In 2019 3.8% of American high school seniors used cocaine within the past year. As we know, the likelihood of an addiction-forming is much higher when addictive substances are used at an early age. Cocaine is a powerfully addictive substance that can lead to overdose on its own but also can play a role in overdoses when mixed with other substances.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that over the course of a year 38,000 Mississippians aged between 12 and 26 use cocaine.
Treatment for Addiction to Cocaine vs. Crack
Is there a difference between cocaine and crack cocaine? The only differences are the name and the form of the drug, which changes how it is ingested. Chemically it is essentially identical in each version.
Cocaine addiction can affect anyone, whether you are snorting the powder version of the drug or smoking the solid version. When struggling with a cocaine addiction a person may feel constantly “on edge” or like they cannot calm down, they may feel as if they have a fever, and they can even develop nose bleeds, lose their sense of smell altogether, begin having trouble swallowing, and develop a persistent cough.
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Addiction And Your Health
Addiction brings an intense feeling of need for the substance and that’s how cocaine addiction will feel as well. Because cocaine affects your brain by upping the amount of Dopamine, which is sometimes called the pleasure chemical, frequent use makes it so your brain becomes used to all of that Dopamine, which can bring euphoria and intense happiness.
When the cocaine leaves your system and the Dopamine levels drop to normal, those feelings go away but your brain now wants more. It tells your body that the Dopamine was great and that’s when the cravings can start.
You can overdose from cocaine by itself but overdoses are more commonly due to a mixture of cocaine and other substances. When overdosing on cocaine alone, a person will most likely be experiencing cocaine poisoning, which can result in seizures, psychosis, and even heart attack.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that death from overdose can occur on the first use of cocaine..
When combined with other substances the danger of cocaine goes up significantly. Drinking alcohol and using cocaine at the same time is very dangerous and can lead to overdose, as well as mixing cocaine with heroin, which is known as a “speedball.”
Specifically, when using alcohol and cocaine together, a substance called cocaethylene can be produced. There are studies that show when using alcohol and cocaine together the likelihood of cerebral hemorrhage, irregular heartbeat, and heart attack rises quickly.
From Recreational to Addiction – It’s Time For Treatment
Although used as a recreational drug and an ingredient in some products since the early 1900s, the downsides of cocaine became obvious and it was outlawed in the United States in 1914 by the Harrison Narcotics Act.
A study by McGill University even showed that for those who didn’t consider themselves addicted but had used cocaine, even just seeing someone else with cocaine or ingesting cocaine was enough to trigger a release of dopamine and thus create a craving for the drug.
Knowing it’s possible to feel cravings for cocaine much earlier than previously thought, let’s take a look at the definition of addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as “a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain.”
In the case of cocaine, having cravings for the drug may not mean an active addiction, but it certainly would be an early warning sign for behavior that could lead there. If you are already struggling, however, it might be time to officially start your recovery, and that can sometimes mean detox.
Detoxing from Cocaine and Achieving Long-Term Recovery
When detoxifying from a substance the process can come with withdrawal symptoms that can be hard to handle. What about detoxing from cocaine specifically, though?
A study cited by the Australian Department of Health has some shocking facts about cocaine detoxification. It lists three phases for what it feels like to detox from extended cocaine use.
- “The Crash” – When heavy cocaine use is stopped this phase begins, and is most often characterized by intense anxiety and depression, being consistently irritable or angry, deep exhaustion, increased hunger, and temporarily feeling no desire for cocaine.
- “Withdrawal” – This comes with an intense craving for cocaine, having a hard time maintaining concentration, along with increased irritability and feeling lethargic (slow/tired), and can last for as long as up to 10 weeks.
- “Extinction” – The final stage comes with random cravings for cocaine use that can be made worse by external cues.
How Does Detox Work at Vertava Health Mississippi?
The term “withdrawal” covers a large set of very uncomfortable symptoms that can vary based on the substance being detoxed. Some withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening and because of that, but also because the physical struggles can prevent someone from seeking treatment, medically-supervised detox uses medications to help ease those uncomfortable feelings.
Medically-supervised detox allows you to be as safe and comfortable as possible. Once you complete detox there are other treatments here at Vertava Health Mississippi that can assist you in maintaining long-term recovery.
Recovering from a Cocaine Addiction With Evidence-Based Treatments
Vertava Health Mississippi knows recovery is a process that takes more than just eliminating the substance you’re struggling with. We offer a wide range of evidence-based treatments that focus on magnifying the strength you already possess and making long-term recovery a reality.
Inpatient recovery is sometimes needed in order to address an addiction, and we partner with fantastic and reputable inpatient rehabilitation centers across the U.S., and fit you with the treatment program that will use your resilience and dedication to achieve a successful recovery. The majority of patients referred to inpatient facilities complete residential care and then further their success with our Vertava Health Mississippi outpatient programs.
Our detox care is set up to medically manage withdrawal symptoms safely in a hospital setting. Medically managed withdrawal improves the odds of a successful recovery and makes dealing with withdrawal more comfortable. Our compassionate and professional medical practitioners monitor your physical and emotional state 24/7 to increase your comfort and ease any anxieties.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Programs for Addiction Treatment
One of the main treatment methods we use is called Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). There are multiple steps to DBT, each one with its own complex functions and aims. Two of the steps are particularly noteworthy here because they address something you’ve read about cocaine addiction.
First, DBT uses a step called distress tolerance to focus on how your mind and body react to distress, which is an inevitable part of life. Using cocaine can lead to developing cravings, as we know, and much earlier than was previously thought. Using distress tolerance as a guide, during recovery you will begin to understand how your body reacts to certain situations, and that means you can start changing the outcome.
Next, DBT uses emotion regulation which is just what it sounds like: you are regulating your emotions by focusing on how they are produced, and why. Let’s go further into that. If you see something that makes you nervous or makes you feel like you need to reach for a substance you’re struggling with, DBT puts tools into place to work past those feelings.
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Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Long-Term Recovery in Mississippi
For anyone whose struggle may need regular visits, but needs an evening schedule, we offer the evening Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) as a treatment option. These normally take place Monday through Friday, between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. We assess each situation individually and choose what will be best for each person.
A complete week of IOP will equal out to about nine hours altogether. What will you be doing while at IOP treatment sessions? We offer both individual and group therapy with a focus on DBT. There are psychiatric services available as well. Once you complete an evening session you go home and return for the next scheduled session.
Do you feel like you need help? Are you worried about a friend or loved one and don’t know where to start? Right at the beginning of recovery, it can feel like there are too many decisions to make, too many things to handle. You’re not alone and you have what it takes to make real change take place. Give us a call and we can guide you through it all. You’re strong and resilient. Let’s chat today. (844) 551-7335