According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), on any given day in Idaho, there are 11,596 cocaine addicts. Cocaine is available widely throughout the state and has been increasingly popular in recent years. (This may be because of falling prices.) Estimates of cocaine abuse have tripled. This change is believed to be the result of a reduced methamphetamine supply. Meth users may be switching to cocaine when there’s less meth in circulation because both drugs are stimulants.
Regardless of how severe your cocaine addiction is, there is comprehensive treatment available in Idaho. Eagle Creek Ranch is a recovery rehab located in Nampa, Idaho with a compassionate staff experienced in the treatment of substance use disorders (SUDs).
What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug and is highly addictive. People in South America have chewed and consumed coca leaves for thousands of years. Coca leaves are the source of cocaine. More than 100 years ago, the purified chemical, cocaine hydrochloride, was isolated from the plant.
In the early 1900s, the purified chemical was the main active ingredient in elixirs, and tonics purported to treat a wide range of illnesses. Before synthetic local anesthetics were developed, cocaine was used by surgeons to block pain. However, today, cocaine is a Schedule II drug, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse but may be used by a doctor for legitimate medical uses.
Frequently, dealers dilute (or “cut”) the drug with non-psychoactive substances like cornstarch, talcum powder, or baking soda to increase their profits. They may also use other drugs such as anesthetics or amphetamine (also a psychoactive stimulant).
For people who suffer from cocaine addiction, if left undiagnosed or untreated, can result in major health consequences.
At Eagle Creek Ranch Recovery in Nampa, Idaho, our cocaine addiction rehab can help you manage your substance abuse, and teach ways to cope with cravings and triggers during and after treatment.
People generally abuse two chemical forms of cocaine:
- Water soluble hydrochloride salt
- Water soluble cocaine base (freebase)
Cocaine users snort the hydrochloride salt, which is in powder form, through their noses or by rubbing it on their gums. It can also be mixed with water and injected.
The base form of cocaine is made by processing the drug with ammonia or baking soda and water, then heating it to produce a smokable rock crystal. This is called “cracking,” referring to the crackling sound it makes when it’s heated. Some users also combine cocaine with heroin
Cocaine addiction is evident by an inability to stop using, even when it consistently causes you harm or distress. If your use is increasingly becoming compulsive, or if you’re finding that you’re experiencing these signs of cocaine addiction, you may have a problem:
- Chronic restlessness
- Being suspicious of people
- Withdrawing from social situations
- Constant fatigue and a general deterioration in your health and appearance
- Nosebleeds or constant runny nose (users who snort cocaine)
- Track marks, or indications of injections on the arms, legs, or neck
- Insomnia, nightmares, or other sleep disorders
- The use of cocaine has increased over time
- Inability to function without cocaine
Cocaine works by activating ancient pleasure centers that dominate our thoughts, priorities, and behaviors. This produces a pleasure-reinforced compulsion to use the drug. Cocaine changes the way the brain works by increasing the amount of a chemical called dopamine in parts of the brain that control motivation and reward.
If you use it a lot, your brain will get used to the larger amount of dopamine produced by the drug. Eventually, other healthy activities begin to seem less interesting or fun. You’ll need more and more of the drug just to feel “normal.”
This means that using cocaine repeatedly impairs the regulation of pleasure centers in the brain. Frequent use opens the path to addiction through craving and impaired functions that relate to pleasure. Craving and euphoria then drive the cycle of addiction through positive and negative reinforcement.
Cocaine produces a feeling of pleasure that exceeds the normal range of human experience and becomes a permanent part of your memory. The attraction of cocaine euphoria shouldn’t be underestimated. Its sheer power is demonstrated by the fact that lab animals with unrestricted access to cocaine will self-administer the cocaine until it kills them.
Evidence indicates that cocaine activates the sex reward circuits in the brain. Within minutes, cocaine pleasure turns to intense craving that fuels cocaine binges. And as cocaine addiction continues, people become increasingly at risk for the following:
- Job loss
- Family chaos
- Medical issues
You know how cocaine makes you feel. And now you know why you feel that way. However, the euphoria and energy you experience take a toll on your body. Chronic or long-term use can cause a range of health effects. These can happen right after using cocaine or may happen long after the drug wears off.
- Dry mouth
- Racing thoughts
- Temporary energy surge
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Sleep disturbances
- Cardiac arrest
- Abdominal pain
- Severe weight loss
- Insomnia and exhaustion
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Perpetual psychotic symptoms
- Development of tolerance and addiction
- Infection, redness, or sores at injection sites
- Loss of sensitivity in the brain’s reward pathways to natural reinforcers
- Nosebleeds and destruction of nasal passages from snorting
- Loss of ability to experience pleasure without cocaine
- Loss of sense of smell, problems swallowing
- Brain atrophy and impaired thinking
- Coughing and other lung problems
- Lung disease from smoking
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart attack
The effects of an overdose may include stroke, seizures, irregular heart rhythm, or heart attack.
