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Also known as coke, crack, snow, blow, and flake, cocaine is one of the most commonly used recreational drugs in the United States. Surveys suggest that approximately 15 percent of Americans have tried it out at least once, and a much higher number continue to suffer from its addiction.

Despite being illegal, with strict regulations on sourcing and using cocaine, the number of people becoming addicted to it is increasing by the hour. These statistics are alarming mainly because addiction to cocaine or any other drug can be particularly damaging to an individual’s life and those around them. The reasons why someone may fall victim to this addiction are complicated to pinpoint. However, with appropriate therapy and professional treatment, such people can regain control over life, end their cocaine dependence, and resume their pursuit of a happier life.

Cocaine Addiction Symptoms

Cocaine addiction is often characterized by behavioral changes that are severe enough to disrupt relationships at work and home. For people with this issue, sourcing the drug becomes more important than pursuing their hobbies or spending time with their loved ones. Some other signs reflective of underlying cocaine addiction include:

  • Talking rapidly during conversations
  • The need to take more and more of the drug to feel the desired effect
  • Poor decision-making skills
  • Acting impulsively or with increased energy
  • Elevated body temperature

Cocaine addiction can exert devastating effects on all aspects of life. In addition to increasing the risk of significant psychological and physical harm to the user’s health, continued misuse of this drug can undermine their academic progress, establish financial independence, maintain healthy relationships, acquire and keep a job, and participate in a satisfying and productive lifestyle. Fortunately, it is possible to keep all these harms at bay by receiving professional treatment that can address all the root causes of addiction.

Cocaine addiction can easily trigger short- and long-term symptoms in its users. These symptoms may vary depending on the type, dose, frequency, and duration of cocaine use. However, some most common short-term mental and physical effects of cocaine addiction include the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased sensitivity to sound, touch, and sight
  • Dizziness
  • Increased anxious thoughts
  • Tremors
  • Paranoia
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Violent or volatile behavior
  • Increased blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature

Long-term side effects of prolonged cocaine abuse are usually wide-ranging and particularly harmful, especially for mental and physical health. Chronic use of this drug can lead to addiction which might be challenging to overcome and lead to withdrawal symptoms emerging every time someone tries to stop using it. When the physiological cocaine dependence reaches a high level, an individual may continue to use this drug just to avoid these painful withdrawal symptoms, which may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty feeling pleasure
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Moving or thinking more slowly than usual
  • Paranoia
  • Sleep issues, including excessive sleeping or insomnia
  • Intense cravings for cocaine, which directly increase the risk of a relapse

Overdose risk is extremely high in people who develop a dependence on this drug. Additionally, its long-term use can also lead to several neurological problems, such as an increased potential to develop Parkinson’s disease and cognitive impairment like loss of impulse control, memory loss, and poor motor functioning. The drug also makes an individual more vulnerable to strokes, brain aneurysms, seizures, or brain bleeds. Over time, the use of cocaine induces long-term symptoms of a more severe nature, including depression, hallucinations, paranoia, and even psychosis. It can also decrease dental health, trigger significant weight loss, and damage the heart and the gastrointestinal tract. Keep in mind that the severity of these side effects may vary depending on the method of use.

Despite the multiple negative effects and outcomes of cocaine addiction, recovering from this life-crippling issue is entirely possible. Seeking professional help from a drug rehabilitation center is the best option to move forward and heal safely, effectively, and comfortably. Depending on the choice of rehab and the level of care a cocaine addict chooses for themselves, the following treatment options are available:

Detoxification

Detoxification is the first phase of treatment that aims to clear all drugs from the user’s body. Before admission, each client undergoes a detailed assessment that allows their care team to get a better picture of their addiction issues and some background information about their life. Many specialists choose to liaise with the medical practitioner of their clients with their consent to get any relevant information from them. Using these assessments, the care team addresses immediate needs and curates a detoxification program tailored to individual needs. Depending on each client’s situation, the detox process runs from one to two weeks, during which the qualified therapists and counselors continue to support them. Experiencing side effects during detox is quite normal; however, the care team continues monitoring them to ensure their clients are safe.

Rehabilitation

Following detox, most clients continue treatment through a rehabilitation program that addresses the psychological aspect of their cocaine addiction. Rehabilitation can take place at different levels, such as:

  • Residential care: This level of care requires clients to stay onsite throughout the entire course of treatment and recover under 24/7 professional supervision
  • Partial hospitalization: This level of care is less intensive than residential care and gives clients the freedom to live in their private accommodations while engaging in well-structured therapies throughout the week
  • Outpatient treatment: This type of treatment is best for clients who have completed residential care and are closer to their recovery goals but require continuous support in a less-intense environment

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

One in every four adults battling an addiction issue also suffers from a co-existing mental health disorder. The statistics are also valid for cocaine addiction, and thousands of people who join a rehab to overcome their problem require simultaneous help with another ongoing mental health problem. To maximize the chances of recovery for such individuals, many treatment centers offer dual diagnosis programs that address the underlying drug addiction and provide treatment for other mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic disorder. Timely treatment of all issues together ensures a better and healthier future for the individual.

A rehab for cocaine addiction may use a variety of therapies to help its clients overcome their ongoing issues. Some common types of this behavioral therapy include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

In cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a counselor works with a client to recognize the feelings and thoughts associated with the underlying cocaine addiction. These experts then work with the clients to change their behaviors, causing them physical and psychological harm. What makes CBT stand out is the fact that it not only provides a person with immediate benefits during treatment but also equips them with techniques and skills that they can use to look after themselves mentally for the rest of their life.

Individual Counseling

Counseling provides coke addicts a platform to express their heavy feelings of shame, guilt, remorse, and trauma while undergoing recovery. These intense counseling sessions also help them come to peace with these feelings and move towards a healthy future. Individual counseling, in particular, allows clients to talk to their therapist in a one-on-one setting without any distractions in life. The therapists are specially trained and can compassionately help clients understand their relationships with cocaine and how it is affecting them and the people around them. These sessions also help individuals with cocaine abuse to challenge their unhelpful and negative thinking and break these thoughts down into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Group Therapy

Group therapy helps individuals understand their cocaine addiction and find their path to recovery by getting in touch with other people with similar struggles and hearing their stories. This type of therapy also helps them recognize that while each person may have a different life and overall experiences, some common thoughts and feelings come with addiction. Group therapy also provides all coke addicts a safe and supportive environment where they can freely share whatever is on their minds without facing stigma or oppression.

Family Therapy

Many cocaine addiction rehabs offer family therapy as a part of their treatment program. In these sessions, a family therapist may work with the client and their loved ones to identify and address all issues that may be contributing to or causing their addiction.

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