Cocaine: Addiction Symptoms, Drug Rehab for Detox, & Treatment Options

Despite cocaine, in itself, being a dangerous drug to take, the drug becomes even riskier when street dealers mix it with other synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. When the user is unaware of this, a tragic overdose death can occur, and unfortunately, this is exactly what has been occurring at an alarming rate in more recent times. 

While the future for someone with a cocaine addiction may seem bleak, there is hope. Treatment through an inpatient or intensive outpatient drug rehab provides the physical and psychological help one needs in order to successfully transition from addiction to long-term sobriety.

Cocaine Addiction Symptoms and How to Know if Drug Rehab is Needed for Treatment

Cocaine functions to increase the availability of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is responsible for “euphoric feelings” (like pleasure), the regulation of movement, and the processing of reward cues. Normally, dopamine recycles back into the cell that generated it, shutting off the signal between nerve cells. However, when someone uses cocaine, dopamine is prevented from being recycled, causing large amounts to build up in the space between two nerve cells. This stops normal communication. As a result, this rush of dopamine reinforces drug-using behavior in the reward circuit of the brain. As the reward circuit becomes accustomed to the excess of dopamine caused by cocaine, tolerance for the drug begins and the user is required to take more of the drug in order to feel the effects. Addiction to cocaine can precede tolerance, however, tolerance increases the chances that the user will have more difficulty sustaining from using the drug. 

Signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction may include:

  • Extreme happiness and energy (a drastic change of the typical mood of the user)
  • Mental alertness
  • Hypersensitivity to light, sound, and touch
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia (extreme and unreasonable distrust of people)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Tremors and muscle twitches
  • Loss of interest in family or friends
  • Sudden change of friends (that may seem to be using drugs themselves)
  • Neglecting daily obligations
  • Running out of money quickly
  • Trouble with the law
  • Stealing money or other resources in order to get more cocaine

Lastly, but not all inclusively, depending on the method of use, a person using cocaine is at risk for a substantial number of long-term risks, including:

  • Loss of smell, nosebleeds, frequent runny nose, and problems with swallowing (when snorting)
  • Cough, asthma, respiratory problems, and higher risks of infections, such as pneumonia (when smoking)
  • Severe bowel decay from reduced blood flow (when consuming by mouth)

Increased risk for HIV, hepatitis C, and other blood-borne diseases, skin or soft tissue infections, as well as scarring or collapsed veins (when injecting)

Inpatient vs Outpatient Drug Rehab and Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

When deciding to get treatment for cocaine addiction, one might wonder what the differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment are and which method of treatment would work best for them. With inpatient treatment, one lives in the treatment facility and is provided for with a room, food, and program activities, including individual and group therapy. While outpatient treatment provides similar activities, like individual and group therapy, an individual only goes to the treatment facility during scheduled appointments and returns home later in the day. 

Deciding on which treatment option depends on many factors, one being the severity of the addiction. While outpatient treatment has worked successfully for many people, inpatient treatment provides a much higher success rate in that it takes all temptations and distractions away from the person while detoxing. This is particularly helpful when the cravings to use drugs return. Therefore, keeping distractions at a minimum allows the person addicted to cocaine to focus solely on their recovery so that their transition from a treatment center to day-to-day life is much smoother and easier.

Detox and Treatment Options for Cocaine Addiction 

Since drug addiction is complex, it is imperative that the issue be addressed on multiple levels, particularly both physically and psychologically. At Infinite Recovery, we have the clinical and medical professionals needed to address the complexity of this addiction in order to ensure you, or a loved one, gets the help needed and deserved. With individual, group, and family counseling, along with support groups, we take a comprehensive and holistic approach to healing. Furthermore, we know that each person is unique and thus take the time to custom-tailor detox and treatment plans according to individual needs. Please reach out to our friendly staff today so that you can get on the path of sobriety and start living the life you are worthy of.