Cocaine is a powerful and addictive stimulant drug. It comes from the leaves of the coca plant in South America. Cocaine usually comes in a loose, white, powdery form, although it may also come in a form that looks more like rock crystals. This latter form is called “crack” because it makes a crackling sound when one smokes it. Powder cocaine is usually snorted up the nose or rubbed into the gums. Some cocaine users mix the powder into water and then inject the mixture directly into their veins.
No matter what method a person uses, cocaine comes with a lot of dangers.
Overdose can happen whether a person has used cocaine for years or they’ve only tried it one time. Those who inject the drug have a high risk of contracting HIV or other infectious diseases. Other side effects include paranoia, depression, nosebleeds, constricted pupils, and a wide range of other health issues.
Are you addicted to cocaine? We can help you find the tools to quit. Call 800-492-QUIT to get help today.
Cocaine Detox and Withdrawal
When a person stops using cocaine or any other drug, their body enters a phase called detox. During detox, the cocaine exits the body and is not replaced by more cocaine. The detox process varies depending on the drug, but with cocaine, it starts quickly – about 24 hours after a person quits. With detox comes withdrawal, or unpleasant symptoms.
Like most other drugs, cocaine causes the brain to increase dopamine, one of the body’s feel-good chemicals. During addiction, the brain gets used to the larger amounts of dopamine. When a person stops using cocaine, his or her brain has to get used to a normal amount of dopamine again. While the brain re-trains itself, the body becomes uncomfortable. For cocaine users, withdrawal might include any of the following symptoms:
- Insomnia or other sleep problems
- Cocaine cravings
Thankfully, detox and withdrawal symptoms don’t last long after one quits cocaine. Cocaine tends to exit the body quickly. Though withdrawal may last as long as a few weeks, many former cocaine users have reported that withdrawal symptoms stopped after only a few days.
Cocaine Detox Treatment Options
During detox, an individual has two main options: detox from home or detox in a medical facility. For most cocaine users, medical detox is the best option. During medical detox, a patient stays in a detox facility. He or she is surrounded by trained medical staff who can provide comfort and support. The staff can make sure that the patient stays well-fed and hydrated. If an emergency should happen, the patient won’t be far away from the people who can intervene. Furthermore, the patient will be in a new environment away from the triggers that might cause a relapse.
If one decides to detox from home, he or she should have a strong support system. The individual should get plenty of rest, drink a lot of water, and generally keep him-or-herself healthy.
What Happens After Detox?
Recovery doesn’t end with detox. After the detox process, one should continue with therapy in a drug rehab program. Some medical detox facilities are part of a residential rehab program, so the patient can go straight from detox into rehab. Of course, a person may still go to residential rehab even if their detox facility doesn’t have one of these programs. He or she will just have to travel a little further to get there. Residential programs last from 30 to 90 days. They’re highly structured and provide many different therapy options.
Outpatient programs also offer several therapy options, but these programs allow patients to live at home. These programs are less structured, but they tend to last much longer than residential programs.
Exploring Your Cocaine Detox Options
Do you need help with a cocaine addiction? Sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start. We can help. If you’re addicted to cocaine, or if somebody you love is addicted, call 800-492-QUIT today.