Fully-Licensed Cocaine Addiction Treatment Program for Women
Are you or a loved one in need of treatment for cocaine addiction? At Haven Hills, our clinicians have years of experience working with people struggling with cocaine addiction. Our clinical team and staff will support you on your journey to create new behavioral, emotional, and psychological patterns of behavior. These new patterns will allow you to create the type of life that is meaningful for you, free from substance use. We will provide a safe and structured environment that will allow you to explore the difficult experiences in life that have kept you stuck in a cycle of drug use. We believe in the innate ability of all people to create the change they desire, and we are here to guide you through that process.
What is cocaine?
Cocaine is a drug in the stimulant classification that has a direct effect on the central nervous system. Cocaine is derived from the South American coca plant, however by the time that cocaine is brought to market, it is usually polluted with a variety of inorganic adulterants. Dealers may mix cocaine with common “cutting” agents like cornstarch or talcum powder to stretch their profitable supply or they may add other stimulants like caffeine or amphetamine to increase potency. The unpredictability of cocaine purity is one factor that contributes to the drug’s high overdose rate. Cocaine normally looks like a fine, grainy white powder, and when cooked – or processed into crack cocaine, it may appear like white or cream-colored clumps or wafers. Cocaine has an immediate onset of effect and a fairly short efficacy half-life, both of which give cocaine a very high addiction potential. Because crack cocaine has an even more rapid onset of effect and a much shorter half-life, it is at the top of the list of drugs with strong addiction potential.
The Cocaine Brain
Cocaine has a direct effect on brain chemistry and, over time, can cause long-term (but not unhealable) brain changes. Cocaine causes huge spikes in the neurotransmitter dopamine. Small elevations in dopamine normally occur when the brain experiences something that it determines to be rewarding, for example, in anticipation of a first kiss or a good meal. After sending its chemical message, the dopamine is then re-routed back to its cell and then the reward circuit is closed. Cocaine prevents the closing of the circuit, and huge buildups of dopamine occur between the brain’s nerve cells. This disruption is what causes the cocaine high, and what causes the brain to perceive it as being pleasurable, and even, eventually, necessary. Over time, the huge dopamine spikes caused by the drug begin to throw smaller, appropriate dopamine increases off the brain’s radar. Normal pleasurable experiences no longer seem to matter. With continued exposure, the brain’s “new normal” has a dopamine set point that is much higher than its pre-drug, healthy setting. Tolerance begins to apply. The user begins to require more and more of the drug to experience a pleasurable effect. Normal protective behaviors like eating and sleeping become less and less valuable to the addict, partly because the appropriate dopamine surges that accompany rewarding daily experiences are now barely registering in the brain’s circuitry. The brain only understands that, at the chemical level, whatever is causing these huge spikes is now the principal priority. When a person ceases cocaine use, the dopamine depletion that ensues triggers the phenomenon of craving. Strong cravings that feel irresistible cause many cocaine addicts to relapse, or to cross-addict to other substances that re-trigger the dopamine reward circuit.
Because cocaine is a stimulant, the most noticeable immediate effect is a rush of energy. Cocaine was once thought of as the “high achiever’s drug” because users initially feel a surge of productivity. As use progresses into abuse, dependency and addiction, this productivity becomes impossible to sustain. Because of neurological changes caused by cocaine abuse, the brain becomes less and less capable of accessing the organized thinking skills required to sustain high functioning.
Short term effects of cocaine may include desirable effects such as:
- A sudden euphoric “rush”
- Increased sense of confidence
- A sense of social capability – ease with conversation, lack of self-consciousness, etc.
- Ability to manage tasks, focus on details, etc.
- A lack of concern or worry
Immediate effects can also include undesirable effects such as:
- Increased heart rate
- A sudden sense of dehydration and “dry mouth.”
- Agitation, anxiety or panic
- Racing thoughts
How Our Cocaine Addiction Treatment Program Can Help You
Our unique approach to cocaine addiction treatment gets at the heart of what is driving your substance misuse. Often, when women seek addiction treatment at our center, they find their substance use is just a symptom of deeper underlying issues. Of course, eliminating the use of cocaine is a treatment goal, but, and perhaps more importantly, we work to get at the core of the motivation to use. By uncovering issues such as trauma, dissatisfaction with body image, disconnection from social support and myriad other issues, we are then able to help each woman heal and begin their journey toward recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine addiction, treatment is available and quite effective.
If you are ready to create meaningful and lasting change or would like to know more about our cocaine addiction treatment program, including our IOP, PHP, and sober living options, please give us a call. We are here to help.