Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug used among various age groups for decades. Cocaine use leads to immediate high and euphoria. It is the second most used illicit drug in the world. Cocaine use quickly leads to addiction mainly because it alters the brain’s activity and neural pathways, making brain chemicals dependent on drug use.
Cocaine addiction or cocaine use disorder is challenging to treat a treatable condition yet. Unlike alcohol or nicotine addiction, cocaine addiction is difficult to beat without professional help. The detoxification from cocaine can be physically dangerous, and medical assistance can help in symptomatic relief. Moreover, the chances of relapse are higher without professional help.
There are two main treatment models for cocaine addiction: inpatient and outpatient, and both models have various variations.
Outpatient treatment model
In outpatient, the individual attends different therapy sessions, meetings, and workshops and returns home after finishing the scheduled tasks. Although these programs are lenient, a closely-knit support system is needed that helps a person stay on track.
Inpatient treatment model
Inpatient therapy is more comprehensive, and the individual stays at the institute or facility for a while. Thus, he can stay away from all the stressors. This is an ideal option for those with long-term and severe addiction.
The recovery includes detoxification, therapy, and long-term recovery.
Unlike heroin or opioids, there is no FDA-approved medication for the treatment of cocaine addiction. So, there is no magic pill for cocaine addiction, but it can be overcome with extensive treatment and therapy. Detox is the first step to treatment and recovery. Detox rids your body from toxins and poisons associated with cocaine and makes you sober.
Treatment of cocaine addiction starts with medically assisted detoxification. Cocaine detoxing without professional help can be dangerous. The uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and cravings during detoxing can lead to relapse. On the contrary, professional detox eases the discomfort and dangers associated with withdrawal symptoms.
The withdrawal symptoms of cocaine start very shortly after the last dose, usually after 1 to 3 hours, and it includes exhaustion, anxiety, and irritability. One to seven days after the last dose, intense cravings emerge, including insomnia, depression, and mood swings.
Intense cravings are most likely to persist for 2 to 4 weeks after the last dose. The person will be highly irritable. However, the cravings and other physical symptoms subside five to 10 weeks after the last fix. But depression and anxiety can prevail for weeks and are addressed in the therapy.
Common cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:
• Intense cravings and urges
• Chills and tremors
• Body pain
• Loss of libido
• Slow thinking
• Difficulty in focusing
• Increase appetite
• Suicidal thoughts
Without medical attention, these symptoms can break a person, and he will likely use the drug again for comfort and euphoria.
Therapy and Rehab
Various interventions are used to treat cocaine abuse, including behavior intervention, cognitive behavior therapy, contingency management, dialectic behavior therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, and motivational interviewing. You need professional help and therapy to provide you with the best therapy suited for your problems.
General tips for dealing with cocaine addiction
If you are taking steps to deal with cocaine addiction and stop using this drug, you first need to talk to your family and loved ones. A robust social network is necessary and can help you during the recovery process. Talk to them about your problem. They might already know, so ask them to voice their concerns and suggestions. Ask them to be a part of your recovery and actively involve them in the process for moral support.
Remove all the triggers of addiction from your surroundings. Redecorate your room, change the setting, and deep clean it. Paste reminders in the rooms that you use frequently. Have access to activities that can distract you, like books, movies, cooking, gardening, or any other activity you like.
You need to change your lifestyle. This includes exercising, eating healthy, avoiding drugs and changing the social circle. You may need to change your friends, hang out places, and social gatherings.
These are some basic guidelines for dealing with cocaine addiction. However, the best option is to seek professional medical and psychological help for your problem. This will not only make the detox process bearable but also help you deal with the deep-rooted issues, i.e., childhood trauma, relationship difficulties, self-esteem and anger issues, lack of communication and social skills, and decision-making or problem-solving skills.