HOW CAN I MANAGE THE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS OF COCAINE?
Depending on how severe your addiction is, you can choose to detox at home or at a treatment center. Some short-term cocaine users may be able to manage their withdrawal symptoms at home. Although, for long-term users with severe addiction and symptoms, it would be best to get professional assistance with the process.
Withdrawal symptoms may include fatigue, agitation, restlessness, depressed mood, increase appetite, overall discomfort, and more. Side effects can include paranoia, psychosis, suicidal thoughts, or severe depression. The severity of the addiction can also give you an expectation of how long the process will take. The longer the use of cocaine, the longer you might experience the symptoms. Although, cocaine users may go through the detox is a shorter time than most of the other drugs.
During detox, it is important for you to take good care of yourself, physically and mentally. It can be helpful to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and sleeping enough. Surround yourself with supportive people who can help you along the way. This can also mean speaking with a medical professional, who can advise you. If you decide on getting detox treatment, you can participate in a social or medical detox. In social detox, you will be monitored by a specialist and receive social support without medication. If the symptoms worsen, you will switch to medical detox where you will receive medication to ease the symptoms.
WHAT IS FREEBASING?
Freebasing cocaine is getting the drug at its solid or base form. The process of this is to use ammonia to extract the base and free it from its naturally found salt form. It converts the powdered cocaine into its sulfate cocaine, making it pure which is what people call “crack.” The name comes from the crackling sound people hear when they smoke it. Other names include chips, chunks, or rocks. Cocaine users freebase to be able to smoke the drug easier, and the effects are almost immediate. The user will feel the high quickly, but the euphoric effects do not last long and soon after the crash will follow.
WHAT IS COCAINE PSYCHOSIS?
Cocaine, along with otter drugs like cannabis and hallucinogens, has the ability to cause mental health issues. These drugs can also worsen mental illnesses when they pre-exist drug use. When there are pre-existing conditions, it can be difficult to separate the symptoms that come from the illness from the ones the drug causes. Long-term use of drugs can cause psychotic symptoms that can lead to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These effects can last until stopping the use of the drug but for some people, they continue for years after. Long-term use of the drug can also contribute to memory loss and issues with concentration.
Psychosis symptoms to look for include:
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Change in emotion, which can make it difficult to express yourself or show any emotion
- Lack of motivation
- Unclear or disorganized thoughts, speech, and actions
- Distant or no longer sociable
- Sudden violent behaviors
WILL MEDICAID/MEDICARE COVER REHAB?
Medicaid and Medicare each cover a different group of people. Medicaid covers anyone of any age who meets the income requirements. Medicare covers people ages 65 and above or with a disability. Medicaid is typically free, except for a small fee in some states, while Medicare charges a premium and may require deductibles or coinsurance. Medicaid covers basic health care, long-term care, prescription drugs, and other health services. Medicare covers medical services when necessary, which can include hospital care and prescription drugs.
MEDICAID COVERAGE FOR REHAB:
- Coverage can depend on each individual state but can cover most people with low income
- Medicaid covers both inpatient and outpatient services including both short and long-term rehab, intervention, and family counseling.
- Prescription drugs may be covered, with the exception of a few states.
MEDICARE COVERAGE FOR REHAB:
- Under Part A, hospital insurance, Medicare covers inpatient rehabilitation.
- Part B covers outpatient services, with Part D covering medication.
- In short-term treatment, from 1 to 60 days, you can expect to pay a deductible of $1,364.
- For 61 to 90 you may pay $341 coinsurance per day.
- For long-term, from 91 days and above, you may pay $682 coinsurance per each day after the 90 day benefit period for “lifetime reserve day.”
- After the lifetime reserve day, you will have to pay for the cost on your own.
CAN COCAINE CAUSE DEPRESSION?
As mentioned before, cocaine can cause psychosis along with psychiatric symptoms, disorders, and syndromes. This can lead to suicidal and homicidal thoughts, as well as agitation, hallucinations, delusions, violence, and paranoia. In a study of 749 suicide cases in New York City, about 18 to 22 percent of cases involved cocaine. Long-time cocaine users may feel depressed which can often lead people to suicide when not treated.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN COCAINE AND DEPRESSION
- Cocaine causes people to feel paranoid, impatient, irritable, and an edginess that can lead them to be violent.
- Cocaine releases neurotransmitter norepinephrine that contributes to the behavior of “fight-or-flight.”
- Users may not be able to think logically, which can lead to doing dangerous things.
- Cocaine can impair the user’s decision making, judgment, and other executive functioning. These may leave the user with little or no control over their thoughts, feelings, and actions.
For A Loved One
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF COCAINE USE?
If you suspect your loved one is using cocaine, it can be significant to know the signs so you can observe and learn how to better help them. Cocaine use may not show too much in the person’s appearance, except if they look malnourished, but the other signs can still help you find out if they are using.
SIGNS OF COCAINE USE
- The user may appear to move, think, and talk fast since cocaine can speed the person’s mind and body up.
- The user may shake and twitch.
