Cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs in the world. Ever since the 1970s when the popularity of cocaine began to skyrocket, the drug has been a problem for law enforcement, treatment professionals and families across the globe, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Cocaine addiction causes problems that affect the individual as well as the community at large and is an issue that is being dealt with on a personal level as well as community, state, federal and international levels.
In order to overcome cocaine addiction, an individual must first complete detox. Cocaine detox is the first step in a comprehensive cocaine rehab program and focuses mostly on the immediate health issues related to physical dependence upon the drug. Though you will likely be able to attend group therapy sessions, personal therapy and other treatment options during cocaine detox, the goal is to help you stabilize physically and regain your energy and clarity for the work ahead in addiction treatment.
Michael’s House in Palm Springs, California offers a cocaine detox and cocaine addiction treatment program designed to provide you with a well-rounded, safe and effective cocaine rehab program. Contact us today for more information.
Dealing with Withdrawal Symptoms at Detox
For the most part, cocaine addiction is a psychological addiction. Unlike heroin addiction or other opiate-related dependencies, the physical component of the problem is less significant than the psychological component. There are, however, reports by patients of withdrawal symptoms that include:
- Increase in appetite
- General malaise
When a mental health issue is co-occurring, these symptoms can be significantly worse. What makes cocaine detox unique among other detox programs is its ability to help the patient on a personal level to address the symptoms experienced as well as co-occurring issues and find a place of stability from which to begin truly intensive cocaine addiction treatment that addresses psychological issues of dependency.
Physical Changes During Detox
The hoped-for results at a cocaine detox program are firstly physical changes. The decrease of withdrawal symptoms like headaches, muscle aches, fatigue and insomnia will occur during the brief initial phase of addiction treatment and allow you to better focus on dealing with the issue of cravings and psychological dependency. In the cases of chronic health issues like heart murmur, high blood pressure and severe sinus issues, it may not be possible to heal completely during cocaine detox, but it is possible to slow the progression of these illnesses and to get a handle on what’s happening through comprehensive medical exams and treatment plans.
No addiction leaves the addict unscathed physically. Even if your experience of withdrawal symptoms is minimal and there are no chronic medical illnesses to contend with, the first few days of treatment will be at a slow enough pace to allow you to flush out the drugs that remain in your system and to regain your strength after a period of active addiction characterized by little care taken for your physical health.
Emotional Issues While Coming off of Cocaine
The biggest problems that most cocaine addicts experience during detox when they stop using cocaine are extreme emotional issues. Mood swings, intense anger and irritability, deep depression and even violence are not uncommon. The cravings for the drug can leave addicts feeling as if they cannot function without it. They believe that they will never have the energy they need to accomplish everything on their to-do list, much less accomplish their goals with any proficiency. Addressing the psychological issues that may propel this lack of confidence and self-esteem comes later, but initially, during cocaine detox, the goal is to help you stabilize rather than spiral downward and lose yourself in those feelings.
Left to their own recourse, many patients would relapse when these emotions strike; however, with the help of therapeutic professionals at an effective detox program, it is possible to get through the tough times and stick to the goal of sobriety.
What Happens During Detoxification?
No matter what type of cocaine detox you choose, the goal of cocaine detox is two-fold, according to a study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment: to help the patient to avoid relapse just as they’re getting started in recovery, and to assist in the event of complications or issues that arise as cocaine levels drop in the system and are not replaced as the body has adjusted to expect. This happens through a process meant to be thorough and collaborative as it addresses multiple issues experienced by the patient simultaneously until he or she is stabilized and ready to move forward in treatment.
- Evaluation. The first thing that happens upon entering a cocaine detox program is a complete physical and psychological evaluation by treatment professionals and consulting physicians. Here the patient is free to share their personal medical and psychiatric history as well as their drug history to ensure that proper care and attention are given.
- Assessment. After a physical and a discussion with a consulting physician and psychotherapist takes place, the patient can take part in the assessment of the results. Together with their addiction treatment team, he or she can begin to develop the initial treatment plan to address immediate issues.
- Diagnosis. In some cases, it may be clear that a co-occurring psychological or medical disorder is at play but it is as yet undiagnosed. If this is the case, further testing may be necessary to determine whether or not a co-occurring disorder exists and requires treatment.
- Medication issues. If there are underlying medical or physical issues that require medical attention, medication may be necessary and can be provided by consulting physicians. This, too, is addressed immediately upon arrival at a cocaine detox center.
- Medical care. Consulting physicians provide medical care as needed throughout the course of cocaine rehab, but care is most intensive in terms of monitoring and check-ins during the initial phase of treatment after the patient first stops abusing cocaine and other drugs.
The Importance of Withdrawing from Cocaine
Counseling is the most effective way to treat cocaine addiction, but no psychotherapeutic addiction treatment will be productive until detox is complete. The risk of relapse is simply too great to avoid this crucial first step that focuses on stabilization of body, mind and spirit. Although the physical addiction to cocaine is less pronounced than with other drugs and the withdrawal symptoms are usually less intense and long lasting, detox is no less important, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Because of the high incidence of relapse, it is important that cocaine detox takes place under the supervision of consulting medical professionals. Trained professionals can help create a comfortable, supportive environment for the individual that will help one through this difficult time.
