Cocaine Addiction Treatment, Cocaine Rehab Centers
Cocaine is one of the most potent, centrally-acting, stimulants in the world. And like all stimulants, it creates short-term euphoria and increased levels of energy. Unfortunately, this can drastically lead to very irrational and extreme mood swings. While in the past, experts believed that cocaine addiction is largely attributed to psychological issues, current research shows that cocaine addiction does point to a problem in the brain’s natural chemistry leading to the development of both psychological and physical dependence. Many individuals get addicted to the extreme high that follows cocaine use. Unfortunately, since it is a stimulant, it can also lead to increased heart rate as well as unusual elevations in blood pressure. These can lead to decreased tissue oxygenation.
According to the NSDUH, there are more than 900,000 Americans who are suffering from cocaine abuse or dependence based on the 2014 DSM classification. However, the actual figures may be a lot higher considering that cocaine is the second most commonly abused drug in the world. Cocaine overdose-related deaths have seen a familiar wave-like pattern over the years. In 2001, the total number of deaths attributed to cocaine overdose was slightly below 4,000 before it peaked to around 7,500 in 2006 only to drop again to the 4,000 level in 2010. Latest 2014 data reveal that it is again on the upswing at around 5,300 deaths. The past-month cocaine use among pupils in the 8th to the 12th grade has also been steadily declining from a high of 2.5 percent in 2006 to 1.1 percent in 2015. Among 10th graders, the trend is from 1.5 percent in 2016 to 0.8 percent in 2015. Eighth graders had the most modest improvement from 1.0 percent in 2006 to 0.5 percent in 2015.
Like all stimulants, cocaine acts on the limbic system of the brain which plays a very important role in reward systems. Additionally, the mesolimbic system is also important in the regulation of motivation as well as emotions. Normally, pleasurable sensations are interpreted by these parts of the brain through the action of dopamine. Unfortunately, cocaine blocks the transporter molecules for dopamine leading to an unusually high concentration of dopamine in the brain. Because of this sudden surge of dopamine, the individual experiences a very unusual high, a euphoric feeling. This rapidly depletes the level of dopamine that, if not replenished soon, will result in the crash. All of the effects of cocaine are reversed leading to depression, suicidal ideation, and even abnormally slow heart rate as well as low blood pressure. Additionally, because inhibitory control is also altered, the individual loses the ability to control their behavior. Despite knowing the detrimental effects of cocaine use on brain health as well as on one’s social wellbeing, the individual simply cannot stop the cocaine usage.
The short-term effects of cocaine are directly related to its stimulant effects. As such, one can expect an individual with cocaine addiction to be very euphoric, talkative, very energetic, hypersensitive to almost everything, and mentally alert. Because of this hyperactivity, the individual may not feel a need for sleep or even food. The physiologic effects are more related to sympathetic nervous system stimulation which can include elevations in heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature in addition to pupil dilation. Unfortunately, the psychological manifestations are quite severe and can include agitation, irritability, violent behavior, mood swings, depression, paranoia, delusions, panic attacks, hallucinations, and other manifestations of acute psychoses. In more severe cases, seizures can lead to sudden death.
Chronic use of cocaine can have severe physical and psychological effects. Multi-organ damage can lead to failure and death. Hypertension and other hemodynamic problems can lead to hypoxic conditions in vital organs of the body, leading to tissue and organ death. The psychological manifestations of chronic cocaine abuse are closely related to having schizophrenia and other major psychotic problems which are major complication in treatment.
Cocaine addiction treatment requires medically-assisted and naturally-supported detoxification. This is needed because of the dual diagnosis nature of cocaine addiction. The psychiatric manifestations require psychosocial support even during the detoxification phase. Nutritionally support is also very important as the individual has found it unnecessary to eat. Providing the body with the correct nutrients necessary for healing can help the individual prepare for the main treatment of their cocaine addiction. Treatment and rehabilitation programs will emphasize on the discovery of psychological triggers that may have played a role in the abuse of cocaine. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy combined with complementary experiential therapies can help address the individual’s downturn.