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cocaine addiction rehab treatment

Cocaine addiction poses a very real threat to the lives and happiness of many Americans and other people around the world today. People like Carrie Fiorillo, whose life was derailed in her childhood and early teens onto a path that included a ten-year struggle with cocaine addiction.

Carrie’s Addiction Story

As a young child, Carrie never really felt at ease and was often anxious and restless for no reason. She went to a private school as a young girl until she transferred to a public school at the age of twelve. She remembers being sad, uneasy, and uncomfortable in her own skin. In public school, her grades suffered but her self-confidence grew. Then her parents got divorced and she began acting out.

She started drinking and smoking pot every weekend, getting very high and drunk and messing around with random boys. After she started attending high school, her substance abuse developed to another level entirely. She and her friends would spend their weekends dropping acid (LSD). She started skipping weeks off school and committing petty crimes like shoplifting, stealing signage, and stealing small items from house parties.

Her parents were stressed and exhausted and wanted to help but didn’t know how to get through to her. Carrie would frequently tell her parents that she hated them, and would say the same to the therapists that they sent her to. She thought she was having the time of her life. The drugs and alcohol changed the uneasy girl she had been and even though she would frequently lose recollection of hours of her life, the allure of that change was too strong to resist.

Soon before her last year of high school, she started dating a friend named Adam with whom she had many shared interests. Her parents were grateful because Adam seemed like he was a stabilizing influence in her life. Unfortunately, one of the interests they shared was abusing drugs.

On the weekends they would do several drugs together including coke, ecstasy, and mostly speed. After they graduated high school they started going to dance clubs where they did a drug they only knew as “Peaches” that would, for $30, send Carrie on fourteen straight hour dancing sprees. After each time she would spend the next three days curled up from the withdrawal symptoms but would go right back and do it all again.

Her addiction continued to spiral out of control and over the years she went through extreme weight loss, brushes with death, multiple failed attempts in rehab, violence, relapses, hallucinations, madness, and troubles with the law. She finally did have a moment of clarity and was able to find success through a friend who helped her through the 12-Step Program.

She had to learn to overcome the same feelings she felt as a teenager now as an adult. She made amends with her family, and she was able to get herself into law school. She met a man named Colin and they fell in love and were wed in 2014. She finished law school and now works at a law firm that specializes in social justice and advocacy work.

Carrie and her husband are also raising their new daughter Nolah, who she describes as the happiest baby she has ever seen. Stories like Carrie Fiorillo’s have been, and still are, all too common in our society, and though it turned out well in the end for Carrie, there are many stories that don’t have such a happy ending, and there are many people who are still struggling and are in need of help.

What is Cocaine?

Before we get to what can be done about cocaine addiction let’s discuss what it is. According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug. It has been used in less potent forms for thousands of years by people of South America who would chew the coca leaves from which it is derived.

In the early years of the 1900’s the purified stimulant chemical was isolated and named “Cocaine Hydrochloride.” A process was invented to extract the pure stimulant chemical from the plant and cocaine became the main ingredient of many tonics, elixirs, and cure-all treatments of the time. It even became an ingredient in early recipes for Coca-Cola.

Of course, subsequent studies found cocaine to be very powerful and highly addictive, and its use today is highly regulated for legal use. It has, however, as we probably all know, become a very popular illegal street drug. In this form, cocaine appears as a fine, white, crystalline powder.

In addition to “cocaine,” its street names also include Coke, C, Snow, Powder, or Blow. Street dealers of cocaine often cut the pure chemical with other non-narcotic substances like corn starch, talcum powder, or flour to boost their profit margins. They have also been known to mix in other narcotics such as anesthetics or even stimulants like amphetamines.

This practice increases the dangers that come along with using street drugs like cocaine, as you, and even sometimes your dealer, never know what is actually in the drug. Cocaine usually comes in one of two forms. The first form is cocaine hydrochloride, which could be considered to be the “standard” form. It is water soluble and users typically either snort it or dissolve and inject it.

The second form of cocaine is the purest form, having had the hydrochloride removed, it is not water soluble and is called “crack” because of the crackling sound it makes when smoked, which is the primary way it is used. Cocaine produces a number of effects and feelings for a user, some of which are desirable and some of which definitely are not. Here are some of the cocaine effects that a user could experience.

In the short-term, a user will likely feel an intense “high” during which they may experience some of the following:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Very high energy
  • Abnormal talkativeness
  • High levels of mental alertness
  • Hypersensitivity to light and touch
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Dilated pupils

This “high” typically does not last very long (a few minutes to an hour) and usually leaves the user edgy, depressed, and wanting more of the drug.

With longer-term use users run all the normal risks of abusing addictive substances, such as:

  • Tolerance. The user needing to take more and more of the drug to get “high.”
  • Overdose. As a user takes more and more of a drug their risk increases of taking more than they can handle and having a life-threatening overdose.
  • Dependence. The body losing its ability to function without the drug.
  • Addiction. The drug taking over the user’s life to the point where getting and taking the drug becomes the most important thing, even to the exclusion of basic survival needs.
  • Withdrawal. Very unpleasant symptoms that arise if the user stops taking the drug for any reason.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

The best cocaine rehab options usually involve a detoxification and withdrawal period, followed by counseling in how to behave in life without drugs, and how to change old patterns of drug use and avoid making new ones. It is also recommended that you find a program that doesn’t just get the drugs out of you and send you on your way but instead provides aftercare support to help you adjust to living your new life.

To learn more and find out how you can get the best cocaine addiction treatment, contact New Beginnings today. Let us help you become addiction-free.

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