All over the world there are approximately eighteen million people who have used cocaine in the past year. In America, there are over six thousand cocaine related deaths every year. This illegal substance is a stimulant that works by raising the dopamine levels in the brain and is often used because of the euphoric feeling is causes and the high energy rush it provides. However, this type of increase in happiness tends to mask the more serious side effects linked to this drug, such as paranoia, mood swings, panic attacks, psychosis, dysphoria, and pain and depression. The user’s blood pressure and heart rate rises, putting them at an increased risk of heart attack. Frequent users often display signs that are similar to those of schizophrenia. Anyone who uses this drug will become either mentally or physically dependent on it, which can negatively impact not only themselves, but also those people around them at home and at their place of work. Because this drug can have lasting effects and is highly addictive, many people who want to try a cocaine detox are afraid to do so because of the crushing depression and pain and discomfort that often accompanies this process.
Learning how to detoxify the body of Cocaine
A detox from this drug is often medically supervised because of the harsh detox symptoms. During this time a medical professional will administer medications that can help to ease the process and counteract some of the symptoms. At this time, there’s actually no proven medication therapy for cocaine that exists, but there are a number of medications that can aid in the cocaine detox process and minimize symptoms such as anxiety, muscle cramping and depression. Because this drug causes psychological dependence due to its ability to affect dopamine levels in the brain, it can take a person several weeks to detox and cease experiencing a number of symptoms such as insomnia and anxiety.
When a patient enters this type of detox program, the length of the process can vary. Typically, within the first few hours of a program the patient will be assessed in order to determine the best treatment methods. The physician will obtain the patient’s medical history and learn about the patient’s home environment and current living situation. After this assessment the doctor may prescribe beta-blockers, antidepressants and antianxiety medication. These medications can help to reduce the psychological effects of the illegal substance.
Withdrawal symptoms can begin just a few hours after their last use, while for others the symptoms will not begin for twenty-four hours or longer.
Because this drug is usually cut with other drugs, a doctor will monitor each patient who is seeking treatment for signs of complications. The psychological symptoms should lessen after five to seven days.
The length of a detox can last anywhere from seventy-two hours to seven days. Certain factors will come into play concerning the length of this process, such as how long the patient has been using the drug and how much they normally used daily. Inpatient monitoring for complications tends to continue until a patient’s condition has stabilized. The length of medical monitoring will also depend on how long the patient has used the drug.
After a detox has been completed, the patient will no longer be physically dependent on the drug, however, they will remain emotionally and mentally dependent on it for several months or even years without ongoing treatment.
What is the Difference between Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment for Cocaine Addiction?
Because of the addictive nature of the drug, both outpatient and inpatient treatment options are available. The biggest difference between outpatient and inpatient treatment is that outpatient centers are available for patients to visit but not to stay overnight for treatment, while inpatient treatment requires a patient to check into the facility, remaining there for the duration of a program which is anywhere from one to three months. Patients in an outpatient program often remain at home but must check in with their physician for counseling and medication. Both types of treatment can be very successful, but for heavy users, inpatient programs tend to offer the best results.
Usually, rehab and detox for cocaine use will take place in a residential treatment program, which often lasts anywhere from one month to twelve months. These programs feature a very strict structure and begin with the detox process. They also often include medications that fight depression, nutritional monitoring and vitamin supplements. A detox can also take place in medical clinic based programs or hospitals, both of which offer rehab and a detox on an inpatient basis.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms to Expect
Once a person decides to kick their habit, the withdrawal symptoms, both mental and physical, will begin. These symptoms include insomnia, depression, paranoia, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, mood swings, exhaustion, itching, muscle cramps and anxiety. While these symptoms lessen over time, they can continue for several weeks in severe cases.
Once the physical need for cocaine has passed, a patient must begin the emotional and mental healing process, which can be the most difficult aspect of the entire process for heavy users.
This treatment can be done through day treatment programs or partial hospitalization, outpatient programs, and intensive outpatient programs.
Day treatment programs will provide a determined amount of treatment daily, at a clinic or hospital. Outpatient programs can be found at residential facilities, health clinics and hospitals. These programs take place during the evening and on the weened for people who continue to go to work and live in a stable family environment.
An intensive outpatient treatment program will require eight to twenty treatment hours a week. These treatments are considered more intense than the basic outpatient programs but they often operate in a similar manner.
Because frequent cocaine use will often drive a recovering addict to alcohol or opiate use, ongoing therapy is recommended. These behavioral treatments can take place in an outpatient or inpatient setting and are usually a required part of a recovery program.