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Cocaine Addiction: Signs, Causes, Effect, and Treatment

Cocaine addiction is a chronic disorder marked by an overwhelming desire to use cocaine, often leading to severe health and social consequences. Signs of cocaine addiction can include persistent energy, excessive talkativeness, and euphoria, which eventually give way to negative effects such as paranoia and decreased cognitive function. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, signs like these are often accompanied by the inability to reduce intake despite the desire to stop.

The causes of cocaine addiction are complex and often rooted in both environmental and biological factors. Genetic predisposition, alongside influences from one’s social environment, play significant roles in the development of addiction. Studies, including those referenced in academic sources like the DSM-5 and ICD-11, highlight that exposure to cocaine in individuals with certain genetic markers can significantly increase the risk of addiction.

The effects of prolonged cocaine use are detrimental, impacting both physical and mental health. Users may experience severe mood swings, increased risk of stroke, and cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks, as noted by various health studies and publications. Cocaine overdose can result in irreversible brain damage, emphasizing the drug’s dangerous impact on health.

Treatment for cocaine addiction incorporates various approaches, focusing on both the physiological and psychological aspects of the disorder. Behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy are widely used and have been supported by research from sources like the National Institute on Drug Abuse to be effective in treating cocaine dependency. Additionally, medication-assisted treatments, while still under research, show promise in managing withdrawal symptoms and reducing cocaine cravings.

What is Cocaine Addiction?

Cocaine addiction is clinically known as Cocaine Use Disorder. Cocaine use disorder is a type of substance use disorder where there is a compulsive and problematic pattern of cocaine use that results in clinically significant impairment or distress. The individual is unable to stop using despite physical and psychological harm.

Cocaine is a white powder derived from the leaves of the South American coca bush. Cocaine is an illegal and profoundly addictive drug. It acts on the central nervous system as a stimulant and induces the release of elevated levels of dopamine—a brain chemical intricately linked with pleasure and reward. Cocaine, often glamorized as the “caviar of street drugs,” because of how expensive it is, is just as expensive to users. 

what is cocaine addiction

This illegal substance is classified as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act, by the Drug Enforcement Administration of the US. Cocaine carries a mystique perpetuated by its portrayal in movies and endorsement by affluent celebrities. However, the harsh reality of cocaine emerges after the initial high, as it inflicts profoundly negative effects on the heart, brain, and emotional well-being of those who indulge. Many individuals who succumb to cocaine find themselves physically and psychologically dependent.

Cocaine takes on various forms in the illicit market. Powdered cocaine, commonly known as “blow” or “coke,” is typically snorted but can also be dissolved in water for injection. On the other hand, crack cocaine, referred to as “crack” or “rock” on the streets, undergoes a chemical process to produce a smokable freebase form.

What are the Causes of Cocaine Addiction?

Cocaine addiction is influenced by a variety of factors, with the most prevalent causes outlined below.

Biological Factors

Cocaine addiction is linked to biological aspects such as genetics, the impact of cocaine on the brain’s reward system, and imbalances in neurotransmitters. Research by Marc Potenza, MD, PhD, highlighted in the Journal of Adolescent Health in 2013, suggests that individuals with a family history of drug addiction, especially to cocaine, are more susceptible to its abuse. 

Prolonged cocaine use can modify the brain’s reward system, leading to an overstimulation of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and decision-making. Some individuals may turn to cocaine as a means of coping with an inherent deficiency in neurotransmitters, which can result in shifts in behavior and mood.

Psychological Factors

Cocaine addiction often coexists with mental health conditions, exacerbating issues such as depression and anxiety. The presence of these psychological disorders can be heightened by cocaine addiction.

Social Factors

Peer pressure plays a significant role in encouraging risky behaviors, including cocaine abuse. According to a 2004 report from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre on the social determinants of drug use, cocaine is frequently abused as a party drug. Users often turn to cocaine to enhance social experiences and diminish inhibitions in specific social situations.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction?

