How to treat cocaine addiction

There were roughly 1.9 million people addicted to cocaine in 2008, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This is a very high number of people who are dependent on this drug. It is considered by many as one of the hardest substances to beat. The question how to beat cocaine addiction is not easy to answer. Many factors come into play like, recognizing the addiction, making the decision to do something about it, setting goals, talking to friends and family, and seeking help.

Recognize the addiction

One of the hardest things to do is to recognize the addiction for what it is. This involves knowing the signs of cocaine or crack addiction. The common symptoms of cocaine addiction include:

  • needing the drug to function normally,
  • needing more and more of the drug to produce the same effect,
  • job loss due to drug use,
  • friends and family avoiding the addict,
  • failing to care about personal appearance,
  • loss of enjoyment in things that used to cause pleasure,
  • doing things that are out of the ordinary to obtain the drug such as theft and prostitution, and
  • legal issues because of cocaine.

Although there are many more symptoms of cocaine use, these are the most common. These are signs that there is an issue with addiction and it is time to seek help and treatment. Recognizing this is the first step in beating the addiction.

Decide to beat addiction

Next, a person has to decide that they want to stop using. If you truly want to beat a cocaine addiction, you need to resolve to do so. Every person is different but cocaine withdrawal is a long process. Most people experience cravings for months after quitting. These cravings are most intense about two months after using. This means that cravings can come unexpectedly for a very long time. This causes many people to relapse and start using again. Without a clear decision to stop, it is difficult to overcome these cravings.

Keep busy

How to treat cocaine addiction

Cocaine addiction can have an adverse impact on all aspects of your life.

One of the most effective ways to wade through the cravings for cocaine is to keep busy. Sitting idle and thinking about how much you desire the drug makes it very difficult to resist. Activities like exercise, hobbies, reading, working, video games, and writing are great ways to beat any addiction. By keeping busy, you keep your mind and body active. Writing is known to be both therapeutic and constructive. Looking over the journal later on helps to prevent relapse because you see your mistakes and desires in black and white.

Create goals and work towards obtaining them

Having goals and listing them helps you to center your thinking. If you are taking steps to fulfill your goals, you have less time to worry about using. Focusing on what you want your life to be is an excellent way to avoid using. A goal might be something simple like getting through the next hour, day, or week without using or it might be something more complex like going back to school or finding the right job. Goals need to be clearly defined, have a timeline, and be obtainable. No matter what the goal is, having a clear and decisive plan helps to prevent relapse.

Talk to friends and family

While using addicts tend to alienate friends and family. Talking to them and telling them the plan to stop using can help. They are a valuable support tool and many people find comfort in confiding in them. They can help you stay on track as long as they are not judgmental and do not use themselves. Unfortunately, there may be friends that still use and will discourage you from getting help. These friends will usually distance themselves from you when you attempt to quit.

Seek help

According to the National Library of Medicine, cocaine is the third most prevalent drug. Addiction to it is also highly treatable. Seeking help is the best way to beat addiction. There are several ways to get help that is both effective and cost conscious.

  • Your doctor – a good place to start is with your general practitioner. Not only do they have your health in mind, they have access to resources that you may not. They can provide access to information and other detox options.
  • A rehab center – there are many rehab centers across the United States. Each of these facilities offers different programs to help beat addiction. Some of these programs include a safe place to detox, medical care when needed, counseling, exercise, dietary counseling, and a variety of holistic therapies.

When choosing a rehab facility make sure it meets the needs of the addict. Some facilities offer holistic approaches, some offer medical approaches, and some offer behavioral approaches. Choose the approach that works best for you.

  • Community help – most communities have community based addiction help. This is usually in the form of a group, club, or program. Many of these community-based programs are either low cost or no cost. They are easily accessed through the state information websites and other community resource lists.

No matter what method you use figuring out how to beat cocaine addiction does not have to be difficult. By resolving to quit and seeking help for the addiction it is possible to leave it behind. Addiction to cocaine does not have to destroy your life.

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How to treat cocaine addiction

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Once a person enters cocaine addiction treatment, maintaining abstinence over the long-term requires the type of commitment and motivation that many recovering addicts just can’t muster. The damaging effects of cocaine strip away a person’s will and motivation making it all the more difficult to stay off drugs.

