Cocaine is an addictive substance that works to trigger a dopamine response in your brain. In the UK, it’s the second most commonly used drug amongst those in the age bracket 16-59 (the first being marijuana).
In this age bracket, around 873,000 reported using cocaine. [i] As many as 70% [ii] of UK drug users have admitted to using cocaine. It can lead to cravings, which will often lead to continued cocaine use. This can quickly lead to dependence and addiction – which is something we can help with at Help4Addiction. What exactly is a cocaine addiction and what does the detox process look like? Read on to find out.
What is a Cocaine Addiction?
Although it’s widely known that cocaine is an addictive drug, it can be difficult to identify a cocaine addiction. The definition of addiction is the lack of control over taking something that can harm your health – addiction is associated with gambling, alcohol, smoking, and of course, drugs. [iii]
There are different aspects to addiction – there’s the psychological addiction and the physical addiction, both of which make it difficult to stop taking the substance. Using cocaine frequently (cocaine abuse) can cause you to develop a dependence – which means that you’ll feel the urge to take cocaine in order to feel functional. Having a dependence on cocaine can lead to you experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it.
Cocaine is so addictive as it causes dopamine to release in your brain, which alters your brain’s reward system. It prevents dopamine and serotonin from travelling to the nerve cells, allowing the neurotransmitters to build and stimulate the nerve cells, emulating the feeling of pleasure and euphoria. [iv] This alone can make it difficult to stop using cocaine.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction are typically placed in three categories – behavioural symptoms, psychological symptoms, and physical symptoms.
However, if you find that you’re needing to increase the amount of cocaine you usually take in order to feel the same effect, you’re struggling to stop or control your cocaine use, or thoughts of cocaine are taking over, then you will benefit from a cocaine detox.
Those who have a cocaine addiction may disregard their family and friends and other priorities to take cocaine. Many people with cocaine addictions are aware of the damage and the negative effects of the drug but will continue to take it as they feel agitated or depressed without it.
Some physical symptoms of cocaine addiction may include:
- Lots of energy
- Lack of appetite
- Elevated blood pressure
- High body temperature
- Kidney and liver damage
- Insomnia/ not feeling the need to sleep
- Heart attack
Some behavioural symptoms may include:
- Impulsive behaviour
- Stealing or borrowing money
- Intense cravings
- Engaging in reckless behaviour (e.g engaging with escorts)
- Unable to reduce cocaine use
You may also experience psychological effects such as:
- Depression (often severe depression)
What is a Detox?
A detox (short for detoxification) is one of the most important stages of drug rehabilitation. It’s the stage where the toxins and substances that you’re addicted to leave your body. This can be a long process and can take around one or two weeks for the toxins to leave your body. However, the length of time it takes usually depends on the drug, the length of your addiction, your height, and your weight.
You may experience withdrawal symptoms that can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful, but the worst will usually occur within the first couple of days, and they usually diminish with time.
Detoxification is the stage before you complete cocaine addiction rehab and recovery. When going through detoxification, it’s recommended to have medical supervision. This is to monitor the withdrawal symptoms, as they can sometimes be rough and even dangerous.
The Cocaine Detox Process
It can be difficult to overcome cocaine addiction, but a quality cocaine detoxification programme can be very effective.
The physical and mental effects during withdrawal are almost the exact opposite of what the primary effects of the drug are – for example, cocaine can make you feel energised, but withdrawing from cocaine can leave you feeling fatigued. Detoxing from stimulants such as cocaine doesn’t usually cause life-threatening effects, but it can still be difficult to deal with the withdrawal symptoms.
If you’re considering undergoing a medically supervised cocaine detox and addiction treatment, look no further than Help4Addiction. Contact a treatment provider today to discuss the rehab/ drug detox options for yourself or your loved one.
We have centres all around England that can help with cocaine addiction as well as other addictions such as alcohol addiction, cannabis addiction, heroin addiction, and many more. Contact us for help finding the nearest treatment facilities to you, and to discuss your treatment options.
At Help4Addiction, there are three main detox and treatment programs we offer – a seven-day detox program, a 14-day detox program, and a 28-day detox program. Our seven-day program is ideal for those with a brewing drug addiction or wanting to detox from alcohol. Upon completing the seven-day program, you’ll either be directed towards an outpatient rehab program or an inpatient program.
Whether you choose to join us on an inpatient basis or an outpatient basis generally depends on the severity of your cocaine addiction and the likelihood of a relapse. Choosing to get help quitting cocaine with detox treatment and rehab treatment can help to prevent relapse, and help you to learn healthy habits.
The 14-day program is more suited to those with milder addictions – if you have a strong addiction or a longer-term addiction, then our 28-day program may be the best option for you.
Our 28-day treatment program is the top-rated program that most of our clients opt for. Upon completing the initial 28 days, you can take advantage of our aftercare programs which may include online support, telephone aid, or group sessions. You may also be offered different types of therapy, including CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), DBT (dialectal behavioural therapy), or group therapy.
The majority of people who opt for treatment for their cocaine addiction will experience positive results, so contact us today to discuss how we can help you. [v]
What About Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms?
When you’re withdrawing from cocaine, we recommend that you have medical supervision – especially if you’re trying to break a long-term or a strong addiction. The duration of the cocaine withdrawal effects can vary depending on your height, weight, and the extent of your cocaine addiction.
There’s always a risk of depression when withdrawing from stimulants such as cocaine. This could result in suicidal thoughts – but having a therapist or medical professional around can make a difference when dealing with unpleasant thoughts.
Cocaine withdrawal typically comes in two stages – the instant and the initial phase. Within 6-12 hours after a person stops using cocaine, they may experience sadness, agitation, anxiety, and strong cravings.
The initial phase starts after 24 hours of withdrawal, lasting up to a week. A person may experience both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia, exhaustion, and depressive symptoms. However, the psychological symptoms of cocaine withdrawal such as depression can last for months.[vi]
Some other symptoms of cocaine withdrawal may include:
- Intense cocaine cravings
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty experiencing sexual arousal
- Suicidal thoughts and struggles with mental health
- Muscle aches
Contact our team at Help4Addiction today to learn more about the services we offer, and how we can help you on your cocaine detox and rehab journey. We can also help you detox from other drugs, such as heroin, alcohol, cannabis, and many more.