Cocaine detox is the process of eliminating the effects of the drug from the body. When a person becomes dependent on the drug it can be extremely difficult to stop compulsive use without professional help in a residential treatment center.
Cocaine detox is the first crucial step towards treatment for addiction to the stimulant drug. However, detoxification alone isn’t enough to treat such a chronic disorder over the long term. It’s important that the right combination of therapies is implemented to treat each individual person’s addiction triggers.
The detoxification process begins when a heavy drug abuser quits suddenly. The absence of the drug puts the body into shock, which results in severe psychological withdrawal symptoms in dependent users.
Many people mistakenly believe there are few withdrawal symptoms to worry about when detoxing from cocaine abuse. It is true that the physical symptoms are not nearly as severe as they would be if the person was withdrawing from opiates or alcohol.
However, withdrawing from cocaine can induce severe psychological symptoms that are often completely underestimated. Symptoms include:
Symptoms of depression can last for months after the detox process is complete, as can the ongoing cravings to take more of the drug. As the psychological symptoms can be extreme in heavy users, it’s crucial that expert assistance is sought to help alleviate the worst of them.
Abusing any psychoactive drug over a period of time causes significant changes to the brain’s chemistry. Cocaine is a stimulant drug that creates an artificial stimulus that signals the brain to release a flood of dopamine into the system. Dopamine is the body’s natural feel-good hormone, which creates much of the initial rush of euphoria felt by users after taking the drug.
Over time, the brain is tricked into thinking it can’t produce dopamine naturally. Instead, the brain sends signals that it needs more cocaine in order to create dopamine.
When intake of the drug stops, the brain is unable to adapt quickly. Without dopamine in the system, the person feels a deep sense of depression and an overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction. The brain believes the only way for the person to feel good again is to take more drugs. Without proper treatment, the psychological aspect of cocaine addiction is the cause of such an extreme relapse rate.
Many people believe they can simply stop taking drugs by detoxing at home. However, the profound psychological symptoms can significantly increase the risk of relapse. Statistics released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that the highest risk of overdose occurs during relapse after the detox period.
Additionally, cocaine abusers trying to detox at home often underestimate how powerfully overwhelming the sense of depression and dysphoria can be. As the brain struggles to adapt to the lack of drugs in the system, the person experiences a complete inability to find pleasure in anything.
Many people become suicidal during this stage in the detox cycle, so it’s critical that the process is conducted under professional supervision and monitoring for the person’s safety.
There are several different types of detox programs available. Due to the strong psychological addiction cocaine creates, inpatient treatments in a residential rehab facility are recommended. The person has the benefit of detoxing in a safe environment, away from people and places associated with drug abuse.
One of the primary benefits of recovering from cocaine abuse and addiction in a residential treatment center is the availability of medically-trained staff at all times. Prescription medication can be given to help alleviate the worst of any withdrawal symptoms, such as antidepressants to treat symptoms of depression.
Individual counseling and therapy can also commence to begin addressing the psychological aspect of the addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapies are proven to help correct dysfunctional behaviors and replace them with healthy new habits.
A residential treatment center can also work to create the right treatment plan to suit each individual person’s needs. The triggers behind addiction are different for everyone, so it’s important to put together the right combination of therapies, treatments, and counseling to suit the person’s characteristics.
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