Overcoming Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that has a major effect on many lives. Although some people are motivated to overcome their cocaine addictions and move forward with their recovery, it can be challenging to do so. Between the psychological cravings, underlying behavioral issues, and physical withdrawal symptoms, getting past a cocaine dependence takes time, persistence, and hard work.
That said, there is a light at the end of the tunnel if you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction to cocaine. There are resources available and people who want to help at White Light Behavioral Health clinic in Columbus, Ohio where you’ll find a safe environment for detoxification and recovery.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that generally comes in two forms that people use recreationally. There’s crack cocaine, which typically comes in the form of hard crystals and is most commonly smoked with a pipe. The other type is powder cocaine, which is usually snorted but can also be smoked or injected. When people use cocaine, the effects come on quickly and are relatively intense and short-lived. The most common effects that a person will experience after using cocaine include:
- Increased energy
- Upbeat mood
- Loss of appetite
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
There are also certain signs that you may notice when someone is regularly using cocaine, including behavioral changes that you can pick up on. If you’re concerned that someone you care about is using the drug habitually, you can keep an eye out for the following indicators:
- Dilated pupils
- Mood swings
- Erratic or dangerous behavior
- Major weight loss
- White residue around the mouth or nostrils
- Burn marks on lips or hands
Because the high feeling from cocaine only lasts between 10 and 30 minutes, users have to ingest it frequently to continue getting the effects. This makes it very easy for casual cocaine use to turn into a habit or full-blown addiction. People may only intend to use a small amount but end up going back to the well multiple times in a row. Before too long, they can find themselves dependent on the drug psychologically, physically, or both.
A cocaine overdose takes place when people ingest too much of the drug for their system to handle. When it happens, it can be fatal. Cocaine overdose can be particularly scary because it’s extremely unpredictable. For one user, it may take only a tiny dose of the drug for an overdose to occur whereas another user may be able to tolerate significantly more. Another factor is that the potency of cocaine can vary widely, making it common for users to overdose despite ingesting the same amount that they’re typically used to.
These are the most common signs of a cocaine overdose:
- Increased heart rate
- Chest pains
- Anxiety or panic
- Rising body temperature
Both newer and casual users as well as long-term users can be at risk for a cocaine overdose. A newer user may be more likely to unintentionally ingest a dose that’s too large for them to handle. More serious users are prone to going on binges in which they ingest large amounts of the drug over short periods of time. If you believe that you or someone you care about is experiencing a cocaine overdose, it’s important to recognize the symptoms and act as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence when it comes to getting medical treatment, and it’s important that you call 911 immediately.
Cocaine Addiction Recovery
If you or someone in your life is going through cocaine addiction, recovery is absolutely possible. There will be challenges, and it won’t happen overnight, but getting back to a healthy and productive life is an attainable goal.
One of the most difficult parts of overcoming cocaine addiction is getting through the withdrawal symptoms. While these effects aren’t life-threatening like those of heroin or alcohol withdrawal can be, they can be extremely unpleasant. The severity of the symptoms will depend on the severity of the addiction. A long-time daily user will likely experience much more significant withdrawal effects than someone who has only been using the drug for a few weeks. Listed below are the most common symptoms that users are likely to experience during cocaine withdrawal.
- Intense cravings for the drug
- Lack of concentration
- Sleep changes
While the physical withdrawal symptoms may not be as intense with cocaine as they are with many other drugs, the psychological symptoms can be overwhelming. For most people in recovery, it’s the mental aspects of overcoming the addiction that are the most challenging and that require help.
When you or your loved one is ready to begin the recovery process, the first step is to go through cocaine detoxification. This involves getting off the drug and getting past the worst of the withdrawal symptoms to be able to move forward with recovery. When it comes to cocaine, outpatient detoxification programs are the most common, but many users also require the assistance of inpatient programs. At quality cocaine detoxification clinics, like White Light Behavioral Health, there are a variety of helpful resources available to make the detox process easier and more manageable.
There are several types of treatments that have been shown to have success when it comes to cocaine detoxification and addiction recovery. Generally, a cocaine detox clinic will integrate some or all of these methods into unique treatment plans for each client. Users have different needs when it comes to their recovery, and while one treatment method may work for one person, there’s no guarantee it will be as effective for someone else.
Technically, there are no FDA-approved medications meant specifically for overcoming cocaine addiction. However, certain medications will sometimes be prescribed to help people cope with the withdrawal symptoms during cocaine detox and recovery. For example, certain antidepressants can be helpful in reducing cravings as well as the other psychological effects of cocaine withdrawal. These medications are not necessary in every case, but they can make a significant difference for some people.
A slightly more unorthodox method for cocaine detoxification is sauna therapy. This method has been shown to help with the physical and emotional symptoms of drug withdrawal, most likely because it allows you to sweat out many of the toxins remaining in your body. Certain inpatient detox clinics may offer sauna therapy as a form of alternative treatment.
Recovery is more than just detox; many recovery professionals will tell you that recovery truly begins after detox. For most people, the most important aspect of cocaine addiction recovery is sustained behavioral therapy. For recovery to be successful in the long term, it’s important for the underlying behavioral issues that led to the addiction to be addressed.
Keeping up with some form of behavioral therapy, whether it be one-on-one counseling or group meetings, is very important for avoiding relapses and maintaining mental and emotional health. Behavioral therapy is typically included in both outpatient and inpatient treatment programs. This type of therapy helps teach people how to stop using cocaine and provides the skills needed to cope with the challenges of life in recovery.
Another common treatment method for cocaine addiction recovery is the use of a reward system. Either with the assistance of an inpatient clinic or on their own, those in recovery are rewarded for reaching certain milestones while avoiding the drug. This helps give them the needed motivation to work through the withdrawal symptoms and early challenges of recovery. Then, as detoxification finishes and the recovery progresses, they’ll have developed some of the skills necessary to stay disciplined and committed to their progress. Reward systems aren’t necessarily an effective treatment for everyone in cocaine addiction recovery, but they can work wonders for certain people.
Why Recovery Is Worth It
If you or someone you care about is dealing with cocaine addiction, the thought of stopping and pursuing recovery can be overwhelming. Drug addiction can make you feel bad about yourself, your life, and your future, but it’s important that you don’t give in to those negative thoughts. No matter how low you feel, there are many people who care for you and want to help you succeed. And if you’re willing to truly commit to recovery, there is a happy, productive life waiting for you.
Cocaine addiction doesn’t only affect the person using the drug. It also has serious effects on that person’s friends and family members. Seeing someone you love go through such a difficult experience can be traumatizing and overwhelming. If you need additional motivation to pursue recovery, it’s worth considering the people that matter most to you in your life.
Ultimately, though, you won’t succeed in getting past your addiction until you’re truly ready to move forward and embrace sobriety. Once you’re ready to take that first step, you’ll quickly find that you have an entire network of help and support available to you.
Cocaine Detoxification Clinic in Ohio
If you or someone in your life is ready to take the first step toward recovery, getting in touch with a reputable detoxification clinic is a great place to start. If you’re in the Columbus area, White Light Behavioral Health is a wonderful choice for cocaine addiction recovery. We will provide you with the resources and support you need to begin the road to recovery in earnest. We’ll create a personalized treatment plan that gives you or your loved one the necessary tools to overcome addiction. We look forward to hearing from you and getting started on this important journey in your life.