For these reasons, cocaine addiction programs offer medication therapies that help support damaged brain and body functions, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Depending on the stage of recovery a person is in, medication therapies can serve different purposes throughout the recovery process.

Medications can benefit people going through the detox stage as well as help lower the likelihood of relapse further along in recovery. In effect, medication treatments alleviate much of the discomfort addicts experience in recovery since cocaine addictions often leave a lasting imprint on a person’s overall health and well-being.

Cocaine Addiction Processes

From the moment a person takes the first dose of cocaine, the brain’s chemical processes go through a series of changes brought on by the drug’s ability to over-stimulate neurotransmitter secretions. Ongoing cocaine use all but exhausts the brain’s ability to regulate neurotransmitter levels on its own. In turn, cocaine’s effects take over where the brain’s normal processes leave off.

According to the University of Cambridge, constant over-stimulation actually causes brain cell sites to deteriorate, which accounts for their inability to function normally. In the process, users must ingest larger amounts of cocaine to compensate for the brain’s weakened state. In effect, the cocaine addiction process becomes a vicious cycle that promotes ongoing drug use and increasingly larger doses along the way.

Medication Used to Treat Cocaine Withdrawal

How to treat cocaine addiction

Medications are used to help people overcome cocaine addiction.

Cocaine withdrawal develops during the detox stage and can also persist for months after a person stops using. Withdrawal symptoms can be so distressing as to drive a person back to old-using behaviors. Symptoms of withdrawal often take the form of:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety episodes
  • Extreme drug cravings
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Feelings of anger or rage
  • Delusions

Medications offered in cocaine addiction treatment help ease many of the withdrawal symptoms a person experiences. Medications commonly used include:

  • Haloperidol – to help eliminate psychotic-type symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions
  • Desipramine – to help relieve feelings of depression
  • Clonidine – to help alleviate the physical symptoms of withdrawal (muscle aches and pains, tremors, insomnia)

Medication Used to Prevent Relapse

With cocaine addictions, the risk of relapse can stay with a person for years into the recovery process. Medications used to prevent relapse help to reduce the level of drug cravings a person experiences from day-to-day.

Cocaine addiction programs typically prescribe one or more of the following medications to help recovering addicts avoid relapse:

  • Baclofen – reduces drug cravings by altering GABA neurotransmitter levels in the brain
  • Tiagabine – another GABA neurotransmitter agent
  • Topiramate – alters both GABA and glutamate neurotransmitter levels

As with any medication regimen, a trial and error process may be necessary to determine which drug best meets a person’s specific needs.

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How to treat cocaine addiction

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Written By Legacy Healing Center – Nov 20 2019

How to treat cocaine addiction

Table of Contents

Learn the right steps to cocaine recovery at Legacy Healing.

Cocaine abuse and addiction is a continuous problem in the United States. Due to its potency and short-acting nature, an addiction to the drug can start surprisingly quickly. Beating an addiction to cocaine isn’t something that you need to do alone; there are successful methods of how to beat cocaine addiction.

According to a 2014 national survey, there were an estimated 1.5 million current users of cocaine, with people aged between 18 and 25 at the highest abuse rates. People who are addicted to cocaine don’t usually find relief from their withdrawal symptoms and cravings through other drugs, and repeated use of cocaine builds tolerance, thereby increasing overdose risk.

If you or someone you love needs help with addiction, call 954-994-2965 today to speak with a treatment specialist.

Stopping cocaine abuse is a life-changing decision. But how exactly do you quit cocaine after becoming addicted to it? In this article, why cocaine is addictive and the best ways on how to beat cocaine addiction will be examined.

Why is Cocaine Addictive?

So, exactly why is cocaine addictive? The answer lies in the way that the drug interacts with the brain. The interaction that cocaine has on the brain is essentially two-fold: it increases dopamine levels and then stops the brain from being able to clear away the dopamine until the drug has dissipated.

After about 15 to 30 minutes, the brain absorbs dopamine again but the brain is left exhausted and unable to produce more dopamine naturally, causing a crash. This is what leads to people using cocaine every few minutes for hours and hours.

By affecting the reward centers of the brain in such a way, some people can become addicted after trying cocaine just once.

