Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Understand the signs, symptoms, and treatment for cocaine addiction

Origins Behavioral Healthcare: Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Origins Behavioral Healthcare: Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Cocaine Addiction Overview

Cocaine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant. It works by flooding the brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s pleasure and reward centers. The resultant euphoric blast can overwhelm and ultimately rewrite a person’s neural pathways. Cocaine, a common street drug, looks like a fine, white powder. It is often mixed with things like cornstarch, baby powder, or other stimulants such as methamphetamine. Users often administer cocaine orally, intravenously, or by inhalation through the nose.

A person addicted to cocaine is almost exclusively controlled by his obsession to get and stay high, putting themselves and those they love in harm’s way as they continue to use. Because the grip of addiction is so strong, professional treatment is required.

Origins experts are skilled at treating people with cocaine addiction. In fact, it is one of the most frequently used substances that our incoming patients battle when seeking treatment. Our multidisciplinary team includes physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed therapists, and 12-Step immersion staff because we know that there is no one cause of addiction. Together, we address every aspect of wellness — body, mind, and spirit — so that our patients and their families can heal. 

Popular nicknames for cocaine include:

  • Coke
  • Blow
  • Crack
  • White
  • Flake
  • Yeyo
  • Snow
  • Rail
  • Nose Candy

Cocaine Addiction Risk Factors

Individuals who have a parent or other first-degree relative with addiction are at a higher risk for developing a substance use disorder during their lifetime. Some studies suggest that people who are born lacking in dopamine or dopamine pathways may seek out pleasurable activities – such as cocaine use – to correct an inborn imbalance. Individuals who struggle with co-occurring mental illnesses, such as depression or bipolar disorder, may turn to cocaine in an attempt to alleviate these symptoms.

The earlier in life a person drinks alcohol or misuses illegal or prescription drugs, the more likely they are to suffer from substance use disorders as adults. Many mid-life adults in recovery from cocaine addiction describe a youth of experimentation. Although they may have left the drugs behind decades ago, a stressful situation — such as trauma or a death in the family — may have prompted use once again. Often, addiction follows. These people often report taking several drugs concurrently, both legal and illegal, upon entering treatment.

Several illnesses that can co-occur with cocaine abuse and addiction include:

Our team of compassionate professionals takes all of these unique factors into account. Whether you are a young adult or an older adult, someone with a complicated family history or a person from a stable home life, we are here to help. Our rigorous assessment process can help you build a comprehensive treatment plan customized to meet your needs.

Signs of Cocaine Use

Cocaine affects all aspects of a person’s wellbeing. Integrated, medically-supportive treatment is the most effective course of treatment for a person trying to overcome an addiction to this dangerous drug. 

Physical symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Trembling and shaking
  • Dehydration
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Increased agitation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Cold-like symptoms
  • Nosebleeds
  • Muscle tics/spasms
  • Changes in concentration and focus

Psychological and behavioral symptoms include:

  • Social isolation
  • Hiding drug use from others
  • Impulsiveness
  • Interpersonal relationship problems
  • Violent behaviors
  • Aggression
  • Risky sexual behaviors
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Disorganized thoughts
  • Paranoia

We treat the physical as well as behavioral and spiritual issues that arise from cocaine use disorders.

Withdrawal Symptoms

A person addicted to cocaine will take the stimulant repeatedly during a concentrated period of time. This bingeing behavior can last for hours or even days. When a person emerges from the binge, they often experience a crash. This crash can be characterized by extreme fatigue and negative emotions. When the obsession to use returns, the person becomes preoccupied with attempting to use the substance again, often under the delusion that they can control or manage their drug use. This creates a deadly cycle of addiction that feels impossible to break.

Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:

  • Extreme anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Suicide
  • Decreased energy
  • Increased sleeping
  • Increased appetite
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Unpleasant dreams or nightmares
  • Tremors
  • Muscle aches
  • Nerve pain

Because withdrawal symptoms can prompt further use, residential treatment with state-of-the-art detox can provide a safe setting that protects the individual as they move through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Nurses at Hanley Center

Cocaine Addiction Medical Detox

While not generally dangerous to detox from, stopping cocaine can cause the user to experience extreme depression because their brains have grown accustomed to a continual flood of dopamine. For this reason, people struggling to overcome addiction may find it extremely beneficial to undergo detox and treatment by trained medical professionals.

