While cocaine use is believed to be in decline in North America there is no denying that the need for treatment options with regards to substance addiction is on the rise. Although cocaine is not as popular as it once was, this highly addictive substance is still favored by many who are seeking to add a little excitement to their lives.
Derived from the leaves of the Coca plant, a plant that is indigenous to South America, Cocaine acts as a stimulant by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. Often referred to as a designer drug due to its one time popularity among the rich and famous, it is more recently easily accessible to all classes of addicts. Like most addictive substances, it doesn’t require much to get hooked and so even though people are more prone to use it as a party drug than a crutch the danger of full on addiction is still there.
The addictive nature of this particular drug is in its ability to directly stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain and as such it is an exceptionally appealing high. Unfortunately for the addict, the more it is used the less effective it becomes and so they are constantly chasing that magic first high that can never again be attained. As their need increases so too does their willingness to do anything to get their hands on their chemical friend. This will often lead to lying to friends and family, stealing from those closest to them and criminal activity to fund the addiction.
Long term cocaine use can cause multitude of health challenges. Seizures, heightened anxiety, changes in mood including increased anger and aggression, extreme weight loss, cardiovascular issues, sexual dysfunction and hallucinations are just a few of the many negative effects that cocaine has on the body.
Like with any other substance abuse treatment, the success or failure will depend on the willingness of the participant to make the necessary changes in their life. Acceptance first that there is a problem and that the abuse of this particular substance is detrimental to the patient’s health and happiness is the key to embarking on a successful healing journey.
Cocaine addiction treatment will be most successful when overseen by medical professionals who specialize in the treatment of substance abuse and addiction. Cocaine withdrawals can be exceptionally hard on the body. Withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to: chills, muscle pains, nerve pain, anxiety, fatigue, depression and nightmares. Physicians may be able to provide medications that will ease some of the more challenging physical withdrawal symptoms but their use must be monitored closely so that one addiction is not accidentally developed in the treatment of the other.
Cocaine withdrawal also has an intense psychological component and these symptoms can last for weeks or even possibly months. Detox is best done under the care of a medical professional so that any negative side effects can be managed to prevent relapse. There are both outpatient and treatment centre options for cocaine addiction so when seeking out help it is important to choose one that will best fit the level of addiction and the lifestyle of the addict. Although it is believed that treatment centres have a higher success rate than outpatient addiction clinics, a major component to avoiding relapse is providing a safe emotional space for the recovering addict.
Addiction often leaves the sufferer with feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and fear. It is important that the patient be given access to counselling and group support services to assist with their healing journey. It is also beneficial to the patient if the family and friends can be a supportive presence throughout their recovery. Once an individual has expressed a desire to heal, their chances of success will be increased by the level of support that they are able to get from their peers.
A complete change in lifestyle is often recommended as part of the treatment. A cessation of all the old regular habits that could be emotionally attached to the usage of cocaine is required including the severing of detrimental relationships. This can leave the patient feeling disoriented, out of place and isolated. New, positive daily routines and habits are often encouraged, including regular exercise and even meditation. Positive community group involvement such as charity work can also help the patient feel a sense of belonging and self-worth. As the patient slows builds for themselves a new life beyond addiction, patient will be required from both the individual and those who have been directly affected by their addiction. Recovery is a process and no two addicts recover in exactly the same way so respect must be given to the individual needs and desires of the patient during the healing process.