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Derived from Erythroxylum coca, a plant native to parts of South America, cocaine is a drug known for its stimulation and euphoric properties. Its continuous and long-term use can alter the brain chemistry, leading to long-term changes in the brain’s reward system. Repeated and long-term use of the drug builds tolerance, which gradually leads to drug dependence when the user would need more of the drug to achieve the same euphoric effect. This eventually leads to compulsive tendencies and addiction.

Cocaine addiction does not discriminate; it is a problem affecting the lives of millions of people worldwide. Fortunately, it is treatable, and for those in the grips of this disease, cocaine addiction treatment at a professional rehab center is the right path to lead a sober and healthy life.

Cocaine consumption and its history

Pure cocaine was first isolated during the mid-nineteenth century. It became popular in Europe, in part, because of the enthusiastic endorsement by Sigmund Freud. (Ironically, in 1885, he published a paper arguing that cocaine could be used to cure morphine and alcohol addiction.) But Freud was not alone in believing that cocaine could cure a host of both physical and psychological maladies. Later in the century, cocaine became popular in America. It became the active ingredient in what were called “health tonics” that were marketed for their supposed benefits. The most famous of these was Coca-Cola, which first appeared in 1886.

As cocaine consumption increased, so did the instances of cocaine addiction, with an estimated 200,000 cases in 1902. The United States finally outlawed cocaine in 1914 with the passage of the Harrison Narcotic Act. There was a resurgence in the popularity of cocaine in the 1970s as a recreational drug. It was considered chic and erroneously touted as being non-addictive. Usage became extremely widespread during the 1980s, which is when crack cocaine first appeared. Crack is a potent and addictive form of cocaine prepared by cooking it with water and other ingredients until it forms rocks, which can then be smoked. Crack addiction became more widespread because crack cocaine was an inexpensive substance of abuse.

An addictive stimulant, cocaine can be snorted, rubbed on gums as a powder, smoked or injected after dissolving. Street names for cocaine include blow, coke, crack, rock, snow, C, and flake.

Effects of cocaine

When ingested, cocaine works to stimulate the production of a chemical called dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. When more dopamine is produced, cocaine users feel a sense of euphoria as well as increased energy and alertness.

In addition to its effects on the brain’s chemistry, cocaine affects the rest of the body in a number of ways, including:

  • Constricted blood vessels and dilated pupils
  • Higher body temperature
  • Higher blood pressure and faster heartbeat
  • Feeling sick to the stomach
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased appetite and, over time, a loss of weight
  • Inability to sleep
  • Strange, unpredictable behavior, panic attacks, or paranoid psychosis (losing touch with reality)

Cocaine can be particularly dangerous when used with other substances like alcohol. Some people mix heroin with cocaine to make an extremely dangerous concoction called speedball.

The long-term and frequent use of cocaine can lead to disorientation, respiratory failure, drug tolerance, dependence and addiction. In fact, overdosing on this drug is quite common. In addition to its effect on the brain chemistry, cocaine abuse can have many side effects, including anxiety, depression, heart attack, and even death.

Cocaine addiction

Cocaine addiction occurs when a user begins to develop a tolerance to the drug and craves for more of the drug in order to achieve the desired effects. The addiction tendencies or behaviors is characterized by the repeated use of the drug despite being aware of the adverse mental, physical and social consequences of its use. In 2016, an estimated 1.9 million Americans (aged 12 or above) used cocaine, including about 432,000 current users of crack cocaine.

Cocaine abuse can lead to severe physical and psychological symptoms. Following are some of the signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction:

  • Heart failure
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Reduced appetite
  • Psychosis
  • Severe mood swings
  • Erratic behavior

Some of the most serious side effects of cocaine abuse include increased heart damage, making the heart more susceptible to heart attacks and heart diseases. Its prolonged use is also associated with kidney damage.

Post a long period of use, its users often experience severe withdrawal symptoms, including depression, fatigue, chills, tremors, slowed thinking and trouble sleeping. In an effort to avoid these symptoms, people feel impelled to continue taking the drug, thereby, fueling their addiction. A supervised cocaine detox treatment at any of the certified cocaine detox centers can help ease the cocaine withdrawal symptoms and minimize the likelihood of a relapse.

Treatment for cocaine addiction

Owing to its extremely addictive nature and intense withdrawal symptoms, it is often recommended to seek rehab for cocaine addiction under trained healthcare professionals. A comprehensive treatment for cocaine addiction is a holistic combination of medically supervised detox program followed by behavioral therapies or counseling sessions.

While medically assisted detoxification treatment helps flush out drugs from the system and control the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, therapy and counseling sessions help identify the underlying causes of addiction and maintain sobriety after the treatment.

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Why choose Sovereign Health

Sovereign Health of Texas is among the best cocaine treatment centers in the area; thanks to their unique philosophy “The Sovereign Way,” which recognizes the unique needs and circumstances of all patients and provides them with personalized treatment plans, tailored as per their specific needs. All patients who come to Sovereign undergo a comprehensive physical and psychological examination before being admitted for treatment. This allows our experts to identify any underlying conditions that may be contributing to the patient’s addiction and enables them to offer the right treatment guidance needed for a lasting recovery.

Cocaine addiction treatment often begins by freeing the body of the dangerous compounds that accumulate because of prolonged use of the drug. This process is known as detoxification, which is conducted under careful medical supervision of doctors and clinicians who are there to treat any uncomfortable or dangerous side effects that may develop. However, detox is just the first step on the road to recovery from cocaine addiction. From there, the recovering individual undertakes multiple more such steps that help him/her in becoming free of addiction.

Our treatment programs also include a range of evidence-based therapies managed by experienced and dedicated staff. Some of our evidence-based treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), neurofeedback, individual, group, and family therapy, relapse prevention, and experiential therapies, such as art therapy and expressive arts therapy. We offer these therapies at different levels of care, including a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP) as well as residential treatment options.

At Sovereign Health of Texas, the goal of our cocaine addiction treatment programs is to provide our patients with the tools they need to thrive and enjoy a lasting recovery. If you or your loved one needs a cocaine addiction recovery and would like to learn more about our rehab for cocaine, call our 24/7 helpline and speak with our admissions specialists. You can even chat online with our trained representatives to get answers to your specific queries pertaining to admissions, insurance options and more.

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Success Story
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“The therapy here helped me really look at myself and find that I am a strong individual that can deal with this and move forward in my life.”- Katie