Cocaine creates the greatest psychological dependence of any drug except methamphetamine. Because it stimulates key pleasure centers within the brain and causes heightened euphoria, the repeated use of cocaine over time can cause the development of:
- Physical dependence
- Withdrawal symptoms when not being used
Examples of cocaine’s addictive potential include:
- Cocaine causes a quick, extreme high that lasts a short time
- The high is usually followed by a sharp drop into depression or a feeling of being on edge, which leads the user to use more to relieve these feelings
- Regardless of the method of use, cocaine causes extra dopamine stimulation in the brain, which leads to rewarding feelings that encourage more usage.
The onset of withdrawal symptoms when you stop or reduce your use of cocaine is another sign of a cocaine dependency Withdrawal symptoms includes:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Sleep disturbances or inability to sleep
Although the potential symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and unpleasant, they are not typically life-threatening. However, severe depression can lead to dangerous situations, with or without suicidal thoughts. This is why a professionally monitored detoxification in a cocaine addiction rehab is highly beneficial in handling cocaine withdrawal.
Medical professionals can address any new mood disorder problems and manage uncomfortable symptoms as they come along. This all serves to help a person in withdrawal to successfully detox without giving up and relapsing. Furthermore, a successful detox prepares the individual for ongoing treatment and lasting recovery.
We know that anyone can become addicted to cocaine. It doesn’t matter where you live, work, or attend school. There’s no way to predict who will become addicted. But the right treatment can help a person who is addicted feel better and stop using cocaine. Still, it’s hard work and takes many years to stay in recovery, so a solid start is imperative.
There are currently no medications specifically used to treat cocaine addiction. However, there are some prescription medications used to treat other types of substance abuse or other issues and they have been used with some success in the treatment of cocaine abuse. These include two medications used to treat other disorders:
- Disulfiram–a treatment for alcohol dependence helps prevent cocaine relapse
- Propranolol–a treatment for angina and hypertension can be used to reduce anxiety and promote abstinence
- Baclofen–a muscle relaxant that decreases the craving
The most effective treatment for cocaine abuse is a combination of behavioral and medical interventions, such as a cocaine addiction rehab that includes intensive psychotherapy. Behavioral therapies have shown continued effectiveness in the treatment of cocaine addiction. Two common, evidence-based behavioral approaches are:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT has been found to help with recovery from cocaine addiction. CBT helps individuals recognize their faulty thinking which led to their addiction. They also learn to identify situations that may tempt them into relapsing and how to avoid them.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT is a type of CBT that teaches people how to live in the moment, regulate their emotions, improve relationships, and develop healthy ways to deal with stress. It teaches people to accept and tolerate their situation while working for change.
At our cocaine addiction rehab, we offer various levels of care for individuals suffering from addiction. They include:
- Residential treatment program: In a residential program, you live full-time at the treatment facility. Because of the extreme addictiveness of cocaine, inpatient treatment helps you live without the distractions and triggers to use in your everyday life. Living in a drug-free treatment center allows you to focus on your recovery and learn how to avoid relapse.
- Outpatient treatment program: There are several levels of outpatient programs that range from two days a week to five days a week. Generally, the severity of your addiction and the type of addiction will decide which program suits you best.
- Dual diagnosis treatment: When an individual has an addiction and a mental health issue, it is considered a dual diagnosis. It’s common for a person with a mental health problem to also have a substance use disorder. Both conditions need to be treated simultaneously in the same treatment facility by the same treatment team.
At Eagle Creek’s cocaine addiction rehab, we understand addiction and all that it entails. We are prepared to provide supervised medical detox to help you safely and successfully through withdrawal. Detox will prepare you to do the serious work of getting better. Our residential program will keep you safe from triggers while you receive 24-hour care from our specialists.
While you’re here, you will be provided with a therapy program created specifically for your needs. We know that everyone is unique and a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work. That’s why we have a comprehensive dual diagnosis program. In addition, we also know that the addiction of one family member affects all other family members so Eagle Creek offers family therapy for all family members who wish to take advantage of it.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with a cocaine addiction, now is the time to do something about it. Of course, you still have questions and we encourage you to contact us and find out what our cocaine addiction rehab in Idaho can do for you. A more fulfilling life can be yours if you want it.
Kendall Maloof is the clinical director at Eagle Creek Ranch Recovery. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has held multiple leadership roles before settling here at Eagle Creek. Kendall received her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2016. Her career in mental and behavioral health began in 2014 when she took up internships in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors. She interned at multiple reputable companies, such as The Living Success Center and 449 Recovery in California.
In 2019, Kendall became the clinical director of Sunsets Recovery for Woman, a dual diagnosis program in southern California. Kendall is a natural leader. She has an incredible ability to problem solve and stay calm in any situation. Kendall never fails to show up when she is needed, and her calm demeanor makes her team and clients feel at ease. Eagle Creek Ranch Recovery is proud to have Kendall as our clinical director.