Overcoming Cocaine Addiction

Addiction isn’t something that can be cured because it is a mental disorder, but it can certainly be overcome and managed safely. Years of research have increased our understanding of addiction as a mental disorder and how to best treat a person with a cocaine addiction. Today, rehab programs are able to pull a person back from the edge of addiction and back on track with a happy, healthy life.

How to beat cocaine addiction can be difficult alone because the mental reward reinforcement combined with withdrawal symptoms make it exceedingly difficult to maintain sobriety. While on one day the user may be determined to quit, when met with the intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms the following day, many people relapse.

At Legacy Healing Center, you can get away from the pressures that may be making it difficult to stop, such as drug-abusing friends. Staying in a drug-free environment means that you’ll have the chance to properly get over the initial withdrawal symptoms and cravings, which can be made even easier with a medically-assisted detox where medications are made available.

After detox, a person is ready to take the next step of their recovery: behavioral therapy. Therapy is a core element of cocaine addiction recovery because it helps to break patterns that have been difficult to break alone and to get the person in the right frame of mind for long-term recovery.

The most common forms of therapy are contingency management, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and the Matrix Model. Contingency management reinforces positive behavior through low-cost rewards, which is especially effective for stimulant addiction such as cocaine. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps to improve the individual’s coping skills and helps to alter the behaviors that no longer serve the person.

The Matrix Model combines many different aspects required for successful recoveries, such as family therapy, group and individual therapy, relapse prevention, and addiction education.

Once the rehab program concludes, the individual will be ready to take on life’s challenges with new skills and relapse prevention techniques. Aftercare programs are made available to help the addict further maintain their sobriety. While it may take some time, an addiction to cocaine can be beaten for good.

Call 954-994-2965 today to speak with a treatment specialist.

In this post, we answer the question “how to stop taking cocaine”. Cocaine is also known as benzoylmethylecgonine or ‘coke’. Cocaine, which is classed as a stimulant, is highly addictive. The majority of cocaine addicts snort the drug in its powder form. However, some cocaine addicts will smoke or even inject cocaine in order to ‘get high’ quicker.

Many heavy cocaine users are able to continue their lives without the stigma attached to other addictions such as heroin and alcohol. This is because cocaine users are typically better at ‘holding things together’ when compared to other addictions. This means those close to the addict may not even realise the severity of their addiction.

As we shall out outline below, even short-term cocaine use is highly risky when it comes to your health. When we say ‘health’ we mean your physical and mental wellbeing. Other than your health, cocaine addiction destroys your social, professional and financial well-being. If you’ve taken cocaine for more than three or four months then you will likely feel more depressed, more anxious and more paranoid. In fact, more than 60% of cocaine addicts wish to kick the habit due to the detrimental effect cocaine has on mental health. Other common reasons for wanting to purge cocaine addiction include financial problems, pressure from a spouse or professional problems at work.

If you would like to find out more about cocaine addiction treatment – read more on Cocaine Addiction, Cocaine Rehab and Cocaine Detox.

The Dangers Of Cocaine Abuse

When you consume cocaine you risk a number of immediate health problems. This includes high blood pressure, hyperthermia, heart palpitations, stroke and even sudden cardiac death. Cocaine is particularly dangerous when it is mixed with alcohol. This is because cocaine and alcohol form an even more deadly ‘metabolite’ in the liver known as cocaethylene. Cocaethylene is highly toxic to the liver and may even cause a heart attack.

It is estimated that around 4,300 deaths occur each year as a result of a cocaine overdose.

The Science Of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a highly addictive substance due to its action on the reward ‘pathways’ of the brain. This is because cocaine stimulates the release of dopamine. Dopamine is the brain’s ‘feel good’ chemical and a key neurotransmitter. Cocaine also prevents the reuptake of other neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and serotonin. A build-up of neurotransmitters results in cocaine’s ‘euphoric’ effect. However, this feeling is short-lived, lasting around fifteen minutes. Cocaine then blocks the re-uptake of dopamine. This means the user must take cocaine in order to experience happiness. Cocaine effectively damages an addict’s ability to experience natural pleasure.

Many long-term cocaine users also feel highly depressed due to their addiction. This depression has led many cocaine addicts to commit suicide.

About Cocaine Treatment

Cocaine dependency is known as a psychological addiction. Cocaine withdrawal precipitates a range of psychological withdrawal symptoms such as cravings for the drug, paranoia, insomnia and panic attacks. Chronic cocaine users may also experience a form of psychosis during withdrawal. Symptoms include hallucinations, aggression and severe paranoia.

