Treatment for cocaine dependence and addiction starts with detox where cravings and withdrawal symptoms can be managed, often with medications. Rehab follows detox, the highest level of which includes residential treatment programs and ongoing recovery support services.
Boca Recovery in New Jersey can provide the highest standard of care for cocaine detox and rehab.
An illegal stimulant drug that comes from the coca plant, cocaine, is extremely addictive. Cocaine can create an intense “high” and an equally significant “crash” after the drug wears off. It makes changes in the brain with each use that can lead to physical dependence, difficult withdrawal symptoms, and addiction.
Cocaine Use Statistics in New Jersey
The 2020 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports that about 2 percent of Americans, ages 12 and older, used cocaine in the past year. Statistics for past-year cocaine use in New Jersey for 2016 to 2017 are similar, with just under 2 percent of the population reporting cocaine use on average.
As an extremely addictive drug, cocaine made up around 5 percent of all substance abuse treatment admissions in New Jersey in 2019. In 2020, just under 5,000 people in New Jersey were admitted to a substance abuse treatment program with cocaine as their primary drug of abuse.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine comes in two main forms: a white powder that is snorted or mixed with water and injected, and a “rock” form, which is crack cocaine that is smoked in a small glass pipe.
Cocaine enters the bloodstream quickly and causes a burst of energy, euphoria, and excitement. It also wears off fairly quickly, causing a drop in energy levels and mood. Repeated use of cocaine can cause physical dependence and addiction.
Signs of cocaine addiction include the following:
- Unpredictable mood swings
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns and habits
- Spending a lot of time using, coming down, and recovering from cocaine
- Inability to stop cocaine use despite trying
- Consistently missing appointments, not completing tasks, or fulfilling obligations
- Drops in school or work performance and attendance
- Lack of interest or participation in things that were a priority before
- Changes in social circle and relationship difficulties
- Using cocaine in physically risky environments
- Keeping cocaine close by at all times
- Needing more cocaine to feel the effects (drug tolerance)
- Physical withdrawal symptoms that start when cocaine wears off (physical dependence)
- Continuing to use cocaine even when knowing it is causing physical, personal, and psychological harm
Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse
A cocaine “high” can last between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on how the drug is used, and it can cause a variety of effects both in the short and long term.
Almost immediately after taking it, cocaine can cause the following:
- Bursts of energy
- Mental alertness
- Extreme happiness
- Sensitivity to sound, touch, and sight
- Suppressed appetite
- Elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature
- Dilated pupils
- Muscle twitches and tremors
- Constricted blood vessels
Cocaine can also be deadly, leading to fatal overdose that can happen with only one use. An overdose occurs when the drug overwhelms the system. With cocaine, this can cause trouble breathing, hallucinations, high body temperature and blood pressure, extreme anxiety and agitation, irregular heart rhythm, seizures, heart attack, and stroke.
Cocaine abuse can also have a multitude of long-term effects on the brain and body, which are typically related to the method of abuse. The following side effects are possible:
- Frequent nose bleeds and runny nose, loss of smell, and issues swallowing from snorting cocaine
- Higher risk for respiratory issues, including infections like pneumonia, asthma, cough, and respiratory distress from smoking cocaine
- Scarring, collapsed veins, soft tissue and skin infections, and a higher risk for contracting infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis C, when injecting cocaine
- Severe bowel decay due to reduced blood flow from consuming cocaine by mouth
Cocaine can also lead to physical dependence with regular use. It can make changes in the brain that can lead to addiction.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
Cocaine can lead to an intense high, but also a significant low.
Cocaine floods your brain with dopamine, one of the neurotransmitters that makes you feel happy. With repeated use of cocaine, the reward pathways and pleasure center in your brain can be chemically altered, making it difficult to feel as happy or excited without cocaine.
This can cause dependence on the drug. If you stop using cocaine, you can experience difficult withdrawal symptoms, such as the following:
- Fatigue and low energy levels
- Sluggish thinking
- Insomnia and sleep difficulties
- Increased appetite
Withdrawal symptoms can be intense, and cocaine cravings can persist for years after stopping the drug, the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) warns.
What Does Cocaine Detox Entail?
Detox for cocaine is generally supportive, providing a safe, calm, and secure environment where the drug can fully process out of the body and withdrawal symptoms can be managed. The first goal of detox is generally medical stabilization, which can include using medications to lessen the impact of specific withdrawal symptoms.
Medical detox can provide around-the-clock supervision to prevent relapse as well as supportive care from trained professionals. Cocaine detox typically lasts between three and seven days. After detox, you are ready to enter a comprehensive rehab program.
Cocaine Rehab in New Jersey
There are several options for cocaine rehab in New Jersey, ranging from different levels of care to different types of treatment modalities. Differing levels of care are often provided in a kind of ladder based on your specific needs. You can move up and down the rungs as needed.
