The Dangers of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is commonly recognized as a party drug. It is associated with celebrities, rich people, and a lavish lifestyle. While there may be some truth to that stigma, cocaine addiction can affect anyone no matter how famous or wealthy they may be. Regardless of who the addict is, addiction has many negative health effects, and can even be deadly.

cocaine detoxCocaine is a stimulant that increases the heart rate, makes a person feel awake, focused, energetic, and positive. Often a person who does cocaine will forgo sleep and food because their body doesn’t tell them it needs it. What happens when the cocaine binge is over is a terrible crash that sends the addict into the lowest of lows. As a result, they will end up seeking more of the drug just to cope with the withdrawal symptoms. It’s a cycle of extreme highs generated by the drug followed by a terrible crash that seemingly can only be prevented by using more cocaine.

Cocaine abuse can lead to many different health issues like:

  • malnourishment
  • heart problems
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • agitation
  • anger problems
  • stroke
  • heart attack
  • sudden death

In order to prevent these from happening, the best thing to do is seek help for your addiction. People often try to quit on their own without success, and the best thing you can do is get professional treatment. Cocaine detox is not pleasant, so many people relapse right away when they attempt to start the detox process. To avoid this, seek out a medically supervised detox. At The Florida House Experience, we are specially trained to make cocaine detox as manageable, comfortable, and safe as possible.

Cocaine Detox

Cocaine detox can have severe symptoms, especially if a person has been abusing the drug for a long time. Cocaine is an upper, which means that it gives the user a false sense of energy and uplifted mood. Often, people who are addicted to cocaine go for days without sleeping. They think they have the energy they need, while they are in fact completely exhausting their body. Running on “full steam” for an extended period of time can have a negative effect on the heart and entire cardiovascular system. 

Cocaine is often combined with alcohol, which creates a lethal build-up of a substance called Cocaethylene that is basically the two chemicals overloading the liver. It can produce a greater feeling of euphoria, energy, and happiness, but can turn deadly very fast. If both substances are abused together for a long time, it can have damaging effects on the liver and the person’s entire body.

When a person stops taking cocaine, they may experience the following symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Fear and Paranoia
  • Sleepiness

While cocaine detox may not have such outwardly severe and noticeable symptoms like other drugs or alcohol, it runs a high-risk of relapse because the urge to use can be undeniably strong. For this reason, it is important to detox from cocaine in a medically supervised, safe and supportive environment. In 2012, it is estimated that 6,000 people died from a cocaine overdose in America. By taking the right steps in a medically supervised detox, you can prevent yourself from becoming one of them. 

One unique cocaine detox symptom that is widely reported is the feeling of “bugs” crawling under the skin. Patients report feeling extremely uncomfortable and like something is crawling inside their skin, causing a tingling, itchy, uncomfortable feeling that won’t subside. They are often referred to as “coke bugs”, and in scientific terms, “delusional parasitosis.” It is caused by the hallucinogen effects of cocaine and its derivatives.

While this symptom is technically not dangerous, it can cause such extreme discomfort that a person will go out of their way to seek out more cocaine or another drug just to try to help alleviate the symptoms. They may be driven to such anxiety about the condition that they feel as though they are losing their mind.

In the worst cases of delusional parasitosis, people may actually start to believe that they have real bugs or parasites crawling under their skin and infesting their body. This belief can cause a person to scratch at themselves until open sores occur. This syndrome can last for a while, which may also cause a person to seek out medical care for a supposed parasite infection.

Cocaine Detox at The Florida House

At The Florida House Experience, we realize that cocaine is also used in conjunction with other substances like alcohol. We treat all addiction detox simultaneously but separately to make sure we eliminate the possibility of any medical complication. We also check for underlying medical issues that may have existed prior to addiction, or as a result of addiction. With cocaine use, this often includes heart-related problems and mood disorders like anxiety or depression. Treating these in conjunction with treating the addiction allows for a greater chance of recovery. 

During cocaine detox, we also offer therapeutic support to our clients so that they know they are not alone in the process. This kind of support is available to them 24/7 from our compassionate and dedicated nursing, medical, and technical staff. 

When a client first arrives at Florida House for cocaine detox, they will undergo a thorough evaluation of their medical and psychiatric history and present day medical and psychological condition. This is done to assess a baseline for the patient. We understand that each client that comes through our doors is unique, and the whole treatment process from detox to discharge is completely customized for the individual.

After the assessment is complete, our doctors prescribe appropriate medication to help during detox. These medications include things to reduce anxiety, decrease physical symptoms, beta blockers, and antidepressants. Our clients start the course of medication immediately because symptoms can begin after a couple of hours or days and the severity is unpredictable. As the detox process progresses, clients are slowly weaned off of medication as their body returns to regular functioning.

As the first week progresses, clients will be monitored around the clock for changes in vital signs or anything that may indicate that a medical issue is at hand. During this time, the client is expected to rest as much as possible, eat regularly if possible, and attend group sessions as much as they can. As the detox program runs its course, the client will start to feel stronger and more capable of absorbing information, so they will be expected to go to more groups.

After detox, ideally, a client will begin a treatment program to help re-learn behaviors and address various issues surrounding addiction. Recovery starts with detox and must continue with treatment for the best results possible.