By far the best way to treat these symptoms is to undergo rehabilitation at a residential cocaine treatment provider. During rehab, you receive 24/7 medical attention until the above withdrawal symptoms have dissipated.

These acute withdrawal symptoms last for around five to seven days.

Once psychological withdrawal symptoms have dissipated it is essential that clients receive therapy. Therapy sessions typically include ’12 step’ work, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and holistic therapy.

Some research papers indicate cocaine is the most problematic drug addiction to treat. Theses researchers claim only heroin addiction is harder to treat.

For this reason, we highly recommend clients undergo cocaine addiction at a residential clinic. This means clients are completely removed from their ‘using environment’ whilst therapy takes place.

Other Common Ways Of Beating A Cocaine Addiction

Now we outline other (less effective) ways of beating cocaine addiction. The majority of this information of gathered during ‘group therapy’ sessions taking place at our residential rehab clinic. We urge cocaine addicts to adopt many of the below strategies in conjunction to attending a residential rehab programme:

  • Avoiding social situations where cocaine is commonly consumed. Some addicts even move home in order to avoid external ‘triggers’ of cocaine use
  • Avoiding certain ‘friends’ who also use cocaine
  • Increasing physical exercise and improving diet
  • Seeking out new hobbies and sports
  • Seeking out the services of an addiction counsellor/therapist on an ‘out-client’ basis.

How to treat cocaine addiction

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

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Cocaine Abuse Can Destroy Your Life.

An Introduction to Cocaine Addiction & How to Get Help

Above It All Treatment Network is here to help those addicted to cocaine in finding the best treatment options to overcome your addiction. We are here to take the stress off you & your loved-ones when it comes to getting help. Learn more about the signs & symptoms of cocaine addiction and how our partner programs can help you or your loved-one in achieving long-term recovery from cocaine addiction.

According to the United States government, cocaine is a substance that comes with a high risk level for abuse and ultimate dependence. This is another way of saying that it is addictive. Cocaine addiction can place a powerful physical and mental hold on the individual, and shaking that grasp can be all but impossible without clinical care. The happy news for those who are struggling with cocaine addiction is that clinical care is readily available, and with it, recovery is attainable. Even a serious cocaine abuse problem doesn’t stop you from enjoying ultimate addiction recovery and freedom.

Above It All Treatment Network provides that freedom to those who struggle with all kinds of substance abuse issues, including addiction to cocaine but also alcohol, meth, opiates and all kinds of prescription and street drugs through our partner facilities. Our partner dual diagnosis facility also helps individuals facing co-occurring mental health disorders. Our mission is to help those battling addiction develop the skills they need to maintain sobriety over the long run. Hope and healing are here for you—but first, it is helpful to understand exactly what you are up against.

Derived from the South American coca plant, cocaine causes feelings of happiness, energy and wakefulness.

However, it is also associated with increased heart rate and blood pressure, restlessness and mental health problems. Chronic use of large doses of cocaine can result in agitation, aggression, hostility, panic and suicidal or homicidal behaviors.

Cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs in the world. After the first hit, people can quickly progress to repeated use and addiction. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, a person can become addicted to crack cocaine after the first time trying it.

Just one dose of cocaine can cause life-threatening consequences, and repetitive use of the drug can lead to cocaine addiction. A cocaine use disorder can result in physical and mental health problems that affect many facets of a person’s life.

How Addictive Is Cocaine?

Researchers have attempted to measure the addictiveness of cocaine and other drugs. For example, a 2007 study published in The Lancet assessed the harm, dependence and potential misuse of 20 drugs. The research team found that cocaine is the second most addictive drug behind heroin.

In 2015, a study published in the Journal of Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry also explored the addictive potency of drugs based on a variety of factors. Researchers suggested that cocaine was the third most addictive drug. Only alcohol and heroin were reported to be more addictive.

Cocaine addiction can be deadly. Individuals can experience a fatal cocaine overdose after just one try. More commonly, overdoses occur when people take large doses of cocaine.

Mixing cocaine with alcohol or other drugs is especially dangerous. Combining cocaine with heroin, a concoction known as speedball, greatly increases the risk of overdose. Most cocaine-related deaths occur when the drug stops the heart and causes breathing to stop.