Tips for Success at Detoxing from Cocaine
Just getting into a treatment program is a huge step and one that should be commended, but to get the most out of a cocaine detox program, patients can get active in their own recovery and improve their chances for successful abstinence in the long term. Here are a few tips:
- Follow doctors’ orders. The consulting medical professionals who are on call at cocaine detox facilities are there to help and not harm you, though this may be hard to believe when issues like paranoia or irritability are at play during early recovery. Avoid the urge to argue and fight with those who are there to help. Instead, follow the orders of your doctor to the letter to more quickly and effectively get through cocaine detox.
- Know what to expect. If you can, do a little research before entering into cocaine detox and get to know what you can expect in terms of withdrawal symptoms and available treatments. If you have any questions, talk to your medical team and get the information you need to make sure that the best possible choices are being made for your health.
- Choose early detox and treatment. Once you recognize that cocaine addiction is an issue that requires addiction treatment, don’t wait to begin. Early treatment can help you to limit the number of issues that require addressing during rehab and improve your chances of success in the long term. Paying for care should not be painful to families, Obamacare can help.
- Don’t give up. Relapse is not advisable and can be extremely dangerous, but if it happens, don’t let go of the goal of treatment and recovery. In the same way, if you have a bad day or feel that issues at home or personal feelings are simply too overwhelming for you to continue to stay in treatment, remember that giving up on treatment will only make those other issues far worse. Instead, stick with it and always give it one more day.
Medications and Cocaine Detoxification
Your consulting physician may prescribe medication during your cocaine treatment. Unfortunately, though there are medications approved specifically for the treatment of alcohol detox and heroin detox, there are, as yet, no pharmacological options designed just for patients going through cocaine detox or fighting cocaine addiction and relapse, according to Treatment for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse: Opportunities for Coordination, Technical Assistance Publication (TAP) Series 11, Chapter 8: Pharmacotherapies for Alcohol and Drug Dependence by Thomas R. Kosten, M.D. Some studies have shown that the use of antidepressant medications and pharmacological resources used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease may be effective for some patients who are trying to remain cocaine-free by reducing cravings for the drug. There are ongoing studies in search of a medication more specific to the issues associated with cocaine addiction, particularly efforts seeking a blocking agent that can reduce the effect of cocaine in addicts who feel tempted to relapse. In the meantime, patients will need to depend upon cocaine detox and psychotherapy to address physical and psychological issues related to the disorder.
Cocaethylene and Detox
According to a study done by the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in Louisville, Kentucky, among others, the use of both cocaine and alcohol at the same time creates a unique substance in the body called cocaethylene. This substance is similar in chemical construct to cocaine and provides a similar effect to the user but for a much longer period of time, making the combination of alcohol and cocaine highly attractive to many addicts.
Unfortunately, cocaethylene is also far more devastating to the body than cocaine alone and the effects can be apparent during cocaine detox and long after successful sobriety has been achieved. The substance has a half-life that is three to five times longer than that of cocaine, which means it is active in the body far longer than cocaine alone and increases the user’s chance of experiencing
liver damage, seizures, and issues associated with a compromised immune system. Immediate death caused by overdose in the case of mixing cocaine and alcohol is 18 to 25 times higher than abusing cocaine alone.
How does this affect cocaine detox? The liver function and immune system issues that are caused by combining alcohol and cocaine may be far reaching, extending past the time that the substances remain together in the body. If alcohol is a co-occurring issue with cocaine, it is important for patients to disclose this fact to providers to make sure that detox measures and healthy lifestyle choices going forward continue to be a priority to decrease the chances of serious health issues later in life.
What Happens After Cocaine Withdrawal is Done?
Cocaine detox is the first step in a comprehensive cocaine rehab program, but it is certainly not the last. Following detox with extensive psychological addiction treatment is crucial to recovery. In many cases, this will be a natural progression in the patient’s rehab program. In other cases, it may be necessary to seek additional treatment after completion of cocaine detox.
Once the detox process is complete, patients can more effectively focus on overcoming the psychological aspects of their addiction. This is addressed through both private and group counseling sessions. When a cocaine addict engages in individual counseling, they meet regularly with a drug rehab counselor to review their history of drug use, searching for trigger behaviors and root causes of the addiction. These are vital sessions, as it gives the individual a chance to talk openly and honestly for the first time about their cocaine use and how it has impacted their life. In group counseling, the individual meets in a counselor-led session with other recovering addicts. Here, the participants will share stories and experiences regarding their drug use and work together to support one another throughout the rehab process.
Detox Addiction Treatment at Michael’s House
Michael’s House is a residential rehab facility located in the historic desert town of Palm Springs, California. Cocaine addiction is treated at Michael’s House through a powerful combination of cutting-edge modalities and holistic care techniques. Contact Michael’s House today at 877.345.8494 for more information.
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