About Cocaine Addictions
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a stimulant made from coco plant leaves. Cocaine was originally used for medical and religious purposes, the drug was quickly determined to be highly addictive.
The stimulant in cocaine releases dopamine for a “goodie” effect for the user. This euphoria is highly pleasurable and often is repeated until larger quantities are needed to repeat the feeling associated with cocaine use.
Snorting, Injecting and Smoking Cocaine
Cocaine has different methods of delivery by the user. Cocaine can be snorted in a powder form, injected intravenously, and smoked. Here at the Greenfield Center for drug and alcohol addiction treatment, we are seeing more patients smoking cocaine in the form of crack cocaine. Crack smoking can produce highs in a matter of 7 seconds and the effects can last as long as twenty minutes. This form of delivery causes a flood of dopamine and results in extreme euphoria. Because of the rapid and voluminous depletion of dopamine, the addict experiences depression once the effects have worn off, and is apt to continue to use until they are out of money due to the intense craving.
Help for Cocaine Users
We see people who spend hundreds and some who spend thousands of dollars on crack only to end up in a place of depression once the money runs out.
Since cocaine is a stimulant, addicts can use for several days and become sleep deprived. In addition, appetite is suppressed and nutrients are dissipated. This leads to a condition that frequently occurs, and that is cocaine psychosis. This can manifest itself in anxiety, poor concentration, depression, hot and cold sweats, exhaustion and body aches.
Cocaine Treatment at the Greenfield Center
The Greenfield Center has treated hundreds of patients with cocaine addiction in the 27 years that we have been operating in Jacksonville, Florida. Unlike narcotic and pain pill withdrawals, patients with cocaine addiction are not in danger of death or severe after affects from cocaine withdrawal. The process of treatment begins with the patient recognizing that they have a problem that has manifested into addiction.
Fighting Back Against the Urge for More
Most cocaine patients that we see have had consequences as a result of their use. Some have lost family relationships, jobs, created health problems, and most suffer from financial problems due to the frequency and quantity of their addiction. The addiction to cocaine is progressive and insidious in nature as more and more of the drug is needed to get the effect from the onset of use.
People who are cocaine or crack addicts have a difficult time with cravings. Driving past the place they used to buy or use cocaine can start a release of dopamine without even using the drug. What has happened is that the impulse part of the brain has been over developed and the adult rational part of the brain is not operating normally. Patient’s say time and time again they do not want to use again. Some patients say the last time I used I almost lost my marriage, I almost lost my job, I almost lost my life, yet when close to people, places or things that remind them of when they used cocaine and its euphoric affects, they cannot control the impulse.
Here at the center we realize that the desire to stop on your own is very difficult, if not impossible. We provide a treatment plan for patients addicted to cocaine, in any form, with group therapy, individual therapy and medication management to curb cravings that seem to come out of nowhere.
New research has been able to peek inside the brain of the cocaine addict with an MRI and see the changes in the brain with brief cues related to cocaine use, i.e., a crack pipe, powder cocaine, etc. The research shows the impulse part of the brain overpowering the communication with the adult rational part of the brain. The rational part of the brain does not think of the consequences of continued use because the impulse part of the brain is saying “go” with no thought of any consequences.
Medications for Cocaine Addictions
There is a medication that has been around for years called Baclofen. When this is administered to a patient and we again peek inside the brain of a cocaine user, the impulse part of the brain is greatly diminished and the adult rational side of the brain weighs in. Instead of the “go” signal calling the shots, the rational side is able to say “maybe it is not a good idea to use.” This gives the patient time to pause and the craving to pass.
It is important to realize that medication alone will not solve the addiction. We couple medication management with group therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy so the patient realizes they are not alone, and can get a balanced assessment of themselves. This will give them the opportunity to live in the real world and deal with stressors without the use of cocaine or other substances of abuse.
Get Help Now!
If you are ready to be free from the prison of addiction and would like help, the doctors at the Greenfield Center have decades of experience in treating addicts and watching their lives change for the better.
Call now, 904.389.3784