Successful detox does not guarantee ongoing sobriety. Many drug-addicted people fail to remain sober following detox without effective, clinically-driven substance use disorder programming. Stabilization is merely a launchpad for further treatment. When all aspects of a person’s mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing are addressed, recovery is possible.

Treatment Modalities

Cocaine addiction is a complex multidimensional neurobiological disease. Recovery is a sustained process that includes detox and stability, as well as holistic rehab that addresses all aspects of one’s health: psychological, mental, emotional, social, familial, environmental, personal, spiritual, and physical. If you are addicted to cocaine, we are ready to meet your needs with customized support designed to help you heal: body, mind, and spirit.

An effective treatment program will help an addicted person to safely navigate detox, stop using cocaine, and begin to learn how to manage stressors without turning to cocaine. With the help of professional therapy, patients create an actionable plan to avoid relapse. Such programs work on long-term goals to improve quality of life. By learning to rebuild and create new and positive relationships in recovery, clients will gain self-confidence and self-esteem.

Comprehensive patient evaluation and treatment modalities include:

Effects on the Brain

Cocaine increases levels of the natural chemical messenger dopamine.  This powerful flood of dopamine in the brain’s reward center strongly reinforces drug-taking behaviors, because the surge of dopamine caused by cocaine causes the user to become less sensitive to it. As a result, people take stronger and more frequent doses in an attempt to feel the same high.

A 2016 abstract for Progress in Brain Research indicated that neurofeedback training of the brain combined with motivational intervention techniques and electroencephalogram (EEG) has been shown to be successful in the treatment of cocaine addiction. At the end of neurofeedback training, cocaine users demonstrated increased sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) brain wave signal, reported a reduction in stress and depression symptoms and decreased drug use. We offer neurofeedback as an integral part of our treatment program.

Common Misconceptions about Cocaine Use and Addiction

There is a myth afloat these days that cocaine is relatively harmless from the perspective of the physical impact it has on your body. Let us be very clear on this matter: Cocaine is not “safe” for your body. If you want to keep using it because you enjoy the high, then that is one thing, but please do not delude yourself into believing that it poses no risk to your health. It has been well documented that long-term cocaine users who do not die of overdose generally shorten their total length of life by an exceptionally staggering amount of time (10+ years).

Also, a substantial amount of misinformation abounds regarding the addictive nature of cocaine, due to the fact that it does not produce a physical dependence like opioids or alcohol. In other words, if a heavy cocaine user chooses to discontinue their use of the substance, they generally don’t experience hallucinations, seizures and elevated blood pressure. That said, for what cocaine withdrawal lacks in physical symptoms it absolutely and entirely makes up for, many times over, with the substantial amount of psychological withdrawal elicited by coming off of Cocaine.

And it is for this very reason why the coke addict is the classic, “I can quit whenever I want, but I just don’t want to” sort of addict. Whereas the heroin addict will reach a point where they really don’t even use anymore to get high, but rather have to use just to just avoid withdrawal, absent this experience in the coke addict, they believe they still retain choice and control over the use of cocaine… but they always seem to choose to get high.

We call this the “mental obsession” and it is something you will learn much more about within the curriculum of cocaine addiction recovery at Origins programs.

Origins Center for Brain Recovery

For this reason, we founded Origins Center for Brain Recovery in Florida to ensure we remain on the leading edge of mind-body research. Origins incorporates principles from the growing and interrelated disciplines of health psychology and psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), which focus on studying the many ways that mental and physical health interact.

Led by a licensed psychologist, Origins’ team of brain recovery specialists offers advanced testing and cutting-edge clinical interventions and therapies — such as neurofeedback, biofeedback, neurotherapy, and mindfulness training — that work on a cellular level to heal the brain. People who have been using cocaine will need to retrain the brain to boost mood, manage chronic pain, and learn how to experience pleasure without the flood of dopamine.

Contact Origins Behavioral HealthCare

With over 35 years of experience, Origins treatment programs in Florida & Texas provide cutting-edge care that enacts real, lasting change for our patients. We can help you or your loved one lead a healthier, more confident, and more purposeful life.

Today is the day you break the cycle of addiction for good – start your journey to freedom and fulfillment by calling Origins Behavioral Healthcare at 561-841-1296

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If you or someone you love has a substance use or mental health disorder, Origins Behavioral HealthCare can help. We will work alongside you to provide the most comprehensive treatment available.