Cocaine isn’t just illegal. It’s also extremely addictive. Cocaine is derived from the coca plant. Cocaine found on the street is highly prone to abuse. The white, powdery form of cocaine is actually cocaine hydrochloride salt, known by its street names like “blow,” “coke” and “snow.” Generally, this type of cocaine is snorted through the nose to produce a high, although some users prefer to inject it, or simply rub it on their gums.
When purchased on the black market, cocaine is almost never pure cocaine hydrochloride, and usually has been “cut” with an inexpensive substitutes to give the illusion of “fullness”. It also can contain other drugs, such as fentanyl or methamphetamine, although it’s impossible to know in advance what additional drugs it contains — and how potent they may be.
You may have also heard of the other form of cocaine, “freebase,” which creates crack cocaine. The crystalline rocks of crack cocaine are usually be heated and smoked for a more intense but short-lived high. Crack cocaine is even more addictive than the powdered form.
Many people go to great lengths to hide the signs of cocaine addiction, but it’s often possible to tell when a loved one has been using. Keep an eye out for these signs:
None of these symptoms alone is enough to suggest cocaine addiction, but if you notice a few, there’s a strong possibility the person you care about is dealing with a substance use disorder that may require counseling or drug rehab.
Cocaine has a quick release, making you feel over-confident, full of energy and extremely talkative. It also makes you less interested in eating or sleeping, and with larger doses, it can bring on very unpleasant side effects, including anxiety, paranoia, and unstable behavior.
Keep in mind that, because cocaine wears off quickly, it requires a recurring dose in order to maintain a high. That means it’s easy to take a much larger cumulative dose than intended. Because of this, cocaine can easily cause overdose leading to heart attacks, stroke, seizure — and even death.
Also, many people mix cocaine with other substances, especially alcohol. This is one of the most dangerous drug combinations, because cocaine and the alcohol react within the liver and metabolize to create cocaethylene. Cocaethylene increases toxic effects of both cocaine and alcohol, increasing the risk of impulsivity, stroke, liver damage, and cardiovascular issues..
What about long-term effects? Cocaine can permanently alter the pathways in the brain that respond to stress and reward. As a result, the risk of relapse is especially high for former users of cocaine, despite years of abstinence.
Cocaine use has been on the rise for years, and we have treated thousands of people with cocaine addiction as a result. Cocaine addiction isn’t easy to overcome, but here at Harbor Village we have the experience and tools to help make it happen. You’ll want to begin with our medically supervised detox. After your last use of cocaine, you’ll start to feel withdrawal symptoms between one and 40 hours; we can help you safely detox and manage those symptoms, then move into your next phase of treatment.
Most likely, you’ll want to participate in our residential rehab treatment. While every client is different, people who are in the early stages of recovery from cocaine addiction often need the structure and supervision of an inpatient program. We’ll work closely with you to create your individualized recovery plan, tailored specifically to your needs, challenges, and goals. We’ll also address any co-occurring mental health conditions that may be contributing to your cocaine use.
Studies show cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is especially helpful for people who are recovering from cocaine addiction. The tools you learn in CBT are useful well beyond your time at Harbor Village, and will serve you throughout your recovery. We also offer dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), and motivational interviewing (MI). Each of these therapeutic approaches has proven helpful in identifying and treating the causes of cocaine addiction — lowering the risk of relapse in the future.
To learn more about Harbor Village and our cocaine addiction treatment options, give us a call. You don’t have to feel alone anymore. We’re on your side.