Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant which is native to South America.
Cocaine Paraphernalia and Other Clues of Cocaine Addiction and Use
While some users are discreet about their habit, others are quite careless and may leave certain clues laying around. This may include the following paraphernalia:
- Spoons (for dissolving the drug)
- Razor blades
- Powdery residue
- Small mirrors
- Rolled up dollar bills
- Plastic straws (often cut short)
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Pictures of Cocaine
Effects of Cocaine
Cocaine is most widely available as a powder that can be snorted, smoked, or injected. However, in recent decades, a more potent form of the drug known as “crack” has appeared on the streets, which is typically smoked in a pipe. Regardless of what form is being used, cocaine effects are largely the same.
The effects of the drug appear immediately and begin to wear off within minutes. A typical dose of cocaine will cause the user to feel energetic, alert, euphoric and talkative. They’re also likely to become hypersensitive to various sights, sounds, and sensations. Loss of appetite is almost always associated with cocaine use, as well as an inability to fall asleep. Users often like the drug because they’re able to get more done in less time, without succumbing to fatigue.
The faster the drug is absorbed, the more intense the high will be. However, this also means that its duration will be shorter. The rate of absorption depends on how the drug is administered. Snorting the drug offers the slowest absorption rate, but a lengthier high of around 15 to 30 minutes. Smoking or injecting it provides a more immediate high that wears off within 5 to 10 minutes.
Signs of Addiction
Users are often unable to recognize that they are addicted. It’s often up to family and friends to notice the telltale signs and intervene, in the hopes that they can prevent experimentation from evolving into cocaine addiction. Classic cocaine symptoms include:
- Enlarged pupils
- Rapid weight loss
- A frequent runny nose or congestion
- Excessive talkativeness
- Frequent mood changes (elation, irritability, depression, aggression)
- Rapid heart rate
Other Noticeable Changes
Sometimes the user will complain about problems that they may not know are related to their cocaine use. These may include:
- Frequent muscle twitches
- Abdominal pain
- Increased body temperature
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Paranoia or panic
In addition to these cocaine symptoms, users often tend to find themselves broke. They may lack money for everyday expenses like rent or groceries, due to spending it all on their addiction. They’re also more likely to show up late for work or call in, due to not having slept enough to handle a day at work.
Long-term use can affect the body in a number of different ways. This can result in a number of unwanted side effects. These may include:
- Bloody noses (due to dried out nasal cavities from snorting)
- Nasal perforation of the septum (due to nasal tissue erosion)
- Puncture scars (from injections)
- Allergic reactions
- Blood clots
- Respiratory damage (from smoking crack)
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Infectious diseases (often due to risky behavior, combined with impaired immune system response)
Note that not everyone who uses cocaine will experience these side effects. The most common and noticeable cocaine effects are the bloody noses and anxiety issues. The rest depends on how long the abuse of the drug goes on and how heavy a user they are.
Using cocaine for an extended period will cause a dependency on the drug, which brings about many long-term effects, including:
- Panic attacks
Additionally, when patients undergo detoxification for cocaine, they may experience one or more withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms of cocaine include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased cravings for cocaine
- Slower thinking
- Suicidal thoughts
- Depression or anxiety
- Unpleasant dreams or nightmares
- Increased appetite
- Fatigue, exhaustion
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Chills, tremors, muscle aches, and nerve pain
- Inability to experience sexual arousal
- Slowed activity
During detoxification, patients may be prescribed medications to help with withdrawal symptoms and wean off cocaine. Withdrawal symptoms of cocaine are felt within 90 minutes after the last dose and can last for seven to ten days.
Cocaine addiction is complicated due to the changes it creates in the brain and the problems it can cause with interpersonal relationships, families, and in the workplace. To successfully treat cocaine addiction, the patient must receive medical care, proper nutrition, and detoxification at the minimum. There are several treatment options available and numerous professional rehabilitation facilities that offer cocaine rehab programs.
Cocaine Rehab: What to Expect
There are a couple of different rehabilitation facility options when it comes to recovering from a cocaine addiction: inpatient and outpatient rehab centers. The determining factor of which one to go with is usually the severity of the addiction. With crack cocaine, the best option would be to enter an inpatient facility. Inpatient rehabilitation facilities provide a room, meals, activities, counseling, detoxification, and high supervision. On the other hand, outpatient facilities allow patients to receive treatment for their addiction while they continue to live at home and go to work or school. An outpatient facility requires patients to be honest and honorable when it comes to their recovery. It’s common for patients to go from an inpatient facility to an outpatient facility as a way of gradually returning to society.
Receiving Cocaine Addiction Treatment
In many cases, an inpatient treatment occurs over 30, 60, or 90 days. Longer treatment is often needed for patients struggling with an advanced addiction, although it is always beneficial for patients to have more extended treatment to help with any addiction. The best types of cocaine rehab facilities are those that don’t have a time limit and allow patients to stay as long as needed. Some options available include IOP (Intensive Outpatient Programs) or PHP (Partial Hospitalization Programs).
- IOP – Intensive Outpatient Programs are flexible, allowing participants to continue living at home and attend school or resume employment. The program operates from nine to twenty hours per week. Patients are encouraged to participate in community events and self-help groups to stay focused on positive activities.
- PHP – Partial Hospitalization Programs provide treatment six hours a day, five days per week. Participants are assessed daily, and the program is adjusted according to their level of progress.
During cocaine rehab, patients can expect to be evaluated physically and psychologically to determine if they have any medical issues, what drugs they have been taking, and if they have co-occurring problems, such as depression or anxiety. Patients should be honest during the evaluation so they can receive the best care possible. Once a patient is admitted to the facility, they will undergo detoxification. Afterward, they will participate in therapy, along with other activities.
Recovering from Cocaine at Serenity Point
Cocaine addiction not only ruins the life of the user but affects family members, friends, and colleagues. We know the negative impact cocaine addiction has on society and we have as our purpose to do everything possible to help as many people get off drugs safely and return to society. We have the tools necessary to help our patients become clean, sober, and confident with themselves again. Years of research has been done on the subjects of detoxification, addiction, and rehabilitation by our founders to create a program that works for several different types of people. If you or a loved one are struggling with a cocaine addiction you need to know how our cocaine rehab facility can help. Call us at our toll-free number to speak with one of our advisors today.
Once a person becomes physically or psychologically addicted to a drug like cocaine, they’re increasingly likely to need supervision and medical assistance when they decide to stop. The primary focus of drug treatment programs is to help the individual manage their withdrawal symptoms with around-the-clock care. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Lucid dreams
- Increased appetite
The withdrawal management programs provided by treatment institutions may vary from one individual to another, due to the severity of the addiction. In most cases, medications are used to help control specific symptoms. Individuals who suffer from co-occurring medical or psychological problems should have these addressed alongside their regular treatment program. This is particularly important with conditions like depression, which may be related to the addiction. There’s no sense in treating the addiction if another disorder is likely to contribute to a relapse.
Cocaine addiction can seem like a terrifying problem, due to the damage it can cause and the difficulty involved in breaking it. This can be hard for someone who has never struggled with drug addiction to fully understand. Fortunately, it is possible to regain control of the situation, leave the addiction behind, and resume a normal life.