Treating Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine was first synthesized in 1855 and introduced to the U.S. shortly after where it was used in a variety of treatments and products such as toothpaste, elixirs and even Coca Cola which was introduced in 1886. This helped popularize and embed the drug in society in was way that has lasted till modern day and leads many people to seek cocaine addiction treatment every year.

As there were no laws prohibiting the sale or use of cocaine – in fact it was very socially acceptable – the drug was used widely and was a staple in the silent film industry of the early 20th century, which often promoted, or at least profiled drug use and cocaine addiction was fairly common. However, treatment for cocaine addiction simply did not exist.

These days the drug is further synthesized into crack or rock cocaine, a cheaper more accessible version of the drug. Its popularity and, therefore, the level of addiction fluctuates from decade to decade. Much of its popularity has been supplanted by meth, although there are still significant levels of addiction to cocaine and a large amount of people who could substantially benefit from treatment.

Cocaine addiction affects all levels of society, from the very wealthy to the homeless hooked on crack. No one is immune.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment Process

Fifteen thousand Americans die annually from cocaine or complications from using it. While some tend to see it as a harmless stimulant, this is a seriously addictive drug and cocaine addiction treatment is readily available for those who succumb.

People who use cocaine often use it in combination with other drugs, such as alcohol, heroin and marijuana. Cocaine is the most common drug related to arrests due to narcotic use or dealing and over 25% of prisoners used cocaine prior to their arrest. Over 10 percent of people who seek help for drug addiction have an addiction to cocaine and 70% of those smoke crack cocaine.

Like all addictions, addiction to cocaine is a complex problem that creates biological changes in the brain and has an impact on every level of the addict’s life, including social, familial, career and more. The overwhelming need for the drug can easily alter the addict’s moral values, as well. Treatment must be comprehensive in nature and long term.

While it is difficult, and there may be periodic setbacks, it is imperative that the addict be committed to overcoming addiction.

Ideal Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Presently there are no pharmacological answers in the treatment of cocaine addiction, such as there are with alcohol or heroin. Cocaine addicts who begin detox from the drug will commonly experience craving for the drug, fatigue, sleepiness, anxiety, agitation, paranoia and depression. A doctor can prescribe some mild medications to help with these.

Because of these symptoms it is best to begin addiction treatment in a residential treatment setting where the addict can be closely monitored and, as part of a 30-day treatment program, get a good head start on staying clean. Most of the treatment will consist of effective psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and perhaps somatic therapy that all help to address the underlying psychological aspects of the addiction.

Mindfulness therapy can also help with dealing with cravings and relapse events. Additionally, group therapy will help aid the addict in rebuilding a social structure and following residential treatment it is recommended that he, or she, join a social group such as Narcotics Anonymous to help build friendships and relationships with nondrug users.

Continuing treatment after the residential care would include an intensive outpatient program (IOP) for some months. Much of the cost of these programs can be covered by insurance.

If you’re dealing with a cocaine addiction, please call Recovery Channel now for advice and to see if your insurance will cover treatment.

Cocaine: the Social Drug

Coca leaves were a source of energy for ancient Incas dating back to three thousand years before Christ. Cocaine was first extracted from coca leaves in 1859 by German chemist Albert Nieman, but it was not until the 1880s that it became popular in the medical community.

Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, who used cocaine himself, was an early supporter of the properties of the drug, in spite of the fact that some people he prescribed it to became addicted and in one case died. Other notable enthusiasts included Thomas Edison and actress Sarah Bernhardt.

In the 1900s cocaine became a commonly used social drug until in 1912 when cocaine addiction was surging and there were 5,000 reported deaths from the drug. By 1922 it was illegal. It made huge resurgence in the 1970s among entertainers and professionals and has been going strong ever since.

Rampant Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is the second most trafficked drug in the world and cocaine addiction is prevalent. It is still considered one of the most socially acceptable drugs and is often used at parties and clubs.

Like its cousin, methamphetamine, the poor man’s cocaine, cocaine creates one of the most ardent psychological dependences of any drug and is highly addictive. Like many drugs, the addict begins to develop a greater and greater tolerance to the drug needing more and more to attain the same level of euphoria. It is often mixed with other drugs like alcohol, marijuana, heroin and amphetamines, making the potential for a fatal event even greater.

Cocaine delivers an intense, but brief high, requiring continuous use. As the high wears off the user experiences edginess and depression and deep cravings for more of the drug. Heavy users of cocaine quickly end up spending hundreds, even thousands of dollars on their weekly habit.

Recovering from an Addiction to Cocaine

The term “dope fiend” was originally coined to refer to those with a serious addiction to cocaine, their unusual lust for the drug and the frequency with which they needed to use it and the panic they experienced when they ran out of the drug and needed more.

Over extended periods of regular use cocaine has a profound effect on the brain and how it functions, interfering with the way the brain processes chemicals. A serious addict can easily become psychotic, experience hallucinations and even commit suicide.

Other effects of long-term use include damage to blood vessels of the heart and brain, high blood pressure leading to heart attack or stroke, liver, kidney and lung damage, respiratory failure, severe tooth decay and more.

Due to the intensely addictive nature of the drug, cocaine addiction is one of the most difficult to treat. There are a multitude of programs available, but a long-term recovery plan must be the first consideration. It is best to speak to an expert in the area of addiction for advice on how to achieve lasting recovery with cocaine addiction treatment.

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