A Better Today

Inpatient Rehab

A Better Today Recovery Service’s Approach to Treating Cocaine Addiction

A Better Today Recovery Services understands that no one aspires to be addicted to drugs. Cocaine users start by seeking a good time with good company. They want to have high energy all night so they will be ready for the best time of their life. It begins with a little on the weekends only to result in dropping paycheck after paycheck on sustaining their need for cocaine.

Before they know it they find themselves trapped in a downward spiral of addiction. Cocaine works on the body to make users require more of the drug to get the same high, making it highly addictive. At A Better Today Recovery Services, we are ready to help you or your loved one conquer addiction to this highly dangerous and even deadly drug.

Our cocaine treatment takes an individualized, evidence-based approach, using medical advances to take your loved one through withdrawal and into rehabilitation. It’s almost impossible to kick a cocaine addiction without help, and our caring professionals with the knowledge and compassion to see you through the process, custom-designing each person’s treatment program to maximize success.

Treatment doesn’t end with rehab and A Better Today Recovery Services will help you craft an effective aftercare plan with your therapist to make sure that the goal you set in rehab remain your focus and inspires you to remain sober. During recovery, a good aftercare program can help you or your loved one to develop strategies to combat the stresses and avoid the triggers that could lead to a relapse. Our carefully planned support groups and recovery support help our patients to return to the new normal of stability, sobriety, and success.

In 2014, over 913,000 people were reported to be addicted to cocaine.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant that comes from the leaves of the coca plant, which South American peoples chewed in ancient times. It was first used in the United States as a surgical anesthetic in the 1800s, and it was even part of the early recipes for Coca-Cola. However, the drug was banned in the early 1800s, and the Food and Drug Administration declared it a Schedule II substance in 1970.

Cocaine is a white powder that’s most commonly snorted, or sniffed, into the nasal passages. Used this way, it’s known by street names including “snow,” “blow,” and “nose candy.” It works directly on the reward centers of the brain, triggering an intense burst of dopamine and creating extremely pleasurable feelings of euphoria.

Other ways of ingesting it include intravenous injections or rubbing it on the guns. The white powder can also be processed into a rock shape, known as crack, which is smoked, or “freebased,” creating an intense high that hits the brain within about 20 seconds.

Cocaine is sometimes mixed with other drugs, including marijuana (“chronic” or “snow capping”), heroin (“speedballs” or “snowballs”), or even cigarettes, which can be dusted with cocaine powder.

Life Saving Interventions for Cocaine Abuse Addictions

Cocaine users often need help not only to get into treatment but to realize that they have a drug abuse problem. An intervention is one way to bring the problem to the forefront of discussion. In an intervention, family and friends gather with the cocaine user to point out how the user’s behavior is affecting them negatively. The goal of the intervention is to get the loved one to agree to begin treatment for cocaine addiction.

An intervention is a delicate confrontation, and many people seek out professional help before staging one. Drug treatment professionals can help you form a plan for an intervention, focusing your emotions into a cohesive set of action steps.

Often it’s helpful to write down the ways in which your loved one’s actions have harmed you. An intervention plan should also include options for action and consequences if the cocaine user doesn’t agree to enter treatment.

The Difference Between Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

While all cocaine enters the United States as cocaine powder, some of it is mixed with baking powder and water, and then cooked and dried into small rocks known as crack, which is then smoked. While both are highly addictive and dangerous, crack produces a more intense and immediate high, hitting the brain in as little as 20 seconds, compared to the 20 minutes it takes for sniffed cocaine powder to reach the brain.

Crack is more psychologically addictive than cocaine, and it’s harder to kick. Crack is more readily available in some areas, and it’s significantly less expensive than cocaine, which has led to near-epidemic abuse in some communities. Paradoxically, the criminal punishments for cocaine and crack use differ wildly, with the same penalties doled out for possessing 500 grams of cocaine and only 28 grams of crack.

Over 8.5 Million American citizens have abused crack cocaine.

Common Behaviors Associated With Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine abuse leads to some telltale behaviors that can help you identify addiction in a loved one.

  • Money Problems: Cocaine is an expensive drug, and users need increasing amounts of money to supply their habit. Your loved one may come to you for money. They may stop paying bills or even rent or the mortgage. They may even steal from you or from others. If you notice unexplained financial problems combined with other behaviors, you may be spotting cocaine at work.
  • Unusual Sleeping Patterns: Because cocaine is a stimulant, a user may stay out very late or all night. A cocaine addict can actually go several days without sleeping at all.
  • Restless and Irritability: Cocaine produces a sense of restlessness that quickly turns to irritability and can proceed to become anxiety or even outright paranoia. Cocaine use can even lead to paranoid psychosis, where the user experiences hallucinations, lose touch with reality and becomes violent. If you see these personality changes in your loved one, start looking for other signs of cocaine addiction.

The Dangers Associated with Cocaine Abuse

Signs & Symptoms

Cocaine abuse also produces a large number of physical symptoms. A primary sign of cocaine use is weight loss. This results because cocaine is a stimulant and appetite suppressor.

Your loved one may show a great deal of energy and become very talkative when high. They may participate in reckless behaviors that aren’t normal to them. Keep an eye out as well for the paraphernalia associated with cocaine use around their home or their person; these can include razors, mirrors, and rolled-up money.

