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Overview of Cocaine detox

As the name would suggest, stimulant drugs — like cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamines, and certain pharmaceutical drugs — are psychoactive substances that cause a marked enhancement in one’s energy level and alertness, blood pressure, heart rate, attention span, and even respiration. While cocaine and other stimulant drugs may not seem to have any medicinal or therapeutic value today, stimulants have historically been used to treat obesity and overeating problems, neurological problems, and even respiratory problems like asthma. However, as we came to discover how addictive stimulant substances are, the use of stimulant drugs as a form of medical treatment declined sharply. Today, only relatively mild stimulants are still used to treat select afflictions—narcolepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and in rare instances depression—while cocaine and other, more powerful stimulants are almost exclusively street drugs.

Cocaine is derived from the coca plant and is predominantly a South American import. Many natives of South America chew the leaves of the coca plant, which is their way of utilizing the plant’s stimulant properties. When they chew the plant’s leaves, the stimulant properties cause an increase in respiration, resulting in a greater level of oxygen intake. This use of coca leaves became encouraged since it provided South American laborers with the stamina to worker longer stretches of time. When the drug began to appear further and further north, scientists found ways to distill the stimulant properties of the coca leaf into a purer version of the substance, which came in both liquid and solid form. However, the cocaine that’s found on the street today is the powdered form of the drug.

A common misconception that some have about cocaine is that it’s not addictive, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The main reason that people tend to see cocaine as being non-addictive is because cocaine withdrawal symptoms are distinctly different from most other forms of withdrawal. However, cocaine is an extremely addictive stimulant drug. Those who become addicted to cocaine will very likely require treatment, beginning with cocaine detox treatment.

How Detoxing From Cocaine works

When a person begins to recreationally use cocaine, the individual puts him or herself at increasing risk of becoming addicted to the drug. Cocaine causes a number of physiological changes that result in addiction when they occur continuously over a period of time. But where doesn’t cocaine come from?

Cocaine comes from the leaves of the coca plant, which is native to South America. For thousands of years, native South Americans ingested and chewed on coca leaves in order to experience the plant’s stimulant effects. The active ingredient of the coca plant is called cocaine hydrochloride, and it wasn’t until about a century ago that cocaine was first obtained in purified form via extraction from the plant. After it was extracted from its host plant, cocaine became used in a number of tonics and even in certain type of soda such as Coca-Cola to which the substance lent its name. Additionally, since cocaine was found to be a powerful local anesthetic, the substance was used in a number of surgical procedures as well as to block the pain patients experienced before and after these medical procedures.

Cocaine was eventually made a Schedule II drug, which indicates that it has a very high potential for abuse although it can be administered by physicians and surgeons only in instances when it is absolutely necessary. The reason for so much caution is because of the effects that cocaine has in the brain; however, the body can essentially unlearn the effects of cocaine on the body through cocaine detox treatment.

WHAT DOES THE Cocaine DETOX PROCESS LOOK LIKE?

Although there are a number of reasons why someone might turn to substance abuse, many people abuse alcohol or drugs for one reason in particular: for recreational enjoyment. Beyond recreational enjoyment, we also have a number of people who turn to mind-altering substances like cocaine as a means of self-medicating or to escape from their realities. No matter the reason for the substance abuse, as a person continues to use cocaine over a period of time the body becomes dependent due to the chemical changes the drug causes in the body and especially in the brain.

The intake of cocaine causes a surge in a neurochemical called dopamine, which plays an important role in processes related to feelings of happiness that “reward” a person for behaviors that he or she has exhibited. When the body becomes dependent on cocaine to maintain dopamine levels, the result is that the body experiences a dramatic drop in dopamine levels during times when the addict is unable to acquire cocaine for consumption; it’s this dopamine deficit that is responsible for withdrawal symptoms.

Fortunately, cocaine detox treatment can help an addict return to a state of physical health. In particular, cocaine detoxification is a period during which the addict remains in an inpatient detox facility while breaking his or her physical dependence on cocaine. Meanwhile, the body is cleansed of any other chemicals or toxins that might have accumulated in the body, effectively restoring him or her to a state of physical health. Cocaine detox treatment significantly increases rates of success among cocaine detoxification treatments since it affords addicts with continuous, round-the-clock medical treatment that ensures their constant safety while also mitigating any withdrawal symptoms they may experience through a number of therapeutic techniques.