Why Is Cocaine Addictive?

Cocaine alters brain chemistry. When people use the stimulant, excessive amounts of the chemical dopamine build up in the brain. Dopamine produces feelings of pleasure and happiness.

The flood of dopamine from cocaine use causes a euphoric high. Snorting cocaine produces a high that lasts for 30 minutes or less. Smoking crack or freebase cocaine has more powerful euphoric effects that last for just two to three minutes.

Some people mix cocaine with weed or other drugs. This increases the impact the drugs have on brain chemistry.

The feelings of euphoria caused by cocaine fade quickly, and people often experience a crash marked by fatigue and intense cravings to use the drug again. These factors cause many people to repeatedly use the substance.

Over time, the drug changes the brain. People develop a tolerance to cocaine, and they need to take more to achieve the desired effects.

Addiction is a brain disease that changes a person’s physical, psychological and social health. Individuals who are addicted to cocaine experience intense impulses to use the drug. They may even begin stealing money to pay for cocaine.

Signs of cocaine addiction include:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Suspicious activity
  • Depressed mood
  • Frequent nightmares

People addicted to cocaine experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the stimulant. Cocaine withdrawal may cause drowsiness, increased appetite, slowed thinking, trouble sleeping or depression.

Treating Cocaine Addiction

The best way to treat cocaine addiction is to seek treatment. At cocaine rehab, people can receive support and evidence-based treatment that matches their specific needs.

Cocaine treatment may include therapies such as:

  • Contingency management
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Therapeutic communities
  • 12-step programs

If you know someone addicted to cocaine, consider contacting a cocaine hotline for information about treatment and supportive services. A representative can put you in touch with nearby rehab centers that can help you or your loved one recover from cocaine addiction. All calls are free and confidential.

Further Information
Cocaine Addiction Treatment
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  • Cocaine Detox
  • Cocaine Rehab
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  • How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your System?
  • Withdrawal Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
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A highly addictive Class A drug, Cocaine is used and abused by approximately 5.3% of the United Kingdom’s adult population.

When smoked, snorted, injected or consumed orally, cocaine offers an almost immediate euphoric high that lasts for an average of 90 minutes. This high enables many individuals to relax for a short period and is also known to alleviate any side effects associated with mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

While many cocaine users believe that recreationally consuming cocaine is not harmful, cocaine use often leads to cocaine abuse and cocaine dependency.

In the instance that a cocaine addiction impairs an individual’s life, cocaine addiction treatment must be sought.

At Addiction Advocates, we specialise in referring those struggling with cocaine addictions to inpatient rehabs. To seek our help or find out more about the treatment available for cocaine addictions, contact us directly today.

Get In Touch

Are you suffering from Cocaine Addiction and need help? Addiction Advocates are leading UK based experts in Cocaine Addiction and Rehabilitation Treatment. Find out how we can help by getting in touch with our friendly team today.

Understanding Cocaine AddictionsHow to treat cocaine addiction

Cocaine addictions, or cocaine dependencies as they are otherwise known, are disorders that see many individuals become reliant on the effects and euphoric sensations that cocaine use has.

A stimulant drug, cocaine use often sees users feel more alert, more awake and more energetic. However, as noted above, these side effects only last for up to 90 minutes.

As the effects wear off, many are left feeling extremely low and experience anxiety, paranoia and insomnia. To ease these sensations, cocaine is once again consumed.

As the brain comes to associate an enhanced mood with cocaine use, dependencies arise. Extremely harmful, cocaine dependencies and addictions come hand-in-hand with a wealth of short and long-term effects.

Including irreversible health problems, organ failure, and reduced brain function, these effects significantly impact an individual’s health and well-being.

When a cocaine addiction is present, treatment must be sought as soon as possible. An inability to secure addiction treatment will ultimately see cocaine addictions intensify.

Cocaine Addiction Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction deviate from person to person. However, many individuals will experience physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms.

The symptoms commonly associated with cocaine addictions can be found below.

Physical Symptoms

  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Liver damage insomnia

Psychological Symptoms

  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Mood swings

Behavioural Symptoms

  • Reckless behaviour
  • Financial difficulty
  • Impaired relationships
  • Secretive behaviour

Not everyone who develops a cocaine dependency will encounter all of the symptoms noted above. However, encountering just a number of the symptoms highlights a need for addiction treatment.

