In the wake of the opioid epidemic, and more recently, crystal meth, cocaine has all but become an afterthought – at least to the individuals who aren’t struggling with it or directly involved with someone who is. While cocaine coverage regarding use and arrests has been absent from mainstream media coverage, for the most part, the drug certainly hasn’t been absent from the black market.
Opioids like heroin and fentanyl may have overtaken usage amounts and alternative stimulant methamphetamine, but the problems of cocaine are still a burden on society. They’re absolutely a burden in the lives of the individuals who struggle with cocaine abuse disorder and the lives of their families.
With the attention on the opioid epidemic, plenty of coverage is provided regarding heroin addiction treatment. However, cocaine addiction treatment is still a much-needed dynamic in substance abuse treatment and is continuing to advance in terms of helpful treatment methods.
In the following sections, we’ll dive into cocaine addiction treatment and the issues surrounding cocaine abuse disorder. We’ll also investigate potential avenues users have for accessing cocaine addiction treatment.
What is cocaine addiction treatment?
Cocaine addiction is a severe and often deadly problem. In fact, cocaine addiction is the most abused illegal drug in the United States. If left untreated, cocaine addiction can lead to serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, and death.
However, there is hope for those who suffer from cocaine addiction. Treatment options exist to help individuals recover from their addiction and live a healthy life free from cocaine.
Cocaine addiction treatment looks different for each individual and can include a wide range of specific forms of therapy. Before understanding how one can achieve the most appropriate level of treatment, it’s critical to be aware of the common signs of cocaine withdrawal.
Common signs of cocaine withdrawal
The most common signs of cocaine withdrawal are decreased energy, restlessness, irritability, and insomnia. These symptoms usually peak within the first few days after stopping use and gradually decrease over the next few weeks.
Many people also experience a decreased appetite and a rapid heart rate. Cocaine withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and can cause significant psychological distress.
Initially, individuals may sleep for an extended period. This is usually followed by a period of intense irritability and possible paranoia. Intense cravings will accompany withdrawals, which can be one of the harshest side effects.
Many people question whether they need treatment for cocaine addiction. The truth is, cocaine abuse disorder is no less severe than any other abuse disorder and requires just as much attention.
Do I need treatment for my cocaine use?
Cocaine abuse can be a serious problem, and treatment is often the best option. However, not all people who abuse cocaine need treatment. Some people only use the drug occasionally or in small doses, while others use it regularly and in high doses.
If you are only using cocaine occasionally or in low doses, it’s possible you could recover without treatment. However, if you are abusing cocaine regularly and in high doses, you may need treatment to help you stop using the drug and live a healthy life.
Many types of treatment available can help you recover from cocaine abuse. Upon entering treatment, clients and physicians work together to craft a personalized treatment plan consisting of multiple types of therapy and other activities.
Effective treatments for cocaine addiction
Your behavior and thought processes can be changed through sessions with a trained therapist. Cocaine addiction can be treated effectively both in a residential setting as well as in an outpatient setting through a variety of behavioral treatments.
Many drug problems, such as cocaine addictions, can only be treated with behavioral therapies. When it comes to mental illness or addiction, it can be effective to combine behavioral and medication-based treatments.
Currently, there are no approved drugs for treating cocaine addiction. Sometimes, providers prescribe medications during treatment to treat other problems or symptoms. There is a chance that medication may be prescribed to treat co-occurring disorders if a person with addiction also struggles with some other form of mental illness.
Behavioral approaches to cocaine addiction are listed below, including some available and effective therapy types.
An alternative to traditional therapy, Contingency Management employs a reward-based system to motivate individuals to adopt healthy habits like not drinking or using drugs. A gym membership or movie tickets are some of the prizes meant to help establish a healthy lifestyle.
Treatment retention can be improved by using this method early in treatment. Long-term effectiveness for lifelong recovery is still being investigated.
The most effective treatment for addiction and mental illness in some cases is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). For preventing relapse, CBT is among the most effective evidence-based approaches.
Approximately 60% of those who recover from addiction will relapse. By identifying thought patterns and behaviors, CBT helps lower that number. To cope with negative emotions and thoughts, CBT helps to recognize and identify destructive behaviors.
In contrast to CBT, therapeutic communities are not based on individual therapy. This type of therapy allows individuals with substance use disorders to meet in groups and provide support to one another without judgment.
Research has found that this strategy reduces drug abuse but usually requires six to twelve months of intensive treatment, which may include residential stays.
Regardless of the avenue of treatment, participating in therapy can help ease the discomfort of the cocaine detoxification timeline.
Cocaine detoxification timeline
The cocaine detoxification timeline is when a user eliminates the drug from their body to begin recovery. This period includes uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous withdrawal symptoms that the user must overcome.
Below is a general example of the medical detoxification timeline for cocaine and what occurs during each stage.
