Cocaine withdrawal can be a very difficult psychological process to overcome. At Discovery Institute, we offer a medically assisted detox for cocaine designed with your comfort in mind.
10 Signs of Cocaine Use Disorder
Do you think someone you know is using cocaine? If so, it’s important to know more about the signs of cocaine use. Having this knowledge will give you the information you need in order to identify your loved one’s struggle. As a result, you can begin looking for options to help your friend or family member overcome addiction for good.
Drug Misuse in New Jersey
In 2017, drug overdoses claimed 70,237 lives in the United States. Of these deaths, over two-thirds (67.8%) were due to opioid overdose. It was the second year that drug overdoses killed over 60,000 people — in 2016, its death toll was 63,632.
In New Jersey alone, drug overdoses claimed at least 3,163 lives in 2018. It’s the fourth year that the drug death toll has risen in the state.
But opioids aren’t the only drugs that kill. Of all illicit drugs, cocaine is the second-leading cause of drug overdose deaths. So, it is certainly vital to know the signs of cocaine use, as it can help you save the life of a loved one you suspect uses it.
The bottom line is, cocaine is deadly, with cardiotoxicity only being one of its effects. In some cases, cocaine use can be easy to spot, as it leads to noticeable physical and mental changes in a person. But, there are also some less-than-noticeable or subtle signs of cocaine use.
If you think someone you know may be using this powerfully addictive drug, it’s important to act quickly. Be on the lookout for the following signs, as a family member or friend on this drug will exhibit many or all of them.
Aside from “coke”, cocaine has many street names, including “C”, “snow”, “blow”, and “powder”. That’s because, in street drug form, cocaine is white, and comes in a fine, crystalline powder.
If you hear your loved one use these terms when talking with others — especially people you don’t know — they may be buying or using cocaine.
Many cocaine users snort the drug in its powder form. As such, one way to tell if someone is sniffing coke is if you see white, powdery traces around their nose. A “runny nose” is also common among those who snort cocaine.
Prolonged “sniffing” of cocaine can also damage the very sensitive lining of the nose. As one snorts the crystalline powder, it can rupture the lining of the nasal passages. This is why nosebleeds are also common among those who use cocaine.
One of the main reasons behind cocaine addiction is its powerful “euphoric” effects. This “high” brings such an intense pleasure akin to what one feels after a huge accomplishment. This “rewarding” feeling is one of the things that drive people to get high on cocaine over and over again.
In cocaine users, euphoria can show as extreme excitement or exaggerated happiness. Those on the drug may also “believe” that they’re doing so great in life.
If you notice that your loved one is uncharacteristically excited fairly often, this may be a sign of drug use. This is especially the case if the individual has no true explanation for their excitability.
Since cocaine exaggerates one’s feelings of well-being, it can lead to increased confidence. Much like the effects of methamphetamine, cocaine can even make one feel dangerously overconfident.
This overconfidence can result in cocaine users misjudging their abilities and skills. They may believe that their abilities are much better than they actually are.
These cocaine symptoms can be deadly, especially if individuals are misjudging their abilities. For example, some people who are under the influence of drugs like cocaine may attempt to drive, believing that they are capable of properly doing so. It’s no wonder that fatal car accidents are second to drug overdoses when it comes to accidental deaths. Unfortunately, many of these accidents involved drivers under the influence of drugs.
As you can see, overdosing isn’t the only risk when it comes to using stimulant drugs, like cocaine. So, if you notice that a loved one is struggling with drug dependence, it’s important to make sure he or she gets help right away.
As cocaine stimulates the brain, it responds by releasing adrenaline and endorphins. The release of these hormones then dilates or widens the pupils. Sometimes, the pupils can become so large that it also causes light sensitivity. In cocaine users, even normal lighting conditions can already cause this sensitivity. That’s why they may choose to wear sunglasses, even indoors.
A recent study found that cocaine users don’t like social interaction. One reason is that the drug makes them feel that interacting with others isn’t rewarding.
Also, substance dependence tends to cause people to feel alone. This might come as a result of several things. In some cases, family members may misunderstand their loved one’s addiction, believing that the individual’s substance use is a choice. On the other hand, some family members or friends may try to help their struggling loved one. But, if they do not know exactly how to help, they may end up driving the suffering individual farther away.
Yet another reason why some people may isolate themselves while dealing with substance use is guilt. Many individuals feel guilty or ashamed because of their struggle with addiction.
As a result of these challenges, substance users may begin to withdraw from social settings. They may start to avoid being in the company of people they otherwise loved to hang out with. All these can lead to isolation, which is in fact, common in many other drug users.
Studies have found that “crack” cocaine leads to paranoia in up to 84% of users. It also found that almost half of crack users displayed violent behaviors.
When paranoia hits cocaine users, they may feel irrational fear for something unreal. They may think that people are “out to get” them. Sometimes, they may even feel they’re in danger. From here, delusions and hallucinations can occur.
Delusions can make people believe that they are another person. Hallucinations are perceptions of things that aren’t there. For example, hallucinating cocaine users may say bugs are crawling on their skin even if there aren’t any.
