According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the drug cocaine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. It’s made from the leaves of the coca plant and is typically sold as a white powder. Despite its natural-seeming origins, cocaine is not a safe substance to use. Further, cocaine addiction is a serious problem.
When someone engages in regular cocaine use, they develop a tolerance to the drug. This means they need to use more cocaine to feel the same effects they once did from using smaller amounts. Tolerance then leads to dependence where a person will feel withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, tiredness, and shaking, if they try to quit cocaine or significantly reduce their cocaine use.
After dependence comes addiction when a person will continue to use cocaine compulsively despite any negative consequences. Unfortunately, cocaine addiction often requires professional help to overcome. Cocaine detox is the first step in overcoming cocaine addiction. Here at Northern Illinois Recovery Center, we offer cocaine detox in Illinois to those who are ready to start their recovery journey. With our help, you can eliminate cocaine from your body and begin treatment with a sober and clear mind.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
If you are seeking cocaine detox in Illinois, you may be struggling with a cocaine addiction. Or, you may suspect that someone close to you is. Without knowing the signs of cocaine addiction, it can be difficult to determine whether or not an addiction is present. The following behavioral signs will indicate if someone is addicted to cocaine:
- Neglecting work, school, or personal responsibilities in order to use cocaine
- Being unable to cut back or stop cocaine use despite negative consequences
- Requiring more cocaine to get the same desired effect
- Withdrawing from friends and family in order to use cocaine
- Experiencing financial problems due to cocaine use
- Continuing to use cocaine despite health problems caused by or worsened by cocaine use
- Neglecting personal hygiene and/or appearance
If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of these behaviors, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Cocaine addiction is a serious condition that can lead to harmful consequences, both physically and mentally. In addition to the behavioral signs of cocaine addiction, there are also psychological and physical signs that can point toward a cocaine addiction. These include:
- Nose bleeds, or a constant runny nose
- Dilated pupils
- Weight loss
If you see these signs either in yourself or someone close to you, it may be time for cocaine addiction treatment. Cocaine detox can be an important first step in overcoming cocaine addiction.
The Effects of Cocaine Use
Cocaine addiction is a serious problem because it causes changes in the brain and the body. When it comes to the brain, cocaine alters the way the brain processes dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and motivation. This change in brain chemistry can lead to cocaine addiction and other compulsive behaviors. Further, cocaine also has physical effects on the body. For example, cocaine use can cause the following effects in the short term:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Constricted blood vessels
- Dilated pupils
- Elevated body temperature
Short-term effects of cocaine include increased alertness, feelings of well-being, euphoria, increased energy and motor activity, and increased heart rate and blood pressure. These effects are why cocaine is often used as a party drug. However, cocaine is also associated with serious risks in the long term. These risks include significant damage to the cardiovascular system.
Over time and acutely, cocaine leads to a number of heart problems. These include hypertension, myocardial infarction (heart attack), cardiomyopathy (damage to heart muscle), aortic aneurysms, and other cardiovascular problems. Cocaine also increases the risk of stroke. In fact, cocaine is the second most common cause of ischemic strokes. These conditions are not only serious but can lead to premature death.
How Cocaine is Used
Users usually snort cocaine. They can also inject it. They can also convert it into a freebase form and smoke it. Additionally, users can convert cocaine to crack, which they then smoke. When people use cocaine, it gives a euphoric high that comes on quickly. It increases confidence and sociability and may make you feel invincible. These pleasurable effects occur because large amounts of dopamine, the brain’s reward chemical, are released.
Why Cocaine Detox is Necessary
Cocaine addiction is a serious problem that requires professional help to overcome. Cocaine detoxification is the first step in overcoming cocaine addiction, and it is important to detox under the care of medical professionals.
Cocaine detox can be difficult and uncomfortable, but it is essential in order to begin treatment for cocaine addiction. When a person uses cocaine and stops abruptly, they go through withdrawal. Withdrawal is the experience of the symptoms that occur when a person stops using cocaine after becoming physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. Below, we go into more detail on the phases a person will experience when ceasing use of this drug.
Cocaine might not be the type of drug that comes to mind when you hear the term withdrawals. Many people don’t realize that there are withdrawal symptoms associated with cocaine. While it’s true that you won’t experience the type of physical withdrawal that you would from most drugs like opiates, benzodiazepines, or alcohol, cocaine does have its own set of withdrawal symptoms.
At Northern Illinois Recovery Center, we offer a comprehensive cocaine addiction rehab. We can help individuals struggling with addiction and those that care about them and want to see them get help to understand what cocaine withdrawal looks like. Learn more about our treatment programs for substance abuse here.
When you use cocaine for an extended period, like days or weeks, you will experience a crash when the drug leaves your system. Cocaine causes stimulation and alertness, so your body will likely be exhausted from lack of sleep and poor nutrition when you come down. However, cocaine withdrawal symptoms go beyond pure exhaustion.
Extreme depression occurs because your brain has grown used to large amounts of dopamine. You may feel despair or have no interest in activities you usually find pleasurable. You may also experience anxiety and irritability. Fatigue and increased hunger are prevalent, as well. You may experience body aches or a general feeling of unwellness.
The phase, known simply as the withdrawal phase, begins somewhere between 2-7 days after use has stopped. The symptoms will be less severe than the crash phase, but they will last much longer, up to 10 weeks. Common symptoms of this phase of cocaine withdrawal include:
- Lack of energy
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anxiety and paranoia
Cravings for cocaine can be severe. These often lead to relapse. You may struggle with depression for many weeks after stopping cocaine, further adding to the temptation. It’s easy to feel that life will never be truly enjoyable again unless you go back to the extreme euphoria that comes with getting high. However, it does get better with time.
Fatigue and low energy are pervasive in this phase as well. It’s not nearly as severe as during the initial crash stage. Most people can carry out day-to-day activities during this stage, but they don’t have the same energy they usually do.
Mood swings may be related to decreased impulse control during cocaine withdrawal. Trouble concentrating is very common, as well. These symptoms are likely due to changes that occur in the brain during cocaine use. The brain seeks a state of balance. When you add too much of one thing, like dopamine, your brain will take steps to balance it back out. This balancing results in tolerance. In many cases, it causes long-term changes in your brain.
During this phase, you may not experience any cocaine withdrawal symptoms since your brain and body have had an opportunity to heal and balance themselves. However, you may still experience cravings. You may also still struggle with depression or low mood or motivation.
Approaches Used in Cocaine Rehab
Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can be intense. This is why medically supervised detox is often the first step in drug rehab Illinois. After detox concludes, individuals can enter into the addiction treatment program that best suits their needs. At Northern Illinois Recovery Center, we offer the complete spectrum of care that individuals can work through progressively or enter based on their specific needs. Our programs include:
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Telehealth intensive outpatient program
- Structured sober living
Entering the right program is key in recovering from cocaine withdrawal symptoms and healing from the disease of addiction.
Cocaine Detox at Northern Illinois Recovery
If you are experiencing cocaine withdrawal, help is available. Cocaine detox in Illinois can help you take the necessary first steps in the addiction treatment process.
When you attend treatment at our cocaine detox program, we offer medication that can help to manage symptoms, and treatment can help reduce cravings and teach you how to live life sober. Therapy can be helpful for the depression and anxiety that often accompanies withdrawal.
Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center today to begin your recovery journey. We will be with you every step of the way.
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