Reviewing EMDR

The effects of cocaine hit after the high wears off: although cocaine produces a euphoric high for many people, it also has extremely powerful negative effects on the heart, brain and emotions. In fact, many users fall victim to addiction and suffer from both long-term and life-threatening consequences. Even occasional users run a risk of sudden death caused by cocaine abuse[1].

For cocaine users and addicts who are looking for treatment alternatives, they may be interested in a therapeutic approach called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR. This form of therapy uses an integrative psychotherapeutic method that has been both thoroughly researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. Sometimes, trauma sparks initial drug use to relieve pain, so this therapy can even jumpstart someone’s addiction recovery. Finally, EMDR utilizes some elements from other treatment approaches to help therapists personalize treatment to each individual[2]. In short, seek this therapy for any problem that ails you, as you could see some benefits that you never before thought possible.

Effects of Cocaine Addiction

Deep within the brain, cocaine interferes with the chemical messengers, also known as neurotransmitters, which other nerves use to communicate with one another. The drug blocks common neurotransmitters (such as norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine and others) from being properly reabsorbed by the brain, which results in a chemical buildup between nerves. As a result of this buildup, users experience euphoria, or the high typically associated with drug abuse. However, while cocaine produces powerful effects in the brain, it nevertheless travels through the addict’s blood, which means it affects the entire body. Because of this fact, cocaine can damage the following parts of the body:

  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Lungs and respiratory system

Cocaine directly affects areas in the brain that are responsible for rewarding people for their good and healthy behaviors. For instance, when people eat, have sex or exercise, they experience healthy pleasure that encourages them to repeat these actions. As cocaine stimulates this same part of the brain, users feel good, so they experience powerful cravings to continue their drug use. Unfortunately, such repeated drug use leads to tolerance, which means users must use larger amounts of cocaine to feel the same effects. As a result of increasing their drug abuse to overcome tolerance, cocaine users will eventually create dependence, which means they need the drug to function; continued drug use will then produce addiction, which means they will continue abusing drugs in spite of the consequences. As a result, there is no safe amount of cocaine to abuse, because it is impossible to predict how the drug will affect physical and psychological health.

EMDR Treatment

Although the medical community still wonders how psychotherapy works in the brain, they do know that, when someone is extremely upset, she cannot process information as she ordinarily does. In fact, a single moment can almost become frozen in someone’s brain, which means she remembers a traumatic experience in vivid details, such as the sounds, smells, feelings and images, as if she is experiencing the event all over again. These memories have such a lasting effect that they interfere with daily life, which often compels people to abuse drug use to escape their pain, even if only briefly.

However, EMDR treatment can yield any of the following benefits:

  • Change brain processes
  • Less distress
  • Physiologically-based therapy

Luckily, EMDR appears to improve the way the brain processes information. Because of this fact, following a successful EMDR session, patients may no longer relive the traumatic events in vivid detail when they recall the event. Although people may still remember what occurred, the event will be less upsetting, less traumatizing and less detailed. Numerous types of therapy have similar goals, but EMDR appears to cause similar effects to what occurs during rapid eye movement, sleep. Ergo, think of this therapy as a physiologically-based way to see disturbing material in a new light. With this kind of help, you can view a traumatic experience as far less distressing than how you viewed it before.

Furthermore, EMDR is typically a faster form of therapy than other forms, but the speed of treatment is not the most important factor when you are considering treatment for trauma and/or addiction. While each individual responds to different forms of treatment, understand that, just because one form of treatment worked for someone else, it may not work for you. In short, this therapy can probably help you, but seek help to determine if it is right for you.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know and love struggles with cocaine addiction and trauma, but he is considering EMDR treatment, then please call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to help you find the best treatment for your condition. Stop putting your life on hold and call us today for instant, professional support!


[1], Substance Abuse and Addiction Center-Cocaine use and Effects, MD Joseph Goldberg, 11/11/15, 06/23/13.

[2], What is EMDR Therapy, EMDR International Association, 11/11/15.

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