When a person becomes addicted to cocaine or any other chemical substance, he or she must continue to imbibe that substance, otherwise the addict will soon begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. As a result, fear of withdrawal is a very strong motivator for continued substance abuse among cocaine addicts. Fortunately, cocaine detox treatment allows addicts to overcome their physical dependence on cocaine without the experience of intense withdrawals, which are known to be quite different for cocaine addiction than with most other types of addiction.

With cocaine being a stimulant drug, one of the most common withdrawal symptoms is a pervading sense of fatigue and a general lack of energy and motivation. The body of a cocaine addict adapts to the frequent intake of the powerful stimulant by adjusting many of its own natural processes to accommodate the cocaine; therefore, the absence of cocaine means that the body must begin to adapt to having lost its primary supply of energy. Moreover, cocaine is known to significantly diminish a person’s appetite, so it’s natural for those experiencing cocaine withdrawals to being experiencing more hunger than they are used to experiencing. However, due to the changes that cocaine causes to the brain’s neurochemistry, people experiencing cocaine withdrawals also experience paranoia, anxiety, depression, restlessness, and a very intense desire to continue using cocaine.

Cocaine Detox Withdrawals

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When a person becomes addicted to cocaine or any other chemical substance, he or she must continue to imbibe that substance, otherwise the addict will soon begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. As a result, fear of withdrawal is a very strong motivator for continued substance abuse among cocaine addicts. Fortunately, cocaine detox treatment allows addicts to overcome their physical dependence on cocaine without the experience of intense withdrawals, which are known to be quite different for cocaine addiction than with most other types of addiction.

With cocaine being a stimulant drug, one of the most common withdrawal symptoms is a pervading sense of fatigue and a general lack of energy and motivation. The body of a cocaine addict adapts to the frequent intake of the powerful stimulant by adjusting many of its own natural processes to accommodate the cocaine; therefore, the absence of cocaine means that the body must begin to adapt to having lost its primary supply of energy. Moreover, cocaine is known to significantly diminish a person’s appetite, so it’s natural for those experiencing cocaine withdrawals to being experiencing more hunger than they are used to experiencing. However, due to the changes that cocaine causes to the brain’s neurochemistry, people experiencing cocaine withdrawals also experience paranoia, anxiety, depression, restlessness, and a very intense desire to continue using cocaine.

List of Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Intense paranoia
  • Strong desire for cocaine
  • Increased appetite
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Irritability
  • Panic attacks

Can you detox from Cocaine at home?

There are many reasons why addicts remain in active addiction for extended periods of time, but one of the most common reasons is due to the withdrawals addicts experience when they are either unable to obtain their substances of choice or when they choose to cease their use of addictive substances. The reason that their experience of withdrawal symptoms is so negative is because they aren’t receiving any form of treatment while experiencing the withdrawal symptoms; in other words, they’re experiencing the symptoms at their most intense level. This makes it much less likely that the addicts will be able to persevere through the detox period without receiving detox treatment in an actual program. Additionally, addicts who detox on their own at their homes lack the medical supervision they would have at a rehabilitation center, which means that there are no professionals observing them during the detox process to ensure that the withdrawal symptoms don’t become so severe as to be life-threatening.

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How long does it take to detox from Cocaine

Nobody becomes addicted to cocaine or any other substances in quite the same way. There are so many different possible factors that can lead to the development of an addiction and, likewise, there are many ways for a person to experience an addiction. For some, the experience of being an addict is more physical than anything else while others experience mostly mental or emotional effects. As such, the experience of recovery is incredibly variable, and that goes for detoxification as well.

During the intake process, an incoming patient’s state of addiction and health are gauged. This entails determining how long a person has spent in active cocaine addiction, the amount of cocaine he or she imbibed regularly, whether the individual is beginning the first or a repeat round of treatment, and other such factors. However, cocaine detoxification generally takes up to two weeks.

  • Among all illegal drugs, cocaine is the second-most highly trafficked substance in the world.
  • International seizures of cocaine currently total 756 metric tons with the largest quantities seized in South America with North America not far behind.
  • According to surveys, at least 35.3 million Americans over the age of 12 have used cocaine.
  • Approximately 71 percent of all admissions to cocaine addiction treatment programs were for crack cocaine, the smokeable version of cocaine mixed with baking soda.