Cocaine addiction and drug abuse can be devastating; they can cause you to feel lost, helpless, and out of control. Acknowledging the problem takes a lot of strength, so well done for getting this far. Once you have admitted that you need help, you can begin the recovery journey and tackle your substance addiction.
While cocaine is not the most physically challenging drug to get off, it can be challenging psychologically. Some psychological symptoms can be severe, making it essential to undergo detox and cocaine withdrawal under medical guidance. Detox can be completed at an inpatient treatment facility or at an outpatient treatment center, where medical professionals can guide you through overcoming drug use.
In addition to seeking treatment, healthy lifestyle choices, behavioral therapy, and community-based recovery groups are all recommended for those recovering from substance abuse.
Addiction treatment can help you to combat substance abuse and pave the way for a healthy, fulfilled life free from the ties of cocaine dependence.
What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is an illicit stimulant drug that works by increasing activity in the central nervous system, which causes users to feel alert, highly energized, and experience euphoric sensations. The feelings of happiness and pleasure that arise upon using cocaine are due to the release of dopamine, which is triggered into production when cocaine is taken. These feelings contribute to cocaine’s addictive qualities.
Although many cocaine users use cocaine in its white, powdery form by snorting it or rubbing it on their gums, some people who participate in cocaine drug abuse use crack cocaine or crack, as it is otherwise known. Crack cocaine is rock-like in appearance and is generally administered by intravenous injection or via smoking it.
What Are the Effects of Cocaine Addiction and Abuse?
Cocaine is a fast-acting drug, meaning it gets to work quickly after entering your system. Usually, a cocaine high peaks after 15 to 30 minutes, while a crack cocaine high typically peaks after two to five minutes.
The duration and intensity of the high depend on several factors, such as the way it is administered, the purity of the substance, whether it is taken alongside other drugs, and the amount consumed.
Cocaine addiction can severely affect both the body and the brain. For example, cocaine elevates blood pressure and damages the cardiovascular system, putting a significant strain on the heart. As a result, cocaine addiction can put users at an increased risk of cardiac arrest, seizures, and stroke.
In addition to the physical effects of cocaine use, some mental health issues linked to cocaine abuse include:
What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms?
When it comes to getting off cocaine, medical detox is needed. However, cocaine impacts the reward system in the brain, making it harder for some people to quit the drug altogether.
When detoxing from cocaine, withdrawal symptoms will arise as the body tries to readjust to functioning without the drug. Some cocaine withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable. Sadly, this is why many people will binge cocaine or continue using to avoid withdrawal. However, this is dangerous and can lead to a cocaine overdose.
Upon commencing a medical detox, withdrawal symptoms tend to be physical and psychological. Some of the psychological withdrawal symptoms include:
- Unpleasant dreams or nightmares
- Suicidal thoughts
Although these withdrawal symptoms are commonly experienced, the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms depend on various factors, including:
- The amount of cocaine taken
- The duration of cocaine abuse
- Polysubstance dependence
- Your mental health
- Your physical health
What Is the Cocaine Withdrawal Process?
To cease your physical cocaine dependency and start treatment, you will, as touched on above, need to go through cocaine detox. Detox involves ridding the body of toxic substances that accompany drug abuse.
Cocaine detox can be completed as part of an outpatient program at an outpatient treatment center or via an inpatient treatment center where round-the-clock care and medical supervision are available.
Although it is possible for some people to detox via an outpatient center or at home under medical guidance, inpatient rehab centers are usually recommended. This is because treatment is available at all times at an inpatient treatment facility.
Inpatient detox is recommended if you:
- suffer from co-occurring mental illnesses.
- have attempted withdrawal previously but failed.
- are suffering from severe cocaine addiction.
- are experiencing severe depression or intense cocaine withdrawal symptoms.
If you are worried about the detox process, plenty of support is available. Contacting a treatment center, such as our own, will ensure that you have the information and treatment you need to get off of cocaine.
The Withdrawal Timeline
Cocaine withdrawal symptoms generally ease after around seven to 10 days, but cocaine cravings can continue for a while after this.
The half-life of cocaine is relatively short, meaning that cocaine withdrawal symptoms can develop in as little as 90 minutes after the final dose. The withdrawal process can generally be broken down as follows:
- One to three hours after last using cocaine will see symptoms such as irritability, exhaustion, anxiety, and an increased appetite arise.
- Intense cocaine cravings often surface during the first week of cocaine withdrawal, as does insomnia, fatigue, vivid nightmares, anxiety, and depression.
- Cocaine withdrawal symptoms often persist into the fourth week of cocaine withdrawal. During this time, you may feel emotionally unstable, agitated, and lack concentration.
- Although anxiety and cravings may persist, cocaine withdrawal symptoms start to decrease five to 10 weeks after withdrawal starts.
What Addiction Treatment Options Are Available?
At present, there aren’t any Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications to treat cocaine withdrawal specifically. However, promising medications point toward the possibility of pharmacological treatment. In addition, certain anxiety medications exist, as do medications that block the pleasure response, which can help ease the withdrawal process.
With regards to treatment options for cocaine addiction, upon completing detox, you may be offered a range of treatments such as therapy and support groups. However, these treatments depend on whether you attend an inpatient or outpatient rehab. Should you attend our rehab for treatment, we will offer you a personalized treatment program that is individually tailored to your needs, ensuring that your physical and mental health requirements are taken into account.
Intense cravings make cocaine a hard drug to quit, especially as they can reappear a month after quitting. However, we can help you learn how to handle these as best possible and beat your cocaine use for good.
Treatment facilities, such as our own, generally offer therapy sessions, support groups (such as Narcotics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous), and behavioral therapy. Rehab also includes education surrounding relapse prevention and planning for aftercare.
Meanwhile, long-term cocaine addiction treatment focuses on emotional support to continue tackling the psychological addiction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is recommended for cocaine addiction recovery.
If you have developed an addiction to cocaine, getting off the drug may feel like an impossible task. But with our help, overcoming an addiction is entirely achievable. The process can be intense, but luckily the withdrawal timeline is relatively short for most people.
However, to make a long-term recovery, a medically supervised detox is in your best interest. Likewise, treatment options such as inpatient or outpatient detox followed by rehab treatment programs will help you tackle your cocaine use and treat cocaine addiction safely and with guidance.
To find out more about our addiction treatment, please get in touch with us today. In doing so, our medical professionals can explain our addiction treatment, what a medical detox involves, and discuss our rehab facilities with you. We can also offer any mental health support that you may need.