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Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Cocaine is a stimulant, which causes the heart to beat faster, energy levels to increase and blood vessels to constrict. It’s a highly addictive substance and causes an extreme euphoria when snorted, smoked or injected. Cocaine is commonly mixed with other substances for greater effect, including alcohol, amphetamines and tranquilizers. After using for a while, the addict may find they have to take larger and larger amounts of cocaine to achieve the same effect, making their habit even more dangerous.

What are the dangers of cocaine use?

Cocaine TreatmentCocaine puts a lot of strain on the heart, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, even in very young people with no existing or hereditary heart problems. When under the influence of cocaine, the heart beats so fast it can stop completely, and sustained use doesn’t make this any more or less likely – it can happen at any time.

Cocaine users feel ‘on top of the world’ after taking the drug, and it reaches the brain particularly quickly if smoked so the effects are immediate. During this time, many users do dangerous and out of character things in their state of higher than usual self-confidence, this can lead to them taking careless and life threatening risks.

Physical effects of cocaine use:

  • Higher body temperature
  • Fast heart beat
  • Lack of appetite
  • Excessive use can lead to a kind of hangover with flu-like symptoms
  • Nose cartilage can be damaged by snorting cocaine and eventually wear away.
  • Depression and mental health problems

How dangerous is cocaine?

Overdoses are common

High body temperature can cause convulsions, heart attack and heart failure. The chances of overdose are increased when cocaine is taken with alcohol and other substances.

Puts the heart under a lot of stress

The heart rate increases dramatically when someone takes cocaine, which makes it even more dangerous for those who have existing heart conditions or high blood pressure.


The comedown period can cause depression and other mental health problems, as well as pushing the individual towards further substance abuse to deal with their negative feelings.

Breathing problems

Crack cocaine, which comes in rock form, causes breathing problems and chest pains if smoked.

It can be confused with other substances

There’s a form of heroin, which appears identical to cocaine. Taken in large quantities, which is more likely when mistaken for cocaine, it has led to hospitalization, comas and death.

Mixing alcohol and cocaine produces a toxic chemical

The liver can produce cocaethylene when someone consumes both alcohol and cocaine together, subjecting both the liver and heart to a significant amount of stress. The risk of death is 18 times greater than if someone just took cocaine.

Cocaine addiction treatment

Treatment for cocaine addiction in a facility often has to take in a broad set of criteria, as many cocaine users also have significant co-dependencies – using other drugs alongside cocaine.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

There are currently numerous drugs being tested which aim to target the dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain, making the inevitable comedown much more bearable for those trying to recover from addiction. There is even a potential vaccine, which promises to eliminate cravings. These medications haven’t been approved yet, however, so aren’t available during cocaine rehabilitation treatment.

Behavioral Treatment

Contingency management

A form of treatment which uses motivation and incentives to keep people clean. Rewards are given as part of a points-based system, where people are acknowledged for staying drug free. This can often help people stay in treatment when they’re considered high risk and likely to relapse.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A form of therapy which helps the patient understand their addiction and how they can tackle it. It’s a more proactive form of therapy, which encourages personal growth and behavioral change.

Group therapy

And residential communities in cocaine addiction rehab facilities can prevent people from relapsing, because they feel supported and part of other people’s recovery too. Like all aspects of rehabilitation and cocaine addiction recovery, this requires the full commitment of the patient.

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