Welcome to the beginning of your journey to recovery from cocaine. Cocaine is a highly addictive substance extracted from the leaves of the coca plant and processed into a fine white powder. Coke, blow, snow, icing, line, Big C and nose candy are just a few of the street names for this drug which is most often ingested by snorting or dissolving the powder in water and injecting with a needle.
Coke is a powerful stimulant which can make the messages between your brain and body move faster. As a result, you are more alert and physically active when experiencing a cocaine high and may experience feelings of intense happiness, inflated self-confidence, loss of contact with reality and sexual arousal
In 2014, the first year America saw new records in drug overdose deaths, cocaine was the second deadliest drug of abuse, behind only heroin. In 2010, cocaine was third deadliest and heroin was fifth. Over 16 Americans die every single day from cocaine. It’s a devil and it’s not to be toyed with. If you or someone you know abuses or is addicted to cocaine, it stops now.
This is a comprehensive article that takes you through the signs and risks of cocaine abuse, and will show you how to recognize abuse signs and risks in order to help someone in need. We’ll also cover what withdrawal from cocaine can be like, and finally what The Haven Detox has to offer in the way of detoxification from cocaine, the extremely important first step toward recovery.
If you wish only to read about our detoxification process itself, please scroll down and begin reading at the section titled About Our Cocaine Detox Program. Otherwise, please continue to read on. The best of luck to you, but with help from The Haven, luck is something you may not need!
A Little History
Believe it or not, humans have been ingesting cocaine for over a thousand years, in the form of the coca leaf. Many centuries ago, well before modern medicine, early South American people discovered that by chewing on the leaves of the coca plant, certain perhaps enjoyable things would happen. Flash forward to 1569. Spanish physician and botanist Nicolas Monardes travels to South America and writes: “When they wished to make themselves drunk and out of judgment they chewed a mixture of tobacco and coca leaves which make them go as they were out of their wittes.”
Now, flash forward another few centuries to 1855. German chemist Friedrich Gaedcke isolates an alkaloid (naturally occurring chemical compound) from the coca plant which will soon be called cocaine. Within thirty years, the American market sees cocaine toothache medicine, cocaine-infused hair products, cocaine-infused wine, and even a certain soda had cocaine in it, a soda still named after it: Coca Cola. It wasn’t until 1922 that cocaine was made illegal. Yet even as far back as 1912, over 5,000 cocaine-caused deaths were reported by the US government.
Flash forward to three years ago and cocaine kills 5,856 Americans. Sound familiar?
The more available something is, the more likely it is to be used by the masses. Usually, making something illegal limits or gets rid of its availability. However, even though cocaine has been illegal for almost a century, usage is still bewilderingly popular. In 1999, the National High School Senior Survey showed that 4.7% of eighth-graders had used cocaine, 7.7% of tenth-graders, and 9.8% of twelfth-graders. Numbers are slightly lower for the past few years, but cocaine is still the second most abused recreational drug in the US behind marijuana.
Signs of Cocaine Abuse
It’s important to recognize the signs of abuse, and also to know that any cocaine use is abuse. It’s an illicit substance which was only legal in a time before the medical community recognized the many dangers. Also, it’s very important to note that while crack is made from cocaine, this article is only considering powder-form cocaine.
The main sign of cocaine abuse is obvious. Look for white dust in or around the nostril area. While most users will clean their noses afterward, there often is some trace left. That being said, let’s discuss a few more specific signs and then we will provide a list of more general and self-explanatory signs of cocaine abuse.
If an abuser is hiding his or her drug use, look for that person to slip away for a small time and then return with more confidence and energy than before. The person will be excited, more so then before, and perhaps overtly sexual. Also, the person will not have much of an appetite, if one at all. In addition to these signs, look for:
- Dilated pupils
- Unusual talkativeness
- Runny nose / excessive sniffling
- Unwarranted aggression
- Multiple disappearances (while in public, at a party, etc)
Risks of Cocaine Abuse
The risks associated with cocaine abuse are abundant, both the short-term and the long-term. Let it also be known that as with all drugs of abuse, there is a period of feeling low and depressed after the high. Because of its highly addictive nature and its many severe risks, cocaine is considered one of the most dangerous drugs ever known.
Worse yet, the supply and demand are astronomical, adding to the current epidemic.
“We are facing a challenge in this country with drug abuse… addiction like we’ve never seen before,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions, attending the Coast Guard’s offloading of over 455,000 pounds of confiscated cocaine, a new record in America.
Some of the short-term risks of cocaine abuse include:
- Decreased appetite
- Mood swings
- Nose bleed, runny nose, loss of smelling sense
- Sexual problems
- Tremors or convulsions
- Heart attack
In addition, some less common but potential short-term risks include kidney failure, lung damage, stroke, coma, and even death. Worse, it doesn’t stop there, especially if you don’t stop.
Long-term risks of cocaine abuse include:
- Panic attacks
- Extreme paranoia
- Chronic inflammation of the nasal septum
- Ruptures of the aorta
- Bleeding in the brain
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cognitive damage
Recognizing Cocaine Abuse & Stepping In
There is no way to safely use cocaine. Regardless of what you read, what you hear, or what you think, cocaine is extremely dangerous, whether it’s the first of the fiftieth time doing it. Now may be the time to step in, intervene, and being the process of helping if you or anyone you know is abusing cocaine, at any level.
Of course, you can step in and help yourself too. As with all illicit substances, abuse can soon lead to addiction. One line of cocaine could be fatal. What high could possibly be worth that?
