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Cocaine Detox

Cocaine Addiction

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 cocaine detoxeasier 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 abuse, dependence, and addiction can overcome these issues with the help of a professional detox for cocaine abuse and 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 abuse 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 abuse 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:

  • Euphoria
  • 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:

  • Nosebleeds 
  • 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 abuse in your life, treatment can help educate you on how to live a life free from addiction.

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. Call us at (844) 478-6563.

References:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-are-short-term-effects-cocaine-use 

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/how-does-cocaine-produce-its-effects 

Article Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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