Cocaine Addiction Treatment: What Are My Options?

You or a loved one may be addicted to cocaine. The great thing right now is that if you’re reading this, you’re thinking about seeking help for the disorder.

In 2019, around 5.5 million people suffered from CUD in the U.S. You are not alone.

Seeking treatment is the first step in addiction recovery, but you might be asking, “What are my options for treatment?” At Vertava Health, we can let you know what to expect in cocaine addiction treatment, as well as the different types of treatment.

cocaine addiction

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant that is known to be addictive. Over a century ago, it was used in many medicines to treat illnesses, and even was an ingredient in Coca-Cola.

Today, cocaine has been researched enough for doctors to know it shouldn’t be used as an active ingredient in medicine or soft drinks. That said, there are rare cases in which doctors can administer it. For example, a patient may need local anesthesia for a surgery.

Cocaine is generally depicted as a fine, white powder people snort for full effect. Cocaine is a stimulant, which means it increases the brain’s dopamine and norepinephrine activity. This causes more alertness and energy, and it also activates the pleasure center of the brain. This is what makes cocaine so addictive.

Side Effects of Cocaine Misuse

Cocaine’s effects depend on the amount of the substance a person takes. They typically appear immediately after the drug is taken, but can wear off within a few minutes if the amount is small. It is reported that euphoria (great happiness) and energy are felt after taking cocaine. People also report that the substance can decrease the need for sleep, and can make them hypersensitive to touch.

Short-Term Effects

Along with the effects mentioned above, there are short-term functional effects as well. These include blood vessel constriction, pupil dilation (making the black part of the eye larger), and increased heart rate.

If someone takes a large amount of cocaine, the euphoric effects may intensify, but there is a chance of unstable and violent behavior intensifying and happening as well. Heart attacks, seizures, and nausea have also been reported after taking large amounts of cocaine.

Long-Term Effects

One of the most common long-term effects of substance misuse is the desensitization to a specific dosage. This is no different in those who take cocaine. Tolerance builds up, and people tend to take more, which may result in binges or overdose.

The long-term effects on someone’s body can be losing the sense of smell and an overall irritation of the nasal passages. Other organs are also affected. It can lead to ulcers and tears in the gastrointestinal tract, increased chances of stroke, and even neurological problems like brain bleeding can occur.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

There are many forms of treatment for cocaine addiction. Every patient is different, so one form of treatment could work for one client, while another form would work better for another client. With treatment plans, there is typically a detox process as well.

Cocaine Detox

Detoxing from cocaine is not as dangerous as detoxing from other drugs, but a medical detox may still be recommended to reduce the intensity of physical withdrawal symptoms. Detoxing at Vertava Health Mississippi includes support for the psychological effects that can often keep someone from successfully completing detox. Our team will help you decide if a cocaine detox is necessary.

The detoxification process for cocaine use disorder generally has three stages. The first is “crashing”, where the person may experience mood swings and low energy. The second is the craving phase, where people crave the substance.

After this, the final process begins. At this third stage, while cravings can show up, they are usually infrequent, and those cravings tend to leave after around 30 weeks of treatment. Sometimes, this final period can be shorter or longer, depending on the person. No matter what, people typically experience withdrawal symptoms during their detox process.

Cocaine Withdrawal

During the detox process for cocaine addiction, it is common for clients to experience withdrawal symptoms. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms differ from the withdrawal symptoms of other substances, such as opioids. For example, there typically isn’t any vomiting with cocaine withdrawal. That said, the usual symptoms of cocaine withdrawal consist of:

  • Depressed mood
  • Fatigue
  • General feeling of discomfort
  • Vivid and unpleasant dreams

Cocaine withdrawal can have lasting effects. According to the National Library of Medicine, “The craving and depression can last for months after stopping long-term heavy use.” It is in this time after the detox process that addiction treatment is important.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment programs are designed to help clients focus completely on their recovery. Residential treatment is helpful for people starting the recovery process as there is 24/7 staff to supervise in a controlled environment. As opposed to suffering withdrawal symptoms by themselves, clients will have the support of trained professionals that will know what they need, even when the client is unsure.