Treatment Options For Cocaine AddictionHow to treat cocaine addiction

Detoxification, rehabilitation, therapy and relapse prevention are among the many treatment options for cocaine addiction. These particular treatments often form the basis of personalised treatment programmes encountered upon attending a private inpatient rehab.

Though each treatment is administered at different stages of the recovery process, combined, they ensure that a complete recovery can be secured and maintained.

Cocaine addiction treatment typically commences with detoxification. Supervised by a medical professional within a rehab facility, detoxification is medically induced.

Initiating the withdrawal process, cocaine detox programmes prepare those struggling with addictions for a cocaine-free life.

By removing all sources of cocaine from the body and brain, those progressing through treatment will find that they can prepare for rehabilitation. Completing a detox programme takes an average of seven days. However, some individuals do require detoxification treatment for longer.

Following detoxification, rehabilitation is administered. As addictions are psychological illnesses, therapy must be completed if a long-term recovery is to be secured. Throughout therapy, the underlying cause of addiction is distinguished.

Identifying the initial cause of cocaine addiction ensures that appropriate therapy and support can be supplied to guarantee that coping strategies can be devised.

Typically, the therapies incorporated into cocaine addiction treatment programmes include cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, stress management, bereavement counselling, trauma counselling and abuse counselling.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

As cocaine addictions are frequently associated with mental health disorders, individuals that require cocaine addiction treatment also often require mental health treatment.

To ensure that treatment can be sought for both addictions and mental health disorders, dual diagnosis treatment is administered when needed.

This particular form of treatment combines addiction treatments, such as detoxification and rehabilitation, with mental health treatments, such as mindfulness and well-being therapy.

Completing dual diagnosis treatment guarantees that the side effects of both mental health disorders and addictions are concurrently alleviated.

Get Help Today By Contacting Addiction AdvocatesHow to treat cocaine addiction

Cocaine addictions are almost impossible to overcome without addiction treatment. Yet, with the help of our self-referral service, you will find that you are able to locate and secure appropriate treatment.

If you are ready to refer yourself to a rehab that can cater to your addiction recovery needs and goals, contact us today by calling 0800 012 6088.

In doing so, we will advise you of your treatment options and locate a rehab on your behalf.

While cocaine use has dropped significantly in the last decade, it remains a problem for those exposed to the drug at a young age. Cocaine is a powerful stimulant, no matter what form it takes or how it is consumed. Teens who use cocaine experience a mighty dopamine dump and are liable to use it again, mostly because their brains are more susceptible to both the drug’s short-term and long-term effects.

Continued use can lead to dependence and addiction. Like other stimulants, cocaine’s effects on the heart and brain can lead to a drastically shortened lifespan, especially in those addicted to it. The mental health effects of cocaine addiction in teens should not be understated either. Despite triggering euphoria, cocaine use can drastically worsen existing symptoms of anxiety and trigger panic attacks.

Cocaine dependence and addiction can worsen depression, and teens already struggling with mental health conditions are more likely to get hooked on addictive drugs like cocaine. Swift professional treatment, access to helpful physical and mental health resources, and a long-term support system are critical in helping teens with cocaine addiction.

Do Teens Still Use Cocaine?

Although cocaine use has dropped off since the mid-80s, with a dramatic drop occurring around 2009 onwards, nearly a million Americans (913,000) met the diagnostic criteria for cocaine addiction in 2014. The heaviest users now and at the time were young college-aged students, between ages 18-25 (specifically 18-20), who also experienced the most significant drop in user numbers since.

Factors for why cocaine has become less popular include its price and the fact that most teens across all three surveyed school grades (8th, 10th, and 12th grades) overwhelmingly disapprove of cocaine use. That being said, the perceived risk of the drug has gone down somewhat.

Cocaine overdoses and deaths in popular media are no longer relatively as fresh on the mind of today’s youth than it was for the previous generation. While teens still crack cocaine as one of the most dangerous illegal drugs available, they are less disapproving of single-time cocaine use than before.

