Cocaine is a common drug that’s abused by people and the drug has a host of serious adverse effects that it can cause, which is why people with a cocaine use problem are urged to seek treatment.
Withdrawal is very common among people who are undergoing treatment. This is why searching for cocaine detox centers near me is helpful. It provides a person with access to evidence-based treatment programs. Withdrawal symptoms can be mild or severe and, in some cases, people develop what is sometimes referred to as cocaine withdrawal syndrome.
Let’s explore this further, how treatment can help, and what people need to know about the syndrome.
Cocaine Abuse in The United States
Cocaine is considered an illicit drug when used outside of a medical setting. The use of cocaine poses several threats to the well-being of a person. Recent studies show that there’s an increasing concern related to cocaine use in younger individuals too. In this study, it was found that about 2.2% of high school seniors within the US use cocaine or have used it in the past. Among 12th graders, at least 3.8% have used cocaine – with 1% reporting use within just the last month.
The highest lifetime usage statistics in the US are observed among individuals older than 26. A total of 16.8% of people in this age range have used cocaine in the past. The highest rate of past-month cocaine use was identified in people between the ages of 18 and 25. Among these individuals. 1.5% have used cocaine in the past month at the time of the study.
Effects of Cocaine
Cocaine itself is a major issue. It can cause serious adverse effects on the human body. Even just using cocaine once can cause side-effects.
Some of the side-effects that people experience when they use cocaine include a nose bleed, chest pain, and insomnia. Men may find it difficult to have an erection. Anxiety has also been noted as a side-effect among people who use cocaine, along with restlessness and paranoia. Other side effects that may occur include an abnormal heartbeat, breathing difficulties, and tremors. Diarrhea, stomach pain, low blood pressure, and muscle spasms are also possible.
These are only a few of the short-term side effects. There are much more serious effects that have been noted such as rare cases of sudden death caused by cardiac arrest. Scenarios of seizures leading to death have been reported too.
What are The Common Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms?
The majority of people will not be able to recover from cocaine addiction on their own. These individuals will need a treatment plan to assist with the recovery process. With this in mind, it’s important to consider the symptoms that may occur during the treatment program.
At this time, there are changes that will occur in the patient’s body. These changes lead to withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to serious severity.
The most common symptoms that people generally experience when they start withdrawing from cocaine include:
- The person may be unable to concentrate.
- Thinking maybe slower than usual.
- Some people complain about exhaustion and extreme tiredness.
- Some people lack the ability to feel pleasure (also known as Anhedonia)
- Consistent fatigue is noted in some people.
- Some people have experienced nightmares or vivid dreams.
- There may be a stimulation of a person’s appetite.
- Depression has been noted in many people going through cocaine withdrawal.
- There are some people who feel restless during this process.
It’s also important to consider a cocaine withdrawal timeline. The symptoms tend to develop gradually once the patient stops using cocaine.
Patients also need to note that there are several factors that affect the cocaine withdrawal timeline. Some patients may only experience a few withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms may also only remain for a few weeks. At the same time, there are scenarios where the patient may experience withdrawal symptoms for a longer period of time.
A few things that may affect the timeline include:
- The duration for which the person had been using cocaine. If the person used cocaine for a more extended period of time, they might experience more severe withdrawal symptoms.
- The amount of cocaine used also affects the symptoms. People who use large doses of cocaine will generally have worse withdrawal effects.
- Co-occurring disorders also affect how long recovery will take. Some patients develop mental health conditions when they are addicted to cocaine. In such a case, treatment needs to focus on the co-occurring conditions as well and may take more time.
- The treatment and recovery environment affects recovery time, recovery success, and the chances of relapse.
What is Cocaine Withdrawal Syndrome?
Cocaine withdrawal syndrome is a term often used when describing the symptoms a person experiences when they undergo treatment for the addiction. In reality, however, this actually refers to a condition where symptoms are more severe and persistent.
Cocaine withdrawal syndrome relies on a diagnosis from a healthcare professional. The symptoms must be present in the absence of cocaine and must follow the heavy use of this illicit drug. The condition is also diagnosed based on a dysphoric mood, along with fatigue, hypersomnia, or insomnia, as well as an increased appetite. The doctor also asks about retardation, psychomotor agitation, and unpleasant dreams.
The symptoms noted must be considered clinically significant. No other health conditions should be present that explains an alternative cause for the symptoms experienced. In these cases, an inpatient treatment program might be the preferred recovery method. This provides a more thorough approach to treating cocaine addiction. It also places the person in an environment that promotes recovery and assists in reducing the risk of a relapse.
How Can Treatment Help
Treatment for an addiction to cocaine varies from one patient to the next. A consultation with the patient is considered an essential part of providing treatment. During this session, a counselor is able to assess the patient – getting a clearer view of how severe the addiction truly is. Cocaine addiction help depends on providing the right type of treatment to the patient.
The patient may be referred to an inpatient rehab for cocaine in Texas if they have severe withdrawal symptoms. This is generally the case for cocaine withdrawal syndrome as well. In cases where side-effects are not too severe, an outpatient program may be offered instead. This may include the use of medications for cocaine withdrawal, as well as access to both one-on-one and group therapy sessions.
The duration of the patient’s program depends on the initial findings of their condition. Additionally, the progress the person makes during the treatment program also defines how long they should undergo treatment. For many people, residential treatment only lasts for a few weeks to a couple of months. During this time, the person is provided the resources to empower themselves – this helps them overcome those initial withdrawal symptoms and provides a higher chance of staying sober.
Various medications have been developed to help minimize the effects of withdrawal from cocaine addiction. Currently, GABAergic drugs are considered effective at the treatment of cocaine withdrawal syndrome. These include Topiramate, Tiagabine, and Baclofen. Furthermore, Disulfiram is also noted as a potentially effective treatment. While Disulfiram is primarily used in the treatment of alcohol addiction, it seems to work well among patients recovering from dependence on cocaine too.
Studies also show that a specific vaccine may hold potential. This vaccine causes antibodies that are specific to cocaine to be produced in the patient’s body. The development of these antibodies may hold potential as a preventative option against future relapse. It could at least reduce the risk that the patient will suffer a relapse after being released from an inpatient program.
After being released from a residential treatment system, ongoing support and treatment can still be helpful. This will generally be provided in the form of an outpatient program. The patient will be required to make scheduled visits to the treatment center.
Cocaine addiction leads to both short and long-term effects. While there are effects such as mental alertness and increased energy during the first few minutes following the use, this is followed by a wide range of serious adverse effects. The drug causes blood vessels to restrict, raises the body’s temperature, and a rapid heart rate. These can lead to adverse effects. Long-term side-effects can include serious cardiovascular problems, as well as psychological complications.
Seeking a cocaine detox center in Texas can help a person get access to an effective treatment program and manage their cocaine withdrawal effects safely.
John Eckelbarger is a Business Development Representative for Stonegate Center. With a BSA in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, he has an interest in the neurobiology of addiction & pharmacology of drugs. He hopes to bolster Stonegate Center to the forefront of addiction medicine through bold, innovative content. He is currently pursuing his MBA in Finance from Texas Christian University.