While cocaine addiction can wreak havoc on a persons life, it is treatable. With proper support, lifestyle changes, and a commitment to recovery, many people who have struggled with cocaine addiction at some point can lead happy, healthy, sober lives. Read on to learn about cocaine addiction treatment in Los Angeles.
Cocaine is a stimulant thats classified as a Schedule II narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Schedule II drugs are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.2 Derived from the leaves of the coca plant, cocaine is snorted, smoked, or injected.
Cocaine is typically either sold in a white powder form or produced as crystals/rocks (known as crack). Cocaine is also known as blow, coke, rock, and/or snow.
In addition to the effects associated with the high of cocaine use, there are many unpleasant side effects.
While these differ from person to person, side effects may include physical effects such as tremors, muscle twitches, raised blood pressure, raised body temperature, nausea, fast/irregular heartbeat, decreased appetite, and/or constricted blood vessels.
Psychological and emotional side effects may include restlessness, irritability, paranoia, sensitivity to light, sound, and touch, extended wakefulness, and/or aggressive behavior.
Both the high and the short-term side effects of cocaine use pass quickly and can lead the user to use many times over a short period. Users may get high, then use repeatedly within a span of just a few hours.
A single dose of cocaine produces a high that lasts for an hour or less – sometimes, the high can be as short as a few minutes. Many people who use cocaine take their next dose the moment they feel their previous high beginning to fade. This behavior can continue for several hours or even days. Using repeatedly for a period of time can result in a crash, during which the user feels depressed, anxious, and fatigued.
When the body and brain are coming down from several hours or several days of a cocaine binge, the body is not only exhausted from processing cocaine – its also exhausted from the lack of sleep experienced during cocaine use. Basic levels of functioning may feel nearly impossible as the body recovers and works to get back to normal during a crash.
There are many different ways that people use cocaine. Some people inhale cocaine through the nose. The drug can also be taken orally, either by rubbing cocaine in powder form on the gums or by swallowing it. When the drug is crystallized into crack, or when cocaine is in freebase form, it can be smoked. Lastly, cocaine can be dissolved in water, heated, and then injected into a vein. Injecting cocaine and smoking crack are the fastest ways to create an intense high.
Cocaine works to enhance the activity of the bodys’ central nervous system. There are many reasons why people use cocaine. Many users report that they feel an enhanced sense of self-esteem, higher levels of both mental and physical performance, and higher productivity levels.
Some people find that the enhanced sense of self-esteem they feel when using cocaine makes it easier to enjoy themselves in social situations. Over time, people may feel that they arent able to have fun when theyre out with friends or in other social situations unless they use cocaine.
The effects of cocaine set in nearly instantly after the drug is ingested. Effects can include a sense of euphoria, happiness, and pleasure, increased mental alertness, extreme energy, increased desire to talk and socialize, and dilated pupils.
In addition to using cocaine to experience a greater sense of comfort and extroversion in social settings, some people also use cocaine to increase their productivity. Cocaine use is sometimes used by people who need to stay awake for long periods at work, especially if they operate heavy machinery or work in situations where staying alert is a safety issue.3
People who become addicted to cocaine may find that they’re struggling to keep up with the level of productivity that they achieve when they’re high. They may feel that they need to be high to meet the expectations theyve set for themselves socially or at work, and it can be hard to admit to themselves and others that things have spiraled out of control.
When cocaine is ingested, it stops the brain from getting rid of dopamine. Normally, when the brain gets a surge of dopamine (from activities like eating, having sex, listening to music, sleeping, etc.) its quickly processed. The good feeling associated with the positive action doesnt last for long. Cocaine makes the feeling produced by dopamine last for a much longer time.
Dopamine plays a role in emotions, motivation, and rewards. Long-term use of cocaine can cause changes in the brain that interfere with how dopamine is processed.5 This means that it can be difficult for people who have used cocaine for a long time to experience positive emotions on their own.
Many cocaine dealers mix their cocaine supply with other drugs or substances in an attempt to maximize profit. This can create a dangerous situation for users for several reasons. Sometimes, users are accustomed to a dose of cocaine thats been mixed with a non-drug substance, like baking soda. This can result in the user being unaware of the amount of cocaine theyre using. If they use their typical amount of cocaine and the substance happens to have a higher cocaine concentration than usual, they could easily overdose.
