At Northbound, we challenge our clients to make a real change to a healthy and sober life. If you have questions about our programs for cocaine addiction, contact Northbound today.
What is Cocaine?
A tragically glamorized drug that has broken millions of lives, cocaine is a stimulant derived from the coca plant and refined into a powder form. Both quick-acting and powerful, cocaine creates feelings of energy, competence (including a sense of invincibility) and euphoria. As the effects of the drug wear off, this can be followed by irritability, anxiety, and paranoia. Excessive consumption can lead to hyperthermia, overdose, cardiac arrest, and death.
Over time, the frequent user of cocaine may develop heart problems, delusions, itching, or akathisia, a chronic sense of restlessness. Tissue in the nose or lungs may be seriously damaged by the method in which the drug is regularly ingested and long-term use can increase the chance of stroke, cause kidney damage, and lead to heart problems. Cocaine addiction is largely psychological rather than physical, and those who are dependent on the drug are at high risk for depression, lethargy, and psychosis.
A Short History
The drug cocaine was first extracted from the leaf of the erythroxylon coca bush, which grows primarily in South America, in the mid-19th century. In the early 1900s, cocaine became the main ingredient used in most of the tonics/elixirs that were developed to treat a wide variety of illnesses. Today cocaine can still be used for medical purposes, such as a local anesthetic in dental procedures, but has gained more popularity as a “party drug.”
There are currently two popular chemical forms of cocaine used by people to get “high”: the hydrochloride salt and the “freebase.” The hydrochloride salt, or powder form of cocaine can be taken intravenously (by vein) or intra-nasally (in the nose). In the 1980’s, cocaine gained wide acceptance as a party drug and was primarily used in its powder form. Cocaine is generally sold on the street as a fine, white, crystalline powder, known as “coke,” “C,” “snow,” “flake,” or “blow.”
It wasn’t long before people developed the freebase form of cocaine. The term “freebase” refers to the cocaine compound that has not been neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt, or powdered form of cocaine.
The freebase form of cocaine is smokable. Street dealers generally dilute it with such inert substances as cornstarch, talcum powder, and/or sugar, or with such active drugs as procaine (a chemically-related local anesthetic) or with such other stimulants as amphetamines. Crack is the street name given to the freebase form of cocaine that has been processed from the powdered cocaine hydrochloride form to a smokable substance. The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound heard when the mixture is smoked. Crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water, and heated to remove the hydrochloride.
Because crack is smoked, the user experiences a high in a matter of seconds, and the high only lasts a few minutes, which means that the person feels the urge to use the drug again almost immediately. This rather immediate, short lived, and euphoric effect is one of the reasons that crack has become such a harmful and addictive drug. Another reason is that crack is inexpensive both to produce and to buy. While it is inexpensive at first, eventually a person will end up spending just as much money, if not more, on crack cocaine than on the powder form of the drug.
At Northbound, we understand that addiction is a disease and that every client is different. Our skilled staff will create a customized treatment plan that takes into account not only the client’s individual needs, but can also address any co-occurring mental disorders that could otherwise inhibit the recovery process. From gender-specific core programs to family therapy, we focus on providing the counseling, life-skills courses, and social involvement that will encourage a successful life change.
Experiential therapy is a large part of our program, and we make full use of our beautiful Orange County setting. With the ocean minutes away, surfing, and gorgeous scenery add a unique dimension to our program. In this comfortable and nurturing setting, clients are taught to deal with their triggers and prepare for a life free of the crippling dependency on drugs.
A Sample Northbound Cocaine Treatment Plan:
- Education on the Effects of Cocaine on the Brain
- Sex Addiction Education (sex is often a cocaine trigger)
- Individual Therapy
- Medication Assessment
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy Treatment
- Motivation Interviewing Approach
- Group Therapy
- One-on-One 12-Step Work
Addiction is a terrible burden—not just on the one suffering from dependency, but for his or her loved ones as well. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to cocaine, Northbound is here to help. With a 1:1 ratio Case Managers to Clients, we maintain our commitment to the recovery process. We will be there to help celebrate that critical first year of sobriety.
At Northbound, we challenge our clients to make a real change to a healthy and sober life. If you have questions about our program, contact Northbound today. Our staff is ready 24 hours a day to help you take the first step toward living sober.