Cocaine and the Opioid Crisis

Despite the lower perceived risk, cocaine has also become much more dangerous. While cocaine itself is a powerful stimulant, rising death rates point to a dangerous trend of mixing the illegal drug with a powerful synthetic opioid called fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a hundred times stronger than morphine and is usually used in extraordinarily controlled and low doses to address terminal and intractable pain. When mixed into cocaine to cut costs and increase potency, it can lead to a much higher risk of overdose and death.

This new trend is directly related to the opioid crisis, which has led the charge in drug-related deaths after over-prescription of painkillers and unscrupulous marketing tactics in the 1990s eventually led to an increase in illegal opioid use, a resurgence of heroin, and opioid-related overdoses.

While fentanyl is one of the most potent and dangerous additives found in cocaine, it is far from the only one. Because of its cost, cocaine is often cut with other at-times toxic substances, many of which might not elicit a short-term reaction but can lead to significant long-term brain and organ damage.

Signs of Cocaine Addiction in Teens

Cocaine addiction can have a severe physical and mental impact on teens. Symptoms differ depending on the drug’s purity, the filler substances used (if any), and whether a teen is currently coming down from a high, experiencing withdrawal, or presently high. Some common signs of cocaine use and cocaine addiction in teens include:

  • Manic behavior
  • Low or no appetite
  • Excessive energy and talkativeness (compared to their usual demeanor)
  • Feelings of invincibility and grandeur (more so than other teens)
  • Extreme irritability
  • Excessive sleep
  • Erratic mood

While coming down:

  • Nightmares
  • Signs of depression (long-term low mood and low self-esteem)
  • Signs of anxiety (nervousness, long-term dread or panic, constant worry)
  • Suicidal ideation

Physical signs of frequent use:

  • Twitching or occasional “shakes”
  • Runny nose and no other cold symptoms
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Unexplained nosebleeds
  • Needle marks (cocaine may be injected instead)
  • Drug paraphernalia (glass pipe for crack cocaine)

Long-Term Effects of Teen Cocaine Addiction

The long-term effects of cocaine depend on the severity of use, frequency of use, the additives found in the drug, and the consumption method. For example, injecting the drug carries a much higher risk of HIV or hepatitis, especially when sharing needles. Some of the long-term effects of cocaine addiction in teens include:

Neurological Effects of Cocaine Addiction

In its pure form, the powerful stimulant effects of cocaine can be addictive, particularly for a developing brain. A modern understanding of addiction defines it as a brain disease or neurological condition. Regular drug use leads to a physical and mental dependence on the drug and the associated phenomenon of withdrawal, growing drug tolerance, and overdose risk.

Teen brains are underdeveloped and more likely to get addicted and be addicted for longer, as most severe addictions correlate with early drug use. While the immediate effects of cocaine on the brain are felt as “positive” (boundless energy, increased motivation, and a manic feeling), the long-term effects are severely adverse. They include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Chronic headaches
  • Loss of motivation
  • Feeling excessively tired
  • Feeling unable to function without the drug
  • Feelings of paranoia

Physical Effects of Cocaine Addiction

Aside from the physical risk of overdose, cocaine’s long-term toxicity is felt the most in the heart, liver, and brain, where the drug can cause severe damage and induce a stroke, heart attack, or liver failure. Most heavy cocaine users also displayed abnormal liver function and were at a much higher risk of heart-related illnesses and sudden death. Cocaine use can also lead to other physical dangers due to being high, sharing needles, or reaching a near-toxic dose.

How to Help and When to Seek Treatment

While fewer teens use cocaine than before, it’s still a problem for many teens, and nearly a third of surveyed teens reported that finding and buying cocaine today would be relatively easy. Treating cocaine addiction can be difficult because of how addiction affects the teen brain. However, a dedicated and individualized treatment plan and long-term support can significantly reduce the chance of a relapse and help teens learn to cope with cravings and develop the toolset to combat their addiction: the earlier treatment starts, the better.

  • How Does Cocaine Work?
  • Effects Of Cocaine
  • Signs Of Cocaine Abuse
  • Cocaine Addiction Treatment

How to treat cocaine addiction

Article Contents

  • March 3, 2021

Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant. It’s a fine, white powder that can be cooked into smokeable rocks called crack.

While some doctors use cocaine for anesthesia and other medical purposes, the drug is otherwise illegal. That’s because it’s highly addictive. Cocaine addiction also called cocaine use disorder, is a serious disease that requires professional treatment.

