Woman learning how to quit cocaine safely

How to Quit Cocaine Safely

Cocaine addiction is characterized by compulsive behaviors, dangerous decisions, and an overall loss of control. The pain and isolation of this disorder can make it difficult to envision a more hopeful future, and they can cloud your ability to understand how to quit cocaine. Thankfully, when you get the professional help you need, you can end your abuse of this destructive substance and establish a foundation for successful lifelong recovery.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that is derived from the South American cocoa plant. The drug usually appears as a fine powder or small crystals (which are often referred to as rock or crack). 

As a powder, cocaine is typically abused by inhaling it through the nose. The powder may also be dissolved into a solution and injected. People who abuse rock or crack cocaine do so by heating it and inhaling the vapors or by mixing it with tobacco or marijuana and smoking it. 

No matter how a person abuses cocaine, doing so exposes them to considerable dangers, including addiction, overdose, and death. 

As a stimulant, cocaine triggers the release of dopamine, a naturally occurring brain chemical that is associated with pleasure, motivation, and reward. Someone who has just ingested cocaine may exhibit signs such as the following:

  • Enlarged (dilated) pupils
  • High body temperature
  • Racing heart rate
  • Elevated energy levels
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Diminished appetite
  • Enhanced sensitivity to light, sound, and touch

The effects of cocaine are intense but brief. In most cases, a person may begin to come down from a cocaine high within about 30 minutes of abusing the drug. The brevity of cocaine’s effects often prompt people to abuse the drug multiple times within a short period. This, of course, increases the risk of negative outcomes.

The following signs may indicate that a person’s cocaine abuse has turned into an addiction:

  • Prioritizing cocaine use over personal and professional responsibilities
  • Spending inordinate amounts of time seeking, acquiring, using, and recovering from cocaine
  • Lying to family and friends about their activities and whereabouts
  • Unintentional weight loss due to lack of appetite
  • Acting with uncharacteristic recklessness or violence
  • Finding it impossible to experience joy or pleasure
  • Exhibiting symptoms of psychosis or paranoia

Once a person has become addicted, they may need professional help to learn how to quit cocaine. 

How Hard is it to Quit Cocaine?

In addition to exhibiting the signs listed in the previous section, people who have become addicted to cocaine will also be affected by tolerance and withdrawal:

  • Tolerance means that the person will need to use larger amounts of cocaine to experience the effects they previously achieved with smaller doses. 
  • Withdrawal refers to the distress that the person will feel if they try to stop using cocaine, or if they are unable to acquire and use it. 

The combination of tolerance (needing more of the drug) and withdrawal (suffering if they can’t get the drug) can push a person into a downward spiral of worsening substance abuse. It can also make it extremely difficult for a person to stop using cocaine, especially if they try to do so on their own.

To understand how to quit cocaine, you need to be aware of how your body and mind may react when they are deprived of this drug. Common symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Powerful cravings for cocaine
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Depression
  • Disrupted sleep habits
  • Disturbing nightmares
  • Paranoia
  • Thoughts of suicide

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can begin to occur within a few hours after a person’s last dose. Symptoms typically achieve peak severity during the first week, though some symptoms can last for a month or longer. 

How to Quit Cocaine Safely?

Cocaine withdrawal doesn’t usually involve the intense physical pain that is characteristic of opioid withdrawal. But this doesn’t mean that it is easy to stop using the drug. If you want to know how to quit cocaine in the most effective manner, the answer is detoxification.

Detoxification (or detox) is a short-term treatment program that helps people rid their bodies of cocaine and other addictive substances safely and with minimized distress. For someone who has become addicted to cocaine, enrolling in a detox program offers benefits such as the following:

  • Knowing that you can ease your distress by using cocaine again can quickly undermine your efforts to finally stop abusing this drug. While you’re in detox, you will have no access to cocaine. This eliminates what could have been a significant threat to your success.
  • While you are in detox, you will be cared for by a team of addiction experts. These professionals are familiar with the onset, severity, and progression of cocaine withdrawal symptoms. They know how your body and mind will react, and they can provide both medical and therapeutic support as needed. 
  • Once you have completed detox, you can transfer directly into the next phase of your treatment. This allows you to build on the progress you made in detox without the risk of immediate relapse. 
  • During the post-detox parts of your treatment, you will learn how to handle stress, pressure, and other difficult situations without resorting to cocaine abuse. Therapy can also help you identify and address the concerns that may have contributed to your cocaine use in the first place. The skills you develop in treatment can serve you well in all parts of your life.