The signs of cocaine addiction encompass a range of behavioral and physical symptoms that can significantly alter an individual’s functioning and health. Behaviorally, individuals may display increased energy, talkativeness, and sociability, which can suddenly shift to agitation, irritability, and restlessness. Physically, users often show rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, and excessive sweating. Chronic users might experience deteriorating physical effects such as a loss of sense of smell, persistent nosebleeds, and difficulty swallowing—common consequences of snorting the drug.

According to Eric J. Nestler in his December 2005 article from Science & Practice Perspectives, prolonged cocaine use can lead to severe health complications, including increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, elevated blood pressure, and the potential for severe psychological effects during binges.

signs of cocaine addiction
  • Changes in sleeping patterns: Cocaine disrupts normal sleep patterns due to its stimulant effects, causing increased alertness and wakefulness. Eric J. Nestler notes in his December 2005 Science & Practice Perspectives article that the drug’s interaction with dopamine pathways can significantly alter sleep cycles.
  • Paranoia: Cocaine-induced paranoia, lasting for days or weeks, can either be a direct effect of the substance or an exacerbation of pre-existing psychiatric disorders. This is detailed by Nestler, who describes how cocaine affects the brain’s limbic system, enhancing feelings of fear and anxiety.
  • Risk-taking behaviors: Cocaine use often leads to overconfidence and engagement in high-risk behaviors, including unsafe sexual practices, as mentioned in the WebMD article “What to Know About Cocaine” by Julie Marks (January 3, 2024), which discusses the increased likelihood of trading sex for drugs and other risky decisions.
  • Financial difficulties: Individuals addicted to cocaine may spend significant amounts of money to sustain their habit, often neglecting financial responsibilities, as highlighted in broader drug abuse literature that connects substance addiction with economic challenges.
  • Negative impact on personal relationships: Prolonged cocaine use can strain relationships as addicts may isolate themselves from loved ones or prioritize drug consumption over family bonds, a common theme in addiction studies.
  • Tolerance and withdrawal: Cocaine addiction is marked by tolerance, requiring increased drug use for the same effect, often accompanied by withdrawal symptoms like intense cravings, chills, and fever when attempting to reduce usage, as detailed in the DSM-5 guidelines for diagnosing substance use disorders.
  • Drug use items: The presence of needles, pipes, spoons, small plastic bags, and razor blades serve as indicators of cocaine use. Rolled-up dollar bills and white residue on flat surfaces like handheld mirrors also serve as distinctive signals, commonly noted in drug enforcement guides.
  • Frequent runny nose or sniffles: This symptom may be observed in individuals who snort cocaine, causing irritation and damage to the nasal lining and often leading to nosebleeds, as described in medical reviews of cocaine’s physical health impacts.
  • Tremors and muscle cramps: These can result from the damage cocaine inflicts on specific brain areas, affecting movement and causing rapid, shaking, or twitching motions, a side effect often highlighted in clinical studies on the neurological impacts of stimulants.
  • Unexplained weight loss: Excessive unexplained weight loss is often associated with cocaine use, as the drug suppresses appetite and boosts energy levels, leading to increased activity and decreased caloric intake, which is extensively documented in addiction medicine literature.

What are the Effects of Cocaine Addiction?

Cocaine abuse profoundly impacts both the body and mind, manifesting a range of severe effects that can disrupt normal physical and psychological functioning. Initially, cocaine use can produce intense euphoria, heightened alertness, and increased energy, as described by W. Alexander Morton in his article in the Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (1999). This surge is due to the release of dopamine in the brain, enhancing pleasure and well-being. However, these effects are short-lived and often lead users to consume more of the drug to recapture the initial high.

