An estimated 35 million Americans above 12 years abuse cocaine yearly. Understanding and reducing the use of cocaine is, therefore, important.
Cocaine is a drug native to South America. It is made from the coca plant. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 15% of Americans use cocaine yearly.
Cocaine is a form of anesthetic which was used for medical purposes in the 20th century.
Cocaine is also a powerful stimulant. When taken repeatedly, it is addictive and mind-altering. Other street names for cocaine include coke, snow, and flake.
Cocaine can be taken into the body by:
The mode of taking it does not make it any less addictive.
A person who takes cocaine will feel its effect almost immediately. The effects usually last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.
Cocaine dramatically increases the dopamine levels in the body. Dopamine is a hormone or neurotransmitter. It sends messages to various parts of the body including the brain and spinal cord.
It is also responsible for feelings of pleasure. So, people who take cocaine experience very high levels of euphoria and pleasure. The levels are so high that users usually want to experience it again.
This builds up the tolerance levels in people. So, they need to take more doses to experience the same level of pleasure. It also slowly makes them addicted to this feeling.
Cocaine comes in two forms. These are powder and rock. Cocaine is usually in powder form while crack is in rock form.
Cocaine is made up of hydrochloride salt. However, crack is a combination of water and baking soda. In summary, crack is still cocaine. A person who takes crack can become addicted to it.
As earlier stated, the use of cocaine increases dopamine levels in the body. When the body repeatedly takes in cocaine, it adapts to it. So, the body’s tolerance levels increase.
When this happens, the effects that cocaine brings reduces. By this time, the user is always addicted to the pleasurable experience. When the same amount no longer has the same effect, they are inclined to take more.
It becomes a vicious cycle. The body keeps on adapting and the user keeps taking more cocaine to get the same feeling.
Cocaine abuse or addiction is usually diagnosed by a healthcare professional. They might ask questions to ascertain your condition.
A diagnosis is usually based on health history and current status. Recommended treatment is determined by the length and severity of the abuse.
Before undergoing any treatment, a diagnosis must be made. Afterward, some of the following treatment options might be recommended.
There are no medications for cocaine addiction. However, antidepressants might be prescribed by your doctor to cope with withdrawal symptoms.
People suffering from addiction will normally have to use a medical facility. Depending on the particular case, this can be a rehabilitation residential program or a day program.
For residential programs, treatment can range from a few weeks to months. Most residential programs also come with counseling and support groups.
Natural remedies such as getting enough sleep, working out, and meditating also helps. Acupuncture is also be something you should consider. Before engaging in any alternative therapies, contact your doctor.
Most therapies will include cognitive behavioral therapy. This therapy focuses on helping the user learn new habits and thinking pattern. This can help prevent a relapse during recovery.
This therapy might be part of your rehab program or outpatient treatment.
Dealing with a loved one who’s addicted to cocaine can be tough. Try to be very understanding. Do not try to discriminate or blame them for their condition.
If they have sought help, try to follow up on their recovery without overdoing it. If they have not gotten medical help, urge them to do so.
Someone who is addicted to cocaine might feel that their addiction is not a problem. They might even pretend that it does not exist. Gently remind them of the consequences of their actions. If they still refuse to seek medical help, give them time. Nagging them about it will not help.
Always keep the channel of communication open.
With treatment and commitment, most people make a full recovery from cocaine addiction. While there is always a risk of relapse, most people go on to live normal lives.
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Alyssa Mueller is an Associate Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Mental Health from California State University of Fullerton as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on intercultural and interpersonal communication from California State University of Long Beach. Compassion, empowerment and unconditional positive regard are the foundations of her clinical practice, Alyssa has a passion for helping others and her priority is to hold space for clients to feel heard, to feel safe and to find fulfillment and self-love on their recovery journey. Alyssa specializes in addiction treatment, self-esteem building, mindfulness practices, grief and loss, trauma informed care, and self-compassion as well as individual and family therapy. She has extensive experience working with high risk populations in various clinical settings such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care, outpatient treatment, schools, and community outreach. Alyssa uses a client centered and holistic approach to address the client as a whole person in order to help them to feel empowered and facilitate their confidence and independence.
Charee has worked in the recovery field for 10 years.Charee is dedicated to supporting and inspiring clients to live a healthy lifestyle filled with meaning and purpose.Charee has extensive clinical experience within the recovery field in both inpatient and outpatient settings.She specializes in working with individuals and families affected by the disease of addiction however she has also clinical experience in assisting individuals,couples and families in working through a variety of concerns,including: depression,anxiety,relationship & communication issues,substance abuse,grief & loss,trauma, life transitions, and many others.Charee works with each client to specialize their treatment plan with what works best for the client in a compassionate and effective way. She emphasizes the strength of every individual client and fosters an environment of personal growth and internal healing from a mind, body and spiritual approach.Charee received her Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University, Majoring in Psychology and Minoring in Women and Gender Studies, in addition to her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California.
I began my journey to recovery back in 2011 when I moved to California from New York.Along wiht my recovery and beginning a new way of life,I began to develop a heart for others struffling with sobriety.My journey to California was filled with many trials and lessons learned, but most of all, personal growht.I truly believe i would not have found success if I didn’t come to California.I started CPR as a way to work with people in recovery on a daily basis and it evolved into something much more beautiful. I have also come to realize that my own personal happiness and recovery depends on being involved in the lives of people in recovery. Helping others recover is a cornerstone of many 12 step programs, as it is here. Giving back to those still suffering, is the only way not to lose what you have gained. It is the paradox that we live by every day.