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Signs, Withdrawal & Treatment

Cocaine Addiction

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"Cocaine is a Hell of a Drug"

Cocaine Use & Abuse in America

Cocaine, made from the leaves of South America’s native cocoa plant, is an illegal street drug that dealers often mix with other substances to increase profits. It also has some limited medical function—as a local anesthetic for surgery—but its primary use in the United States is as a recreational stimulant drug. Repeated use produces intense psychological dependence, and a litany of symptoms accompany the detox and withdrawal process. If you or someone you love is looking for a crack addiction treatment center, Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network is here to help.


How to Know if Someone's Addicted

Signs & Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse

Identifying cocaine abuse can be challenging, mainly because the effects typically last between 5 and 30 minutes. However, there are some telltale signs that point directly to cocaine abuse and can be taken as an indication that intervention or treatment is necessary.  

The most common behavioral indicators of cocaine use include white powder around the nose, finding drug paraphernalia like baggies or miniature tools for scooping cocaine, obscure sleeping and eating patterns, and increased risky behavior.

Physical symptoms may include nosebleeds, dilated pupils, weight loss, and a general disregard for hygienic upkeep. Psychological indicators might include anxiety, increased social confidence, excitability, and radical mood swings.

While cocaine is touted as a means to speed up physical and mental tasks, it’s often the opposite that is true. Bizarre and irrational behavior can occur when under the influence of cocaine, and the highly addictive nature of the drug leads to heavy use.

The effects typically last between 5-30 minutes, but in most cases, users continue inhaling, smoking, or injecting the drug for much longer. The short-term effects include hypersensitivity to sounds, lights, or touch, increased irritability, mental alertness, extreme boosts of energy or happiness, and paranoia.

In the long term, cocaine use can lead to a loss of smell, frequent nosebleeds, heart problems, muscle tremors, and in some cases can even lead to Parkinson’s disease. Often, the physical toll of cocaine on the body is noticeable. Long-time users will appear gaunt or will develop skin conditions.

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Getting Help for Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine Withdrawal & Treatment Options

Cocaine detox and withdrawal aren’t physically rigorous in the way that drugs like alcohol might be. The symptoms are predominately psychological, and in their own way can prove immensely challenging, leading users to relapse.

In most cases, the best detox for cocaine timeline takes somewhere between 7 and 10 days. During this timeframe, through natural processes, the body removes all traces of the drug from the system. However, cravings can continue for months and even years after detox is completed, arising seemingly at random. This is why it is critical to go through a trusted treatment program if you want to achieve long-term recovery.

During the first stage of detox, users can expect to have difficulty concentrating, and may feel restless, incapable of sexual arousal, all the while experiencing exhaustion, anxiety and depression, and disturbing dreams that make sleep challenging. Cravings for cocaine can also be intense during this timeframe, and the chance for relapse is often high.  

Inpatient rehab involves 24/7 supervision while patients live in a cocaine addiction treatment center for anywhere between one and six months. For users who are struggling with intense addiction and are dealing with withdrawal or PAWS symptoms, inpatient treatment provides constant, comprehensive support through individual therapy sessions and group counseling.  

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Inpatient vs. Outpatient

What Type of Cocaine Addiction
Treatment is Right for You?

Inpatient and outpatient rehab programs have the same goal: to provide a structured and positive environment in which cocaine-dependent people can safely experience withdrawal while developing healthy habits that propel them into a sober life.

Inpatient cocaine addiction treatment is recommended for heavy users who may experience intense withdrawal symptoms. The psychological difficulty of the detox period can, in some cases, motivate self-harm or relapse. By surrounding users with comprehensive, 24-hour support, they have a higher chance of cocaine addiction recovery and can develop a support system that ushers them into a healthy life post-treatment.

Outpatient programs are designed for individuals who are struggling with mild, though still serious, cocaine dependencies. Because of the way they are structured—where users stop by several times a week—they offer greater flexibility and allow people to continue working and attending school. During treatment hours, they receive all the services that inpatient patients do, including behavioral therapy and counseling.

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Quality Cocaine Treatment Programs in California

Cocaine dependency can fundamentally change the way a person thinks and behaves, which can be difficult for families to endure. In many cases, cocaine abusers don’t see the extent of the suffering they cause to those around them and don’t see their substance abuse as a problem.

The cost of rehab varies from site to site, but many provide financial aid or accept insurance plans. While there are exceptions, cocaine addiction treatment centers are generally run by caring people who will try to make reasonable accommodations to help users reach long-term recovery.

Through love and persistence, families should help a user see how their behaviors are concerning and justify treatment. These conversations are always delicate and should be conducted without anger or accusation, which can backfire and force the user into deeper cocaine dependence.

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