  1. The cardiovascular system is particularly vulnerable to the effects of cocaine. The drug causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which significantly raises the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Julie Marks notes in her WebMD article “What to Know About Cocaine” (2024) that these risks are compounded over time, especially in chronic users who may experience cardiovascular complications leading to fatal outcomes. Repeated exposure to cocaine poses serious health risks, with the potential for a heart attack due to the strain it places on the cardiovascular system. Cocaine has been called the ‘perfect heart attack drug’ by Dr. Figtree an associate professor of medicine at Sydney Medical School who carried out a study that was present at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in 2012.
  2. Cocaine also exerts a powerful effect on the brain’s neurological framework. Chronic use can lead to a depletion of key neurotransmitters, which are critical for normal brain function. As noted in Eric J. Nestler’s Science & Practice Perspectives article (2005), this depletion can result in a range of psychiatric symptoms including paranoia, hallucinations, and severe mood swings, which can exacerbate existing mental health disorders and lead to new ones.
  3. Violent behavior is a notable consequence of cocaine use, extensively discussed by W. Alexander Morton in his 1999 article published in the Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Morton highlights that up to 55% of individuals with cocaine-induced psychiatric symptoms exhibit violent behaviors, including aggression and, in extreme cases, homicide. His research emphasizes how cocaine disrupts cognitive processes and emotional regulation, significantly increasing the likelihood of impulsive and hazardous behaviors among users.
  4. Regarding the method of cocaine consumption, Morton also explores the distinct impact of smoking crack cocaine compared to other forms of use. In his 1999 article, he explains that crack cocaine, being a smokable form of cocaine base, is vaporized and absorbed by the lungs, reaching the brain almost instantaneously. This rapid delivery intensifies both the drug’s euphoric and addictive effects and its detrimental health consequences. Morton notes that users of crack cocaine face increased risks of respiratory issues and more severe psychological effects, underscoring the heightened dangers associated with this method of cocaine consumption.

Are the effects of other stimulants like methamphetamine similar to cocaine?

Cocaine addiction is a chronic and relapsing disorder characterized by the compulsive use of cocaine, a powerful stimulant derived from the coca plant. Cocaine increases levels of dopamine in the brain, leading to heightened euphoria, energy, and alertness. However, its use can quickly lead to tolerance, dependence, and severe health issues. For example, someone addicted to cocaine might find themselves constantly seeking the drug to maintain their high, neglecting personal responsibilities, and suffering from financial and social consequences.

Methamphetamine addiction is a severe substance use disorder marked by the compulsive use of methamphetamine, a potent central nervous system stimulant. Methamphetamine increases the release and blocks the reuptake of dopamine, resulting in intense and prolonged euphoria, increased energy, and heightened alertness. This addiction often leads to significant physical and psychological harm. For instance, a person addicted to methamphetamine may experience extreme weight loss, dental problems (“meth mouth”), and intense paranoia, drastically impacting their quality of life and relationships.

While both cocaine and methamphetamine are powerful stimulants with similar effects, there are notable differences between the two. Cocaine’s effects are relatively short-lived, typically lasting about 30 minutes to an hour, whereas methamphetamine’s effects can last several hours. The mechanism of action also differs: cocaine primarily blocks the reuptake of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, while methamphetamine increases dopamine release and blocks its reuptake. Additionally, cocaine use is often associated with damage to the nasal septum (when snorted) and cardiovascular issues, whereas methamphetamine use is linked to severe dental problems and skin sores. The administration methods also vary, with cocaine being commonly snorted, injected, or smoked (as crack cocaine), and methamphetamine being swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked.

How Is Cocaine Addiction Treated?

Cocaine addiction treatment integrates both psychosocial and pharmacological strategies to address both the acute and long-term aspects of recovery. As described by Kyle M. Kampman in his December 2005 Psychiatry article, while some patients respond adequately to psychosocial interventions alone, many require additional pharmacological support due to the severity of their addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Initially, managing acute withdrawal and supporting early abstinence is critical. Medications like propranolol, a beta-blocker, have shown promise in reducing the severity of withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and agitation, which are common during the early stages of cocaine abstinence. Propranolol helps to alleviate these symptoms by tempering the body’s adrenaline response, which is often heightened during cocaine withdrawal.

For long-term management and relapse prevention, several medications are being tested for their efficacy in reducing cocaine craving or blocking the euphoric effects of cocaine, thereby discouraging use. According to research cited by Kampman, medications that modulate neurotransmitter systems such as GABA or glutamate show potential. Baclofen, a GABA B agonist, has been useful in reducing cocaine cravings and the neurological activation associated with craving. Similarly, topiramate, which affects both GABA and glutamate neurotransmission, has helped patients achieve longer periods of abstinence by mitigating the reinforcing effects of cocaine.

