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Cocaine Addiction & Withdrawal Symptoms

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is an illicit stimulant drug that is highly addictive. It comes in a white powder form and is typically snorted, creating a euphoric and energetic high. Those who abuse this drug are often drawn to it because of the punch it packs. Even snorting a small amount of cocaine can give a person an extreme amount of energy. Unfortunately, as with all other illicit substances, abusing cocaine can quickly lead to addiction. A person who is addicted to cocaine is not only going to appear highly energetic, but they will also exhibit several other symptoms that signify the severity of their addiction.

Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease of the brain that creates an uncontrollable compulsion to keep using one or more addictive substances. Cocaine addiction not only causes people to crave and constantly seek out cocaine to use, but it can also produce the following symptoms:

• Sudden, unexplained mood swings
• Insomnia
• Panic attacks
• Anxiety
• Aggression
• Irritability
• Grandiosity
• Nosebleeds
• Impaired sexual function

Individuals experiencing cocaine addiction are also likely to:

• Neglect responsibilities at home and/or work
• Abandon actions to maintain their physical appearance
• Become secretive surrounding their cocaine use
• Socially withdrawing from others
• Experiencing financial and/or legal problems

One of the most telling signs that someone is addicted to cocaine occurs when they develop withdrawal symptoms when unable to use. This signifies a physical dependence, which means that without regular cocaine use, the body begins reacting negatively.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

As soon as a person begins abusing cocaine on a regular basis, they quickly become tolerant to the drug. This means that they need to use more frequently and in higher doses in order to achieve the sensation of being high. With a continual, evolving increase in cocaine use, that same person can begin to develop a dependence on cocaine. Being dependent on cocaine means that the body has adjusted in ways that accommodate cocaine, therefore when cocaine is not being used, withdrawal symptoms kick in. Arguably the first withdrawal symptom most people experience is a “crash.” The crash feels like the mid-afternoon “crash” that millions of people in the workforce experience, only heavily multiplied. That crash puts a major toll on the body, which begins producing several withdrawal symptoms. Some common symptoms include the following:

• Muscle aches
• Tremors
• Exhaustion
• Depression
• Paranoia
• Chills
• Suicidal Thoughts

The majority of cocaine withdrawal symptoms start to taper off within a week or two after one’s last use, however many of them can remain present for months. This is just one of the several reasons why it is highly recommended for a person looking to end their active cocaine addiction to seek professional treatment.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

There are several addiction treatment options available for those who want to get sober. Various levels of programming can be accessed based on the severity of one’s addiction. Those with more intense addictions to cocaine or other addictive substances can benefit from residential treatment, while those who have a mild case of cocaine addiction may do best in an outpatient program. For those individuals who fall in between with their treatment needs, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs are available. 

Across the board, however, both medications and therapy play vital roles in the treatment of individuals with cocaine addiction. The combination of the two has been proven effective at treating the disease of addiction, including cocaine addiction. 

Although there are no known medications to treat cocaine addiction specifically, studies have shown that antidepressant drugs have shown to be of some help in the early stages of cocaine abstinence. Benzodiazepines, such as Ativan, can also be professionally prescribed and administered to help ease some withdrawal symptoms, including mood swings and sleeplessness. The use of either antidepressants or benzodiazepines should never be conducted independently, rather it should always occur under the supervision of a medical or psychiatric professional. If not closely monitored, the patient in recovery can quickly become addicted to these medications. 

Medication is not a magic bullet. While it is extremely helpful and beneficial for several reasons, it is not a fix-all. Medications are proven to work more effectively when combined with therapy. Most addiction treatment programs offer a number of evidence-based therapies to their patients, including but not limited to, the following:

• Individual therapy
• Group counseling
• Family therapy
• Behavioral therapy
• Contingency management
• Motivational interviewing

These and other therapies can help someone recovering from active cocaine addiction talk about the underlying issues surrounding their addiction. The more that a patient shares, the more focused their treatment can become. Through therapies such as these, recovering cocaine addicts can work on addressing the following:

• Compulsive behaviors
• Negative self-talk and self-beliefs
• Giving into cravings
• Feeling unable to function without cocaine
• Risk-taking behaviors

Therapy can also help individuals understand the importance of maintaining their recovery along with showing them how to do so. For example, therapy can encourage patients to make lifestyle changes that support their wellbeing, such as discontinuing contact with others who continue to abuse drugs, implement a daily schedule, and establish a healthy diet and exercise routine. It can also help build inner strength and confidence so that abstaining from cocaine use in the future can be achievable. The tools that patients take from participating in different forms of therapies are what they can use to remain in recovery for a lifetime.

Get Help for Cocaine Withdrawal and Addiction Today

MD at home detox can help you take the first step towards recovery. Call us right now to learn more about how our services can bring you closer to accomplishing the goal of sobriety.

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