Over the years, the popularity of cocaine has ebbed and flowed in the United States, and currently, its use is again on the rise. People often start by using the drug recreationally in combination with other substances, but over time, occasional use can turn more frequent and eventually develop into an addiction.
Ingested orally, through the nose and by injection, the health risks of ongoing addiction will in part vary depending upon the method of abuse, but there are some problems that will affect almost all who live with an active cocaine dependence:
- Problems at home
- Financial difficulties
- Relationship struggles
- Health problems
- Mental health issues
Despite these problems, those who struggle with cocaine addiction are still unable to stop using the drug on their own. When this occurs, cocaine detox is the first step to a comprehensive recovery that will allow them to learn how to live life without drugs and alcohol.
Find out more about our intensive addiction treatment program for those who struggle with cocaine dependence or dependence upon other drugs here at Alta Mira when you contact us at the phone number listed above. Don’t wait to call. We’re here to help.
What Is Cocaine Detox?
Cocaine is a toxin. The body’s natural inclination is to flush the substance out whenever it is no longer receiving a regular influx of the drug. In a nutshell, this is cocaine detox. Unfortunately, it is not a simple or pain-free process, and for this reason, patients are not advised to attempt cocaine detox without the supervision of medical professionals.
Cocaine addiction is characterized by both psychological cravings and a physical tolerance for the drug, both of which drive the patient to take more and more of the substance. Cocaine detox is the body’s response when the patient does not respond to that drive by providing more cocaine. It is characterized by:
- Physical illness called withdrawal symptoms
- Mental health issues
- Cravings for the drug
The good news is that these issues can be addressed safely and effectively in a professional cocaine detox program, helping the patient to stop using cocaine immediately and setting them up for a positive experience in therapeutic addiction treatment.
For many substances of abuse, withdrawal symptoms associated with detox are extremely intense during the first weeks but then slowly dissipate over time. Cocaine detox, however, is somewhat different. Many patients find that the withdrawal symptoms they experience are less intense initially but tend to linger for weeks or even months after they stop using the drug.The good news is that it is rare for patients to experience medical emergency during their first few days in cocaine detox due to complications caused by physical withdrawal symptoms. The not-so-good news is that the risk of relapse can remain high for weeks after the initial cessation of use as patients struggle with cravings and ongoing symptoms related to detox that are uncomfortable.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with cocaine detox will vary from patient to patient in terms of range and severity. Generally, the longer a person has been using cocaine and the higher the dosage he or she has been using, the more severe the associated withdrawal symptoms will be. They may include:
- Nightmares or night terrors
- Increased appetite
- A general feeling of malaise
- Erratic shifts in mood
- Intense cravings for cocaine
- Suicidal thoughts
- Impaired motor functioning
- Impaired cognitive functioning
Why Is Cocaine Detox Necessary?
Cocaine detox is an unavoidable first step in recovery. The body’s natural reaction to a cessation of use when a physical and psychological dependence is an issue is to respond with the symptoms that define detox.
Because it is impossible to avoid, patients are urged to undergo the process with the assistance of a medically supervised detox program. Addiction to cocaine is a medical disease. It is not something that can be conquered through sheer willpower. Therefore, medical help is advised.
Benefits of Professional Cocaine Detox
There are a number of benefits that come with choosing a professional cocaine detox program rather than attempting to go it alone. These include:
- An increased ability to avoid relapse. The first month of recovery from any drug addiction is the most difficult in terms of the patient’s ability to stick to sobriety and avoid relapse, but with cocaine it is especially difficult. The psychological cravings for the drug can be intense for weeks and even months, and without assistance and a solid footing right from the start, it is far more likely that the patient will relapse early on.
- Medical and medication assistance if necessary. Though physical complications caused by cocaine detox are not common, they do occasionally happen. Additionally, for those who struggle with mental health issues due in part to their drug use or due to an underlying disorder, detox can trigger paranoia and erratic behavior that may require professional intervention. In case of these events, it is a good idea to have medical support standing by.
- Provision of therapeutic support. Though the focus during cocaine detox is on the withdrawal symptoms experienced, especially physical symptoms, those who are in recovery from cocaine addiction can begin to take part in therapeutic treatment that will make up the majority of their treatment plan and get a jump on moving forward in recovery.
