What is Cocaine?
The first step to treating cocaine addiction is to understand what cocaine abuse and addiction are. But first, what is cocaine and how is it made? Cocaine is an illegal, stimulant drug that has a high potential for abuse and addiction. As a stimulant, cocaine artificially activates dopamine and increases the speed of cell movement throughout the body. This often looks like a burst of energy, the ability to get things done, and overall efficiency. But in fact, studies show that these are overactivated and overstimulated cells that haven’t had a chance to recharge.
The immediate effects of cocaine have made it extremely popular. It is sold on the streets and is often mixed with other substances to produce hybrids, like crack cocaine, for example. Sometimes cocaine distributors mix cocaine with flour or other powders to increase their profits, and other times it’s combined with other drugs to make dangerous mixtures. This increases the risk of harmful effects, including a potential overdose and even death.
How Dangerous is Cocaine Addiction?
Cocaine abuse can take over one’s life, resulting in complete addiction. Many peoples struggling with cocaine addiction experience negative effects in many spheres of their lives, including:
- Physical health
- Mental health
- Relationships and social interactions
- Employment stability
- Trouble with the law resulting in incarceration
In addition to all these, cocaine addiction can end tragically in overdose and sometimes death.
The physical effects of cocaine are harmful in both the short-term and long-term. These may include:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Susceptibility to heart attacks, even in young and otherwise healthy people
- High risk of strokes and seizures
The way many individuals use cocaine is by snorting or inhaling. Other ways to consume the substance include melting cocaine into an injectable form, which has other types of physical risk. Like other intravenous drugs, shared needles heightens the risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis B, both of which are treatable but incurable.
What’s the Relationship Between Cocaine Abuse and Mental Health?
The impact that cocaine abuse has on your physical health is very serious, but so is its impact on your mental and emotional health. In some situations, cocaine addiction is accompanied by pre-existing mental health conditions, i.e. co-occurring disorders. Prolonged cocaine abuse can worsen these symptoms and make it even more difficult to treat both diseases.
In other cases, cocaine use may causes individuals to develop mental health issues. Issues could include:
- Bipolar disorders
- Eating disorders
- Psychotic episodes
- Other harmful cognitive effects
Overall, one of the greatest dangers of cocaine use to your mental health is simply addiction. Any highly addictive substance will cause the experience of strong cravings, which leads to seeking more and more cocaine to reproduce the same type of high. If unattainable, the substance withdrawal is extremely difficult and stressful for the body, which lead to irrational and sel-destructive patterns of the addiction cycle. All of these significantly diminish one’s mental, emotional, and physical health and quality of one’s life.
What Are the Types of Cocaine Addiction Treatment?
Depending on your circumstances, you may benefit from inpatient or outpatient treatment for cocaine addiction. Both options are effective, so the best option depends on you, your circumstances, past history, and current needs. For example, if you have been in treatment programs in the past and have continued to relapse, inpatient treatment is highly recommended. But if this is your first treatment and/or if you need to continue working, an intensive outpatient treatment program may be a suitable alternative.
There are also new and innovative treatments emerging to address cocaine addiction. One experimental treatment, for example, is being tested by a professor at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Andrew Norman and his team have developed a protein that binds to cocaine and prohibits it from entering the brain, which can help those struggling with cocaine addiction and help prevent relapse.
How to Start Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Taking the first step to treat a cocaine addiction may feel daunting. This may be due to the fears associated with withdrawal symptoms or the uncertainties of what life will look like after treatment. But remember that seeking treatment could save your life. The longer you continue, the more complicated your addiction may become and the increase of risks only worsens.
It’s difficult to take the leap but admitting that there’s an issue is a huge step towards sustained recovery. Although cocaine is both dangerous and highly addictive, with the proper treatment and support, sustained recovery is more than possible. When you’re searching for a professional treatment center, you will want to look for the following in a recovery program:
- A highly structured, evidence-based program
- Individual treatment that addresses your mental health needs
- A wide spectrum of treatment options
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Aftercare support
In addition to the features above, it’s important to choose somewhere that you feel safe, supported, and in a healthy environment. You will need ongoing support that will focus on both your mental and physical health. Furthermore, you will need a plan to developing healthier coping strategies. If there are any underlying mental health concerns, those will be at the top of the priority list.
Holistic treatments will assist you in refining your diet plan and encouraging a more active lifestyle which help significantly. These approaches will help you reduce your risk of relapse and boost your quality of life. Another part of the recovery process is mending relationships that have suffered as a result of your cocaine addiction.
No one deserves to live a life darkened with addiction. At Pinnacle Recovery, our luxury treatment center welcomes you to begin your road to recovery, working towards a healthy, fulfilling life. Please contact our staff to speak about your options or to ask any questions. The first day of the rest of your life could begin today.