Unexpectedly, disulfiram, traditionally used for treating alcohol dependence, has also shown promise in treating cocaine addiction. Disulfiram works by altering the metabolism of cocaine and dopamine, which reduces the pleasurable effects of cocaine use and increases adverse effects when cocaine is consumed. Furthermore, innovative approaches such as the development of a cocaine-specific vaccine are under exploration. This vaccine would work by stimulating the production of antibodies that bind to cocaine, preventing it from crossing the blood-brain barrier and thus reducing its euphoric effects, as highlighted in Kampman’s review.

What To Expect During Addiction Treatment For Cocaine Addiction

Treatment centers for cocaine addiction provide a structured, comprehensive approach to recovery that combines evidence-based psychosocial and pharmacological strategies. These centers are designed to address the multifaceted nature of addiction, ensuring an integrated treatment plan that caters to individual needs.

1. Initial Assessment and Detoxification

Upon admission, individuals undergo a thorough assessment to evaluate their medical, psychological, and social needs. This initial evaluation informs the tailored treatment plan, which often begins with medically supervised detoxification. This stage is crucial for managing withdrawal symptoms safely and effectively, preparing individuals for the next steps in their recovery journey.

2. Psychosocial Interventions

As highlighted by Sonali Jhanjee in her article on psychosocial interventions for substance use (Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 2014), a variety of evidence-based psychosocial treatments are critical components of effective addiction care. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely utilized to help individuals identify and change maladaptive thoughts and behaviors related to their cocaine use. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is another key intervention used to enhance motivation and engage individuals in their treatment process.

Relapse Prevention (RP) strategies are also integral, teaching individuals how to identify and cope with triggers and high-risk situations to maintain sobriety. These interventions are supported by findings that longer engagement in such treatments correlates with better long-term outcomes.

3. Group and Family Therapy

Treatment centers often employ group therapy sessions to foster peer support and share recovery experiences, which is vital for building coping strategies and reducing feelings of isolation. Family therapy is also emphasized to repair and strengthen family dynamics affected by addiction, enhancing the support system necessary for recovery.

4. Pharmacological Interventions

Alongside psychosocial treatments, certain medications might be used to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Although no medications are currently FDA-approved specifically for cocaine addiction, research, such as that reviewed by Kyle M. Kampman (Psychiatry 2005), suggests that medications like propranolol for withdrawal and baclofen for relapse prevention can be beneficial in the treatment regime.

5. Aftercare and Continued Support

Following intensive treatment, ongoing aftercare is crucial. Treatment centers typically offer continued counseling and support groups to help individuals navigate the challenges of reintegration into everyday life. Monitoring and adjusting the aftercare plan as necessary is crucial for long-term recovery.

6. Innovative Treatments and Research

Continued research into new treatments, such as the development of a cocaine vaccine as mentioned by Kampman, points to the future potential for more direct treatments of cocaine addiction. These innovative approaches continue to evolve, reflecting the ongoing commitment to enhancing treatment efficacy and providing hope for individuals struggling with addiction.

By integrating these comprehensive treatment approaches, treatment centers offer the best chance for individuals to overcome cocaine addiction and achieve long-term recovery, underpinned by both clinical evidence and ongoing research.

Cocaine Withdrawal

Cocaine withdrawal develops when you have used cocaine for an extended period and then abruptly cut back the amount you use or stop using it completely. Withdrawal is among the deadly risks of the continuous use of this drug because the symptoms of withdrawal manifest both psychologically and physically.

If you suffer withdrawal, it means your body has learned to depend on the drug to function normally. So, when you lower the quantity or stop using it, your body will react as it adjusts to working without the drug.

What Are The Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal?

