Cocaine is one of the most widely used and abused substances in the united States today, particularly amongst young persons. Research compiled by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) concluded that the drug is ingested by more individuals ages 18 to 25 than any other illicit substance. Moreover, a 2011 study performed by members of the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) discovered that cocaine overdoses were responsible for more than half of all drug-related emergency room visits.
Why Is Cocaine So Addictive?
The ingestion of cocaine precipitates an increased production of a brain-based chemical called dopamine. Dopamine contributes to the brain’s creation of positive feelings such as pleasure and euphoria and cocaine users often report experiencing intense bursts of joy and strength immediately following administration of the substance.
That said, repeated ingestion of cocaine causes an excessive buildup of dopamine. This occurrence alters brain chemistry, as well as the organ’s ability to properly metabolize dopamine. Eventually, the brain cells (neurons) responsible for creating pleasurable emotions such as joy and excitement can only function through the ingestion of greater quantities of cocaine thus producing addiction.
The Signs A Cocaine Addict Might Display
There are several red flag physical manifestations and behaviors someone using cocaine might display which their friends and family should pay close attention to including:
*Chronic nasal manifestations like sniffling, sneezing and nasal discharge.
*Scratches or other suspicious marks on their arms (if they are administering the drug through the use of needles).
*Being in possession of excessive amounts of cash (which are used to purchase the drug from dealers).
*A dramatic change in sleep patters.
*Displaying unexplained anxiety.
*Disappearing for extended durations.
*Wild mood swings.
A cocaine user might also exhibit bizarre behaviors such as rolling up paper currency (to facilitate snorting the substance) and having traces of the drug in and around their nasal passages.
The Potential Long-Term Impact Of Cocaine Addiction
The drug has the potential to inflict extensive, if not permanent damage to many major regions of the body including the nervous system, digestive tract, cardiovascular system and respiratory tract. In addition, cocaine use always poses the risk of overdose which could be fatal.
Possible Treatment Options
Treatment plans will vary depending upon critical factors such as the addict’s age, the severity of the addiction and said individual’s general health. If the user has not yet become addicted, treatment protocols like behavioral therapy might prove effective. That said, in cases where the person is question is a full-blown addict, said individual may require aggressive intervention like medical detox followed by an extended period in a rehabilitation facility.
The ultimate program when it comes to dealing with addiction. The intensive outpatient program is a more rigorous type of therapy where patients attend group sessions, which in turn allows for a more intensive and directed treatment solution.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment or in short IOP is usually recommended by a clinical and medical assessment of the patient. Typically, the users of the IOP program are those that don’t require additional medical supervised detox. After a successful detox program has been established with the patient the IOP can enable a recovery period where the patient can continue their recovery therapies in an intensive schedule which is made to accommodate the working life and the family life of the patient. This is one of the best ways to help people recover from their addiction as it lets them re-join their former personal lifestyle where they can mend their family ties faster than they could if they were in a recovery center far away from home. This also lets the patient establish a working long-term recovery support group in his local surroundings as the community is encouraged to help the individual in his recovery therapy period.
What sort of therapies are involved in this Intensive outpatient program?
Primarily this type of therapy depends on a service that involves therapy group, however, there are also assigned individual therapy methods and needs that need to be met on a weekly basis while the treatment is ongoing. These groups are small and usually don’t go over 8-10 people which in return allows for a safe environment for every participant of the group.
IOP can include many different methods of therapy which can also include;
Withdrawal syndrome therapy
How to manage cravings
How to understand your brain
The stages of recovery
Relapse prevention skills and many more.
While this kind of therapy is highly advisable only for people that can past a certain medical threshold, it can also be good for many small-time addicts. While IOP can help an individual build up his life, it can’t be a therapy that can be administered from the start without many other beneficiary factors in place. For instance, a therapy with medication is going to be the best first step when it comes to professional treatment and then in later stages, IOP can help the patient integrate back into society in a painless way.
When it comes to treating addictive behavior or habits there is more than one program that works. The thing is that most of the programs fit one specific treatment group but they all fit into two main categories of treatment.
– The long-term treatment
– The short-term treatment
When many of these treatment programs have been specifically designed for specific situations or individuals it’s easy to know which should be used to deal with certain addictions. Many of these treatments were made in the past when it was taboo to treat addiction, or it was a scientific process which involved a lot of testing that would not be public. Today addiction is approached with the seriousness that it deserves and there have been many tools, and methods perfected to help deal with addiction.
Some of these treatment programs can include:
Detoxification or more known as detox, which is the process where the body is being prepared to enter its state to rid itself of the poison that it has been riddled with during the addiction period. This process can take from two days up to several weeks. It should also be noted that this alone is not enough to help an addict recover, it’s just the first step and should be followed up with medication and other therapies.
– Group therapy
Group therapy can be extremely successful at helping the individual cope with their addiction post-treatment. This is a good way to help the patient deal with his former addiction both physically and psychologically. Usually, in this group, there is more than one addict that shares their experiences and struggles with their addiction.
– Medication-assisted treatment
MAT is one of the best ways to deal with addiction. Every addiction can be successfully dealt with if there are doctor-prescribed medications in the mix as certain meds act in several different ways to expel the addiction from the addict’s body.
While the world is getting busy by the second people are still trying to figure out what they are good at and how they can be useful to society. Some people do get there, but some get sidetracked. The thing is many people don’t want to get sidetracked but they just can’t find themselves an opportunity that will give them a chance to do something useful. So many of these people end up doing things that are destructive until that opportunity presents itself.
This is a wrong set of lifestyle choices that usually leads to one if not more addictions and none of them have a happy ending. If people start using drugs than they end up either dead or detached from the rest of society.
It’s the same with alcohol. Many people who start drinking just so their time would pass forget that alcohol is a form of liquid drugs and that if not consumed for a reason and in a limited amount it can soon lead to a lifestyle where it will take over a person living in no time. While it’s good that addicted people have ways to deal with that addiction it’s very important for the individual to realize that it has to start with him. Sure, there are sober living programs that can help with the recovery process faster, but to truly benefit from such bonuses you must decide to kick the addiction to the curb.
There are several tricks on how to temporarily deal with addiction, and besides finding the will within oneself the second most important part is to find things to keep yourself busy. If you train, meditate, or study you will be busy enough to ignore the call of your addiction. It’s also important to be forthcoming with your family so they can aid you in any way the can.