COCAINE ADDICTION AND REHABILITATION
WHAT IS COCAINE?
Cocaine, a supposed nervous system stimulant is obviously an issue in the 21st century. Likened to a wolf in sheep’s clothing, it is responsible for a significant portion of the social and deranged problems facing most youth communities in the world. It is a recreational drug that blesses its recipient with indescribable euphoria.
Cocaine produces a sense of extreme joy by causing an abnormal release of certain biochemicals in the brain to release.Usually, it is smoked, inhaled or injected into the vein in order to help one escape the grips of reality. The amount of ingested coke determines the duration of cocaine’s effectiveness. Cocaine’s catalyst effects are usually protuberant and short lived which could prompt the want for more. Would we describe cocaine or its addiction as a problem?
Cocaine is produced from Cocoa plant. The leaves of this plant are processed legally and illegally each year to birth coke or crack cocaine. Depending on the purpose for which it is to be used, the drug is mixed with other substances to achieve the desired aim. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages.
Cocaine literally plays hide and seek in a user’s brain to get them all excited to perform a task with no sign of fatigue. It has been reported to increase alertness, numbness, feelings of well-being, competence (confidence) and energy. Too much use of this drug has been proven to prohibit its prior enticing euphoria making the user weak, overly dependent on it and mentally unstable.
Cocaine could have acute negative effects on the other parts of the body asides the brain.
COCAINE AND MEDICINE
Medically, cocaine is a useful topical anesthetic in nasal, lacrimal duct and optical surgeries. It is used to alleviate nasal bleeding. Science has shown the cons of these uses of cocaine to be intense vasoconstriction which could lead to shock and possible cardiovascular toxicity. Substitutes like proparacaine, lidocaine, tetracaine, and benzocaine have however been produced to minimize its negative tendencies.
Nowadays, bleeding nose is a clear indication of its abuse, along with stroke, necrosis, lung disease, blood infections and chronic cardiac arrest. Addiction is the irresistible craving powered by initial consumption and momentary pleasure of a substance despite the awareness of the myriad negative effects it would have. It explains how the future is sacrificed on the altar of the present.
This addiction is curbed through a number of methods including Rehabilitation.
MODE OF USE
Cocaine like most abused drugs have different methods of administration. It is all dependent on the drug abuser’s choice and maybe the method that is most or readily within his or her reach. As is common with opiates, cocaine can be taken orally, inhaled, intranasal and also intravenous with the recorded fastest effect time.
- Orally: This method involves the chewing of the drug, which is mostly washed down with alcohol
- Inhalation: This method involves liquefying the powder by heating it indirectly; the melted powder is now inhaled using a straw or pipe
- Mainlining: This also involves liquefying the powder and loading it into a syringe. It is then injected directly into the veins. This method creates the fasted effect; giving the expected “high” in about five seconds.
- Intranasal: This when the powder is snorted. At times a scalpel or knife is used to load the powder into the nostrils.
- Smoking: The liquefied cocaine vapor is inhaled directly into the lungs through the nose. This gives approximately the same effect time like injecting.
- Speedball: The speedball practice is when the drug is taken as a cocktail of different drugs. Example, cocaine, heroin, Indian hemp,etc. mixed together for a single hit.
REMEDY FOR COCAINE ADDICTION
Till date, a proper remedy for cocaine addiction has not been discovered. From a recent investigation, however, serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), norepinephrine, and glutamate, topiramate, modafinil, and dexamphetamine have proven to be potential miracle workers is the ailment of cocaine addiction. An uncontrollable crash follows withdrawal from the use of cocaine, which aggravates the craving for more coke. Sudden abstinence from cocaine has been reported to have no conspicuous symptoms such as shaking and sweating. Its internal signs include; fatigue, lack of pleasure, general discomfort, depression, anxiety, fuelled appetite, nightmares, tardiness, irritability, attention-deficit disorder, sleepiness, sometimes agitation or extreme restlessness or paranoia.
The hunger for cocaine literally explodes in a person’s system. Withdrawal from cocaine, however, is very risky as the victims may commit suicide from chronic depression. As time heals wounds, it calms the craze of the craves with each winning day. Short- term use of substances like alcohol, hypnotics, sedatives are usually helpful in the rehabilitation process.
