Cocaine is an extremely addictive drug that works directly on delicate receptors located deep within the brain.
Addictions can form very rapidly, although some addictions can be difficult to identify. Unlike other addictive drugs (such as heroin) cocaine doesn’t tend to cause physical symptoms when people stop taking the drug. People who use cocaine do describe a difficult adjustment after the drug wears off, but these sensations do not mimic the physical illness seen in opioid drugs.
Because these withdrawal symptoms do not impact everyday life as immediately and as severely as some other illegal drugs, people who use cocaine may mistakenly believe that they’re not truly addicted. Cocaine boosts mood, and it can be a difficult habit to break, even after the ling-term, internal damages cause by cocaine set in.
Cocaine can do damage deep within the heart and the brain and can lead to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Researchers have replicated this damage in laboratories, and the signs are hard to ignore. Damage like this can be hard to live with, leading to a craving for drugs in the hopes that the irritability, depression, and other symptoms produced by cocaine use will go away. It’s a difficult cycle to break alone, but with help, people can recover. For many people, success comes through a rehabilitation program.1
Beginning Treatment for Cocaine Use
At the beginning of an addiction treatment program, therapists work hard to determine what issues, if any, lead to the addiction’s development. The first step in treating cocaine addiction is to rid the body of the drug and its residual toxins. This happens during the cocaine detox period.
Detox can be a difficult and taxing process, but with medical supervision and emotional support, treatment centers like The Oaks at La Paloma make this as easy as possible. When detoxification is over and the person no longer has any active cocaine in his/her system, the therapeutic aspects of rehab can begin and skill-building and education, along with mental health healing can take place.
Sometimes, people turn to drug use as a method of coping with problems they faced in their lives. For example, in a study of 105 women addicted to crack cocaine, researchers found connections between drug use and past experiences of assault, depression, and trauma. Many of the women in the study were unable receive help for the issues that led to their drug use, but proper treatment helped them prevent relapse and gain comfort and wellness. By assessing those issues at the beginning of the treatment process, therapists can ensure that they’re dealing with the root causes of the addiction and ensuring long-term success.2
Therapy Techniques for Cocaine Dependence
Therapy for mental illnesses and traumatic events might allow the person to gain solid coping skills to deal with old wounds and unresolved feelings. Therapy can be a key part of the healing process for anyone who has developed an addiction to cocaine.
Therapists often use techniques that allow people in recovery to identify situations in which they’re tempted to use and abuse cocaine. For some people, these situations might involve stress or another intense emotion. For other people, these relapse moments may come in social situations, when they’re offered drugs. In therapy, people can develop real-time techniques they can use when they’re at risk of a relapse and can’t get away.
Techniques may include:
- Journal writing
- Emphatic refusal without apology
- Building a healthy social network
- Working through past trauma
- Gaining information about addiction and recovery
- Calling a sober friend
Since therapy allows people to learn techniques and practice them with a counselor, these tips should be almost second nature when the addiction program is complete. Those who have worked hard might find that risk of relapse seems to shrink and shrink with each situation they avoid or defuse.
“Help is often one of the hardest things to ask for,” writes Alan C, at HeroesInRecovery.com. “Many people are frightened to admit that they are powerless, or vulnerable or afraid, often worrying that they will be told to help themselves or just “get over it”. I went to therapy early on and although it didn’t help me right away, it was the most impactful thing I did; without it I would not have survived.”
Just as an addiction doesn’t simply turn on with an obvious flick of the switch, an addiction doesn’t immediately disappear with treatment, either. Instead, the addiction might lie dormant, waiting to reemerge. Cocaine rehab programs attempt to correct this by linking the person with ongoing care. Often, this takes the form of 12-Step groups. This helps build a secure friend group that can help each person manage recovery.Meetings are often free and held at multiple times per day.Each time the person wants additional help with the cocaine addiction, the support group meeting can fill that need.
Some support groups also encourage members to mentor new members, and access mentors of their own. These peers can provide social connections and meaningful advice. Aftercare counseling helps round out these complimentary wellness initiatives.
In groups and counseling, each person can discuss their ongoing recovery and touch up some of the lessons they learned during their original addiction rehabilitation program. Attending sessions like this, as well as attending addiction support group meetings, has been associated with success in cocaine addiction control.
Help at The Oaks at La Paloma
The goal of the drug rehabilitation program at The Oaks at La Paloma is to offer integrative treatment and education about chemical dependency to support the changes needed to live a drug-free lifestyle.
- Helping individuals make important lifestyle changes
- Teaching skills instrumental in successful abstinence
- Developing tools for coping
- Helping clients manage feelings
- Identifying the warning signs for relapse
- Designing effective strategies for prevention of relapse
Statistics show that without a solid plan to avoid or handle addiction triggers, recovering people often relapse into the behavior that brought them into addiction. Conversely, research outcomes show that 70 to 80 percent of The Oaks at La Paloma’s clients abstained from using drugs and alcohol up to one year following treatment. The help we provide really can make a difference in the lives of people who are addicted to cocaine. Our treatment success numbers make that statement easy for anyone to see.
If you have questions about cocaine rehab, contact our call center toll-free 24 hours a day for more information.
Admissions coordinators are on hand to help immediately.
1 Thomas M., Beurrier C., Bonci A., Malenka R.Long-term depression in the nucleus accumbens: a neural correlate of behavioral sensitization to cocaine.Nat Neurosci. Dec 2001.
2 Boyd, C. The antecedents of women’s crack cocaine abuse: Family substance abuse, sexual abuse, depression and illicit drug use. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Volume 10, Issue 5. September–October 1993, Pages 433-438.