Cocaine Addiction – Treatment and Recovery

Cocaine is a drug that many people consider as harmless. The amount of individuals that go to addiction treatment for this type of drug is less than 5 percent of total people. The majority of those people use other drugs as well. This drug isn’t as harmless as people think it is.

How cocaine affects the addict?

Cocaine causes many different damages to the body and the brain of the abuser. We can classify those effects as the damages in the short-term and damages resulting from the long-term abuse of the drug.
Many people fail to realize the severe short-term effects this drug can cause. The drug causes constriction of blood vessels, the increase in the body temperature, increased heart rate as well as high blood pressure. Panic, anxiety, and paranoia are just some of the mental effects this drug may cause. Some of the more severe effects that this drug causes are heart attacks, strokes, come and extreme headache.

The long-term damages include, among the other things, increased chance of the aforementioned medical conditions. Many organs suffer from the cocaine abuse. The longer a person abuses this drug, the more damage to the organs is present. Blood vessels and heart are the most endangered parts of the body. They are the first to feel the adverse effects of the cocaine. Whenever a person takes another fix, they increase the chance of stroke and heart attack, among other medical conditions. Other neurological problems also appear in those that abuse this drug. Intracerebral hemorrhage and movement disorders are some of those problems.

Dealing with the cocaine addiction

The pharmaceutical sector doesn’t have a solution for the cocaine addiction. No type of medication against this condition exists. Some other drugs show promise, but nothing works specifically against the cocaine.

Researchers have developed a type of vaccine that reduces the chance of cocaine relapse. The vaccine prevents the cocaine from reaching the brain, and thus it nullifies the effects. This isn’t a perfect solution, as seen from tests. Only a third of patients stayed clean after three months from their last vaccine.

The only satisfactory response to cocaine addiction is the behavioral intervention. Many forms of this intervention exist, contingency management being the most efficient. CM (contingency management) is a program that uses rewards in the prevention of the relapse. Whenever a former addict passes the urine test, he/she receives points. They can use those points to gain free gym memberships, movie tickets, dinners in a restaurant and other similar things.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another program that has shown major success in a broad spectrum of cocaine addicts. This program focuses on teaching. The people that have problems with addiction learn skills that help them avoid instances where they could use the cocaine. They learn how to recognize those situations and avoid them. They also learn how to cope with the need for a fix. This is a long program that leads the patients through the life and teaches them how to say no to this drug.