Cocaine is a strong stimulant that impacts the lives of countless individuals, including adolescents or teens. Known for the intense high it causes, the drug is most commonly snorted in powder form. However, since the high is often brief, adolescents who abuse cocaine will often find themselves needing more and more of the drug to produce the desired effect.
As an adolescent’s cocaine use increases in quantity and/or frequency, they will be at risk for developing a substance use disorder, which is the clinical term for addiction. When a young person becomes addicted to cocaine, he or she will struggle with a number of mental and physical health complications that can dramatically impact their ability to lead a healthy and productive life.
As the health consequences and interpersonal damage caused by an adolescent’s cocaine abuse continue to mount, they might find themselves in a dangerous downward spiral that they are unable to manage. When this happens, the young person will likely require the support of a residential treatment program in order to overcome the compulsion to abuse cocaine and make the lifestyle changes that will support long-term recovery.
Residential treatment centers in Utah such as Youth Care offer a secure, comfortable environment to heal from cocaine abuse and to prepare for a healthier future. However, in order to fully engage in therapeutic programming, a young person must first stop abusing cocaine, which can trigger the onset of several distressing physical and psychological symptoms. This experience is known as cocaine withdrawal.
What Happens During Cocaine Withdrawal
When an adolescent becomes addicted to cocaine, their will adapt to the presence of this drug. When the young person then attempts to end their cocaine abuse, a variety of symptoms can quickly occur.
The nature and severity of cocaine withdrawal symptoms can vary from adolescent to adolescent based upon a variety of personal factors. However, the following are among the more common types of physical and psychological pain that can occur when an adolescent stops abusing cocaine after having become dependent upon this dangerous drug:
- Intense cravings for cocaine
- Physical aches and pains
Cocaine withdrawal is a temporary experience; however, the intensity of the symptoms can quickly overwhelm even the most fervent desire stop abusing cocaine. The shame and guilt that can result from failing to complete withdrawal can push an adolescent even deeper into the downward spiral of cocaine abuse, which can further endanger their health and complicate future attempts to achieve recovery.
For adolescents who are incapable of ceasing their cocaine abuse prior to entering residential treatment, a medically monitored program known as detoxification may be an optimal opportunity.
What Happens in a Detox Program
Detoxification, which is commonly referred to simply as detox, refers to the removal of harmful substances from a person’s system. In the case of cocaine addiction, an adolescent who enters detoxification may receive therapeutic and medical support to protect their health and ease the suffering that can be common during withdrawal.
Detox programs are typically staffed by mental health professionals and medical staff members who have specialized training in meeting the needs of individuals who have been struggling with various forms of substance use disorders, including cocaine addiction.
Depending upon the parameters of each program, a young person who receives detox services for cocaine addiction may work with doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, counselors, therapists, and other professionals. These professionals will monitor the adolescent’s physical and mental health, work to make sure that they are as comfortable as possible, and otherwise ensure that he or she is not in danger while successfully ridding their body of cocaine.
Following the successful completion of detox for cocaine addiction, the young person can then transition directly into residential care, where they will learn the skills of long-term recovery.
Long-Term Benefits of Detox for Cocaine Addiction
The immediate benefits of detox for cocaine addiction include safety, comfort, and an increased likelihood of completing the process and taking a significant step on the path toward long-term recovery. However, the benefits of detox do not end when an adolescent exits the program.
During detox, a young person may have the opportunity to participate in individual and/or family therapy, which can familiarize them with the activities that will be central to the residential treatment experience. This can improve their ability to reap maximum benefit from treatment.
Participating in detox and then transitioning directly into residential programming ensures continuity of care and protects the adolescent from risk of immediate relapse. Gaps in supervision and care that can occur if a young person tries to complete withdrawal on their own can undermine the individual before they have a chance to establish a firm foothold in early recovery.
During detox, an adolescent may have the opportunity to interact with others in the recovery community, including other young people who are in similar situations. This introduction to the recovery community can be a source of inspiration and support for years to come.
Finally, completing detox can be a rare moment of success after the despair of chronic cocaine abuse, and can be a psychological turning point in an adolescent’s life. Knowing that they are capable of achieving something as significant as completing detox can provide an adolescent with the sense of hope and confidence that will serve them well during and after residential treatment.
Learn More Today
If the young person in your life has been grappling with cocaine use disorder, we encourage you to explore the options for treatment at Youth Care. Contact us at your convenience to learn more about the treatment options that can prepare your child to live a healthier and more productive life, free from the chains of cocaine addiction.