DETOX FROM COCAINE AND CRACK
More than 14 percent of people age 12 and over have used cocaine at some point in their lives, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA also reports that there has been a 29-percent increase in deaths due to cocaine overdose from 2001 to 2013 and nearly 5,000 overdose deaths in 2013 alone.
What is Cocaine & Crack?
Cocaine and crack — two forms of a very powerful stimulant — can quickly and decisively turn users into addicts. Derived from the South American coca plant, cocaine has legitimate medical uses as an anesthetic and pain management tool. However, since its strong, pleasurable effects on the body’s central nervous system can create an instant state of happiness, energy, and euphoria, many people will want to continue to use it for the high and not for its prescribed medical purposes.
Cocaine and crack inhibit the body from reabsorbing dopamine. Dopamine, a hormone naturally occurring in the body, enables the pleasurable sensations we feel in response to positive stimuli — such as seeing an old friend or smelling a delicious meal — when our brain expects a reward. Since cocaine allows dopamine to continue to flow freely in the body, it sustains that heightened state of pleasure and anticipation regardless of any actual stimulus or reward. As a result, cocaine and crack’s desirable, immediate, and strong effects make breaking an addiction to the drugs extremely difficult, especially without professional help.
SIGNS OF COCAINE AND CRACK ABUSE AND DEPENDENCY
Many signs could indicate a cocaine addiction is present:
- Powdery residue around the nose and mouth or needle marks if the drug is injected
- Paraphernalia from using, including spoons, syringes, razor blades and small plastic bags
- Noticeable changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- A runny nose and other cold symptoms, frequent nosebleeds
- Spending more time alone, losing interest in friends and family
- Loss of focus on hygiene or personal appearance
- More time spent getting and using the drug, as well as recovering from its effects
- Inability to stop using the substance, even if it causes personal, professional or legal problems
SYMPTOMS OF COCAINE AND CRACK ABUSE AND ADDICTION
Cocaine and crack affect every aspect of the body’s normal function and continued abuse of these drugs can lead to a wide variety of health problems.
Symptoms of cocaine and crack abuse include:
- dilated pupils
- elevated temperature
- high blood pressure
- cardiovascular impairment
- coordination issues
- tachycardia (racing heartbeat)
LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF COCAINE ABUSE
Abuse and addiction to cocaine or crack produce many long-term effects, some of which vary by the method in which the drugs are taken.
If taken long-term:
- decreased appetite
- impaired coordination
- increased Parkinson’s risk
If taken orally:
- bowel decay due to decreased blood-flow
- impaired sense of smell
- chronic runny nose
- issues swallowing
- higher risk of blood-born disease infection, such as hepatitis C and HIV
SYMPTOMS OF WITHDRAWAL FROM COCAINE AND CRACK
As a stimulant, cocaine and crack activate the body’s pleasure centers, creating an energetic high. Withdrawal from the drug produces contrary effects.
Symptoms of withdrawal include:
- troubled sleep
- difficulty concentrating
THE NECESSITY OF A SUPERVISED COCAINE AND CRACK DETOX
Your body will experience many severe, negative side effects as you undergo withdrawal from cocaine and crack. While cocaine does not have associated with it the intense physical symptoms of withdrawal that other substances have, you will experience many difficult and uncomfortable psychological side effects including irritability, restlessness, lethargy, depression, and even numbness. You will likely also experience stronger-than-ever desires to use. Unsupervised, you might use again just to forgo this pain and discomfort.
Supervised detox can help you through this process in a number of ways. Your trained, compassionate caregivers can ensure you get the medical assistance you need to ease the pain associated with withdrawal as well as sound information about the process and compassionate support, so you never feel alone. Throughout your stay, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center makes your physical safety and comfort as well as your emotional well-being its foremost priority.
AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO COCAINE AND CRACK DETOX
If detox and addiction had strictly medical cures, then any individual could seek medical help and receive an antidote. Unfortunately, chemical dependency and addiction confront us with a much more complicated problem with no “easy solution” readily available. Personality traits, an abundance of opportunities, and inopportune behaviors in consort lead to dependency and addiction, so any meaningful treatment solution must address all of these pathways.
You must break your body’s chemical dependency, of course, but you must also understand what behaviors led to a pattern of abuse and replace those behaviors with new ones which will help you successfully manage future triggers and choose healthier options. Further, the greater awareness, understanding, and forgiveness we have of ourselves and our own propensities, the better choices we can make in any given situation.
Serenity Oaks Wellness Center’s doctors, counselors, and caregivers strive to help you focus on and address each of the pillars of your addiction. Through tailored, appropriate medical care, compassionate, patient-focused counseling sessions, and supportive, judgment-free opportunities for personal growth, you will come away with the psychological tools, physical well-being, and emotional self-confidence that will help you get and stay drug-free. Call our counselors to discuss all your personalized options today. We want you to succeed, not only at detox but also at wellness.