At Cypress Lakes Lodge, our patients come to us for help with cocaine and crack addiction because they are among the most difficult addictions to manage without help. These drugs are highly addictive and known for taking a strong hold on the lives of those who abuse them. Dealing with an addiction to cocaine or crack can change the course of your life, causing you to lose jobs, relationships, money and health — it’s important to seek professional treatment to help you get back on track and get a second chance at fulfillment and happiness. With medical detox, a plan for therapy and lifestyle changes, this addiction can be managed. We encourage all addicted or fearful of their use of cocaine or crack to call our intake team and talk to someone who can get you the help you need.
What is the Difference Between Cocaine and Crack?
Cocaine and crack are in fact different names for the same basic drug. The form of cocaine often called “coke” is the powdered form, while crack is cocaine that has been processed into a crystalline rock-like structure. This is why crack might be referred to as “crack cocaine,” and why it produces a different high — the two different forms mean the drugs are used differently and have slightly different effects.
Where Does Cocaine Come From?
Cocaine is a stimulant drug, which means it increases activity in certain areas of the brain to deliver a burst of energy and euphoria. It is also a powerful anesthetic that is still used in some instances by medical professionals. Cocaine has a long history of use; it is actually a naturally occurring chemical that is found in the coca plant native to South America. Ancient civilizations used coca leaves as a numbing agent and as a stimulant. When Europeans discovered the Americas and learned of the effects of coca leaves, they too began experimenting with the plant both medically and recreationally. Eventually, chemists were able to isolate the active substances and recreate them synthetically. These synthetic versions were stronger and easier to produce than the coca plant — thus, the drug became inexpensive and prevalent. In fact, it was included in early versions of Coca-Cola and Pepsi, long before people realized the adverse effects that cocaine could have on the system.
Thankfully after learning about the addictive properties of cocaine in 1914, the Harrison Narcotic Act banned the production of products with cocaine as the base. However, this did not stop the drug from being produced illegally. Today, cocaine is a popular illicit drug — approximately 2.2 million Americans used cocaine in 2017, and just under half of them met the criteria for a cocaine use disorder.
How is Cocaine Used?
Cocaine in its powder form is usually snorted through the nose or dissolved in liquid and injected. It can also be taken orally — some users rub it into their gums so it absorbs more quickly into the bloodstream for a fast high. Alternatively, crack is most often smoked through a pipe.
In films, wealthy people are often portrayed doing lines in bathrooms of bourgeois house parties or at clubs — as a result, people often romanticize cocaine and think of it as an exciting drug that will make them seem successful. It’s true that powder cocaine is expensive; however, the more typical result of this is that people drain their bank accounts to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on this drug once they become addicted.
Adverse Effects of Cocaine
Crack and cocaine overdoses happen more often than many people realize. The problem is that many users don’t know how much is too much. Over time, users build up a tolerance, requiring more and more of the drug to feel high. People addicted to cocaine are continuously chasing their first high but always need higher doses to get close. What’s more, both powder cocaine and crack are made and sold illegally, so when a person buys these drugs they can never truly know what they are getting. People may buy powder cocaine mixed with anything from baking powder to heroin; crack may likewise contain other synthetic stimulants that cause overdose or an adverse reaction.
In addition, those addicted to cocaine give up everything they once loved to feed their addiction. Many destructive and even dangerous activities come from cocaine use. At Cypress Lakes Lodge we have heard stories of people with a history of arrests from things like theft or prostitution just to fund their addiction to cocaine. People who become addicted to cocaine are likely to lose their jobs, alienate their loved ones and struggle to find happiness without being high.
When someone is addicted to cocaine, there are some physical signals we can look for and notice readily. Cocaine and crack addiction will show on a person based on the way they take the drug as well. For example, those who snort coke might develop chronic nosebleeds or sustain damage to their nasal septum. Those who smoke crack might have burns around their lips or on their hands from the hot glass pipe. The body will rapidly decline when cocaine or crack is consumed in high doses over time. We see heart defects develop since the high increases the heart rate, as well as stress-related responses that overstimulate the nervous system. Because of the chemically-altering effects on the brain, cognitive function changes and conditions such as ADHD, depression, anxiety and OCD develop. Cocaine does permanent damage to the brain and body, and to stop these issues from getting worse, treatment is required.
Signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction are:
- Redness or irritation around the nostrils
- Bleeding in the nose
- Irritation and continuous fidgeting
- Jerky movements or muscle spasms
- Rapid increases in energy
- Disinterest in usual activities
- Change in social circle
- Rapid weight loss
- Hygiene decline
- Heart conditions may develop
- Hypertrophy of the heart (enlarged heart muscle)
- Reduced kidney function
- Loss of concentration
- Memory loss
- Burns on the hands or mouth
- Injection marks on the body
Cocaine/crack addiction treatment at Cypress Lakes Lodge
At Cypress Lakes Lodge, we treat all of these negative effects of cocaine. We treat the mind, heal the body and fuel the spirit. Our holistic approach to addiction recovery can help our patients develop life skills, motivate them to change their lifestyle and learn to treat their bodies with respect. Our patients suffering from crack and cocaine addiction take part in yoga, mindfulness and meditation exercises, daily counseling sessions and more to share their struggles and develop healthy habits. We see improvement in social interaction and self-care, as well as in general mood, self-confidence and outlook on life.
Each patient will go through our medical detox program to remove the substance from their system and move through a dual diagnosis to cover any mental health concerns that can be addressed during treatment as well. We want to include all beneficial treatments for our patients and understand that it takes time, acceptance and adjustment to recover. Contact Cypress Lakes Lodge today and manage your addiction the holistic way at 877-938-1577.