Another issue with mixing other substances with cocaine is that dealers may mix other drugs with cocaine to increase the substances effect. Fentanyl, an opioid far more powerful than morphine, is often mixed with cocaine. Even a small amount of fentanyl can cause an overdose.6
In addition to the risk of ingesting unknown substances, cocaine use carries several health risks on its own, including impaired cognitive function that can impact decision making and ability to perform motor tasks, hyperthermia (high body temperature), stroke, seizure, acute coronary syndrome, and/or severe high blood pressure.
People who smoke crack may experience a condition known as crack lung. Symptoms include labored breathing, coughing up blood, fever, and respiratory failure. People who snort cocaine regularly may experience damage to the nasal cavity, chronic runny nose and sinus issues, and loss of their sense of smell.
Injecting cocaine is incredibly dangerous, due to the combination of an increased risk of overdose and the risks associated with intravenous drug use. People who use intravenous drugs are at high risk for skin infections, abscesses, HIV, hepatitis, and endocardidits.7
I am forever grateful to have had this experience. I would recommend anyone who wanted help to come here. This place literally saved my life. I have overcome so many obstacles that always stood in the way of my recovery. It’s not just because I was ready… the approaches the therapists use come from an empathetic, compassionate, and understanding place. They were able to hold the mirror up and help guide me through making solid changes.
After overdosing, my parents forced me to check into rehab.After interviewing many other facilities, I decided to go to Harmony Place from my home in Phoenix. I was struggling with…a drug addiction and had been trying for years to recover. In the past, left 2 treatment centers AMA and 1 AWOL. I had very negative experiences in the other treatment facilities, especially with my therapists, so I didn’t go in with an open mind or good attitude- even though they worked with my parents regarding finances. However, the staff was patient with me. The techs were kind, knowledgeable, and many were in recovery themselves.
When I called Harmony Place…I knew immediately that this was the right place for my child… Harmony Place is specifically designed for…and tailored to providing a safe environment. The staff [are knowledgeable and some are in recovery]. The staff knew each client and were on top of each client’s progress. Harmony Place has a small clientele and each client are able to receive all the help they were entitled to. I would recommend Harmony Place to anyone who is looking for a small setting… My daughter is currently going into sober living and her counselors did a wonderful job in finding a right fit for her – affordable, safe and a good environment for her.
I left Harmony Place in August of 2015 and I have been searching for the perfect words to describe my experience during my stay; and still I can’t really find them. How do you really describe a place with a staff and a program that saved you? Addiction is a terrible thing to go through and a heart breaking thing for your loved ones to watch. Many people, including myself go into different treatment centers throughout their addiction searching for ways to find recovery. Nothing worked for me, not the 5 rehab stays I had, then, I came here.
There are several ways to treat cocaine addiction. Most people begin with detox. This can be a tough process, and its important to work with a treatment team. There are currently no medications that are approved to help with cocaine detox, but therapy and comfort medications can be given to help make the process more comfortable.
Forms of treatment for cocaine addiction may include:
Your doctor and/or your treatment team will talk with you about the level of treatment that makes the most sense for your needs. There are many factors to consider, such as whether you need dual diagnosis (mental health) treatment in addition to treatment for cocaine addiction, whether youre able to attend a residential program, and more.
Levels of treatment for cocaine addiction may include:
If youre struggling with cocaine addiction, youre not alone. The process of getting well can feel daunting. Whether you started using socially and couldnt stop, or you used to deal with emotional issues and have found yourself in a downward spiral, addiction can set in quickly. Youve likely tried to stop on your own, but youve never been able to fully commit to getting clean. Its time to get serious and reach out for professional help.
The factors that led you to become addicted to cocaine arent your fault, but its your responsibility to get sober. When you reach out to our cocaine rehab center in Los Angeles, youll be connected with a caring staff member who can work with you to help you understand how we can help you begin the path to recovery.
Your addiction doesnt have to be a life sentence. No matter how far gone you may feel you are, we know that recovery is possible, and were on your side. Take the first step and pick up the phone today to learn more about how we can help you work toward long-term health and wellness.