Long-Term Recovery from Cocaine

Cocaine is a stimulant, a drug that makes an individual more alert or energetic. Cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs available. The desired effects of cocaine do not last long, and users must repeatedly snort, inject or smoke the drug to maintain their high. Individuals who smoke cocaine typically become addicted to the drug more quickly than those who inhale it, although all forms of cocaine use are dangerous and addictive.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine

The short-term effects of cocaine include but are not limited to the following:

  • Increased temperature
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increased energy and alertness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Irritability
  • Tremors

The short-term effects, namely increased energy and loss of appetite, are what most cocaine users seek.

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine

Continued use of cocaine leads to addiction and harmful long-term effects. These effects differ based on methods of cocaine use, but in general, long-term effects include the following:

  • Addiction
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Psychosis with auditory hallucinations
  • Aggressiveness
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Kidney failure
  • Stroke or heart attack

Use-specific long-term effects include nosebleeds and difficulty swallowing for those who snort cocaine. User who ingest the drug can suffer from severe bowel gangrene, while those who inject have an increased risk of allergic reactions and contracting HIV.

Cocaine Addiction Recovery and Rehabilitation

Treatment for cocaine addiction is complex and requires treatment that will address the physical, psychological, familial, social and environmental aspects of addiction. The following are possible types of therapy a recovering user may choose:

  • Residential treatment programs
  • Outpatient treatment programs
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches addicts to recognize triggers that will cause the individual to desire cocaine and consider relapse. Recognizing triggers allows recovering cocaine users to avoid or cope with the situation without returning to drug use. This method is often used in outpatient and residential programs.

In addition to therapy, recovering cocaine users need to build a support system that may include the following:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Licensed counselors
  • Recovery support groups
  • Medical doctors

Need Cocaine Addiction Help?

If you or a loved one is struggling with a cocaine addiction, we can help.  We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have and to get you the help you need.  Make the decision to change your life today.  Our number is toll free, so please call now.

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