Cocaine is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world. Due to this, there are many cocaine treatment programs in Canada to choose from. Learn more here about what cocaine is, why it is so addictive, and what to look for when researching cocaine treatment programs.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is an illegal drug made from the leaves of the coca plant. It is a very strong stimulant and one of the most addictive drugs in the world. Cocaine is distributed in two main forms: cocaine hydrochloride and “crack” cocaine. Cocaine hydrochloride is a fine powder often diluted with sugar, cornstarch or talcum powder. You never know if your dealer has cut your drugs with something else entirely. For example, most people who have overdosed on fentanyl in Canada did not realise they were even taking fentanyl as it had been mixed in with other drugs. Cocaine hydrochloride is usually snorted or dissolved in water and injected. “Crack,” the chunk or “rock” form of cocaine, is a smokable, freebase form of cocaine which is made by adding baking soda to a cocaine solution and allowing the mixture to dry.
How Does Cocaine Affect the Body?
Cocaine has long been known as a “party drug” and is in the class of drugs known as stimulants. The intensity of cocaine depends on the dose and method of ingestion. Cocaine reaches the brain through the snorting method in three to five minutes. Intravenous injection of cocaine produces a rush in 15 to 30 seconds, and smoking produces an almost immediate intense experience. Short-term effects of cocaine are euphoria, increased energy, and heightened sensitivity to sound and touch. It can also reduce the desire for food and sleep. However, its effects are short-lived, usually lasting from a few minutes to half an hour. The physiological effects include dilated pupils, constricted blood vessels as well as increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Once the drug leaves the brain, the user experiences a “coke crash” that includes depression, irritability, and fatigue. To avoid withdrawal, repeated frequent doses are taken. Cocaine-related deaths are usually the result of cardiac arrest or seizures. The mixing of drugs like cocaine and alcohol or cocaine and heroin increases the chance of overdose and death.
Long-term use of cocaine has lasting effects on the brain. Illicit drugs not only affect the pleasure centres of the brain, but they also affect the brain pathways that respond to stress. Research has shown that increased stress leads to an increased desire for cocaine among regular users. Cocaine also reduces the efficacy of the decision-making area of the brain, the orbitofrontal cortex. Lack of self-insight and inability to recognize and adapt to negative consequences of continued drug use are effects of the cortex’s lowered function. Long-term use or high doses of cocaine can also trigger paranoia. Smoking crack cocaine can produce particularly aggressive paranoid behaviour in users. When addicted individuals stop using cocaine, they often become depressed. Prolonged cocaine snorting can result in ulceration of the mucous membrane of the nose. Intravenous cocaine users are at risk for infections such as hepatitis and HIV. Nasal blood found on straws used for inhaling cocaine can carry hepatitis C and be a source of infection.
Cocaine Treatment at Sunshine Coast Health Centre
Cocaine detoxification does not have the serious withdrawal effects like vomiting and shaking typically experienced with heroin or alcohol. Clients at Sunshine Coast Health Centre who have been bingeing on cocaine usually suffer a “crash” which is marked by irritability, sleepiness, and anxiety. Typically, the cocaine detox process at Sunshine Coast Health Centre involves plenty of rest and a return to a regular meal schedule. Clients are typically underweight and may be dehydrated due to neglect from an extended period of preoccupation with cocaine. However, not all cocaine rehab programs are equally effective. Here’s why Sunshine Coast Health Centre is a good fit for you or your loved one:
- Convenient– quick admission with onsite medical detoxification staffed with nurses and doctors
- Comprehensive– integrated addiction/mental health program, free family & couples program, fitness & nutrition
- Certified– licensed by the province of BC, accredited by Accreditation Canada, approved for federal government employees and staffed with Masters-level therapists, a psychiatrist, and a medical doctor
- Compassionate– non-12 step philosophy that treats the human being, not the addiction
- Comfortable– 8-acre oceanfront campus with an indoor pool, fitness center, ample lounge space, and private rooms