Withdrawal from cocaine is most difficult during phase 1. A cocaine crash occurs when the effects of cocaine wear off after you stop using it. There is intense depression and anxiety during Phase 1, as well as irritability, fatigue, tiredness, hunger, and an inability to experience pleasure from traditional sources. Cocaine withdrawal begins with cravings, and people want to use the drug again to eliminate the crash-related symptoms.
During this phase of cocaine withdrawal, various physical symptoms may occur, including severe dehydration, trembling, seizures, or even cardiac arrest (though they are scarce). Getting help from a medical professional is essential if you have been a severe cocaine user.
Cocaine withdrawal progresses from Phase 1 to Phase 2. Some people can remain in Phase 2 for up to 10 weeks, which is much longer than Phase 1. Phase 2 is the phase during which most physical symptoms disappear entirely. People will still feel exhausted and lethargic, and cravings for cocaine will come and go regularly.
Phase 2 cocaine withdrawal symptoms include irritability, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. It may take people a while to get through Phase 2, but it is the period when symptoms start to improve, and people begin to regain control of their lives and health.
Often called the extinction phase, Phase 3 is the last stage of cocaine withdrawal. A person who has been sober for ten weeks will still experience cravings for cocaine during the third phase, especially when they are in the environment where they used the drug.
However, the cravings will be significantly less intense and frequent than they were. While apathy, irritability, lethargy, and feeling somewhat off are common symptoms of phase 3, people may feel more positive overall. It continues to improve as time passes. People who have quit using cocaine will eventually feel as good as they did before.
Therapy techniques for stimulant users
Early withdrawal from stimulants like cocaine may require a structured break in a medical detox setting for a few days. In most cases, people will need ongoing help to cope with cravings and learn new behaviors once detox begins.
The use of stimulants by some people helps them manage other aspects of their lives. It may be possible to reduce stimulant use by addressing those challenges or needs. Among the things someone may need help with are:
- The housing situation
- Obtaining a job
- Finding a community/connecting with others
- Support through 12-step programs
- Problems with health
In addition to reducing stimulant use and improving health, exercise has also been beneficial. Sometimes this takes place during holistic treatment.
Holistic rehab treatments are considered forms of therapy that address the entirety of the user, including the mind, body, and spirit. This deals less with the behavioral aspect of addiction and more with reconnecting with yourself spiritually and emotionally.
Multiple benefits exist for treating cocaine addiction at a holistic rehab.
Benefits of treating cocaine addiction at a holistic rehab
Multiple benefits exist for treating cocaine addiction.
1. Stress Relief
Drugs and alcohol are often used as a result of stress. Stress can be relieved in new ways when you enter recovery. Holistic therapy is a safe and natural way to relieve stress.
Stress reduction is associated with this benefit. To stay sober, you need to learn new skills if you use drugs or alcohol to cope with negative emotions.
You’ll need new hobbies if you want to enjoy yourself without using substances. You can continue holistic therapy as a stress reliever outside of rehab by accessing a variety of holistic therapies.
2. Relapse Prevention
Addiction recovery requires relapse prevention. Relapse rates can be reduced through holistic treatment. Relapse risk can be decreased by reducing stress and developing coping skills. In addition, these therapies can help you feel fulfilled and purposeful. Prevention of relapse relies heavily on this factor, which is often overlooked.
Staying sober is more manageable when people have a reason to do so. Job, volunteering, creative endeavors, and raising a family can all lead to a sense of purpose. The goal of holistic therapies is to help people find fulfilling, drug-free lives by assisting them in finding their place in life.
3. Increased Self-Esteem
A person’s sense of self-esteem and identity can be negatively impacted by addiction. Self-doubt and shame may be present in your mind. As a result, you may feel like you have no identity compared to the person you have become in addiction.
You can reconnect with yourself through holistic therapies. Learning new skills can help you overcome difficult emotions and gain self-confidence.
In addition, holistic rehabs provide a safe environment for you to explore yourself. As a result of this time of reflection, you may be able to reconnect with your true self. Staying in recovery can be made easier with a strong sense of identity.
Any therapy – holistic or otherwise, can help rectify some mental challenges associated with cocaine addiction.
The Mental health risks of cocaine addiction
A high chance exists of developing mental health challenges due to cocaine addiction. Because of how cocaine interacts with the brain as a stimulant, it does severe damage after extended periods of use.
After a long period of battling cocaine abuse disorder, users may develop cognitive issues and even regress in simple cognitive tasks they’ve acquired throughout their lives. It’s not uncommon for long-term users to develop a shakiness about them, often dropping things or becoming unable to keep a steady hand.
Stuttering is another side effect of long-term cocaine abuse, in addition to having difficulties putting together a complete thought or sentence.
Long-Term Recovery from Cocaine Is Possible
Long-term recovery from cocaine is possible with the right treatment plan and a strong team by your side. At Catalina Behavioral Health, we provide both.
Working closely with clients and their families, we’ll also help you prepare for post-treatment by ensuring you have strong pillars of support after you graduate and re-enter your everyday life and schedule.
Contact a member of our dedicated Admissions team today for more information on how we can help you take your life back.