Residential treatment includes group therapy, one-on-one counseling, and even recreational activities such as yoga. Vertava Health offers two types of residential treatment: long term and short term. With long term residential treatment, the goal is for the patient to develop life skills like accountability and responsibility.

Vertava Health’s residential addiction care immerses the client within the program. No electronics are allowed and we encourage the integration of family members, while having a substance-free environment and being in a peaceful, remote environment.

The treatment can be uncomfortable, as it forces the patient to examine their beliefs and their patterns, while developing new patterns and coping mechanisms. Vertava Health also offers help with aftercare and connections through therapy. Long-term residential treatment usually can range from lasting six months to one year.

There is also a short term residential program. Intensive care is still provided, but it is for a 28-30 day period, as opposed to six months or a year. This type of model holds an extensive outpatient program afterward. These were used to treat substance use disorders, such as cocaine use disorders, since the mid-80s. These all take place on-site at the facility.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is usually an umbrella term for all the different types of therapy that are available for clients with substance use disorders. Our treatment plans typically involve some form of therapy. There are different forms of therapy offered, as well as counseling.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps clients practice controlled thinking. The goal of CBT is to prepare the client for responding to challenging situations and negative thought patterns. This is beneficial for a client with CUD because it prepares them to notice and avoid the things that might have made them turn to cocaine in the past. CBT also helps CUD clients develop coping skills.

Some of CBT’s practices may have the client confronting their thinking patterns, discussing their experiences, and the feelings those experiences brought upon them.

CBT is a step-by-step process — while every patient is different, all issues are usually not resolved with the client’s first session of CBT. The duration of CBT can last from five sessions to 20 sessions.

Anyone experiencing CBT will be learning to use their own strength and natural tools to start living a healthier life and cope with challenging situations.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on validation and accepting uncomfortable thoughts, as opposed to struggling with them. DBT attempts to find the medium between acceptance and change. If the client accepts their troubling thoughts and behaviors, then change will be seen as possible by the client.

DBT has four main skills that it practices. These are split up categorically, with two being acceptance-oriented and two being change-oriented:

  • Acceptance oriented practices
    • Mindfulness — the practice of being fully present and aware of one’s surroundings
    • Distress tolerance — Practicing how to accept stressful situations, as opposed to changing them
  • Change oriented practices
    • Interpersonal effectiveness — Asking for what the client wants and saying no while keeping relationships intact
    • Emotional regulation — Keeping emotions in check by changing the emotions the client wants to change and reducing the vulnerability of emotional pain

DBT can help with CUD as it supports emotional growth, can reduce cravings, and can help to identify behaviors that are harmful to your sobriety.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is beneficial because it can help clients discuss their addiction amongst others while also helping the client understand they are not alone. There are others with the same struggles, and those are people the clients can lean on for support.

This can also help grow communication skills as well because it’s in a group setting. This will also allow clients to share success stories together, possibly giving them more motivation to keep succeeding.

Family Therapy

Family therapy is beneficial because it can help mend relationships. Family counseling can help families resolve conflict in a better, more effective way. It can also help families communicate more effectively.

In the case of cocaine addiction, family therapy can be very effective. The family of some clients may hold feelings of resentment, may feel like they are at fault, and sometimes they may just not know how to communicate and help.

Family therapy remedies this by laying out all those feelings on the table, giving families the tools needed to resolve those resentful feelings, and the tools to help their family member who is struggling.

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Outpatient Programs for Cocaine Addiction

After inpatient care, outpatient treatment usually follows. Outpatient treatment may also be an alternative to residential treatment for clients who can’t possibly do an inpatient program due to work and/or family duties. The goal of outpatient treatment is to prepare clients for living their lives without cocaine and to support them through the struggles that may appear.

Vertava Health offers an intensive outpatient program (IOP) that takes place from 5:30pm to 8:30pm from Monday through Friday. Our evening IOP center offers individual therapy, group therapy, DBT, co-occurring disorder care, and psychiatric and medical services.

Recovery Is Tough, But So Are You

The recovery process is a journey, and we are here to help you along the way. Our goal at Vertava Health Mississippi is to help our clients with their individualized journey to recovery so they can live out their best future.

Call to seek treatment today: (888) 956-6369.