A person suffering from cocaine addiction encounters many dangers and can experience much physical damage. The dangers range from being arrested for possession of cocaine to hazardous behavior resulting from the paranoid or aggressive behavior that can accompany cocaine abuse. The physical dangers can range from damaged nasal passages resulting from snorting cocaine to cardiac arrest from the overstimulating effects of the drug. A person abusing cocaine can, because it is a strong stimulant, also experience increased body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate.
Cocaine addicts may think that they can't overdose like heroin or other opiates addicts can. There is a little bit of truth to this, since opiates are depressants and cocaine is a stimulant. A cocaine user will not suppress his or her respiration or heart rate to the point that death will result. But they can drive their body in the other direction. Using too much cocaine can result in palpitations and seizures. And since many cocaine users mix their drugs, this too increases the possibility of a dangerously adverse effect all the way up to and including death. Strokes, seizures, nausea, respiratory failure and heart attacks also accompany cocaine abuse.
A person abusing cocaine, especially in binges of heavy use, can suffer from an array of physical and mental problems. First, they may become tolerant to the drug, meaning that more and more of the drug will need to be taken to get the same pleasurable reaction. If they binge on cocaine, they are liable to become irritable, panicky, paranoid or may even experience a psychotic episode.
When a cocaine addict tries to take himself or herself off the drug, withdrawal symptoms will result. Because these are quite different from the symptoms of opiate or alcohol withdrawal, some people do not think cocaine is addictive. But it is quite addictive.
When a person withdraws from chronic, addictive cocaine use, normally the first thing that happens is that the person comes down off the stimulant with a crash. He will crave cocaine strongly and probably experience fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, paranoia and agitation. She may also experience an inability to feel pleasure due to the exhaustion of the normal hormonal functions of body and brain. These sensations can be stronger in cocaine withdrawal than in withdrawal from other drugs.
The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program can help the cocaine addict find lasting sobriety once again. In the withdrawal step that precedes the Narconon program, a cocaine addict will be supported by Narconon staff who provide nutrition that helps alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms.
Nutritional depletion can contribute to the restlessness, anxiety, fatigue and depression many people experience as they come off these drugs. While they remained under the influence of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine or alcohol, they did not perceive the problems, depletion and exhaustion that become all too obvious once the drug is withdrawn. Therefore, each person in the withdrawal phase that precedes the Narconon drug recovery program receives a steady supply of vitamins and minerals that help make withdrawal much more tolerable for most people.
Narconon staff also help the recovering cocaine addict with light objective exercises that help the recovering addict get oriented in his or her new, drug-free environment. Physical assists help relieve the nausea and other physical symptoms of cocaine withdrawal.
When the withdrawal phase is complete, the recovering cocaine addict can now begin to repair the damage done by addiction and build drug-free life skills. Carefully supervised, each person being rehabilitated from addiction will practice communication skills with another recovering person. The result is that each person improves his ability to see the real environment around him and use communication in his dealings with other people. As drug use and addiction is basically an escape from life and communication, this practice begins to repair the effect of the drugs that drove each person out of touch with the realities around them.
Following this communication skills practice is the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program, a step unique to Narconon centers around the world. In this phase, used of a low-heat sauna, moderate exercise and nutritional supplements enables the body to flush out old drug residues that lodge in the fatty tissues. Once these toxins are thoroughly flushed out, most recovering addicts say that their drug or alcohol cravings are greatly reduced if not gone.
In order to meet life's challenges with safe, drug-free decisions, each person must also learn how to face difficult situations and come up with the right answers. What should she do if she meets drug-using friends or her old drug dealer? Should she get back together with that old drug-using boyfriend? How can he solve a dilemma instead of hiding behind drug or alcohol abuse? And how can he learn strong moral values that act as a compass in day-to-day life? All of these questions are answered in the life skills portion of the Narconon drug rehabilitation program.
The result of the Narconon program is a person who can face life squarely, whose cravings are reduced or gone, and who knows how to manage life's challenges without resorting to drug or alcohol abuse. In fact, seven out of graduates from the Narconon program stay sober after they go home, a testimony to the effectiveness of this method of recovering from addiction.