In the past decade, cocaine use accounted for about 13 percent of all admissions to drug abuse treatment programs. The majority of cocaine abusers who seek treatment – 72% – smoke the freebase form of cocaine, crack. Crack users are also more likely to be multi-drug abusers. As with any drug addiction, cocaine addiction is a complex affliction that involves biological changes in the brain in addition to destructive affects on social, familial, business and other elements of life.
To effectively treat cocaine addiction, a treatment program must be comprehensive, addressing the neurological, medical, nutritional, emotional, social, and spiritual components of the addict’s life. It is not uncommon for drug abusers to have other co-occurring or “dual diagnosed” mental health disorders. If so, additional professional mental health treatment is required for complete care.
Because of the widespread abuse of cocaine, treatment programs have become adept at treating cocaine addiction. Are you or a loved one struggling with cocaine addiction? If so, here are five things you need to know about cocaine addiction treatment:
- Understand that Your Drug Use Has Become Neurological and Chemical As Well As A Personal Choice. Initially, your first uses of cocaine were a choice and there were not any particular biological “pulls” to use the drug. But the drug dramatically elevates a response that releases much higher-than-normal levels of dopamine into your system, triggering pleasure sensors. Over time, your body inhibits its natural production of dopamine because of the influx from cocaine-induced stimulation. Your body has affectively become conditioned to the drug producing pleasure. After longer use, the mind’s “choice” to quit must now content with the body’s desire to continue its use. This is why a treatment program is so crucial to long-term recovery
- Understand the Challenges of Withdrawal. Whether you smoke, snort or inject cocaine, the effects of the drug are powerful. It alters your brain chemistry and dopamine levels, creating strong cravings for its euphoric effects. As cocaine interacts directly with your central nervous system, withdrawal symptoms can be intense. Stopping your consumption of cocaine can produce anxiety, depression, anger and physical exhaustion. Because of the potential severity of withdrawal symptoms, relapsing for the user is a concern. You can count on your treatment team to be acutely aware of any of these withdrawal signs.
- Medication Can Temporarily Alleviate Symptoms, But Not Cure The Addiction. Prescribed medication can help discomfort with the initial period of recovery and may help lessen emotional triggers that can prompt a relapse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes, however, that the FDA has not approved any specific medications for cocaine addiction treatment. There are medications and supplements that can help restore effective rest, brain function and a balanced mood which can aid in your recovery.
- The Threat Of Relapse is Real and, if Not Addressed Correctly, Can Be Dangerous and Even Lethal. Many treatment programs use a prescription-based approach to treat cocaine addiction. But without intense therapy and behavior modification, including environmental, nutritional, relational, emotional, spiritual and fitness-oriented, the threat of relapse is high. With effective whole person treatment – treating the physical realities of your cessation of use as well as the mental health and aspects of your life – your odds of relapse are reduced. And if you do happen to relapse, the whole person care you received will strengthen you during your relapse treatment. Some highly-regarded treatment programs offer a no-cost relapse treatment follow-on within the first year of initial treatment at their facility.
- Be Mentally Prepared For Treatment. Are you coming to treatment to appease a spouse, a loved one, or a legal court? Or are you coming because you truly want to regain your life, your health and your happiness? If you are not committed to getting clean, your chances of success are diminished. If you are truly ready to do whatever it takes to get sober and live a clean life – and ready to change your environment that led to your addiction – then you have an excellent chance at full recovery. Ultimately it is up to you when it comes to how successful your treatment and recovery will be.
- Your Post-Treatment Aftercare is Crucial to Your Long-term Recovery. You may be feeling on top of the world at the end of your recovery, but the world that influenced you to require treatment still exists. Re-entering that world requires strength and determination to persevere. If you go at it alone, the odds are against you. Plan now with your treatment team what the most effective aftercare program will be for you. Getting connected with a strong 12-step group, disassociating with your “drug friends” and maintaining your new nutrition, fitness, emotional and spiritual health regimen, and drawing upon the support of counselors and family is the key.
If you want to regain your life, and are willing to make the changes it requires, there are outstanding facilities, therapists and support groups to help you every step of the way. Covenant Hills uses a whole person approach in its cocaine addiction treatment program. If you have not yet made your decision, do your research and call facilities to learn about their treatment and aftercare programs.