Researchers have been able to evolve vaccines that could attenuate the risk of relapse, by stimulating the immune system to build coke-specific antibody that would shield the brain from cocaine penetration. They are also on the verge of refining interventions to nib overdose urgencies in the bud. A good example is the consumption of human genetic enzymes in the division of cocaine to attenuate the effects of an overdose.
As the number of cocaine abusers rises daily, so does the number of persons seeking treatment and rehabilitation. Cocaine treatment like most opioids is a complex process that consumes finance, time, energy and requires discipline and cooperation. Most drug or cocaine users are poly-addicts; this warrants the knowledge of the patient’s social life, drug use pattern, psychobiological, pharmacological history, etc. However, research is still ongoing for the development of highly effective medication for the treatment of cocaine. Treatment follows different patterns. Cocaine is still the most commonly used illicit stimulant in Europe, with a rise in the number of youths that are cut in the web of addiction. Cocaine addiction has been associated with cardiovascular, neurological and mental health problems, also with increased risk of accident and dependence. Research is still ongoing for medication for cocaine addiction.Psychosocial interventions are the primary treatment options for cocaine dependence, with studies showing contingency management as effective. However, several trials are investigating various pharmacological treatments for cocaine dependence.
There has been a range of pharmacological treatment options available for clients with heroin problems; most commonly provided in the form of methadone and buprenorphine. However, such a medical solution has so far been elusive for treating clients with problems linked to the use of illicit stimulants, such as cocaine and amphetamines. However, a number of medications have been examined.
Psychiatric and anticonvulsant medications and several other classes of drugs that modulate the brain’s dopamine system have been examined to know if they can be used to treat cocaine problems. These drugs can help to regulate the systems in the human brain that carry neurotransmitters, which are naturally occurring chemicals within the brain used to control and regulate psychological and physical functions.Cocaine blocks the uptake of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. As this depletes the level of dopamine available in the brain, medications that can halt this process and alleviate its side effects are considered the most promising in the treatment for cocaine addiction.
Also, Cognitive-behavioral coping skills treatment (CBT) is a focused approach to helping cocaine-dependent individuals. CBT attempts to help patients recognize, avoid, and cope. That is, RECOGNIZE the situations in which they are most likely to use cocaine, AVOID these situations when appropriate, and COPE more effectively with a range of problems and problematic behaviors associated with substance abuse.
Cocaine addiction has a wide range of adverse effects. Research shows that there is no safe method of taking cocaine. All methods of use could lead to addiction, deferent complications issues, and eventual death. Cocaine use and addiction have both long term and short term effects. Apart from the adverse effects, there are the general effects of using the drug which is experienced by the addict immediately after using the drug. Some of these are talkativeness, false confidence, an extra energetic charge, a high sense of euphoria, mental alertness especially to sound and touch. Some users become workaholics after use with little or no food at all. Other effects are increased heart rate which can also result in death. Dilated eyes, which is associated with drugs and alcohol abuse. Constricted lungs and increased temperature. Cocaine users exude a kind of boldness. Some become violent, erratic and destructive.
EFFECT DURING PREGNANCY
Like heroin, an expectant mother can make her unborn child drug dependent by using the drug during pregnancy. Studies have also discovered that children whose mother’s abused drugs during pregnancy are often times delivered prematurely with severe physical features and challenges. Usually, with a head smaller than normal, underweight at birth, often time, shorter than normal in length
Cocaine shares similar social effects like all other abused drugs. Addicts pose a lot of challenges to themselves, their families and the society.
- Neglect: Addicts have a high tendency of neglecting their families and domestic duties
- Job loss: There are cases of job loss due to job abandonment by addicts as a result of health issues
- HIV/AIDS: Users are at a very high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS from infected syringes and unwholesome practices.
- Dementia: There reported cases of dementia and irrational behavior.
- Hepatitis: This is another area that has given medical practitioners concern. Hepatitis is contracted from infected syringes
- Crime: Cocaine addicts are associated with crime, both petty and high-tech criminal activities.
- Divorce: A whole lot of divorce is linked to the abuse of drugs by one of the couples or both of them
- Battering: There is the tendency of being violent after taking cocaine.
- Bankruptcy: Addicts are likely to become bankrupt as a result of the cost of funding their fixes.