Cocaine is the second most abused drug in the world. Despite the number of people who are victims of its harmful effects, the consumption of this substance continues to increase, leading to the prevalence of cocaine addiction. With drug addiction becoming a serious concern in many parts of the world, it is no longer surprising that governments have made several efforts to reduce the number of drug addicts.
But not all efforts have proven very successful, and it’s no surprise that most cocaine addicts find it very difficult to get proper treatment. Fortunately, treatment methods are available to help those in need. overcome cocaine addiction, thanks to rehabilitation centres. This guide explores some of the methods used to deal with this addiction.
Understanding cocaine and its side effects
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that comes in the form of powder and small, irregularly shaped crystals known as crack. The effects of cocaine on the body begin shortly after taking the drug and last for about an hour. It causes rapid heartbeat, dilated pupils, high blood pressure and loss of appetite. Other side effects include vomiting, nausea, hallucinations, paranoia, and seizures.
Over a prolonged period of use, the user becomes physically dependent on the drug. When withdrawal symptoms begin, the user must take more of the drug to feel the original effects. Withdrawal can occur within 12 to 48 hours after the last dose. When it does, it causes anxiety, depression, and severe craving, making it nearly impossible to stop taking the drug.
Cocaine addicts typically go through periods of cocaine use followed by periods of withdrawal. During periods of cocaine use, their body develops a tolerance to the effects of the drug, causing them to take more. This often leads to overdose and can be fatal.
How to know when you have a cocaine addiction
Cocaine addiction develops when people abuse the drug. The body develops a tolerance to the effects of the drug, causing the user to take more. This can lead to physical dependence. Maybe it’s time to seek treatment for cocaine addiction when a person feels the need to take cocaine just to “get high” or “feel normal”. Other signs that one may be affected include:
- Lack of control over use
- Continued use even when it interferes with the person’s relationships
- Loss of interest in other things in life
- Constant use of a substance even though she knows it is harmful
- The feeling of guilt after use
A person with such symptoms most likely has a serious addiction, which requires treatment.
Methods of treating cocaine addiction
Many cocaine addicts use it as part of an impulsive lifestyle that includes partying, smoking cigarettes, and drinking alcohol. Cocaine addiction is even more difficult to quit when combined with other addictions.
Methods of treating cocaine addiction have changed over the years. However, the basic approach remains the same and is to take action to manage the problem. Here are some approaches to consider.
The contingency management program is designed to prevent addicts from using drugs by rewarding them with abstinence incentives. The value of these incentives depends on the duration of abstinence from drug abuse. For example, someone who has been sober for six years receives a greater incentive than a patient who has been sober for only one month.
A better way to understand this approach is to think of it as giving addicts a chance to earn rewards by doing certain activities that prevent them from using drugs. For example, a person who has entered into an emergency contract with a detox center and who has completed a detox program will generally receive an allowance equivalent to one week of cocaine use.
Contingency management is effective when combined with other treatment strategies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
In cognitive behavioral therapy, a trained psychologist uses an evidence-based technique to help people understand and change the way they think, feel, and behave. The ultimate goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to help people become more motivated to change, making it an effective approach to treating cocaine addiction.
The therapist works with a patient to create a list of triggers that might trigger cocaine abuse, such as a party or an intimate relationship. The therapist teaches the patient how to modify these behaviors so that the trigger is not as likely to lead to a relapse. The therapist also guides the patient on how to replace drug use with new activities that will meet their personal needs.
Although cognitive behavioral therapy is useful as part of an overall therapeutic approach, it is not entirely effective when used as stand-alone method of treating cocaine addiction.
Inpatient and outpatient treatment
Inpatient treatment is an effective treatment approach for cocaine addicts because it involves a combination of detoxification and medical support. This approach is particularly useful for patients who are severely addicted to cocaine and have been using the drug for years. A medical professional helps the patient to detox and adjust to a drug-free life in a rehabilitation center.
Users who need to overcome their cocaine addiction quickly can also benefit from this approach. It is also a useful option for those who suffer from mental health conditions associated with their addiction.
Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, provides services similar to inpatient treatment. However, patients who use cocaine as part of an impulsive lifestyle may be more likely to relapse during an outpatient program. A combination of both treatments may be needed to overcome cocaine addiction and stay drug-free long-term.
The matrix model is based on a combination of approaches to help patients stop using cocaine and stay sober. The main part of the treatment program is to teach the patient how to understand and control the symptoms of addiction.
The main components of this method include 12-step programs and cognitive-behavioral strategies to control cocaine addiction. Properly implemented, patients can incorporate appropriate coping strategies to deal with issues most likely to lead to relapse.
Cocaine addiction has been recognized as a serious problem for several years now, especially since the late 1990s when most countries escalated their drug wars. In a rising tide of addiction, patients need to know how to get the right help. People who suspect that they or a loved one are addicted to cocaine can contact reputable drug treatment centers to overcome their addiction.