What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a powerful drug that is derived from the coca plant in South America and stimulates the central nervous system. After it is processed, white cocaine powder is snorted or dissolved and injected intravenously by users. There is also another form of cocaine known as crack that is cheaper, stronger, and long-lasting than traditional cocaine. Users typically smoke crack.

Both cocaine and crack cocaine are illegal in the United States and classified as Schedule II controlled substances because of their high potential for abuse and addiction. Because of its highly addictive quality, users also often need formal cocaine addiction treatment to stop. Not only is cocaine dangerous because of the possibility of dependence, but it can have a negative impact on a person’s health and every year, there are several cocaine overdoses.

Signs of Abuse and Addiction

The first step to helping someone get cocaine addiction rehabilitation is being able to recognize when they are abusing or dependent on the drug.

While everyone is slightly different, some telltale signs someone is using cocaine may include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Runny nose
  • Drastic weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Being overly talkative
  • Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • White powder residue around the nose and mouth
  • Burn marks on the hands or lips
  • Deterioration in personal hygiene
  • Financial difficulties
  • Increased need for privacy
  • Spoons, razor blades, plastic baggies, and other drug paraphernalia in the person’s room or clothing pockets

If someone you care about is showing these signs of abuse, it is important to step in and try to get them into a cocaine rehab program. Not doing anything could lead to serious and dangerous consequences.

The Effects of Cocaine Use

Not only is cocaine addictive, but it is also dangerous for a person’s health with both long- and short-term effects.

While cocaine users continue to abuse the drug because of the almost immediate rush of euphoria it provides, this high is short-lived. After this initial euphoria, the effects of cocaine taper off rather quickly. The result is a “crash” that is marked by periods of depression, sleeping, and a general feeling of being down. This cocaine crash can be so intense that some users will take another hit of cocaine to avoid it. This type of cocaine abuse can lead to agitation, anxiety, paranoia, restlessness, and sometimes psychosis.

With repeated cocaine use, more serious health problems can arise. The brain stops naturally producing dopamine, a neurotransmitter related to the brain’s reward system, and the person may also become irritable or depressed as a result.1 The user will also need more and more of the drug in order to obtain the desired high. This is one of the major reasons why so many users need professional cocaine addiction treatment to quit using this drug.

Cocaine use can cause serious harm to various parts of the body as well. Snorting cocaine may damage the nose and throat. Smoking crack can lead to respiratory problems. Injecting cocaine can sometimes lead to serious complications. Cocaine may also lead to malnourishment, impaired cognition, and serious cardiovascular problems over time. Some people may also suffer from stroke or seizures as a result of prolonged cocaine use.

If you or someone you care about is abusing cocaine, our Massachusetts cocaine rehab center wants to help. The sooner you or your loved one gets treatment, the better chance you have of avoiding these health problems.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment in Massachusetts

At Vertava Health Massachusetts, we offer a variety of cocaine addiction treatment options to help people seeking sobriety find long-lasting recovery. Because everyone is different, we use individualized treatment plans and a variety of cocaine addiction treatment methods to help people find the best care for their needs.

Often the first step of cocaine recovery treatment is detoxing from the harmful substance. The length of time it takes to detox from cocaine may vary based on a number of factors such as the severity of the addiction, the user’s medical history, and the use of other substances.

Because a cocaine user will often abuse other drugs or alcohol, this polysubstance abuse may lead to complications during the cocaine detox process. In these instances, a medical detox may be the safest way to quit. This program involves supervision from trained staff members including medical personnel. The staff will also do what they can to mitigate withdrawal symptoms to make the cocaine detox process as safe and as comfortable as possible.  Because not everyone may need this, our team will help you determine if this is the right cocaine treatment for you.

Our Massachusetts cocaine addiction treatment center also offers residential drug treatment where patients live on-site and participate in a regular schedule of group and individual programs. Their individualized treatment plan will include both evidence-based treatment modalities as well as services designed to enhance the recovery experience. This program allows patients to focus on their recovery in a safe and relaxing environment, and our comprehensive approach to cocaine addiction treatment helps patients address the root causes of their condition as well as build a foundation for lasting recovery.

For those patients who may not need such a strict cocaine treatment program or are looking for continued support in their recovery journey, our intensive outpatient program in Pittsfield is a good option. This program allows patients to get support and care while having more freedom and flexibility in the treatment process.


At Vertava Health Massachusetts, we understand that recovery from cocaine addiction is trying, but we want to help. Our dedicated and compassionate staff are here to help people find the right treatment program for them so they can be well on their way to lasting recovery. Contact us today to learn more or to get started.