Cocaine withdrawal includes many uncomfortable behavioral, psychological, and physical symptoms. The common symptoms include:

  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nightmares or vivid dreams
  • Oversleeping or sleeping difficulties
  • Persistent cocaine cravings
  • Increased appetite
  • Slowed movements
  • Low physical or mental energy
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression (which may include suicidal thoughts)
  • A deeply dysphoric mood

How Long Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

The duration for cocaine withdrawal symptoms to subside varies from one person to the next because it depends on many factors, including the user’s health condition. If you reduce the amount of cocaine you use or stop using the drug, you may start experiencing the symptoms after a few hours or days.

The symptoms may persist for days, weeks, or months, depending on how severe your addiction is. The withdrawal symptoms may come in phases as described below according to SAMSHA TIP 45 Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.

Phase One

Acute withdrawal is the phase in which the withdrawal symptoms set in. Also known as the “crash,” this phase is associated with intense cravings and feelings of dysphoria. 

You may experience low energy levels, fatigue, agitation, and acute anxiety. Dysphoria may eventually evolve into severe depression, which can be accompanied by suicidal thoughts in some cases. In the acute withdrawal phase, you may also feel exhausted and experience insomnia. The “crash” phase can last up to seven days or more and is the most uncomfortable withdrawal phase.

Phase Two

Post-acute withdrawal, the second stage of cocaine withdrawal, is associated with drug cravings, increased appetite, excessive mood changes, excessive sleeping, and extreme exhaustion. This phase typically lasts two or more weeks from your last day of using cocaine.

Phase Three

Prolonged withdrawal is a phase that involves long-term drug withdrawal symptoms. It may last for weeks or months and is associated with bad experiences such as depression, anhedonia, lack of physical and mental energy, and lingering fatigue. These feelings can last for many months after the acute withdrawal phase. Suicidal thoughts may persist in this phase and can cause concern if that is the case. This phase is also associated with breakthrough symptoms such as psychotic episodes and intense cocaine cravings.

What Are The Factors that Determine the Length and Severity of Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms?

How long it will take you for withdrawal symptoms to subside will depend on factors such as the following.

Kind of Cocaine Used

In the U.S., cocaine products vary in purity. If the cocaine you used was laced with amphetamines or synthetic opioids, your detox would last longer than when it is a purer form of cocaine. 

Method of Use

The method used to administer cocaine determines how fast it hits your bloodstream. Injecting or smoking cocaine allows it to enter your bloodstream more quickly than snorting. For this reason, the effect will be intense, and your detox will take longer. Snorting cocaine also requires detox, but the duration of treatment is shorter.

Crack is a form of cocaine smoked by users whose withdrawal symptoms set in more quickly than other forms of cocaine. Crack withdrawal symptoms may set in within the first hour of stopping its use. With other forms of cocaine, the symptoms occur a few hours or days after a person’s last use.

Duration of Use

The timeframe you spend using cocaine will determine how long your treatment will take. Many serious addicts have used this drug for years, and their treatment will last longer. Also, the quantity of cocaine consumed matters. When you have used cocaine for many years, your withdrawal symptoms will last longer, especially if you have used it frequently and in large quantities. Your withdrawal symptoms may also be severe, requiring a more extended stay in a medical facility under strict medical supervision.

What Medications Are Used to Treat Cocaine Detoxification Symptoms?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved any drug to treat or manage cocaine withdrawal and addiction. However, scientists are in the process of evaluating medications with the potential to help reduce the use of cocaine and treat its withdrawal symptoms.

Currently, most doctors use antidepressants and other medicines to relieve or manage stimulant withdrawal symptoms like insomnia and depression. The most common medications used by doctors according to the 2005 report by Kampman KM titled New medications for the treatment of cocaine dependence published in Psychiatry (Edgmont) include:

  • Baclofen – This drug can relax muscles by reducing the levels of dopamine released in the body. For this reason, it is excellent for reducing cocaine cravings.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – When you are struggling with anxiety or depression, SSRIs can help by increasing serotonin levels in your body to stabilize your mood.
  • Modafinil – This drug is known to boost glutamate-neurotransmission, which helps to reduce or prevent euphoria caused by cocaine.
  • Disulfiram – This drug is typically used to treat alcohol dependence by causing a distressing reaction whenever a person drinks alcohol. Disulfiram stops euphoria, making it good for cocaine addicts experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
  • Sleep medications – Getting a good night’s rest is part of cocaine detox. So, if your addiction has caused sleep problems like insomnia or nightmares, you can benefit from sleep medications. These medications will help reduce the intensity of sleep problems. Make sure a doctor prescribes the drugs.

