One of the greatest hazards to those who use cocaine is the intensity of the rush and the rapid drop off after using. If one thinks of addiction as a constant chase of the exhilaration of that initial dose, it makes sense that users become addicted to cocaine so quickly.
What kind of treatment works best with addiction to cocaine? one that includes a thorough detox and behavioral therapies for long-term recovery. Initially, the recommended detox period for cocaine is approximately 2 weeks. Because cocaine use can damage the heart, it is critical that you attend a supervised medical detox so you condition can be monitored fully. You may suffer from physical withdrawal symptoms, such as
- muscle twitching and some cramping
- extreme physical restlessness
- severe hunger and a strong physical need for the drug
While you’re struggling from physical agitation, you may suffer a severe drop in mental well-being. Depression, anxiety and a strong sense of hopelessness may overtake you.
Cocaine and the Brain
The impact of cocaine on your brain is extremely important as you work through detox. Cocaine bathes the brain in dopamine, or the “feel good” chemical. Two dangerous things happen at this point:
- your body stops producing its own dopamine, such as when you laugh or exercise
- your dopamine receptors start to shut down
The greatest risk for those who use cocaine long-term is that their ability to feel pleasure related to anything besides cocaine use simply disappears. You truly begin to need cocaine to have any semblance of joy or pleasure. The psychological addiction of cocaine plays out in other dangerous ways. If you once struggled with a lack of confidence, cocaine makes you feel good enough that everyone is your friend and you believe that you are worthy of that attention.
Without cocaine in your system, you may begin to feel worthless and isolated. Because your confidence was so closely tied to cocaine, your sense of worth may fail completely, leading to anxiety and even to depression. It takes time for your brain to come back into balance; it may take even longer for your own dopamine production to start back up again. During this dark time, it is critical that you undergo consistent and effective mental health treatment. Your counselors may develop a plan of
- cognitive behavioral therapy, allowing you to understand why you do what you do
- motivational therapy, to help you find reasons to strive forward in life besides cocaine
- reward therapy, to encourage your own dopamine production
Cocaine treatment is much more than just detox. Your brain needs time to heal. You may need to plan for
- detox, to shed the drug
- inpatient rehab, to allow your brain to return to some form of balance
- outpatient rehab, to enable you to see your value in the community
- ongoing mental health treatment
The work of overcoming cocaine addiction will take a great deal of focus and attention. Your efforts may at first feel robotic; without your own ability to produce dopamine and a percentage of your receptors shut down, it may be extremely difficult to take joy in your life. This is why drug rehab activities combined with mental health therapies are so very important. Joining with your family may be encouraged at this time as you work to reconnect with those who may have been cut out of your life in your drive for the drug. Beating cocaine addiction will also take a deal of physical healing.
Cocaine is incredibly hard on the body. Those who smoke crack may need therapies to heal their lungs or at least improve function. Snorting any drugs can lead to damage in the sinuses and of the throat. Finally, a full cardiac review will likely be necessary. Cocaine is highly addictive from the first use. If you are struggling with the decision of whether or not to enter detox and undergo rehab, make a list of what you have lost in your drive to get more cocaine. Then please call and schedule an appointment. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 855-334-6120.