While cocaine abuse is not as widespread as it once was in the 70’s and 80’s, the use of this drug is still an issue with drug rehab programs across the United States. Cocaine continues to rank among one of the top drugs clients enrolling in treatment are addicted to. As recently as 2008, cocaine addiction ranked 5th for smoked cocaine (crack) and 8th for powdered cocaine. As more and more research on cocaine addiction takes place, we learn more about where and how cocaine acts in the brain; including how the drug produces its pleasurable effects and why it is so addictive.
Using state of the art technology, scientists are now able to see the dynamic changes that occur in the brain as an individual takes cocaine. They can observe the different brain changes that happen as a person experiences the rush, the high, and finally the craving for this addictive drug. They can also identify parts of the brain that become active when a cocaine addict sees or hears environmental stimuli that trigger the craving for the drug. A goal of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) is to interpret what scientists learn from their cocaine addiction research. The hope is that by doing so they will be able to help the public better understand cocaine abuse and addiction and develop more effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of addiction.
Cocaine is generally sold on the street as a fine, white, crystalline powder known as: Coke, Big C, Snow, Flake, C-dust, Yay, Yayo and Blow just to list a few of the more common terms. A few of the more frequent terms used when using and/or possessing cocaine include: Holding, Amped, Line, Rail and Geeked Up. Cocaine is processed from the South American Coca Plant. Street dealers often dilute their cocaine supply to make it go further when selling it on the street. They may add inert substances such as cornstarch, talcum powder or sugar. Or, they may choose to add active drugs like procaine (a chemically-related local anesthetic) or other stimulants like amphetamines.
Offelia’s Son Overcame His Cocaine Addiction at Narconon Fresh Start
Cocaine, more than any other drug of abuse has direct and immediate access to the brain’s pleasure center. It causes disruption in the delicate chemistry that regulates mood, pleasure and a person’s survival drive. This drug is a potent and dangerous Central Nervous System stimulant. It works by blocking the reabsorption of dopamine in the brain (a chemical messenger that assists in normal functioning of the Central Nervous System and is associated with pleasure and movement).
In its powdered form cocaine is sniffed or mixed with water and injected. Another form of the drug has become popular as well; users are smoking a freebase form of cocaine termed Crack (named for the “crackling” sound produced when the mixture of cocaine and sodium bicarbonate is heated).
No matter what method is used to ingest cocaine: injecting, snorting or smoking – the same risks are involved. While all forms of the drug are highly addictive, it has been speculated that the onset of addiction to cocaine may be much more rapid in the smoked form (Crack). When a person uses cocaine they will experience dilated pupils, increased body temperature, constricted blood vessels, increased heart rate and blood pressure. The effects of cocaine that entice the user to take the drug include the euphoria that comes with using cocaine, reduced fatigue, more sociable and a perception of mental clarity. The negative side effects experienced by cocaine users include restlessness, irritability, and anxiety.
When cocaine abuse develops into an addiction problem it can be difficult to give up using the drug. Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab programs have been helping people recover from their cocaine addiction issues for over 45 years and have a very high success rate of long-term continued sobriety for their graduating clients. The Narconon Fresh Start treatment philosophy is unlike other programs where clients are told they are powerless over their addiction, that they have an incurable disease and that they will be addicts for the rest of their lives. The philosophy that Narconon Fresh Start operates under is based on treating addiction to drugs and/or alcohol for what it truly is; a physical and mental problem that can and will be overcome. Their programs help clients physically recover from their addiction while simultaneously addressing the underlying issues that drove them to abuse drugs or alcohol. The methods that their centers use build up the program participant’s self-worth and makes them feel powerful over their addiction problem, not powerless.
As a drug-free, long-term, residential drug rehab program Narconon Fresh Start centers provide their clients with the most effective rehabilitation technology and offer a written guarantee of success for their graduating clients. Their program uses no form of drug replacement therapy or drug substitution therapy to help their clients get off drugs and remain sober once they complete treatment. The purpose of going to drug rehab is to stop using drugs; to use a replacement medication to aid in the process leaves the addict dependent and controlled by yet another substance. The program is long-term, running on average 3 to 4 months to complete. This length of time allows the recovering individual to fully withdraw and detox, learn the program information, put into practice by using the new skills they have acquired and develop a plan for their future when treatment is complete. With thousands of graduates and decades of successful rehabilitation results, Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab centers will be able to help even the most severe and long-term cocaine addicts find lasting sobriety.