Cocaine Detox

Cocaine Detox in Louisiana

Cocaine, a highly addictive substance present in the United States since the early 1900s, initially available over the counter, faced prohibition in 1914 due to concerns about its impact on the population. Despite regulatory measures, cocaine persists as a formidable presence in the lives of many Americans. Serotonin, according to some researchers, plays a role in the challenges users encounter when attempting to break free from cocaine’s grip. Once a person acknowledges their struggle with cocaine, the first crucial step toward recovery involves undergoing detoxification.

Cocaine Statistics

In 2017, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control reported that 20% of overdose deaths involved the psychostimulant cocaine. Just under 5 million Americans admitted to using the drug in 2016, maintaining a steady rate since 2007. Though cocaine-related overdose deaths showed a decrease from 2006 to 2012, there was an unfortunate resurgence in 2012. In 2017, cocaine was implicated in 34% of drug overdose deaths. Despite the opioid epidemic dominating discussions, cocaine-related deaths increased from 2016 to 2017 across demographics, indicating a pervasive issue.

Cocaine and the Brain

Cocaine, like all drugs, operates as a chemical affecting the brain. By elevating dopamine levels, cocaine disrupts the normal recycling of this neurotransmitter, leading to an accumulation in nerve cells. The brain adapts to this surge in dopamine, rewiring reward sensors in the mind and central nervous system, initiating the cycle of addiction and tolerance.

Short-term effects of cocaine include:

  • Improved mental alertness
  • Irritability
  • Negative effects on the nose (loss of smell, nosebleeds, frequent runny nose if snorted)
  • Bowel decay from reduced blood flow if consumed orally
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Nausea
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Restlessness


The most severe consequence of cocaine use is an overdose, which can be fatal. Unlike opioid overdoses, there is no specific medication to reverse a cocaine overdose. Medical professionals manage symptoms, aiming to restore blood flow to the heart, oxygen to the brain, and ensuring the patient’s safety during a seizure.

Cocaine and Addiction

Long-term and consistent use of cocaine can lead to addiction, amplified by the development of tolerance and escalating doses. Cocaine is highly addictive and poses lethal risks, particularly when combined with alcohol, increasing the likelihood of cardiac events. Treatment resources for those struggling with cocaine addiction are more accessible today, ranging from self-help materials to comprehensive inpatient programs that originated in the 1980s.

Cocaine and Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms may manifest within hours of the last dose or when an individual begins reducing their intake. Symptom intensity is influenced by factors such as frequency of use, method of consumption, physical fatigue, restlessness, nightmares, lack of energy, irritability, fatigue, trouble concentrating, changing moods, anxiety, and depression. Effective withdrawal management involves education, patient monitoring, and prevention of relapse.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Acknowledging the existence of addiction and seeking help represent the initial steps toward recovery. Inpatient programs, such as New Day Recovery, integrate detoxification and treatment, allowing staff to create personalized treatment plans. While medication-assisted treatment is not as common for cocaine as for opioids, behavioral interventions, such as contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy, play vital roles in preventing relapse. Therapeutic communities offer structured, long-term inpatient programs, and medical professionals tailor treatment plans to individual needs. Programs, like those at New Day Recovery, follow principles of effective rehab, combining the 12-step approach with evidence-based clinical therapies. After successful detox, therapy and counseling explore the root causes of addiction.

Getting Started

Treatment for cocaine addiction is readily available for individuals ready to embark on the journey of detoxification and rehabilitation. Leaving addiction untreated can exacerbate its impact, potentially leading to homelessness, the development of additional disorders, or even death. Seeking help not only facilitates individual recovery but also alleviates stress on family and friends. Overcoming addiction liberates individuals from cravings, allowing choices to be driven by moments of joy rather than the pursuit of the next hit. Contact New Day Recovery today to take the first step toward a life free from the shackles of cocaine addiction.