outpatient alcohol treatment
Southeast Addiction’s individualized treatment plan offers a comprehensive look at cocaine addiction and dependence, along with other commonly abused substances. Our staff has the experience, training, and compassionate perspective required to assist those who are stuck in a cycle of abuse and dependence. We offer a range of treatment options depending on your time available and what would suit your own personal needs best.
Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Usage
Cocaine is notoriously one of the most highly addictive street drugs on the market. While synthetic opioids such as heroin and fentanyl have received a great deal of attention due to the opioid epidemic the country has been facing for the past 30 years, cocaine has always been a near constant source of turmoil as well.
Cocaine can be referred to as blow, snow, coke, rock, etc. It is administered by either snorting it nasally or injecting it intravenously. Like many drugs, there are warning signs for those who are using cocaine on a consistent basis. Signs may range from physical to emotional to behavioral or simply all three simultaneously.
Physical signs of cocaine usage include but are not limited to:
- Tremors or muscle spasms
- Persistent runny nose
- Irregular heartbeat
- Sudden weight loss
Cocaine use can be most easily inferred from the behavioral changes that are a result of sustained cocaine use. Keeping razor blades, spoons, small plastic bags are just small tell-tale signs of the persistent need to have access to cocaine.
A typical cocaine high lasts only 15-30 minutes, making the cycle of abuse for this drug incredibly short. Tolerance can quickly climb and so the items listed above will be found on or near many people who use cocaine frequently.
Cocaine’s Effects on the Body and Mind
A cocaine high is an acute high that lasts for just a brief period of time. Usage affects the body and mind negatively because the amount of dopamine that is shuttled into the brain exceeds normal amounts by a large margin. Dopamine has many functions, but popularly it is known as the pleasure chemical in your brain. It is your brain’s way of reinforcing activities it believes are in your best interests.
Many negative addictions in life come from an exploitation of dopamine. When the brain is consistently flooded with dopamine, tolerance rises and it takes greater “doses” to achieve the same effect. How does this relate to cocaine use? Because cocaine floods the brain’s pleasure centers with an unnatural amount of dopamine. Long-term use of any drug that spikes dopamine can see the rise of comorbid mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression from this upsetting of balance.
Long Term Effects of Cocaine Use
Besides causing shifts in brain neurochemistry, cocaine can also wear the body down from the repeated sharp effect it has on various factors such as heart rate and blood pressure as well as their cascading effects on the body. Because of these effects on the brain and body, long term use can see the rise in likelihood of suffering from strokes, persistent gastrointestinal issues, eating disorders, and heart attacks, as well as many other issues depending on the method of administration.
Because of the relatively short lived effects of this drug, the comedown arrives quickly and this crash easily leaves the user feeling down, depressed, discontent, fatigued, and sometimes angry.
Apart from the general mental and bodily harm that comes from chronic and sustained cocaine use, there are also an acute series of symptoms in the form of
- Reduction or loss of smell
- Nosebleeds, runny nose, and difficulty swallowing
- Increased risk of Hepatitis C and similar blood-borne infections
outpatient alcohol treatment
outpatient alcohol treatment
The Abuse Potential of Cocaine
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug, one of the most addictive on the market. It is considered a party drug because of the “upper” effect it has on individuals. It frequently makes the list of the top addictive drugs in the world because of its fast acting high which ceases quickly. This creates a situation in which an individual can experience a rapid cycling of indulging in the drug and then quickly coming down with withdrawal symptoms.
Cocaine should not be used in general, however it should also not be mixed with other substances such as alcohol or heroin. The combination of these substances is highly toxic and oftentimes counteractive to one another leading to disarray in the body.
For example, heroin is an opiate sedative which will slow down functions in the body—especially respiratory functions. Cocaine is a stimulant and speeds up respiration and heart rate. In conjunction, the effects become neutralizing and many users end up taking more of one or the other and the result is overdose.
Timeline for Cocaine Withdrawal
At first, cocaine results in a powerful sense of euphoria and stimulation because of the large dump of dopamine that is deposited in the brain. This high will end after approximatel 15-25 minutes and the user will experience a crash. The severity of the crash depends on how long cocaine has been in usage during a session. After lengthy binge sessions of cocaine the crash can come swiftly and hard after stopping.
Many users report a complete inability to feel pleasure, or they are emotionally numb to it. This first phase of withdrawal can last for a day to a few days. A rubber band effect that is contrary to the euphoria of the high is observed, that is, users will experience moderate to intense feelings of depression and anxiety as well as the inability to feel pleasure.
The second phase of withdrawal can last approximately 10 weeks and is most defined by intense cravings for cocaine, lethargy, fatigue, and irritability. This is perhaps the most difficult phase to endure during a detox because of the most pressing physical need for cocaine is during this period.
There is a third phase which many consider to be a lingering desire for cocaine usage. This is common in most addictive drugs, the associations, memories, and connections built in the brain take a long time to change if the physical dependence lasted for years. This is why it is incredibly important to receive treatment and attend one on one or group therapy to understand the triggers to your addiction.
These phases are just a general observation. It is crucial to recognize that withdrawal symptoms and timelines can vary between individuals and the beginnings and endings of phases are not clear cut. Medically supervised detoxes are a critical aspect of going through a safe withdrawal.
Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal/Cocaine Addiction
Upon reviewing the commonly agreed upon withdrawal symptoms for cocaine, it’s very clear that unlike many other drugs in which physical dependence becomes common, the adverse effects of cocaine withdrawal are primarily cognitive, or mental.
- Lethargy and fatigue
- Inability to feel pleasure or happiness (anhedonia)
- Poor concentration/slowed cognitive perception
- Powerful cravings for cocaine
As you can see, many of these symptoms are mental. Withdrawal is never easy, but if symptoms are merely physical somehow they are easier to understand. When the comorbidity of mental illness is introduced (as it so often is) into physical and mental dependence on a drug, it can be that much more difficult to abstain or quit.
Southeast Addiction Cocaine Addiction Treatment
At Southeast Addiction, we understand that it is difficult to make it through detox and find your way to treatment. However, please understand that we have the very best staff which has seen through to the treatment of many individuals from all walks of life and all levels of cocaine addiction. Addiction does not pick and choose, it can affect anyone.
We strongly believe we can help anyone that makes that first brave step towards reaching out and asking for help. You can do so at (866)-217-9624.