- The highest level of care is a residential, or inpatient, treatment program where you stay on site in a specialized addiction treatment center for several months. Residential treatment can offer the time and space to focus solely on recovery with group and individual therapy sessions, skills workshops, recreational opportunities, nutritional support, sober social activities, and peer support groups.
- The next steps down the ladder are a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) or an Intensive Outpatient Program (PHP). These programs provide several hours of structured programming a certain number of days per week; however, you will return home each night.
- An even more flexible program is outpatient rehab, which offers sessions and programs that can work around your current schedule. This level of treatment is often best for lower levels of cocaine dependence and addiction.
- After rehab, transitional living environments can provide a sober and semi-structured housing arrangement to support and sustain recovery before returning back home.
Treatment methods for cocaine addiction generally involve behavioral therapies, such as DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy). These behavioral approaches focus on mindfulness and learning how to control actions through a better understanding of thoughts and emotions. Group and individual therapy sessions can help people to recognize triggers and learn methods for coping with these in a positive way.
Cocaine addiction may also coincide with other mental health issues, which should be managed through dual diagnosis treatment. This care may include both medications and therapeutic interventions to manage both disorders at the same time.
About Boca Recovery’s Cocaine Detox and Rehab Program
The Boca Recovery Center in Galloway, New Jersey, is close to the picturesque Jersey Shore. It offers a standalone medical detoxification and residential addiction treatment program.
With 22 beds in a luxury environment, the Boca Recovery cocaine detox and rehab program offers the following:
- Medical detox
- Outpatient treatment
- Partial hospitalization
- Residential treatment
- Behavioral therapies
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Medical and medication support
- Recovery support services
Resources in New Jersey for Cocaine Addiction
- The State of New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services offers hotlines, a searchable directory, peer recovery support information, and resources on drug addiction treatment and services in New Jersey.
- NJ Connect is a free resource for treatment access and supportive counseling.
- Offering resources and educational information on drug addiction and prevention, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has a host of resources available.
- Peer support and 12-step programs in New Jersey include Narcotics Anonymous (NA). You can use the NJ Statewide Meeting Directory to find a meeting time and location near you.
- For AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) resources in New Jersey, use the AA Meeting Locator for details on local meetings, types, and peer support in your area.
Cocaine Laws in New Jersey
Cocaine is an illegal drug on the federal level. As a result, it is also illegal to possess within the state of New Jersey.
If you are found with any amount of cocaine on your person, you can face jail time. Possession of cocaine is a third-degree indictable offense.
If it is your first offense and you have no prior convictions, you may be able to avoid spending time in jail, as you may be eligible for a diversionary program, such as drug court.
The drug court program can include probation and a court-mandated treatment program along with routine drug tests and check-ins. When you graduate from one of these programs, your charges may be lowered or dropped altogether.
The penalty for cocaine possession goes up with the amount of cocaine that is discovered. The more you have on your person, especially if you are found with intent to distribute it, the more severe the prison sentence and the higher the potential monetary fines.
Cocaine Relapse: How to Prevent It
Cocaine is an extremely addictive narcotic, and addiction is a chronic and relapsing disease. Similar to other chronic diseases, the relapse rate for addiction is between 40 percent and 60 percent.
Since cocaine changes the way your brain processes happiness and pleasure, and alters the natural reward pathways, it can take some time to rebuild these circuits and restore the brain’s chemical balance without the drug. As such, it is important to have support after rehab, during ongoing recovery.
Relapse prevention starts in rehab with learning how to cope with stressors, regulate emotions, and deal with cravings. If you can understand what a trigger might be and how to react to it before it presents itself, via use of a healthy coping mechanism, you will be better prepared to avoid cocaine use.
Another important aspect is support during recovery, often through peer support groups. A support system, made up of other people who understand cocaine cravings and the specific challenges you are facing in recovery, can be vital to your sustained sobriety. Hearing from others who are further along in recovery can help to keep you motivated to remain abstinent and prevent relapse.
Surround yourself with people who support and encourage your recovery, and aim to minimize stressors and unhealthy relationships. When family members and friends are involved in your recovery process, it can help to foster a long-term recovery. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Types of Illicit Drug Use in Lifetime, Past Year, and Past Month: Among People Aged 12 and Older; Percentages, 2019 and 2020. (2020). National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
New Jersey Table 72. (2017). NSDUH New Jersey.
Substance Abuse Overview 2019 Statewide. (October 2020). State of New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Population Health. (August 2021). State of New Jersey Department of Health.
Cocaine DrugFacts. (April 2021). National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Cocaine. (September 2021). U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).
Hotlines/Helplines/Treatment Directories. State of New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
NJ Connect for Recovery. (2020). Mental Health Association in New Jersey.
Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.
New Jersey Statewide Meeting Directory. NJ Narcotics Anonymous.
Find AA Meetings Near New Jersey. AA Meeting Locator.
Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. (June 2020). National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).