Posts Tagged cocaine treatment
In previous posts, we shared with you the symptoms and effects of abusing amphetamines and cocaine. This time around, we will be sharing the treatments that are available to help abusers kick their habits.
An article on Testcountry shared information regarding the management of amphetamine dependency, as written by Malcolm Bruce, consultant psychiatrist in Addiction at the Community Drug Problem Service, at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Bruce shared that management protocols are classified as follows: assessment, management of dependence, and relapse.
The treatment of amphetamine addiction fundamentally starts with assessment. At this level, the objective is to identify the experimental or recreational users of the drug. Once the level of amphetamine use is determined, psychiatrists are able to dispense appropriate advice.
There are three factors that are considered in the management of amphetamine dependence: the drug, the environment of the patient, and the patient himself or herself. If, for instance, the patient is still unable to stop using amphetamines completely, then management of dependence can be geared towards reducing the harmful effects of using the drugs. Concurrent to these efforts, though, is providing education regarding the dangers associated with amphetamine use, and what options are available for overcoming the habit.
At the relapse stage, treatment consists of raising awareness about what causes relapse, development of skills to anticipate, avoid and cope with high-risk situations that may lead to relapse, and changing one’s lifestyle.
Treatment of cocaine addiction, on the other hand, focuses on reducing cravings and managing depression. Lois White, in the book Foundations of Nursing, wrote that cocaine users experience an intense craving for the drug, and is in denial regarding its being addictive. Some patients who need to be treated for cocaine dependency may require in-patient care, while others can receive out-patient treatment.
A study led by Chiang-shan Ray Li, MD, PhD, and published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, showed that methylphenidate, normally used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can also be used on patients being treated for cocaine dependency.
A feature on Medscape.com shares the results of the small functional magnetic resonance imaging (f-MRI) study. The results indicated that methylphenidate can improve the self-control of cocaine-dependent patents. Dr. Li, who is an associate professor of psychiatry and neurobiology at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, shared the following statement with Medscape Medical News: “Currently, there are no [US Food and Drug Administration] approved medications for cocaine dependence… This study may help establish the neurobiological basis of catecholaminergic agents in the treatment of some patients with [cocaine dependence].”
The study consisted of data provided by ten volunteers who are cocaine-dependent. The volunteers were enrolled in an in-patient treatment unit, and some were randomly selected to receive either methylphenidate or saline placebo intravenously on the first session. The next treatment is received in another session conducted after 48 hours. After an estimated 45 minutes following each treatment, the feature shared, “participants performed a computerized stop signal test while undergoing an f-MRI.”
The following were measured at particular points in time (30 minutes before injections for the baseline, 30 minutes after the injections, and during each f-MRI): craving, anxiety, euphoria, heart rate, and blood pressure. Monitoring was continued up to six hours after sessions.
Cocaine is one of the most potent drugs today. It is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that obstructs brain functions. As an effect, cocaine temporarily heightens euphoria that includes hyper-stimulation, lessens fatigue and affects the rational precision. Cocaine is taken in different ways including sniffing or snorting, inhalation, injection or smoking.
Dangers of Cocaine Use
Cocaine addicts undergo several side effects like agitation, nervousness and irritability. High doses or long standing use of cocaine often triggers paranoia among other psychological effects. Continued use of the drug produces a hostile paranoid behavior, which is a common factor leading to criminal tendencies. The external effects of cocaine use include dilated pupils, an increase in temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, and bloodshot eyes.
Detection of Cocaine Use
Cocaine is known to alter one’s personality and may drive a person to his extremes. It is important to watch out for the physical signs of cocaine abuse, such as an irritated nose, wounds in the arms, and sudden changes in personality among others since it may be difficult to spot drug paraphernalia or other evidences. A hair drug test can more accurately determine cocaine abuse. The user may not need to be in the laboratory. You may collect the samples and send them to a qualified laboratory.
Rehabilitation and Treatment of Cocaine Use
Treatment for cocaine use would vary on the extent of the addiction. A “crash” happens when an addict suddenly stops taking the drugs. A crash would cause extreme exhaustion, severe craving, irritability, agitation and dysphoria. Depression in a recovering patient usually worsens as the withdrawal reaches its peak. The person has a desire for sleep, and sleeps for an extended period of time. The person then undergoes a state called anhedonia, which may cause him to feel detached and find no pleasure from life. After about two weeks of stopping, the person usually returns to his usual self but will feel slight cravings for cocaine. This is why it is important to have a continued treatment even after withdrawal or rehabilitation.