- They may have trouble sleeping or not eat as much.
- They may have sudden mood changes. One minute they can be happy and the next they may become angry, nervous, or paranoid.
- You may notice the cocaine “crash” when the drug wears off. They will become tired and sad until they use it again.
- They may have a strong craving for the drug.
- If they snort the drug, you will notice frequent nosebleeds, runny nose, or loss of smell.
- Those who inject it will have needle marks wherever they inject it.
WHAT KIND OF LONG-TERM DAMAGE DOES COCAINE DO?
Long-term use of cocaine can affect the reward pathway in the brain, making it less sensitive to natural reinforcers. These reinforcers can include food, hobbies, and other things. Cocaine increases the sensitivity in circuits involving stress, which can lead to an increase in negative moods and displeasure. These two effects are also known as signs of cocaine withdrawal and can lead the person to seek out the drug instead of natural rewards.
When a person uses cocaine for a long time, they may develop a tolerance and will have to increase their intake or frequency to get the same effects as before. However, the user can also develop sensitization where using a small amount can cause convulsions, anxiety, and other effects. Both tolerance and sensitization can increase the chances of health risks including overdoses. Additional effects include irritability, panic attacks, paranoia, restlessness, and cocaine psychosis.
Snorting cocaine can lead to damaging the nose which can cause issues with smell, nosebleeds, and other related issues. People who smoke cocaine can cause damage to their lungs and worsen asthma. Those who inject cocaine in their arms or other places can get infected with HIV or hepatitis C. Cocaine use can also cause a severe allergic reaction and when not treated, the person may possibly die.
In addition, cocaine can damage multiple organs. For example, it can lead to issues in the gastrointestinal tract and reduce the blood flow. It can cause extreme weight loss and malnourishment in people who lose their appetite when using cocaine. The drug can cause problems in the cardiovascular system, especially in the heart. The longer the person uses cocaine, the higher the chance of having a stroke, seizure, along with other risks. The best way to avoid the long-term damages of cocaine is to quit using it.
WHAT OTHER KINDS OF DRUGS ARE USED WITH COCAINE?
Although mixing drugs and substances together can be extremely dangerous, some people still do it. Cocaine users may sometimes combine it with alcohol, opioids, MDMA, and antidepressants. Mixing cocaine with other substances can come with many consequences.
COMBINING COCAINE WITH ALCOHOL
- Cocaine is known for speeding up the user’s heart rate. In combination with alcohol, the effect is increased.
- The two substances used together or a few hours apart can increase the person’s blood pressure. This can increase their chances of having a heart attack.
- The combination can create a chemical in the liver called cocaethylene. The chemical can cause a toxic effect in the liver, heart, and other organs.
COMBINING COCAINE WITH HEROIN
- This combination is known as “speedball” because the drugs have opposing effects on the central nervous system. While cocaine stimulates it, heroin depresses it.
- The mix of the two drugs can result in fatality and other health risks.
- Together, the heroin and cocaine can cause difficulties breathing and affect the person’s heart rate.
COMBINING COCAINE WITH MDMA (ECSTASY)
- Both drugs are stimulants that can exacerbate their effects when taken together.
- The effects include an increase in heart rate, body temperate, and can even lead to death.
COMBINING COCAINE WITH ANTIDEPRESSANTS
- Cocaine and antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, and Tofranil, can overload the brain with serotonin. This condition is called serotonin syndrome.
- The combination of the two drugs can cause excessive sweating, increased heartbeat, tremors, seizures, shivering, shaking, and possible death.
IF I BUY COCAINE FOR MY LOVED ONE, CAN I BE ARRESTED?
When caught possessing any amount of cocaine, federal and state laws consider it a crime, so you can be arrested. If you possess crack cocaine you may face heavier penalties. Even if you are not the person using the drug, you are the one in possession of it, therefore you will be charged for it. A person arrested with no prior convictions, by federal or state, and with the first offense of cocaine possession may receive a sentence of no more than a year in prison. They may instead be fined with more than $1,000 or with the possibility of both being sent to prison and being fined.
WHAT IF MY LOVED ONE DOESN’T SEEK HELP FOR COCAINE?
Agreeing to accept or seek help can be difficult for a drug user. They may feel ashamed or scared or they might not even know they have an issue. You can have a conversation with your loved one to bring the issue to light. Beforehand, you can learn more about addiction and treatment options to better help the person.
Since every person is unique, their treatment program should also match their needs. For people with mild addiction or in search of a short-term option, 30-day programs may work for them. A 60-day program can be good for moderate addiction and those who want a middle-ground between short and long-term. 90-day, along with other long-term programs, are considered very effective with all levels, especially severe addiction. Patients can participate in inpatient and outpatient facilities. Inpatient can work well for people who need 24-hour medical assistance and want to live in the facility during their treatment. Outpatient is intensive, so it is not recommended for severe cases but does give patients the flexibility to get treated but continuing living at home. The patient can attend treatment a few days a week and still be able to tend to their responsibilities. For more information, please call us at 405-583-4390. We are here to help.