The Importance of Detox for Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine is a potent stimulant that is often found in the form of either a white powder or a crystal known as crack. Made from the leaves of the South American coca plant, cocaine is powerfully addictive, in part because of the intense high that results from ingesting it. However, this high is relatively short-lived, meaning that cocaine users often go on binges of repeated use, which can last for hours or even days.
Unfortunately, these binges contribute to tolerance. Tolerance is the process by which the body becomes less sensitive to cocaine as a person ingests more of it. As a person’s tolerance increases, he or she must take more cocaine in order for the drug to have its desired effect, and a person’s overall consumption begins to increase. However, the human body is incredibly adaptable, and this increased cocaine consumption results in the individual’s body readjusting its internal chemistry to account for the presence of the drug. Eventually, the person’s body begins to crave cocaine.
Many people who have been abusing cocaine eventually begin to realize the negative effects that this drug is having on their lives, or maybe they simply do not have access to the drug for a period of time. Regardless of the reason for abstaining, a person who has been using cocaine and then stops using will likely experience a series of uncomfortable symptoms known as withdrawal.
As described above, with continued use, a person’s body becomes accustomed to the presence of cocaine. The withdrawal process is the body’s way of adjusting to the lack of a substance upon which it had come to depend. Withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks, and unfortunately, the quickest way to relieve cocaine withdrawal symptoms is to simply take more cocaine. This fact, combined with the compulsion to use cocaine that accompanies an addiction, can make it seem nearly impossible to overcome cocaine abuse and successfully withdraw without professional help.
Fortunately, professional help is available in the form of a detoxification, or detox, program.
Benefits of Detox
As described above, withdrawal can be a serious impediment during the initial stages of recovery if an individual does not seek professional help. During detox, individuals can withdraw safely from substances of abuse in a safe and comfortable environment, and detox offers a number of advantages over attempting to withdraw without professional help. Some of these benefits include:
- Reduction in harmful effects of cocaine. One of the long-term benefits of detox is a reduction in cocaine’s effects on the body. As a person successfully progresses in his or her recovery, the body is able to repair the damage caused by cocaine abuse.
- Monitoring by a medical team. Guests in detox programs benefit from the wisdom and experience of a dedicated medical team. These individuals have extensive training in physiology and addiction medicine and are able to monitor guests as they progress through the withdrawal process. Furthermore, medical team members are able to administer medications to help alleviate some of the symptoms of withdrawal.
- Substance-free environment. By their nature, detoxification and rehabilitation programs are substance-free. By removing access to cocaine, these programs allow individuals to not have to rely on willpower to avoid relapsing.
- Like-minded peers. Individuals in detox are surrounded by other people who are also working on their own recovery. Unlike the environment outside of a detox program, in which individuals often associate with other users, the milieu in detox and rehabilitation programs is focused on abstinence, healing, and long-term recovery.
- Continuity of care. Individuals who are the most successful in treatment are often those who do not have interruptions between phases of care. After completing a detox program, guests can transition directly into residential care, allowing them to build upon the progress they made in detox and continue their trajectory towards long-term recovery.
Without professional treatment, the negative effects of cocaine addiction are likely to continue and increase. The effects on an individual’s work, family, relationships, and physical health can be catastrophic and can leave a person unemployed, financially ruined, and without meaningful social support. Furthermore, the specter of a dangerous and possibly fatal overdose always follows anyone who continues to abuse cocaine.
Fortunately, lifelong recovery is possible. With the help of the caring, experienced, and professional treatment team at Duffy’s Napa Valley Rehab, individuals can achieve true healing and recovery. For more information about our detox and rehabilitation programs, please do not hesitate to contact us. A member of our admissions team is happy to answer any questions you may have, so give us a call as soon as possible. There is no sense in waiting for your or your loved one’s recovery journey to begin.