While cocaine is known as a popular party drug, it is also known as a very dangerous one. This drug is produced by an extraction process of the active alkaloid in cocoa plants typically found in tropical regions around the equator. It’s sold as a white powdery substance and can be inhaled through the nose, smoked, injected with a needle, rubbed into the gums, or less commonly swallowed.
Cocaine use often starts off as a recreational drug used to dance longer, drink more, stay awake longer to get more work done or to “be more creative”. Since cocaine is such a short-acting drug, it’s easy to become addicted to this substance by chasing the high over and over again until none is left, then leaving the user with a hard crash; extreme cravings for the drug, sleepiness and fatigue, anxiety and irritability as well as paranoia are some of the most prominent side effects when coming off of cocaine.
Dependence on cocaine begins to occur when the brain becomes accustomed to the altered dopamine levels that are brought on by extended cocaine use. When dopamine levels in the brain fall below what it’s been used to by cocaine use, withdrawal symptoms kick in, giving the user extra incentive to return back to the drug and begin the process of getting high all over again. This process at some point or another begins to be compulsive, leading to a strong addiction and need for the drug being the focal point of daily existence.
Long-term use of cocaine not only causes major psychological, financial and social issues but also includes a number of physical issues such as cardiovascular damage: blood clots leading to heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke, chest pain from tightening of the vessels, irregular heart rate and permanently increased blood pressure. If snorted for long periods of time, the mucous membranes in the nose will become damaged and eventually die which will expose the cartilage lining in the nose. After the septum is exposed, this too will eventually die, creating a hole and causing breathing problems.
Individuals that suffer from cocaine addiction often slowly withdraw from society as they are constantly spending their time figuring out how to get their next high and are seldom interested in activities they might have once been interested in. Regular responsibilities become an issue and production in work or school could very well become non-existent.
While physical withdrawals may not be as severe as other drugs, the psychological withdrawals can be very intense; therefore detox can be of great benefit to help manage cocaine withdrawal symptoms in a safe and controlled environment. After a detox phase, treatment is recommended so that the user is able to find a solution to their cocaine addiction. Residential treatment programs often provide the highest level of care as people are able to remove themselves from the stressors of everyday life, allowing time for new and healthier habits to be established. Any Lengths Retreat is an all men treatment center that utilizes the 12-step program in order to stay sober and treat addiction with an optimal method of recovery. We believe that working a solid 12-step program is the solution to recovery and to live a life of sobriety.
Treating Cocaine Addiction
Addiction to drugs, especially cocaine, can be very difficult to tell if a loved one, coworker, or friend is under the influence or developing an addiction before it is too late. Several indicators of someone being under the influence of cocaine are:
- dilated pupils
- clenching jaw
- weight loss
- increased irritability
- frequent, unexplained absences from work or family functions
- inexplicable financial problems
It is also important to note that these signs are not a 100% accurate method of detecting if someone is using or addicted to cocaine. The best way to know for sure is to have some kind of blood work done; however, point of care, or at-home drug tests, are usually sufficient, and can be found in most drug stores across the country.
Still, the best way to know if someone is plagued by an addiction is through conversation. Getting a possible addict to open up about their life is the most accurate method of detection.
Support for Sober Living
Addiction is a lifelong battle that must be tended with vigilance if sobriety is to be maintained long term. It is vital for the addict to continue their recovery process even after completing an inpatient program by continuing to attend support group sessions, self-help groups, and by maintaining healthy habits in general.
A support structure is also of critical importance. That’s the social circle that the recovering addict can go to for emotional support and advice. It may consist of family members, friends, significant others, members of self help groups, and others. However, although this kind of support is crucial, honesty with one’s self is the best form of recovery.
Residential Recovery Using the 12-Step Program Gets Results
Because it also helps to have support from other people in recovery, attending self-help meetings and support groups is healthy lifestyle change to adapt. It is also a good way to develop a competent and reliable support structure if one is lacking. The fellowship and advice offered by 12-step groups lends the addict a great advantage over their addiction.
We offer men’s cocaine addiction treatment and recovery retreats in 30 day, 60 day or 90 day programs. The individual and his loved ones can choose the length of the stay based on his individual needs. The supportive environment we provide and the new disciplines we teach help the recovering addict continue on the path to lifelong sobriety.
If you or someone close to you needs help with any type of drug addiction, including cocaine addiction programs, contact our recovery center today. Don’t wait to get the help you need.