These delusions and hallucinations can be what drives them to commit violent actions. To outsiders, it may seem violent behavior, but to the users, it may be a form of “self-defense”. But they may be defending themselves from imagined dangers.
People who use crack cocaine feel the results almost right away. It can take up to 10 minutes before users who sniff the drug feel the effects of crack cocaine. But within 5 to 20 minutes of experiencing euphoria, the high goes away and may even cause discomfort.
This short-lived effect often drives people to want to get more of the drugs that they are using. This can explain why they often excuse themselves from family events. Some may even offer no explanation and just “disappear” several times a day.
Although cocaine use triggers the brain to produce endorphins, it also depletes serotonin. Serotonin is also a “happy” hormone that contributes to one’s feelings of well-being. Because cocaine depletes it so quickly, stopping its use can give rise to depression.
Perhaps your loved one is showing little to no interest in eating. This is not uncommon among those who struggle with substance misuse. Firstly, cocaine has appetite-suppressing qualities, making individuals less interested in eating food. Also, people who suffer from drug dependence often experience a decrease in self-care. They may not feel much like eating as drugs tend to take priority in their lives.
As a result of appetite loss, individuals who suffer from cocaine dependence often show signs of weight loss. This change in weight can occur fairly quickly. So, if you have noticed that someone you know is losing weight somewhat rapidly, check for the other signs of cocaine use. If you see any of them in addition to weight loss, it’s possible that your loved one is dealing with a cocaine use disorder.
One drug that has found its way into the homes and lives of many unsuspecting individuals is cocaine. This particular substance is one of the most well-known illicit drugs out there. And, unfortunately, it’s a commonly used substance that has broken many individuals and families alike.
Although cocaine detox is not listed on the top of the list for most dangerous drugs to detox from, it is still an aggressive mentally addictive substance that requires detox before treatment can commence. Instead of a physical dependence which comes with prolonged usage of opiates, alcohol, or benzos, cocaine is known for being mentally addictive.
This means that detoxing from cocaine poses more emotional and mental withdrawal symptoms than the typical physical symptoms associated with drug detox. Although it may seem that mental symptoms may be much easier to deal with than physical symptoms, they can actually be far more challenging for some individuals.
These symptoms can take many months or even years to subside. Medical detox allows for professional guidance and medication management of the short and long term effects of cocaine, including the mental withdrawal symptoms, so that individuals have a better chance of obtaining successful long-term recovery.
So, those who are suffering from the effects of cocaine use, dependence, and addiction can overcome these issues with the help of a professional detox for cocaine addiction.
About Cocaine Addiction and Its Effects
Cocaine is an illicit drug taken from extracts of the cocoa plant, which is native to South American countries. Cocaine has been illegal in the United States since the early 1900s. But behind only marijuana, it is the second most commonly used illegal drug in the country for recreational reasons.
This illegal drug is sold on the streets. It’s found in the form of a white, powdery substance and is most often snorted through the nostrils or smoked. In the 1980s, it was discovered that the euphoric and awakening properties of cocaine could be expanded by turning the drug into what’s known as crack-cocaine.
Although cocaine is often combined with other dangerous drugs or chemicals by drug dealers on the streets, crack is known for its even more dangerous chemical composure and effects.
Crack is sold in a crystalline form and is most commonly smoked through a pipe. Whether an individual is using cocaine in its powder or crystalline form, the chemical makeup cocaine is highly addictive. Individuals who use this substance are at risk for serious short and long term effects of cocaine.
Cocaine use and addiction lead to numerous biological and psychological consequences. So, it’s important for people who are struggling to reach out for help. A detox program for cocaine addiction can help people to gain and maintain freedom from substance dependence in their lives.
Cocaine Addiction and the Brain
Cocaine affects the brain differently than other drugs. Using this substance can lead to some highly debilitating mental withdrawal symptoms seem throughout detox.
Dopamine is a naturally produced chemical in our bodies and is known as a neurotransmitter. It’s released by nerve cells in the brain so that it can communicate with other nerves. The purpose of dopamine is to reward behaviors.
For example, when a person eats food when hungry or even buys a new outfit at the store, the body is rewarded by a surge of dopamine. You could think of dopamine as the “feel good” chemical in the body.
The problem with cocaine is that it throws off the reward system of the body’s naturally occurring dopamine release. When a person uses cocaine, the drug binds or clings to the dopamine transporter. This causes a sort of dopamine buildup to occur.
Eventually, the brain recognizes this buildup of dopamine transmissions caused by cocaine use. (This is why people experience euphoria, an extreme feeling of happiness or heightened mood.)
The body responds to this buildup, compromising by reducing the number of dopamine receptors in the brain. This causes individuals who use cocaine to have fewer dopamine rewards for naturally occurring dopamine responses. As a result, users tend to use more cocaine to experience a lift in mood.
The Short and Long Term Effects of Cocaine Use
When people use cocaine, they usually experience short-term effects, which occur during and shortly after use. These effects may include:
- Dilated pupils
- Appetite loss
- Paranoid thinking
- Heightened anxiety
- High blood pressure
- Increase in heart rate
- Higher body temperature
- Moodiness (irritability, restlessness, etc.)