Stepping in and intervening when it comes to someone we know has a problem is never an easy thing to do. We love these people, and we do not want to hurt them, but we love them enough to know they are hurting themselves, and perhaps at a deadly rate. In such extreme cases, professional intervention is recommended. When it comes to trying to help someone you love, keep these tips in mind:
- Do not call the person an addict or even accuse them of being an abuser.
- Do not demand the person seeks help. Simply state your concerns.
- Encourage the possibility of help, but do not be forceful.
- Maintain the rapport you already have with the person. Acting differently will likely arouse suspicion.
- Avoid trigger words, such as ‘blow’, ‘coke’ or ‘cokehead’.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Coke often has impurities as it is cut with similar looking substances such as talcum powder, laundry detergent, boric acid or baking soda to increase its weight and increase profits. Because cocaine is an illegal substance this increases the risk of overdose if the user isn’t aware their supply is adulterated with fentanyl, crystal meth or other dangerous substances.
Some of the dangerous effects of this drug include heart problems, strokes, violent behavior, seizures, addiction or even death. Cocaine constricts blood vessels, causing increased blood pressure while long-term inhalation can lead to a loss of smell and permanent damage to nasal passages.
Other long and short term effects of cocaine use include:
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose
- Mood swings
- Long periods of wakefulness
Withdrawal from Cocaine
There’s good news here. Traditionally, withdrawal from cocaine is not as harsh as withdrawal from other drugs. The symptoms tend to be more psychological than physical. Still, it’s no walk in the park. The withdrawal process tends to last between 7-10 days, and withdrawal symptoms can set in as early as an hour and a half after the last usage. Also, there are no FDA-approved medications specifically for cocaine withdrawal.
Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:
- Difficulty focusing
- Unusually large appetite
- Night terrors
- Anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure)
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
To reiterate, these symptoms are much more likely to occur, and much more likely to be worse, if an addict stops using without help. The Haven can provide all of the help necessary for a cocaine addict to begin the path to recovery, and the right way. The first step, as mentioned, is detoxification, commonly called detox, which SAFELY and effectively REMOVES all traces of cocaine from the body. If there is a manual on how to provide detox from cocaine, we here at The Haven Detox may well have written it.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Quitting drugs, alcohol or prescription medications on your own is a difficult road to travel. Seeking professional help and treatment is key if you or a loved one are addicted to cocaine or other substances.
Medically supervised detox at The Haven can help manage withdrawal symptoms when you are trying to quit. Our residential program treats the whole person, not just the addiction – call us anytime, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
About Our Cocaine Detox Program
Cocaine is one of the most addictive and harmful drugs. Even occasional users run the risk of sudden death with cocaine use. The high achieved from cocaine is short lived, causing a state of depression and exhaustion after. This typically results in a binge and crash pattern, where individuals will continue to abuse the drug to avoid the negative consequences. Although cocaine dependence is a challenging addiction to overcome, with proper treatment, recovery is possible.
Cocaine Detox: How
People who are addicted to Cocaine feel cravings for months, even years after quitting. Detox from cocaine is a process which requires committing to a detoxification program which will help promote long-term sobriety. Our clients at The Haven Detox receive 24/7 care and we are committed to providing a safe and comfortable setting for them to detox in. Cocaine detox symptoms are typically psychological and behavioral so it is important to take this into consideration when detoxing.
What to Expect During Cocaine Detox
For patients detoxing from Cocaine, it is important to address the psychological consequences of their addiction. Our clinicians begin with a comprehensive evaluation of each client to generate a working knowledge of their medical history, history of abuse as well as their personal well-being and psychological condition. Part of the initial health assessment involves a physical examination, including a visual screening of the patient. Once the initial health assessment is completed, our clinical staff members work with our client to establish an effective treatment plan. Triggers, which can range from objects, situations, places, or emotions, can spark cravings. Understanding and recognizing specific triggers will aid in the recovery process.
Taking the first step and seeking help from The Haven Detox is critical to reducing the large amount of damage done by substance abuse. The continuum of treatment and comprehensive care offered here ensures the ability to surmount physical aspects of addiction. This achievement will promote the confidence necessary to begin building the tools essential to successfully engaging in long-term addiction recovery.
Cocaine Detox: Why It’s Important
Cocaine’s highly addictive nature makes it a challenging drug to sustain sobriety from, and it’s potentially dangerous side effects make it one of the leading causes for emergency room visits. Cocaine will increase heart rate and blood pressure and constrict arteries which supply blood to the heart. This can cause heart attack, even in young people without a predisposition for heart disease. Cocaine also triggers an abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia, and will constrict blood vessels in the brain, causing strokes. These effects can also happen in young people who have no other risk factors for strokes.
Chronic cocaine use can impair sexual function in both men and women. Seizures and bizarre or violent behavior are side effects as well as sudden, overwhelming kidney failure. In individuals with high blood pressure, regular cocaine use will accelerate long-term kidney damage and heart problems caused by high blood pressure. It’s important not to minimize cocaine substance abuse, and to seek the necessary treatment which promotes a healthy and promising future free of addiction.
Cocaine is a devil. Just this year, a nine-year-old boy from Ohio died of cocaine ingestion. In the UK, cocaine use directly supports slavery and murder. Nowadays, large-scale cocaine dealers are cutting their product with substances even more dangerous than cocaine, such as fentanyl.
If you or anyone you know is using cocaine, addict or not, now is the time for help. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Let The Haven Detox work its wonders.