Since OARS was founded in 2015, we’ve mainly focused treating those with an Opioid Use Disorder. However, through our experience, we’ve learned that many of our patients develop co-dependence on other substance use disorders as well.
Did you know that according to the CDC, 15,883 people died from cocaine overdoses in 2019?
Made from the leaves of the coca plant that are native to South America, cocaine is a highly powerful, addictive stimulant drug. As a street drug, cocaine looks like a fine, white, crystal powder. It’s often mixed with cornstarch, talcum powder, flour, or, even more deadly, with amphetamine or fentanyl.
Cocaine, like methamphetamine, increases levels of dopamine in the brain. This excess of dopamine in the reward circuit of the brain strongly reinforces chemical dependency behaviors, because the brain eventually adapts to the excess of the dopamine. As a result, in order to consistently get the same high or more, one will take stronger, more frequent doses.
In the short term, use of cocaine has these health effects:
- Extreme happiness and energy
- Mental alertness
- Hypersensitivity to sight, sound, and touch
Dependent on the method use of cocaine, these are the long-term health effects:
- Snorting: nose bleeds, loss of smell, frequent runny nose, and problems with swallowing
- Smoking: asthma, cough, respiratory distress, and higher risk of infections, such as pneumonia,
- Consumption: severe bowel decay from reduced blood flow
- Needle injection: high risk of contracting HIV, Hep C, and other bloodborne diseases, skin or soft tissue infections, scarring, and collapsed veins
If you think your loved one has a dependency on cocaine, look for these signs:
- Dilated pupils
- Raised body temperature or blood pressure
- Tremors and muscle twitches
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Constricted blood vessels
Seek treatment immediately if you notice any of those signs.
As OARS continues to expand its treatment services, we’re pleased to announce that we’ll be working with those that have a chemical dependency to cocaine. Our treatment includes:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Partnering with residential-treatment communities
- Recovery groups
- The Matrix Model, which consists of behavioral therapy, family education, counseling, a 12-step component, drug testing, and promotion of non-drug-related activities
Currently, there are no government-approved medications to treat cocaine use. However, researchers are currently testing medications used to treat other substance use disorders. OARS prescribes medications off-label that have been found effective in treating cocaine use disorder.
If you have any questions about our treatment options or want to learn more about getting into treatment at OARS, call us at 724-912-6277. We’re here to answer any questions you have to get help for you or your loved ones.