- Abnormal behavior (i.e. violent or erratic behavior)
Unfortunately, cocaine is an addictive drug and, after using this drug for a while, many individuals become highly dependent on it. As a result, people become involved in long-term use of this drug, using it consistently for months and even years.
Some of the long-term effects of cocaine use might be:
- Breathing problems
- Decayed bowels (from oral intake)
- Continuous runny nose (from snorting)
- Malnourishment (because of appetite loss)
- Chronic nervous system ailments (Parkinson’s disease, etc.)
- Psychotic episodes (hallucinations, paranoia, visions, etc.)
- HIV or other diseases spread through blood (if injected with a needle)
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms of long-term use or you have noticed other signs of cocaine use in your life, treatment can help educate you on how to live a life free from addiction.
Our compassionate counselors are standing by to answer any questions you may have. After helping thousands of people over the last 50 years, we have the resources to help you and your family and all your individual needs.
The Benefits of Detox
The need to receive detox will be detailed further below. However, right now we are going to be discussing some of the benefits of receiving a medical detox, rather than why it is necessary. This is in order to rid some of the stigma surrounding detox since many fear the withdrawal effects, there are many very beneficial aspects as well.
First, recovery was never meant to be done alone. At detox, you will develop bonds with people going through the exact same thing as you. Afterward, in treatment, many people find these bonds hold them accountable for sticking with treatment. Consider getting group therapy as well, since it is important to have a community that understands what you go through. In these sessions, you are able to share your experiences, fears, mistakes, and more in a safe environment.
Second, is the medical focus you will receive. Medical focus means that you may have soothing remedies, treatment, and attention when the withdrawal effects seem to be too much. We at the Discovery Institute want to emphasize that someone will be able to give you the respect, focus, and treatment you deserve at all hours. This will soothe any anxieties you have that the withdrawal effects will be too harmful to your recovery journey.
Finally, it is the first step of treatment. Once you have completed this step, you have taken your first step on the journey of recovery. This journey is not easy, but oftentimes all that you need to do is take that first step in cocaine detox.
Cocaine Statistics in New Jersey
Below we will be discussing some of the statistics of cocaine detox in New Jersey. Much of this may not be very uplifting, however, the purpose is two-fold. Seeing these numbers should encourage you to get treatment, and remind you that you are not alone.
Cocaine use was the primary drug that caused roughly 5% of all admissions. The counties which experience the most admissions are as follows (from greatest to least): Essex, Camden, Ocean, Monmouth, and Atlantic. The age group which had (by far) the most admissions for cocaine use was 25-59, followed by 18-24, and finally 60 and over.
Of all total drug admissions, 64% of the patients had a mental illness and were diagnosed as having a co-occurring disorder. Mental health problems was also 24% of the significant problems people had, followed by 16% being criminal activity. Finally, of those who needed treatment, the percentage of unmet need over all of New Jersey’s counties was roughly 40% of the roughly 90,000 people logged for needing substance use treatment.
Let that sink in. almost half of all people in New Jersey who need treatment do not receive it. That does not have to be you, you have the opportunity to get the help you need from cocaine detox. We at the Discovery Institute want you to be informed about why you need medical detox, as opposed to a normal one. See more information below.
Cocaine Detox with Discovery Institute
Before treatment can be effective, the drug must be removed from the body through cocaine detox. It’s important to avoid trying to detox from cocaine use without professional guidance. Not only can it make the detox process extremely uncomfortable, but it can also lead to many problems concerning withdrawal.
A medical cocaine detox program can help people who are seeking treatment for cocaine dependence. With medical guidance, medications, and safety precautions, people can go through the withdrawal process in a comfortable setting under the supervision of those who understand the process.
Since the psychological symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are so severe and long-lasting, medical detox gives individuals access to a number of non-habit forming treatments that ease cravings, restlessness, agitation, sleeplessness, and depression.
After detox is concluded, individuals can benefit from a number of educational and therapeutic treatments through both residential or outpatient programs, depending on their needs.
Here at Discovery Institute, we believe that recovery from cocaine addiction is absolutely possible! All it takes is a phone call, so please contact us today to learn more about our services.
Getting Help for a Loved One Showing Signs of Cocaine Use in New Jersey
Cocaine misuse is a serious matter. Those who suffer from addiction can experience some very severe physical health complications. Some may even develop mental illnesses as a result of substance misuse.
This should be enough for you to encourage your loved one to get help as soon as you notice signs of cocaine use in them. Do what you can to make them realize they need help before this drug leaves you with no one to help. You may need to stage an intervention in order to encourage the individual to get treatment.
Need help discussing cocaine recovery and treatment in New Jersey with a loved one? Then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We can help a family member or friend you suspect to be using cocaine before the addiction worsens.
If addiction is present in the life of someone you love, it’s time to reach out for help. Here at Discovery Institute, we offer treatment programs that can help you and your family to overcome the effects of addiction. Despite what the situation might look like, there is hope for your friend or family member. Just call us today to find out how we can help!