Physical signs that may indicate cocaine use include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Nosebleeds
  • A perpetually runny or sniffly nose
  • Twitching muscles
  • Constant headaches
  • Uncontrolled trembling and shakiness
  • Increase in body temperature
  • An increased heart rate
  • An inability to focus or concentrate


The first stage of withdrawal is the crash, during which the user experiences lack of energy, hunger, irritability, anxiety, and fatigue. Within a week of the crash, the user moves on to withdrawal proper. This period, which can last more than two months, is marked by difficulty concentrating, further lack of energy, wild mood changes, anxiety and paranoia, depression, and cravings.

Beyond the acute withdrawal phase, complete cocaine withdrawal can last another six months, with the person still experiencing cravings for cocaine. Some users experience an extended post-withdrawal phase.


A cocaine overdose can be fatal, even for a first-time user. Cocaine overdoses occur when someone takes in a dose so high that it overstimulates the brain and body in ways they can’t handle. The usual effects of cocaine, including an increased heart rate, become so great that the body and/or brain have to shut down.

Signs of a cocaine overdose include:

  • Extremely high blood pressure
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Dangerously high body temperature
  • Anxiety and confusion that culminate in psychosis
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme tremors and shaking

As these extreme symptoms progress, they can precipitate a stroke, heart attack or seizure. Anyone experiencing these symptoms needs immediate, urgent medical assistance.


What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that produces a euphoric feeling and is strongly addictive.

What is Cocaine’s origin?

Cocaine comes from coca leaves, which are found in Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia. Most Cocaine production occurs in remote, hidden labs, where it undergoes various chemical treatments. Cocaine found in the United States comes from the Central America-Mexico corridor.

What are Cocaine’s common street names?

Soda Cot, Coke, Crack, Coca, Snow, Flake

How is Cocaine abused?

Cocaine can be inhaled, injected, snorted, or smoked. Cocaine is sometimes combined with other substances, such as heroin, which is called “speed balling”.

What is Cocaine’s effects on the mind?

Cocaine’s effect on the brain depends largely on dose and method of consumption. When smoked or injected, Cocaine reaches the brain in seconds, causing an intense euphoric effect. When snorted, Cocaine does not reach the brain as quickly, is less intense, and causes restlessness, anxiety, and irritability. A person will develop a tolerance to Cocaine quite quickly, which leads to binge-and-crashing.

What is Cocaine’s effects on the body?

Cocaine’s effects on the body include increased blood pressure, insomnia, dilated pupils, increased heart rate, loss of appetite, sudden cardiac arrest, stroke, erosion of the upper nasal cavity, cardiac arrhythmia, respiratory problems, convulsions, ischemic heart conditions, and possibly death.

What are Cocaine’s overdose effects?

Cocaine’s overdose effects include nausea, vomiting, tremors, irregular breathing, increased temperature and heart rate, chest pains, seizures, anxiety, hallucinations and delirium.

Which drugs cause similar effects as Cocaine?

Cocaine shares similar characteristics as Methamphetamine and other Stimulants.

What are the withdrawal effects of Cocaine detox?

When the user stops abusing Cocaine, he/she could experience withdrawal symptoms such as depressed mood, malaise, vivid/unpleasant dreams, agitation, fatigue, increased appetite, and lessened physical activity.

Finding the Right Type of Treatment is a Phone Call Away

Providing Effective Treatment for Cocaine Addictions

While detoxing from cocaine is an unpleasant experience, it’s rare that anyone detoxing in a medically supervised environment experiences severe health issues. However, this doesn’t mean that detoxing on your own at home is a good idea. Those who try it are extremely likely to relapse and start using the drug again because they haven’t addressed the underlying issues that precepted the drug use.

During detox, your loved one is monitored and supported. No medication has been approved to assist with detoxing from cocaine, though withdrawal side effects such as severe headaches can be addressed medically. If a cocaine user is also abusing other drugs, those may need medication-assisted support during detox.

As detox moves into the rehab phase, your loved one goes through a program that involves support groups, individual therapy, and other types of therapy. Because many cocaine addicts haven’t been taking care of their bodies, they often need to focus on elemental health factors including sleep and a proper diet.

One-on-one therapy is particularly helpful for many people trying to kick cocaine. In this therapy, your loved one focuses on changing the behaviors that triggered the use of the drug in the first place. At A Better Day Recovery Services, patients also learn how to reward themselves for staying away from cocaine and develop strategies for dealing with temptation once back in their normal world.

Aftercare is the final stage of cocaine treatment. It’s a crucial element to help your loved one learn to cope with the world without cocaine. Patients may meet in formal or 12-step programs or they may choose a sober living home as a transitional support.

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Saving Lives, Healing Families

A Cocaine Addiction Can Drain Your Account and Divide Your Family: Explore Our Reputable Resources to Help You Make a Life-Changing Decision

Finding reliable information when seeking drug and alcohol treatment can be difficult. Not many people feel comfortable going to a doctor to discuss a cocaine addiction without feeling shame or blame for their struggles. That is why it is important for ABTRS to provide information that you can count on, free from shame, and worth your trust. We want to empower you with the knowledge to make good decisions that will better your life.

We take pride in offering reputable sources that are impartial, not funded by organizations that could benefit from certain outcomes, and proven or tested to be effective. Know that the sources below are there to help you by educating you about rehab and all things treatment related.

John, W. S., & Wu, L. T. (2017). Trends and correlates of cocaine use and cocaine use disorder in the United States from 2011 to 2015. Drug and alcohol dependence, 180, 376-384.

NIDA. (2016, May 6). Cocaine. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine on 2019, February 13

Howell, L. L., & Cunningham, K. A. (2015). Serotonin 5-HT2 receptor interactions with dopamine function: implications for therapeutics in cocaine use disorder. Pharmacological reviews, 67(1), 176-97.


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