How Does Cocaine Work?

Some people use cocaine by snorting the powder or dissolving it in water and injecting it into their veins. Others smoke crack cocaine, usually in a glass pipe.

No matter how you use it, cocaine increases the amount of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) associated with reward, attention, motivation, movement, and memory.

Effects Of Cocaine Use

By increasing dopamine, cocaine causes a rush of happiness, alertness, energy, and excitement. It can also cause anxiety, anger, restlessness, and paranoia. These effects appear almost instantly and can last up to an hour.

Other effects of cocaine may include:

  • increased talkativeness
  • shaking
  • dizziness
  • hypersensitivity to sight, sound, and touch
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • enlarged pupils
  • increased body temperature
  • increased blood pressure
  • chest pain
  • fast or irregular heart rate

In addition, regular cocaine use can lead to health problems such as:

  • seizures
  • stroke
  • heart attack
  • extreme weight loss and malnourishment
  • frequent runny nose, nosebleeds, or loss of smell from snorting cocaine
  • lung problems, such as pneumonia and worsened asthma, from smoking cocaine
  • infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, from sharing injection needles (or other drug paraphernalia) or having unprotected sex while high
  • psychosis, which is a feeling of disconnection from reality that can cause delusions and hallucinations

Cocaine Overdose

If you use a lot of cocaine, you may overdose. Common symptoms of overdose include:

  • high blood pressure
  • sweating
  • hallucinations
  • extreme anxiety and/or irritability
  • loss of urine control
  • bluish skin
  • trouble breathing

If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, seek medical help immediately. When left untreated, a cocaine overdose can lead to seizures, stroke, or heart attack.

You’re more likely to overdose on cocaine if you mix it with other substances, such as alcohol or heroin. Some people unknowingly buy cocaine that’s been mixed with dangerous drugs, including fentanyl. Fentanyl is an opioid linked to numerous overdose deaths.

Signs Of Cocaine Abuse & Addiction

The two main signs of cocaine addiction (and crack addiction) are tolerance and dependence.

Cocaine tolerance means your body becomes less sensitive to the drug. Over time, you’ll need larger and more frequent doses to feel the desired effects.

Cocaine dependence means your body relies on the drug to function normally. If you stop using it, you may experience cocaine withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • intense cravings for cocaine
  • fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • slowed thinking
  • increased appetite
  • vivid nightmares
  • depression
  • suicidal thoughts

To avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms, don’t try to quit cocaine on your own.

Instead, attend a medical detox program, where health care professionals can help you slowly and safely stop using the drug. They’ll closely monitor your health and may prescribe medications to ease certain withdrawal symptoms.

Other common signs of cocaine addiction include:

  • experiencing mood swings
  • feeling unable to function without cocaine
  • withdrawing from friends and family to spend more time getting and using cocaine
  • neglecting responsibilities at work or school to spend more time getting and using cocaine
  • feeling unable to quit cocaine despite wanting to

Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options

If you or a loved one struggles with cocaine, seek help at a substance abuse treatment facility. These facilities offer inpatient care for people with moderate-to-severe addictions and outpatient care for people with milder addictions and strong support systems at home.

Whether inpatient or outpatient, cocaine addiction treatment programs provide services such as:

Therapy

If you’re addicted to cocaine (or any other drug), it may feel impossible to ignore cravings. During cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a mental health professional can help you develop healthy coping skills to manage cravings.

Other popular forms of therapy for cocaine addiction include:

  • group therapy, where you can share your triumphs and challenges with other people who are recovering from drug addiction
  • motivational interviewing, where you can improve your motivation to stop using cocaine
  • contingency management, where you can receive rewards, such as gift cards, for not using cocaine

Wellness Activities

When you take care of your physical and mental health, you’re less likely to relapse (start using cocaine again). That’s why many treatment programs offer wellness activities such as meditation, yoga, journaling, exercise, and art. These activities can boost your mood, decrease stress, and make it easier to handle cravings.

Aftercare Planning

For many people, cocaine addiction recovery is a lifelong journey. To support your journey, your doctors can help you create an aftercare plan. Depending on your needs, your plan may include strategies such as ongoing therapy, support groups, housing assistance, and employment assistance.

To learn more about treatment programs for cocaine addiction, please reach out to a Recovering Champions specialist today.