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.
Dealing with Withdrawal Symptoms at DetoxFor 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:
- Depressed mood
- Increase in appetite
- General malaise1
Physical Changes During DetoxThe desired results for a cocaine detox program are at first physical changes. The decrease of withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, fatigue and insomnia allows you to 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.However, it is possible to slow the progression of these illnesses, which allows you to get a handle on what’s happening through comprehensive medical exams. Even if your experience with withdrawal symptoms is minimal, 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.Then you can start to regain your strength.
Emotional Issues While Coming off of CocaineThe biggest problems that most cocaine addicts experience during detox are extreme emotional issues. Mood swings, intense anger and irritability, deep depression and even violence are not uncommon. Cravings for the drug can leave those in detox feeling as if they cannot function without it. Many patients would relapse when these emotions strike. But with the help of medical professionals at an effective detox program, it is possible to get through the tough times and stick to the goal of sobriety.
- 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 shares their personal medical and psychiatric history as well as their drug history.This information ensures that the individual can be given proper care.
- 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. Diagnosis. In some cases, it may be clear that a co-occurring psychological or medical disorder is at play. 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, medication may be necessary. This issue is addressed immediately upon arrival at a cocaine detox center.
- Medical care. Consulting physicians provide medical care as needed during rehab, but care is most intensive during the initial phase of treatment after drug use is discontinued.
The Importance of Withdrawing from CocaineCounseling is the most effective way to treat cocaine addiction, but no forms of addiction treatment will be productive until detox is complete. The risk of relapse is simply too great to avoid this crucial first step. Although the physical addiction to cocaine is less pronounced than with other drugs, the withdrawal symptoms are usually less intense and do not last very long. However, detox is stillvery important. Because of the high incidence of relapse, cocaine detox should take place under the supervision of 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 CocaineJust getting into a treatment program is a huge step that should be commended.However, 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 to consider.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. Avoid the urge to argue and fight with those who are there to help. Instead, follow the orders of your doctor to the letter. This step will enable you to complete cocaine detox as quickly and effectively as possible.
- Know what to expect. If you can, do a little research before entering into cocaine detox.Get to know what you can expect in terms of withdrawal symptoms and available treatments.
- 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 can be extremely dangerous, but if it happens, don’t let go of the goal of treatment and recovery. Instead, stick with the process and always give it one more day.
Medications and Cocaine DetoxificationYour consulting physician may prescribe medication during treatment. There are medications approved specifically for the treatment of alcohol detox and heroin detox.Some studies have shown the use of antidepressant medications and pharmacological resources may be effective in reducing cocaine cravings.[i]However, no pharmacological options are designed specifically for cocaine detox or fighting cocaine addiction and relapse. If you are given medication, please follow the specific instructions. If not, please ask your doctor about the best options for you.
Cocaethylene and DetoxWhen cocaine and alcohol are used at the same time, it creates a unique substance called cocaethylene.[i] Unfortunately, cocaethylene is also far more devastating to the body than cocaine alone.The effects can be apparent during cocaine detox and long after successful sobriety has been achieved.1 If alcohol is a co-occurring issue with cocaine, it is important for patients to disclose this fact to providers in order to make sure that detox measures and healthy lifestyle choices are a priority. These choices help decrease the chances of serious health issues.
What Happens After Cocaine Withdrawal?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. 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.
Cody W., one of our Heroes In Recovery, makes a solid point about recovery:“If you want to get sober,” he says, “you need to try something new and take suggestions. Give it a little bit of time, and it will get better a little bit every day. Sobriety has changed my life; I’m not the same person I was.”
Detox Addiction Treatment at Michael’s HouseMichael’s House is a residential rehab facility located in the historic desert town of Palm Springs, California. We at Michael’s House treat cocaine addiction through a powerful combination of cutting-edge approaches and holistic care techniques. Please contact Michael’s House today at 877-937-8491 for more information.
Sources 1 “What is Cocaine?” National Institute on Drug Abuse. May 2016. 6 November 2017. 2 “Cocaine Withdrawal.” New York Times.Accessed 6 November 2017. 3 Kosten, Thomas R. M.D., “Management of Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal” Treatment for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse: Opportunities for Coordination Technical Assistance Publication (TAP) Series 11.N.d. Accessed 6 November 2017. 4 Dasgupta, Amitava. “Combined Alcohol and Drug Abuse: A Potentially Deadly Mix.” Science Direct. 2017. Accessed 6 November 2017.
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