The first step in overcoming an addiction to cocaine is detoxification. Detox is a process of withdrawal that removes the drug’s toxins from the body. However, detox alone is not enough for sustained abstinence. For a long-term recovery, detox should be supported by rehabilitative treatment which addresses the psychological issues behind the cocaine addiction and teaches addicts to live a healthy life.
What are the effects of withdrawal from cocaine?
Withdrawing from a cocaine dependency can result in a number of symptoms. You may be affected by some or all, in varying degrees.
Physical symptoms include: nausea and vomiting, muscle pain, itching and associated rash or skin inflammation.
Psychological symptoms include: extreme low moods, anxiety, lack of motivation, compulsive craving, paranoia, hallucinations.
Can I detox from cocaine without specialist help?
Sudden withdrawal from cocaine abuse is not life-threatening but it does pose physical risks. Symptoms can be intense, and hard to manage physically and psychologically. This can result in the addict feeling drawn back to cocaine use. It can also be very difficult for family members who are looking after their loved one through the cocaine detox and rehab process. They may not have the emotional strength to motivate the addict nor the medical expertise required to ensure that withdrawal symptoms are minimised.
Physical withdrawal from cocaine can take up to 14 days or longer. Ask yourself if this is really achievable without medical support and monitoring. Or without a professional to help you manage the psychological aspects of cocaine detox.
What can I expect when I go into a residential cocaine detox and rehab centre?
A residential detox and rehab treatment programme offers the best chance of long-term recovery as it treats both the physical and psychological addiction to cocaine.
On admission, a doctor will assess you and prescribe appropriate medication to reduce the risk, and alleviate the symptoms, of cocaine withdrawal. You’ll also be given a physical examination, and a urine test to record drug usage. Routine blood tests may also be taken. The doctor will review any current prescribed medication. Throughout the cocaine detox process, your physical well-being will be monitored.
You’ll be allocated a key worker who will gather background history and develop a rehabilitative care plan. You’ll be fully involved with this. The plan will address your cocaine use, behavioural issues and physical, psychological and social needs.
The rehab treatment will consist of education, counselling and therapy to help you understand and challenge the addictive illness. You’ll learn to recognise trigger points and affective behaviours to allow a life free from the harm that addiction to cocaine creates. Many cocaine rehab programmes are based on the world-renowned 12 step model to drug recovery, and offer a holistic approach which treats the whole person.