying depression or anxiety that may have sustained the addiction. Detox is only the first step in recovery. The addict will need assistance in creating a long term sober gratifying lifestyle.
The components of cocaine addiction treatment typically include inpatient drug rehab, out-patient therapy, sober living facilities and a strong foundation in a 12-step program. Some people even prefer to use the services of a sober companion. Stopping dependence on cocaine involves the interruption of the behavior and cognitive distortions that have allowed the disease of addiction to continue and progress.
A safe and supportive environment is necessary where addicts can adhere to a treatment plan that challenges the denial and ambivalence that contribute so much to addiction. Breaking through the denial about having a problem or the severity of the problem is a critical function of cocaine drug rehab.
There are different types of treatment and different levels of care offered for cocaine addiction treatment. It has been found that the most effective treatments include, abstention from all drugs and alcohol, regular therapy sessions, psychoeducaton groups about addiction and an introduction to a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous. Some people even prefer the services of a sober companion. Creating a structured daily routine is vital to recovery. Daily structure demonstrates to the individual in recovery that they have many other options and coping skills other than abusing cocaine.
It has been said that addiction is like a mushroom, it grows best in the dark. Checking into rehab for cocaine addiction or entering similar treatment for the addiction can be life saving because the cycle of cocaine addiction and withdrawal lead to more use and irrational decisions. Remaining in treatment while being held accountable often helps addicts feel less alone or unique with their problem and they are able to get the support without the isolation that addiction demands.