There are many drugs which require a person to undergo what is called a “medical detox” because his/her body becomes dependent on that drug. Drugs such as opiates, benzodiazepines and alcohol cause physical addictions and a series of medications are typical used during the detoxification process. Cocaine detox works a little bit differently because it is more of a mental addiction. This does not mean it is any easier to detox from, in fact many people think it is even harder to detox from a drug that is mentally addictive than one that is physically addictive. This is because the desire to use Cocaine continues long after the drug has left the bloodstream. There are a lot of mental instabilities which may be noted in people coming down off Cocaine and these symptoms can also be treated with specific medications.
Physical Problems Associated With Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine abuse puts a lot of stress on a person’s body, in a number of ways, and some severe physical consequences can ensure from prolonged use of the drug. Because Cocaine is a stimulant, many people who abuse the drug go for long periods of time without sleeping. Severe sleep deprivation over long stretches can cause a number of physical problems such as chronic sleep disorders later in life. In addition, the body’s immune system is broken down quite a bit in a person who is not sleeping properly. Not only does a person who is depriving his/her body of sleep stand a much higher chance of contracting viruses and other illnesses due to a suppressed immune system but there is also the strain sleep deprivation puts on the human heart. This coupled with the fact that Cocaine raises the hear rate significantly can be a deadly combination.
Improper nutrition and severe weight loss are other issues Cocaine addicts face as the drug is an appetite suppressant. Many people who are actively addicted to Cocaine go for days or even weeks without eating. This can lead to a number of vitamin deficiencies. The immune system and heart also suffer from a lack of proper nutrition and for this reason; Cocaine addicts put their body and heart under a lot of stress when they use the drug for long periods of time. Skin sores and acne are also issues that Cocaine addicts face. In addition, people who use Cocaine tend to make poor decisions where sexual activity is concerned. This can has lead many Cocaine addicts to contract STD’s such as HIV or Gonorrhea.
Method 1: Detox at Home
While people who suffer from Cocaine addiction can detox at home quite easily with no medical treatment, it is not recommended as the preferred method. The main reason for this is the temptation to give up on the detox and the many mental dynamics involved. Many medical professionals suggest that a person who is addicted to Cocaine seek professional help such as that found in a detox center, mainly for mental health purposes. If home detox is the only choice, it may be a good idea to see if the family doctor can prescribe something to help with some of the issues a person may run into during the process.
Cocaine stimulates the center in the brain which produces dopamine. Dopamine is a natural brain chemical that is released during pleasurable experiences such as orgasm, laughter and any other situation that causes joy. When a person uses Cocaine, an unnatural amount of dopamine is released into the brain, causing a euphoric sensation. This is why the “let down” from Cocaine can cause a person to experience major bouts of depression. Unfortunately, these episodes can be quite severe, often leading to suicidal thoughts. This is one of the major reasons that doctors suggest detoxification in a controlled environment.
Method 2: Detox/Treatment Centers
There are a number of facilities which specialize in treating all sorts of addictions, including Cocaine addition. Many of these facilities require a person to have a certain amount of medical insurance before they will admit that individual. However, there are some facilities which work on a sliding scale, or are operated by the government. Most of these facilities have a waiting list for beds. If a person wants to get a bed at a government run detox center, they may need to show up early in the morning for several days before a bed comes open for them. This is where a willingness to stop using the drug is most helpful.
If a private detox facility is desired and the proper insurance coverage is held, a person can normally get a bed in one of these centers quite easily. If none of these options are available quickly enough, most hospitals have some sort of detox program for people who have a willingness and desire to stop using drugs or alcohol. In some cases these detox centers are located on the psychiatric floor. The best thing about detoxifying in the hospital is that there is constant supervision by a trained medical team.
Method 3: Use of Medications for Cocaine Detox
As mentioned earlier, Cocaine detoxification does not necessarily require medication. However, there are some medications which are used for a variety of indications. Desipramine is an anti depressant that is often used to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in a person withdrawing from Cocaine. Benzodiazepines such as Diazepam can also be used to treat the anxiety that is often associated with Cocaine detox. The latter are narcotic drugs and are typically only given during a person’s stay in a treatment center and usually discontinued within 7 to 10 days. It is not common for a doctor to prescribe a drug which causes dependency to a person who suffers from the disease of addiction, no matter what the drug of choice may be.
Amantadine, which is an antidyskinetic drug used in Parkinson’s disease, is thought to be effective in treating intense Cocaine withdrawal symptoms such as severe cravings for the drug. Bromocriptine is one of the most common medications used during the Cocaine detox process. This drug works in the brains dopamine receptors to help keep the levels at a more stable rate. The most common problem in people detoxifying from Cocaine is the sudden drop in dopamine. This is what is said to cause the most severe cravings for the drug. A person not being treated for mood instabilities during Cocaine detox has a far greater chance of relapse.
Cocaine is a devastating drug and if you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction, seek help right away. The battle is not always easy but once a person is able to get to the other side of Cocaine detox, the battle becomes that much easier. There are millions of people affected by this drug everyday. This drug does not only affect the person using it but it also has a major impact on the family members and loved ones of the addict.