Join Our Cocaine Addiction Treatment Center in Southern California

If cocaine addiction has robbed you of the ability to live the life you deserve, the Sanctuary Treatment Center team is here to help. Our facility in Southern California offers a full continuum of customized services for adults who have become addicted to cocaine and other substances. Our treatment options include detoxification, inpatient rehab, and outpatient programming. We also provide detailed aftercare planning to prepare you for long-term success. Contact us today to learn more.

Man learning how to quit heroin in Los Angeles California

How to Quit Heroin Safely

There is no such thing as completely safe heroin use. But when you get effective treatment from a reputable provider, you can learn how to quit heroin safely. 

The more you know about heroin addiction, withdrawal, and treatment options, the better prepared you will be to find the type of care that’s best for you.

What is Heroin?

If you want to learn how to quit heroin safely, it can first be valuable to understand exactly what this drug is.

Heroin is an opioid. It is derived from the opium poppy plant. Other examples of natural and synthetic opioids include morphine, fentanyl, and many prescription painkillers.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has classified heroin as a Schedule I drug. This classification is reserved for substances that the U.S. government has determined have no legitimate medical use and a high danger of abuse. 

Heroin interacts with parts of the central nervous system that are associated with heart rate, respiration, and other automatic functions. People who abuse this drug typically do so by snorting, smoking, or injecting it. The potential negative effects of chronic heroin abuse include damage to the liver and kidneys, breathing difficulties, heart problems, sexual dysfunction, and an elevated risk of contracting hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and other bloodborne diseases.

Abusing heroin even once can lead to addiction, overdose, and death. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heroin abuse was a factor in nearly 143,000 overdose deaths in the United States between 1999 and 2020. 

How Hard is it to Quit Heroin?

It can be extremely difficult to quit heroin. This is especially true if you try to end your heroin use on your own, without any professional assistance.

When you become addicted to heroin or any other opioid, your body will begin to adapt to the presence of this substance in your system. This change can be problematic for many reasons, including: 

  • While you are still using heroin, this adaptation means that you will need to use larger or more potent doses to feel the effects that you are seeking. This is known as tolerance.
  • If you try to quit using heroin, your body will react with a variety of distressing physical and psychological symptoms. This is known as withdrawal.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can begin to occur within a few hours of your last dose of heroin. Most people who try to quit heroin on their own will develop the following physical symptoms:

  • Excessive perspiration
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Pain in muscles and bones
  • Tics, twitches, and spasms
  • Severe cramping
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Disrupted sleep

Heroin withdrawal can also include psychological symptoms such as:

  • Intense cravings for heroin
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Nightmares

The most intense physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal last about a week. Some of the psychological symptoms can endure for considerably longer.

Through the entire withdrawal process, you will know that you can make the symptoms disappear by using heroin again. When you try to quit heroin on your own, your access to the drug plus a lack of professional support can quickly push you back into the downward spiral of active addiction.

Thankfully, there is a better way to quit heroin.

How to Quit Heroin Safely

If you have been trying to determine how to quit heroin in the safest possible manner, the answer is detoxification. Commonly referred to as detox, detoxification is a short-term process that involves the guidance and supervision of a team of professionals. 

When you enter the detox program at Sanctuary Treatment Center, your care will begin with a thorough assessment. We want to be sure we understand the full scope of your needs, so that we can provide the focused services that will be most beneficial for you.

Depending on your specific needs and treatment goals, our detox professionals may provide both medical and therapeutic support:

  • Certain prescription medications can ease drug cravings and other common symptoms of heroin withdrawal. Some people receive this service only during detox, while others continue to take medication as they work to establish a solid foothold in early recovery. The medications that we prescribe at Sanctuary Treatment Center have been closely studied, and they have a documented history of safety and effectiveness.
  • The therapeutic component of treatment in our detox can help you manage any discomfort that is not alleviated via medication. Therapy can also help you begin to address the circumstances that led to your heroin abuse, with the goal of empowering you to make the behavior changes that will support your continued recovery. While medication can help with certain biological aspects of heroin addiction, therapy focuses on the psychological, emotional, and social facets of this disorder.

Once you have completed heroin detox at our center in Southern California, you can transfer directly into either inpatient rehab or outpatient programming. Our team will work with you and, if appropriate, your family, to determine which option is best for you.

Begin Heroin Rehab in Southern California

Sanctuary Treatment Center offers a full continuum of personalized services for adults whose lives have been disrupted by heroin addiction. Our programming includes detox, inpatient rehab, and outpatient treatment. At every level, you can expect to receive superior care provided by a team of dedicated professionals. When you are ready to free yourself from the chains of heroin addiction, the Sanctuary team is here for you. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

We Take Insurance!

Sanctuary Treatment Center accepts most private PPO insurance plans, as well as some private HMO plans. Through private insurance plans, individuals and families can access high quality addiction treatment services. If you have questions regarding insurances, please give us a call.

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