Cocaine is a stimulant that comes from the leaves of the coca plant. In the early 20th century, doctors used cocaine as a surgical anesthetic. Many also prescribed the drug for fatigue, indigestion and appetite suppression. As doctors became aware of cocaine’s addictive potential, however, they began using other medications instead.
Today, cocaine is still a commonly abused street drug. More than 900,000 Americans deal with cocaine abuse or dependency every year. In 2017, almost 20% of overdose deaths were attributed to cocaine.
Cocaine can be snorted, smoked, or injected. It is rapidly absorbed by the body and produces energy, mental alertness, and euphoria. Although cocaine can make you feel confident, excited, and powerful, it can also produce feelings of anxiety, paranoia, and irritability.
Your body produces its feel-good chemicals. These neurotransmitters, which include dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, enter the synapses between neurons and act as communication conductors, passing along pleasure and reward signals. The body is continually generating and recycling these chemicals so that they can be used again.
Cocaine binds to dopamine transporters, preventing them from reabsorbing the feel-good chemicals. This produces a spike of activity in the brain that temporarily heightens your sensations and increases pleasurable feelings.
As your body gets used to the elevated levels of dopamine, it attempts to balance out this “new normal.” You might have trouble feeling any excitement, happiness, or pleasure without cocaine. The natural rise and fall of dopamine aren’t enough to regulate stress and make you feel good.
Cocaine can cause permanent damage to your brain. It diminishes function in the region that is responsible for making decisions. Research also shows that cocaine can make brain cells turn over at an alarmingly high rate, contributing to the premature death of those cells.
This drug also has dramatic physical effects. When you take cocaine, your heart rate, and blood pressure increase. Your body temperature may rise, and you sweat more.
Long-term cocaine use can cause permanent damage to your body. Because cocaine constricts your blood vessels, it can stiffen them over time. This leads to elevated blood pressure levels and an increased risk for cardiac issues wherein detox in Pasadena, California would be beneficial.Get Help Now
In the short term, cocaine is addictive because it rapidly turbocharges your brain’s reward center. The levels of pleasure that it delivers exceed the natural rewards that you get from eating delicious food or having sex. This quickly leads your brain to connect that intense enjoyment with the drug. Your brain understands that the only way to reach that level of ecstasy again is to use cocaine. Studies have shown that animals will choose cocaine over survival necessities, such as food until they starve.
The initial dopamine surge is so satisfying that the subsequent crash makes you feel deficient. If you have access to the drug, you may continue to consume it to avoid the low, empty feeling that follows the high.
Moderate, regular use of cocaine changes your genes. It elevates the levels of DeltaFosB, a protein that underlies the mechanisms of addiction. Higher than normal accumulations of DeltaFosB are also present in people who perform other compulsive behaviors, such as excessive exercise. Experts believe that increased levels of DeltaFosB are responsible for rewiring the brain in a way that encourages addiction.
Cocaine withdrawal is not as intense as detoxing from other drugs. Immediately following a session of sustained cocaine use, an individual will experience a crash. This feels like the opposite of being high on the drug. The cocaine withdrawal timeline depends on the rate at which you used the drug. A heavy, consistent user might experience withdrawals for one to four weeks. After that, a prolonged psychological withdrawal period may occur, during which the user experiences mood swings and cravings and is at a high risk of relapsing.Call us on 323-996-7773
The most common cocaine withdrawal symptoms are:
Most cocaine withdrawal symptoms are psychological. Some mental health professionals use pharmaceuticals to minimize emotional discomfort and prevent relapse. These medications have not been approved for this purpose by the FDA. However, researchers have found several pharmacological approaches promising, including:
Cocaine detox is only the beginning of the recovery journey. After the drug has been eliminated from your system and acute withdrawal symptoms are managed, most individuals benefit from psychotherapy and behavioral interventions.
Developing healthy routines and behavioral patterns is crucial for preventing relapse. Managing the psychological side effects of cocaine is also necessary to move forward. Cocaine use is strongly correlated with stress levels. Managing stress and cultivating other coping skills will help you get through difficult times now and in the future.
If you are having trouble limiting or stopping your cocaine use, you might need support from experienced professionals. The right cocaine detox facility provides you with comfort, care, support, and supervision as you eliminate the substance from your system.
The best cocaine addiction rehab center will provide counseling and therapy in addition to medical detox for cocaine. You might want to look for a cocaine rehab that helps you establish a healthy lifestyle. Rehab for cocaine with a pleasant outdoor area or fitness facility can help you get fresh air and exercise as you recover. The right cocaine rehabilitation center will also provide nourishing food and meaningful distractions to help you set a strong foundation for recovery.
Path to Recovery offers detox for cocaine in a secure, supportive environment. We customize our treatment plans for the individual, which include immediate, intermediate, and long-term approaches to care. Our professional staff helps patients learn more about addiction as well as other mental health issues that surround substance abuse. Our long-term follow-up options help prevent relapse. Contact us to learn more about detox cocaine and other substances.Get Help Now