Cocaine Addiction Rehab
Cocaine is a highly addictive illegal drug that can be very difficult to quit without attending a professional treatment program. Addiction research shows that cocaine causes surges in dopamine that begin to drain the brain’s natural supply of this important chemical. This process is what fuels the cycle that keeps people using cocaine. Without help, cocaine addiction only gets worse — and can be deadly. According to the CDC, last year saw a 26.5% increase in cocaine overdose deaths. If you or a loved one is abusing cocaine, it’s a serious and dangerous problem. Learn about the signs of cocaine abuse and what cocaine addiction treatment is like.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction side effects can be physical or behavioral. Because the drug is so addictive, it can quickly become your sole focus. Your family, job, finances, and health suffer the consequences.
Common signs of an addiction to cocaine include:
- Financial issues
- Work or school challenges
- Feelings of guilt after using cocaine
- Inability to cut back or quit cocaine
- Obsessive thoughts about cocaine
- Increase in cocaine use
- Paranoid thinking
- Memory loss, confusion, and other cognitive issues
- Rapid speech
- Uncharacteristic risk taking
- Criminal activity
- Poor judgment and decision making
- Mood fluctuations
- Anger and irritability
- Frequent nose bleeds
Effects of Cocaine Abuse
- Increase in energy
- Increase or decrease in mental alertness
- Decrease in appetite
- Decrease in sleep
- Blood vessel constriction
- Raised blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Heart irregularities
- Dilated pupils
- Increased body temperature
- Muscle twitches
- Balance issues
- Panic attacks
- Cardiovascular problems
- Erratic behavior
- Hallucinations (audio and visual)
- Cocaine overdose
- HIV and other infectious diseases from injecting with dirty needles.
How Do You Treat Cocaine Addiction?
Cocaine users are affected psychologically, emotionally, and physically by continued use of the drug. Cocaine addiction treatment must address all of these issues. The first step in cocaine recovery is eliminating the substance from your body and starting to correct chemical imbalances from the drug. Following medically assisted detox, inpatient or outpatient treatment helps you explore triggers and learn healthy coping skills.
Cocaine withdrawal symptoms aren’t as severe as alcohol or heroin, but it should never be attempted without medical help. Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, and you may experience intense cocaine cravings, making it difficult to refrain from using. Some addiction treatment centers use propranolol, which can reduce cocaine cravings. It’s a beta-blocker medication designed for angina which has shown results in helping anxiety and stress.
If you’re abusing more than one substance, such as cocaine and alcohol, detox will be much more complex and dangerous. It’s imperative you undergo detox and withdrawal in a medical facility or addiction treatment center.
Cocaine has a “dormant” quality that can stay in the physical system for months, even years. It is imperative that following detox, you work on the psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual challenges behind drug use. This helps you refrain from using cocaine when you have cravings for it.
Treatment for cocaine addiction usually involves a combination of individual therapy and group therapy. Many drug and alcohol rehab centers use addiction treatment approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). These therapeutic modalities help you:
- Identify triggers and unhealthy thought patterns.
- Learn how to change thoughts and behaviors that fuel substance abuse.
- Find your own motivation for change and set goals.
- Develop healthy coping skills.
- Co-occurring mental health disorders
- Trauma and PTSD
- Dysfunctional family dynamics
- Grief and loss
- Low self-esteem
- Poor coping skills
Relapse Prevention Training
An important part of alcohol and drug addiction treatment is relapse-prevention training. Cocaine has occupied a large part of your life. You must find activities to fill the space left by drugs and learn healthy ways to cope with triggers. Preventing relapse means following a continuing care plan and putting into practice what you learned in drug rehab. Common relapse-prevention practices include: An important part of alcohol and drug addiction treatment is relapse-prevention training. Cocaine has occupied a large part of your life. You must find activities to fill the space left by drugs and learn healthy ways to cope with triggers. Preventing relapse means following a continuing care plan and putting into practice what you learned in drug rehab. Common relapse-prevention practices include:
- Attending individual therapy and/or group therapy
- Participating in 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
- Having a sponsor
- Regular exercise
- Taking psychiatric medications as prescribed
- Healthy hobbies
- Involvement in treatment center alumni groups
- Building a sober network of peers
- Participating in recovery coaching
- Staying in a sober living residence if your home environment is not healthy
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
About half of people with addictions also have at least one mental illness diagnosis according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This is called a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. People with mental health disorders may be using drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate their psychiatric symptoms. For instance, a depressed person may use cocaine to make them feel more “up,” or an anxious person may drink alcohol to calm their nerves. In reality, abusing drugs and alcohol only make these problems worse.
Effective treatment of cocaine abuse will include a psychiatric evaluation. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or other conditions, a psychiatrist may prescribe medications to help you manage those symptoms. When your mental health symptoms are better controlled, you may feel less of a pull to use drugs and alcohol to self-soothe difficult feelings.