What role does genetic predisposition play in cocaine addiction?

Genetic factors can significantly influence the susceptibility to cocaine addiction. Studies indicate that genetics contribute to the risk of developing substance use disorders by affecting pathways in the brain associated with reward and addiction (Kampman, Psychiatry 2005).

How effective are brief interventions in treating cocaine addiction?

Brief interventions, particularly for users who are not heavily dependent, can be effective in addressing cocaine use. These interventions are designed to help individuals recognize their risky behaviors and motivate them to reduce or cease use (Jhanjee, Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 2014).

Can exercise be a part of cocaine addiction treatment?

Yes, physical exercise is recommended as it can alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. It’s a healthy lifestyle change that supports overall recovery (Morton, Primary Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry, 1999).

Can someone who is addicted to Cocaine also be addicted to Fentanyl?

Yes, someone who is addicted to cocaine can also become addicted to fentanyl. Both cocaine and fentanyl are highly addictive substances and can cause changes in the brain that lead to addiction. Additionally, individuals may also seek out fentanyl as a cheaper alternative to cocaine, leading to a dual addiction. It is important for those struggling with addiction to seek professional treatment to address both substances and increase their chances of successful recovery.

What are the potential benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for cocaine addiction?

CBT is effective in reducing drug use and improving coping strategies by addressing maladaptive thoughts and behaviors associated with addiction, making it a cornerstone of cocaine addiction treatment (Jhanjee, Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 2014).

Is medication-assisted treatment available for cocaine addiction?

While no medication has yet received FDA approval specifically for cocaine addiction, drugs like propranolol and baclofen have been researched for their potential to ease withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse (Kampman, Psychiatry 2005).

How does motivational interviewing (MI) support cocaine addiction treatment?

MI helps individuals resolve ambivalence about quitting by enhancing motivation and commitment to change, showing effectiveness in both substance use reduction and treatment adherence (Jhanjee, Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 2014).

What is contingency management, and how does it apply to cocaine addiction treatment?

Contingency management (CM) uses positive reinforcement such as vouchers or rewards for drug-free urine tests, which has shown efficacy in maintaining sobriety and treatment adherence among cocaine users (Kampman, Psychiatry 2005).

Are there any new treatments on the horizon for cocaine addiction?

Research is ongoing for developing a cocaine vaccine that would generate antibodies to block cocaine’s effects, offering a novel approach to preventing relapse (Kampman, Psychiatry 2005).

How does cocaine addiction affect employment and social relationships?

Cocaine addiction can severely impact social interactions and employment, often leading to job loss and strained family relationships due to behavioral changes and the demands of the addiction (Morton, Primary Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry, 1999).

What is the importance of aftercare in cocaine addiction treatment?

Aftercare is crucial for long-term recovery for relapse prevention purposes, providing ongoing support and counseling to help individuals adapt to life without cocaine, prevent relapse, and maintain the gains achieved during treatment (Jhanjee, Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 2014).

If you or a loved one need a long-term addiction treatment program for cocaine addiction, White Light Behavioral Health provides residential detox and rehab for cocaine addiction in Columbus, Ohio.

Ryan Wakim MD
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Dr. Wakim is a board-certified psychiatrist with a passion for and expertise in addiction, mood disorders, trauma-related disorders and the subspecialty of interventional psychiatry. He obtained his medical degree from West Virginia University where he also completed his residency training, finishing as chief resident. Dr. Wakim co-founded and served as the CEO of Transformations leading to a successful merger with Shore Capital in May 2021. He is purpose driven towards improving the standard of and removing stigma related to behavioral healthcare. Dr. Wakim enjoys golf, traveling and time spent with his two dogs, Lulu and Rayna.

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