Cocaine/Drug Addiction

There are many drugs which require a person to undergo what is called a "medical detox" because his/her body becomes dependent on that drug. Drugs such as opiates, benzodiazepines and alcohol cause physical addictions and a series of medications are typical used during the detoxification process. Cocaine detox works a little bit different because it is more of a mental addiction. This does not mean it is any easier to detox from cocaine, in fact many people think it is even harder to detox from a drug that is mentally addictive than one that is physically addictive. This is because the desire to use cocaine continues long after the drug has left the bloodstream. There are a lot of mental instabilities which may be noted in people coming down from cocaine and these symptoms can also be treated with specific medications.

Cocaine abuse puts a lot of stress on a person’s body in a number of ways and some severe physical consequences can ensure from prolonged use of the drug. Because cocaine is a stimulant, many people who abuse the drug go for long periods of time without sleeping. Severe sleep deprivation over long stretches can cause a number of physical problems such as chronic sleep disorders later in life. In addition, the body’s immune system is broken down quite a bit in a person not sleeping properly. Not only does a person who is depriving his/her body of sleep stand a much higher chance of contracting viruses and other illnesses due to a suppressed immune system but there is also the strain sleep deprivation puts on the human heart. This coupled with the fact that cocaine raises the heart rate significantly can be a deadly combination.

Improper nutrition and severe weight loss are other issues cocaine addicts face as the drug is an appetite suppressant. Many people who are actively addicted to cocaine go for days or even weeks without eating. This can lead to a number of vitamin deficiencies. The immune system and heart also suffer from a lack of proper nutrition and for this reason; cocaine addicts put their body and heart under a lot of stress when they use the drug for long periods of time. Skin sores and acne are also issues that cocaine addicts face. In addition, people who use cocaine tend to make poor decisions where sexual activity is concerned. This can lead many cocaine addicts to contract STD’s such as HIV or Gonorrhea.

Cocaine is derived from the coca plant (Erythroxylon coca) that is indigenous to South America.  Noted for its euphoric-inducing properties, cocaine is a stimulant that is sniffed, snorted, inhaled, smoked, injected, or chewed when in leaf form.  Charlie, White Horse, White Lady, Snow, and Chalk are but a few of the street names attributed to cocaine.

Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system, leaving the user craving the drug instead of food or liquid intake.  Cocaine disrupts the normal physiological process in which pleasure is experienced (e.g., through food, drink, or sexual activity) by interfering with the proteins that would otherwise transport dopamine, thus allowing dopamine to build up in synoptic responses that create the drug-induced sensation of euphoria.

Cocaine addicts often experience severe weight loss due to lack of appetite and adequate nutrition, nausea, manic episodes, cardiovascular irregularities, psychotic behavioral episodes, and collapse of the nasal septum among those that reportedly snort cocaine with long-term use.  Neglect of bodily hygiene and what appears as constant flu-like symptoms are often associated with cocaine abuse.

Unlike alcohol and many other drugs, the physical withdrawal symptoms from cocaine are often not experienced.  Most experts agree that withdrawal symptoms from cocaine are of a far more mental as opposed to physical nature.

The first sign of cocaine withdrawal is a heavy drained feeling or emptiness as all euphoric effects experienced while under the influence have left the brain.  Although the user may experience a headache or some other mild discomfort, the second sign of cocaine withdrawal is the intense craving for more.

Other withdrawal symptoms may include fatigue, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, and listlessness or apathy in the absence of a drug-induced euphoria.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms require professional care in a rehab treatment center because they are beyond the scope of what any non-addiction clinician or individual can successfully manage without endangering the life of the addict.

Our unique approach to recovery is dedicated to caring for you as a whole human being, not just a disease.  Long-term solutions require long-term treatment.  Our team of highly trained addiction specialists, clinicians, and therapists will monitor you safely, thoroughly, and bring you back to a new chapter in your addiction free life.