Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Confronting Cocaine Withdrawal: What to Expect

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Symptoms | Overdose | Withdrawals | Cocaine-induced psychosis | Crack cocaine

Cocaine Detox and Withdrawal

The alarming rise in cocaine abuse during recent years in the UK has affected all strata of society, not least professionals. The drug is an extremely addictive drug and this addiction results in harm not only to the individual but also to their family, close colleagues and employers.

Cocaine addiction needs specialist detoxification and treatment. At Castle Craig Hospital we have 30 years experience of in treating people and their families affected by alcohol and drugs. We strive to ensure that each detox is tailored to the needs of the person and that this is rapid, comfortable and safe.

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Withdrawal symptoms mostly relate to mental health rather than physical health and can be distressing and underestimated. There are no effective drug treatments for cocaine withdrawal.

While cocaine’s stimulant effects increase alertness and energy, during detox the opposite becomes the case and the person experiences a coke“crash”. This causes fatigue, energy loss, mood swings, insomnia and restlessness. Intense cravings occur along with anxiety, paranoia, depression and occasionally suicidal thinking. There are also risks for those with a history of fits, high blood pressure or heart disease.

These symptoms are best treated by a medical team in a residential setting, in order to avoid relapse. Our detox approach is also aimed at improving brain function and counteracting the toxic effects of coke on the brain. Our unique hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be of additional help.

Effects of Cocaine on the Brain

Cocaine narrows blood vessels and reduces blood flow in the brain. It also damages small and large vessels. The overall effect is to reduce the oxygen flow. Research shows that cocaine use reduces attention, memory, concept formation and mental flexibility.

“It’s eerie to look inside the brain of a heavy drug user. Blood flow is sluggish and abnormal compared to the brain of a non-user. Such an abnormality may underlie memory loss, learning problems, attention deficits and even strokes.”

– Harvard University Gazette.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

The unique feature of our cocaine detox is that patients can receive two sessions of HBOT each day during the first week of detoxification. This treatment is recognised by the Department of Health as being safe.

HBOT can help during detoxification by:

  • Repairing damaged blood vessels;
  • Growing new blood vessels into tissues starved of oxygen;
  • Increasing oxygen levels;
  • Regenerating tissue, reducing swelling and inflammation.

HBOT aids detoxification

Leading expert Dr Kenneth Stoller, President of the International Hyperbaric Medical Association agrees that HBOT appears to assist detoxification:

“By opening up this circulation into damaged tissues that alone helps with the detoxification process and certainly by normalising various enzyme systems it helps with the detoxification process because a metabolically healthy cell will be able to participate in the required chemical steps to detoxify.” (Stoller K; Small T /Medical Veritas 3 (2006) 957–966. More.

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Detox – The First Step to Recovery

Addiction is a biopsychosocial illness and detoxification alone is not enough to stop the compulsion to use drugs. A combination of individual care planning and psychotherapy, specialist therapies, education and holistic therapies (all monitored by our experienced and dedicated medical team) will assist towards a full and abstinent recovery via our ATP.

Detox (Transcription)

Dr Margaret McCann:

If someone is abusing cannabis and cocaine, these drugs can be stopped abruptly.

The person will experience some degree of physiological withdrawal but it’s very minor in its manifestation. With cannabis withdrawal, mainly it will be insomnia and agitation. These can generally be managed with non-medication interventions by generally supporting the patient.

With cocaine withdrawal, the drug can be stopped. Again amphetamines, and methamphetamines, all of these are stimulant drugs; drugs can be stopped immediately. The person will often experience an opposite reaction to the effects that the drugs have generated. So if there are stimulant drugs, then the person will experience what we call a “crash”. They will feel tired and exhausted and depleted of energy. But there is no concerning physiological response in respective withdrawal from these medications, generally speaking.

So again, the treatment for cannabis and cocaine withdrawal will be supportive, it’s rarely medication-assisted.

However, what we do provide are various complementary therapies to assist people, such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, and stress-management techniques.

And these are invaluable in assisting the withdrawal process. We also offer hyperbaric oxygen treatment to people who are undergoing drug withdrawal, and this has been considered, by many patients who I have spoken to, who participated in the HBOT programme, they found it to be hugely beneficial, especially in alleviating insomnia and assisting with the restoration of normal sleep patterns.

Cost of cocaine | Derivates/crack | History | Legal Status | Untreated cocaine addiction

How Can Castle Craig Help?

How Do I Pay For Rehab?

One concern we sometimes hear from people is how they will fund their rehab treatment. The cost of rehab varies depending on what kind of accommodation you choose. You can pay for treatment at Castle Craig privately, or through medical insurance, and some people receive funding through the NHS.

How Long Is the Rehab Programme?

Residential rehab treatment starts at 4 weeks and can go up to 12+ weeks. Research shows us that the longer you stay in rehab and are part of the residential therapy programme, the longer the likelihood of continued abstinence and stable recovery.

Who Will I Speak to When I Call?

When you call you will reach our Help Centre team who will give you all the information you need to help you decide whether to choose treatment at Castle Craig. Once you have decided that you would like to have a free screening assessment you will be put in touch with our admissions case managers who will guide you through the admissions process.

What Happens at the End of My Treatment?

Castle Craig thoroughly prepares patients before departure by creating a personalised continuing care plan which is formulated following discussions with the medical and therapeutic team. We offer an online continuing care programme which runs for 24 weeks after leaving treatment, in order to ensure a smooth transition back into your everyday life. Patients leaving treatment automatically join our Recovery Club where they can stay connected via our annual reunion, events, online workshops and recovery newsletters.

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