By: Deanna McMichael
Cocaine is an extremely addictive drug made from the coca plant that is native to South America. Cocaine is used in various ways from snorting the powder through the nose, rubbing it into the gums or smoking processed cocaine. This processed form of cocaine is called crack, which is produced by mixing water and ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with the powdered form of cocaine. This mixture is turned into rocks known as crack through various boiling, extraction and drying processes. Because crack is smoked, it takes effect quickly and the feelings it produces are intense and only last for a few minutes. When snorted, the effects of powdered cocaine take longer to be felt yet last longer.
In 2020, over 19,000 people died as a result of an overdose that involved cocaine. Detoxing from cocaine and crack can be extremely dangerous, and it is advised that patients seek help from a medical professional when doing so. The safest option for detoxing from cocaine is in a medical detox program which provides patients with a controlled, medically monitored environment to help manage the symptoms associated with cocaine withdrawal.
Symptoms During Cocaine and Crack Withdrawal
Cocaine is a stimulant that causes a build-up of dopamine in the brain that produces feelings of euphoria and a strong desire to take the drug again to maintain this feeling. When a patient has been using cocaine or crack for an extended period and decides to suddenly stop using the drug, withdrawal symptoms will be experienced.
The withdrawal process can be severe or mild depending on the amount and duration of use. During cocaine and crack withdrawal, patients may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sensitivity to light, sound, and touch
- Slowed activity or slowed thinking
- Vivid dreams or nightmares
- Extended wakefulness
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Increased cocaine craving
These symptoms can be divided into three stages as the body starts to metabolize the drug and goes into withdrawal:
Treatment for Cocaine and Crack Addiction
The length and type of treatment needed for cocaine and crack addiction depends on the individual and the severity of their usage. A typical inpatient program includes many different treatment modalities and focuses on helping patients learn how to lead a healthy life free of substances.
At Lakeview Health, we treat patients suffering from cocaine and crack addiction using an individualized treatment plan. We do not just help our patients get sober; we help them build the healthy coping skills needed for lifelong recovery.
The levels of care that we offer in our Jacksonville, Florida recovery center include:
- Detox – Our team provides medical care and emotional support during the medical detox process.
- Residential Treatment – At this stage, patients receive 24/7 support to help them achieve a sense of stability.
- Partial Hospitalization Program – This stage helps patients begin resuming their regular routines while maintaining a dedicated support network.
- Aftercare Program – Our Alumni Team provides patients with resources, encouragement, and a powerful sense of community.
During an initial assessment, our team can determine which level of care is right for you.
Dangers of Detoxing from Cocaine or Crack Alone
There is often the misunderstanding that detoxing from cocaine and crack can be done at home. Trying to beat an addiction “cold turkey” can be extremely dangerous and often leads to relapse, or worse. The severity of cocaine withdrawal can vary based on several factors, but symptoms can include both physical and psychological side effects. Withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours, days, or even a few weeks.
Cravings also become heightened during the withdrawal process and can be exceedingly difficult to manage without medical intervention and help from a trained therapist. Addiction treatment facilities also incorporate different therapies as part of treatment. These therapies help patients to learn more about themselves and how to process their emotions without the use of substances.
The best way to successfully detox from cocaine is through an addiction treatment program. It is entirely possible to live a full and happy life free from addiction. Reach out to Lakeview Health at 866.704.7692 for yourself or your loved one today.