In 2017, over 900,000 Americans over the age of 12 were suffering from an addiction to cocaine. This powerfully addictive illicit drug has found its way into the lives of many individuals throughout the United States and, unfortunately, families are still being affected by it.
Here in Florida, many individuals and families are certainly feeling the effects of this harmful drug. During the years 2016 and 2017, many cases of drug-related hospitalizations and deaths involved combinations of cocaine and fentanyl. Sadly, the drug spread like wildfire, causing danger to everyone in its wake.
The need for substance abuse treatment is certainly evident. That’s why treatment facilities like ours here at 1st Step Behavioral Health offer intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment for cocaine addiction in South Florida.
Drug addiction is making its presence known in this state. But, we are working to fight back through the successful recoveries of our clients. Addiction doesn’t need to be the end of the story. It can become a thing of the past with help from professional addiction recovery services.
What is Cocaine and Why Do People Use It?
Since cocaine is an illegal drug, it’s known as a street drug, meaning that it’s sold and distributed illegally by dealers. Cocaine goes by quite a few nicknames, including coke, crack, and snow. This substance is sometimes mixed with other drugs in order to produce more revenue for dealers.
Sadly, people have become dependent on and addicted to this drug after a short period of use. This drug is derived from a coca plant and is often seen in the form of a white powdery substance. Cocaine is a stimulant drug that stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) causing pleasurable effects to its users.
Cocaine use has led to addiction in countless lives throughout the years. It has destroyed meaningful relationships, isolated people from their loved ones, and led to serious financial problems. In some instances, cocaine use has caused fatalities.
So, why do people use this drug? If it’s so dangerous and harmful, why do so many individuals get involved in using cocaine? It seems strange, but there are actually plenty of illicit (and legal) drugs that are currently being used despite the consequences and negative effects.
Well, most people start using illicit drugs like cocaine out of curiosity. Experimentation is often the beginning of the journey to substance abuse and addiction. The initial effects of cocaine are usually pleasurable, so, many people use the drug in order to experience those effects.
How Do People Become Addicted to Cocaine?
The short-term effects of cocaine include mental alertness and euphoria. Euphoria is a feeling of happiness that occurs as a result of the brain’s release of a chemical called dopamine. Individuals often feel a rush of energy after using cocaine.
Cocaine also causes people to feel irritable and sensitive to light and sound. Even so, the pleasurable effects usually cause people to crave more cocaine. And, after using cocaine for a while, most individuals become physically dependent on it.
This means that they will feel abnormal or “off” unless they use cocaine. Of course, they are actually operating normally when they aren’t under the influence of cocaine. But, the drug causes them to believe and feel otherwise.
Eventually, if the dependence problem goes untreated, people may develop an addiction to cocaine. When people are addicted to a drug, it means that they have no control over their drug use habits and have a very difficult time if they try to stop using the substance.
It’s difficult to stop substance use after a dependence or addiction problem has developed because of the effects of withdrawal. When a person stops using cocaine after having used it for a while, his or her body goes into a state of withdrawal. The symptoms can be very difficult to deal with and often lead people to relapse.
Some of the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:
- Thoughts of suicide
- Excessive increase in appetite
- Cognitive problems (impaired thinking, etc.)
- Sleeping problems (nightmares, insomnia, etc.)
Many people think that withdrawal symptoms only start after a couple of days without cocaine use. But, the symptoms actually begin to affect people just hours after use. Once the effects of the drug wear off, people may begin to feel anxious or irritable. As time goes on, they may begin to suffer from a state of depression, restlessness, and exhaustion or fatigue.
Cocaine Use Can Affect the Body in Many Ways
So, what exactly is the harm in using cocaine? How does it affect the body and why is it dangerous to use this substance? In truth, the effects of cocaine use can be very serious, even deadly, if individuals continue to use the substance.
Besides the short-term effects of cocaine use we mentioned earlier, other consequences of using this drug include:
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal heartbeat
- High body temperature
- Damage to blood vessels
Many times, people who are addicted to cocaine become emotionally and physically withdrawn from their family members and friends. Addiction tends to isolate people, making them feel alone.
Often, those who are suffering from addiction may struggle to communicate with others. So, not only does cocaine addiction affect one’s physical and emotional health, but it also impacts social health.
People who are dealing with a cocaine addiction may also struggle to do well at school and some may have trouble keeping their jobs. This can lead to major financial problems.
Can an IOP Help Me Overcome Cocaine Abuse?
If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine abuse or addiction, it’s time to get help from the professionals. Here at 1st Step Behavioral Health, we work to make sure that no one has to fight addiction alone.
We provide a drug detox program to help our clients end substance use in their lives. We also offer an intensive outpatient program (IOP) which allows people to get the care they need without having to live at our treatment facility.
While in treatment, people can receive therapy and counseling that will help them to avoid addiction relapse. Therapy approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) gives individuals the tools they need to develop healthy thought processes and relapse prevention strategies.
Through therapy and treatment, you can certainly overcome addiction for good!
Finding Hope Through Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Treatment for Cocaine Addiction In South Florida
Are you currently living in Florida and looking for some help in moving past a cocaine addiction? Why not give our IOP treatment for cocaine addiction a try? At 1st Step Behavioral Health, we walk with our clients through their recovery journey, every step of the way.
Let us walk with you! Contact us today by calling (866) 319-6126.