- Holistic options. Physical and psychological symptoms due to cocaine detox may not require medication if they occur on their own, but they will be somewhat alleviated by the use of holistic treatment options. Acupuncture, biofeedback, herbs and supplements, yoga, meditation and more may be provided at an effective cocaine detox program.
- Professional support. Questions about addiction, detox, recovery, and how best to survive the ordeal will naturally come up during the process. It is far better to have the assistance of trained specialists than to attempt to rely on hearsay and online forums for information.
Medical Risks of Untreated Cocaine Addiction
Avoiding detox and treatment when cocaine addiction is clearly an issue can be life-threatening. Some health risks that can occur when cocaine dependence goes untreated include:
- Cardiac issues
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Overdose and death
- Respiratory problems
- Allergic reactions
- Nervous system problems
- Increased risk of stroke
- Digestive problems
- Skin infections
Choosing the Best Professional Detox for Your Loved One
Outpatient detox centers, hospital-based detoxification programs, detox attached to a residential treatment program – how can you know which one will best serve your loved one’s needs?
First, it is important to keep in mind that cocaine detox alone will not be enough to put your loved one on the path to a clean and sober life. Though he or she will stop taking the drug for a period of time, most patients who do not follow up with intensive psychotherapeutic care return to active addiction within a few months. Therefore, it is recommended that you opt for a cocaine detox program that is characterized by the following:
- Residential. Inpatient care is ideal for both detox and addiction treatment when a patient is recovering from stimulant addiction. Round-the-clock supervision can help to ensure your loved one’s safety throughout the process.
- Long-term. Due to the long-acting nature of cravings that occur after stimulant addiction, patients often fare better in recovery and avoid relapse longer when they choose a program that allows them to remain fully immersed in treatment for 90 days or longer.
- Private. Bare-bones, publicly funded detox and treatment programs offer only the minimum in support to patients, often come with long waiting lists, and serve a huge number of patients at one time. Private rehabs, on the other hand, offer more individualized treatment, better resources, more staff members, and more personalized treatment.
- Comprehensive. In addition to detox, the program you choose should follow up with psychotherapeutic care. Without it, your loved one will be unlikely to avoid relapse for very long after returning home.
Detox is the first step in an effective treatment program; the following steps should be therapy-based and chosen based on the needs of the patient. Personalized care is essential to the outcome of rehabilitation. The more specific and directed the therapies chosen, the more likely it is that the patient will get the help necessary to manage their unique challenges in recovery.
For example, if the patient struggles with a co-occurring mental health disorder in addition to cocaine addiction, their addiction treatment program should include intensive treatment to address the disorder, providing them with the medication and psychiatric care necessary to mitigate symptoms. This will, in turn, enable the patient to more readily handle cravings as they arise – or serve to mitigate those as well.
In the same way, a number of directed therapeutic interventions can be helpful in giving patients a firm foundation in recovery that allows them to focus on positive living as opposed to the stressful issues that may have instigated or driven their addiction. These may include some of the following and/or many others:
- Job skills training
- Parenting classes
- Legal assistance
- Family therapy
- Grief counseling
- Couples counseling
- Life coaching
- Nutritional therapy
Does Your Loved One Need Cocaine Detox?
If your loved one is abusing cocaine regularly and unable to stop for any length of time on their own, treatment is warranted. If they suffer from intense cravings and/or withdrawal symptoms a program that includes cocaine detox should be chosen.
How can you tell if your loved one is struggling due to cocaine abuse or addiction? Signs include:
- Frequent nosebleeds and runny noses (in those who snort cocaine)
- Periods of hyperactivity followed by “crashes” characterized by depression
- Extreme weight loss
- Nightmares or bad dreams
Additionally, if your loved one begins to experience legal problems, difficulties in significant relationships, problems at work or school, or chronic health problems due to cocaine use yet is still unable to stop or seek help, then it’s time to seek out an addiction treatment that will be able to assist them.
Help Your Loved One Enroll in Cocaine Detox Today
The first step in helping your loved one get the treatment he needs to recover from cocaine addiction is to find the best possible detox and addiction treatment program for his needs. Here at Alta Mira, we provide an intensive detoxification and addiction treatment program for those who are ready to put cocaine addiction in the past. Contact us today at the phone number listed above and get your addicted family member started in the enrollment process. We’re standing by to assist you.