Cocaine Addiction Treatment

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Have you used marijuana for years but are in the mood to try something a little more exciting? You do not want to ever need the services of cocaine and crack addiction treatment, and you are sure that you can handle it just once because you are careful. You have heard everything about the dangers of cocaine but never had the opportunity to try it. Despite the alarm bells going off in your brain, you have come across a trusted friend who has a dealer and has offered to get you some. You start with a little bump off your fingernail. It is a few weeks before you can try it again and you go for a thin line. In between, you do a little crack because it was cheaper and still made you feel great. You do a thicker line next time and feel cocaine harder than the first time but not nearly as intense as you anticipated with all those stories you heard over the years. You mistakenly keep increasing your dose until you are working that razor blade like a pro. Everything else seems to become background noise — your partner, your kids, your job, and how much you are spending on coke — and you spiral down into the dark world of addiction.

What are cocaine and crack?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that is seen as a fine, white powder, and crack is a form of cocaine that is found in the form of a rock. Cocaine is typically snorted when used recreationally and is highly addictive because of the extreme psychoactive influences it has in the part of the brain responsible for making someone feel fulfilled and like they can conquer the world. It dramatically elevates dopamine levels and changes how the brain functions. It also causes serotonin and norepinephrine to behave differently.

Crack is formed when the powder form of cocaine is combined with baking soda and formed into a solid state by boiling it. When it cools, it can be broken into smaller rocks, which are then sold as crack. The rocks are heated and smoked, and while it is not common, crack is one of the drugs to which a user can become addicted to after only the first use.

Cocaine and crack are derived from the coca bush, predominantly found in South America, and used in their local tribes to fight sickness and boost energy. It was even found in Coca-Cola products in the early 1900s. Medically, it is used in solutions to numb the eye, ear, and throat regions for procedures; however, it is normally avoided due to the existence of safer alternatives, such as lidocaine. Between the two forms, they can be snorted, smoked, injected, or rubbed onto the mucous membranes. 

How do cocaine and crack differ?

Cocaine has been depicted in movies as an upscale drug pedaled by dangerous Columbian drug lords. While it is not very far from the truth, it can be an expensive habit that those in lower income brackets have sought but been unable to afford. In the attempt to fulfill the needs of that socioeconomic class, crack was developed as a less expensive alternative. The 1980s brought with it an epidemic of crack use in low income areas.

Crack not only is cheaper, but it also provides a quicker, more intense high. The lungs are the fastest route of ingestion, and the smoke is absorbed through the them and into the bloodstream within 10-15 seconds of inhalation. This short amount of time creates a higher risk of overdose — which presents itself as convulsions, coma, and even death. When someone has a rapid heart rate and is hyperventilating, they should seek medical help immediately as they are entering the stages of an overdose.

Why is cocaine use increasing again?

Most addictions happen over a period of time with consistent use. First, someone abuses the drug, then it turns to a dangerous addiction that begins to ruin their life. It may take months or even years to hit rock bottom. It usually takes time to build a dependence, but it is possible to acquire an addiction after even only the first time. Crack is one of the drugs that possesses that ability. There was a downward trend of cocaine use as opioid use increased over the past couple of decades; however, recent years have seen an increase in cocaine and crack use once again due to various factors, such as:

How are cocaine and crack addiction best treated?

Every addict’s background is different. They are all full of their own tragedies and comedies. This means that there are a variety of possible responses when someone goes through recovery. A combination of select medications and counseling can help ease the powerful cravings during the withdrawal process, as well as address the mental processes behind the behaviors. Choosing the right rehab facility is the first step to a successful treatment for cocaine and crack addiction that helps someone come out the other side sober. Outpatient facilities exist; however, an inpatient rehab is one of the best ways to make a complete recovery from such a harsh drug. There are varying stages that are followed in standard facilities, adhering to the following basic structure:

What are the best therapies in treatment for cocaine and crack addiction?

Not everyone benefits from the same treatment, so there are a variety of ways to go about helping someone to overcome an addiction to cocaine and crack. No medications on the market presently have the ability to help someone battle their cocaine addiction, but clinical trials have found capable medications that affect serotonin receptors. Researchers are also investigating the possibility of a cocaine vaccine that would be used to prevent relapses. The immune system creates antibodies that bind specifically to cocaine molecules, preventing it from reaching the receptors in the brain. When someone is debating the best plan of action to achieve and maintain sobriety, optimal results can be found when a combination of therapies are used together regardless if they are inpatient or outpatient settings.

Does relapsing mean that I have failed?

One time will not hurt, right? Wrong! Fighting the urge to use coke or crack is done round the clock, and it seems like an impossible task at times, but it will only set you back if you use again. To the outsider, relapse is moment when the addict breaks their sobriety; however, relapsing happens in stages and is a part of the process for many people. Relapse prevention is one the main goals of rehab, because the addiction can be worse than before they tried to stop. Their feelings of guilt and remorse from what they view as a failure in their recovery may cause them to take a few steps back. Instead of feeling shame, learning what actions to take if they do relapse is essential to staying the course.

Locating help immediately is crucial to not going back to the addiction whether you find a meeting, call your sponsor, or contact your rehab center. No one is alone in this journey, and how they handle it says everything about what how they want their story to read regarding their recovery. Research has shown that only 20% of addicts who receive treatment stay sober for an entire year, but the hope is in the fact that the longer someone maintains their sobriety, the higher the chance of staying that way. After two years, 60% of previous users were still sober. The amazing fact is that once someone reaches the five-year mark of sobriety, their chances of experiencing relapse are only 15%. As with any habit, it takes practice to apply the coping skills and ideas that were learned in therapy. It is done by a multitude of people each year, which shows that there is always hope.