About 15 percent of people in the U.S. have tried cocaine. Since cocaine is an illegal drug, any use of it is risky. You can get in serious legal trouble if you’re caught with it, and it can cause a variety of health issues that can eventually lead to death if not treated. For this reason, Palm Springs cocaine addiction rehab centers are needed.
People like using cocaine because it makes them happier, more alert, and more social. Learn more about the effects of cocaine use and how Phoenix Rising can help you kick your cocaine abuse.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that comes from the coca plant, which grows in western South America. It comes in a white powder that is usually snorted, but it can also be injected, smoked, or rubbed on the gums. Cocaine goes by many other names, including coke, blow, C, snow, flake, and crack. Classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule II drug, cocaine is illegal in the U.S.
The coca plant has traditionally been used as a stimulant to overcome thirst, fatigue, and hunger. South American natives chew on coca leaves, and these are also an integral part of their religion. Cocaine is made by soaking the leaves in gasoline. After this is drained and the cocaine base is dried, the remaining substance is dissolved in a solvent, resulting in a white powder.
John Styth Pemberton originally included coca leaves in his 1886 recipe for Coca-Cola. However, these were removed once the Pure Food and Drug Act passed in 1906. During this time, it was also used to treat morphine addiction and as an anesthetic.
Recreational cocaine use spiked in the 1970s and 1980s as a club drug. Since it was expensive, it became popular among the rich and famous. Cocaine use resulted in 4,300 deaths worldwide in 2013. In addition, the illegal market for cocaine is about $100 billion to $500 billion a year.
Cocaine vs. Crack Cocaine
Whereas cocaine in its powdered form is a hydrochloride salt, crack cocaine is powdered cocaine mixed with water and usually baking soda. Once this mixture is boiled, it becomes solid. The pieces you break it into are then sold as crack. The name “crack” comes from the crackling sound heard when it’s heated and then smoked.
Crack cocaine was developed so that people with lower incomes could afford it. It’s highly addictive since it’s so concentrated. From the early 1980s to the early 1990s, the U.S. experienced a “crack epidemic” that resulted in a spike in violence and crime.
How Does Cocaine Affect the Body and Brain?
Since cocaine is a stimulant, it affects the body’s central nervous system. Once it hits the neural pathways in your brain, you’ll feel overall more alert and social. Cocaine causes the neurotransmitter dopamine to increase its concentration in your brain, making you feel energetic, hyperactive, and more sociable for a short time.
Cocaine prevents dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine from staying mostly in the nerve cells. As a result, large amounts of these transmitters stimulate the nerve cells around them. This leads to feelings of happiness and pleasure.
Cocaine is also known as a vasoconstrictor, constricting the blood vessels while also telling the heart to pump faster. This can cause incredible stress on your body.
When people do cocaine, they tend to stay awake for long periods of time. They typically become very talkative. Some people say they feel better able to perform tasks and concentrate. Cocaine might also lessen your desire for food and sleep.
However, you’ll also feel disinhibited and agitated, and you’ll also experience frequent muscle tics when using. Despite having these feelings, users tend to crave cocaine’s positive effects after using it frequently. This can eventually lead to addiction.
Risk Factors for Cocaine Addiction
You might be predisposed to developing a cocaine addiction if you have any of the following risk factors:
- Using cocaine at a young age
- Smoking crack cocaine
- Having an existing addiction to alcohol or other drugs
- A mental health disorder like anxiety or depression
- Low self-esteem
Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
When you develop an addiction to cocaine, your body craves it physically and mentally. To avoid cocaine addiction rehab, you need to be aware of the symptoms of this disease.
It can be easy to brush off your loved one’s cocaine addiction as them being overly excited or stressed. However, take note if you notice any of the following symptoms.
Symptoms of cocaine addiction include:
- Anxiety or irritability
- Inability to stop using cocaine despite negative consequences
- Taking more cocaine than you intended
- A tolerance for cocaine, meaning you require more to get the same high
- Spending too much money and time on buying and using cocaine
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop using
- A decline in your relationships, employment, and overall quality of life
Effects of Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction has noticeable physical and psychological effects. Long-term use can lead to several health issues, which is why you should stop using it before it gets serious.
Physical effects of cocaine addiction include:
- Abdominal pain
- Excessive weight loss
- Chest pain
- Increased heart rate
Psychological effects of cocaine addiction include:
- Impaired judgment
- Abnormal/repetitive behaviors
When you snort cocaine through a rolled-up dollar bill (as is common among users), passing around something that has been in several bloody noses can cause transmission of hepatitis C.
Heart damage is a major effect and risk of long-term cocaine addiction. The more you use cocaine, the more you become at risk for several cardiac issues, including:
- Aberrant heart rhythms
- Ischemic heart disease
You could also end up having an aortic rupture, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), and overall reductions in heart function. Any of these effects can severely damage your quality of life. They can also lead to brain damage or stroke, as well as kidney damage.
Mixing Cocaine with Other Drugs
Cocaine is already dangerous on its own. Sometimes people will mix cocaine with alcohol and other drugs like marijuana and prescription drug stimulants. Users might do this to experience two stimulants at the same time or to combat the side effects of the other drug. Mixing cocaine with alcohol, a depressant, might fight the drowsiness and confusion you feel when drinking.
Mixing cocaine with other drugs is incredibly unpredictable and dangerous. When you do this, you’re at a higher risk of overdose.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
Many people who suffer from cocaine addiction also deal with a mental health disorder. Those who have depression or anxiety might turn to cocaine for some temporary relief. Unfortunately, this doesn’t erase the fact that they have a mental illness.
About 4 million people in the U.S. struggle with co-occurring mental health disorders and addictions, known as a dual diagnosis. When you have co-occurring disorders, you must receive treatment for both of them. It’s often difficult to tell which illness happened first, so dual diagnosis treatment will help determine this.
Phoenix Rising offers dual diagnosis treatment along with cocaine addiction rehab. We understand the importance of treating co-occurring disorders together.
Treatment Options for Cocaine Addiction Rehab
We know that cocaine abuse can be all-encompassing. That’s why Phoenix Rising offers comprehensive cocaine addiction rehab. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so we have different levels of care depending on the intensity of your substance use disorder.
Most rehab facilities will have you undergo medical detox as part of cocaine addiction rehab. You’ll abruptly stop using cocaine and be under the supervision of medical professionals during the process. If you’re a long-term cocaine abuser, you’ll most likely experience painful withdrawal symptoms. During these situations, your supervisor might provide you with medication that will ease your symptoms and help you taper off cocaine.
You’ll enter an intensive outpatient program (IOP) if you have a mild cocaine addiction. Intensive outpatient programs allow you a good deal of freedom. You’ll attend treatment during the day for several times a week and then return home in the evening. IOPs for cocaine addiction rehab are best for people who have a supportive environment to which they can return every day.
This is usually where you’ll be released after detox. PHPs are also one step above IOP treatment. Partial hospitalization programs require you attend treatment during the day and return to a home-like environment afterward.
For people with intense and severe cocaine addiction, residential (inpatient) treatment is the best option. When you’re in inpatient treatment, our medical professionals will provide you with 24-hour care seven days a week.
Addiction therapy is essential for people overcoming cocaine addiction or any other substance use disorder. More holistic or alternative approaches to therapy are also available. Some therapy options include:
Find Cocaine Addiction Rehab at Phoenix Rising
Our Palm Springs facility offers a four-acre ranch on which you can find peace and serenity. Phoenix Rising offers a comprehensive cocaine addiction rehab program that will allow you to recover safely and comfortably. We want you to achieve your highest potential. Contact us today for more information on our programs.