Cocaine Addiction and Treatment

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Cocaine Addiction Overview 

Cocaine, a powerful, highly addictive stimulant made from the leaves of coca plants, floods the user’s brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls pleasure and reward. The resultant blast of short-term euphoria can overwhelm and ultimately rewrite a person’s neural pathways, which is what makes a cocaine addiction one of the most challenging to overcome.

Other dangerous stimulants such as methamphetamines might be mixed with cocaine, further complicating recovery. Drug dealers often add cornstarch or baby powder to cocaine’s fine, white powdery appearance, so the amount appears more significant to the user.  Cocaine may be swallowed, injected, or inhaled.

Street Nicknames for Cocaine



Signs of Cocaine Use

The obsession with using the drug almost exclusively controls a person who has a cocaine addiction, and they will do almost anything to get the drug. They will put themselves and those they love in harm’s way to achieve the cocaine high that is so alluring.

Because the grip of addiction is so robust, professional treatment is required. Headwaters is prepared to help individuals and their loved ones recover and regain the health of their bodies, minds, and spirit.


Physical symptoms include:

    • Trembling
    • Shaking
    • Dehydration
    • Weight loss
    • Sleep deprivation
    • Elevated temperature
    • Nosebleeds
    • Agitation
    • Hyperactivity
    • Cold-like symptoms
    • Muscle tics/spasms
    • Changes in focus

Psychological and behavioral symptoms include:

  • Social isolation
  • Concealing use
  • Impulsiveness
  • Aggression
  • Violence
  • Relationship problems
  • Risky sexual behaviors
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Disorganized thoughts
  • Paranoia

Treatment you can trust.


Headwaters is part of a comprehensive care model that offers over 40 years of experience treating people with addiction and mental health disorders. With the right help, we know that people with mental health illnesses can and do recover.

The Headwaters Approach

At Headwaters, we treat physical and behavioral, and spiritual issues that arise from cocaine use disorders. Our experts are skilled at treating people with cocaine addiction. Our high net-worth, executive-level clients tend to battle cocaine use frequently. When seeking our residential treatment, cocaine addiction is a common struggle.

Our multidisciplinary team includes physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed therapists, and 12-Step immersion staff. There is never a singular cause of addiction. Together, we address every aspect of wellness so our clients and their families can heal.

Risk Factors for Cocaine Addiction

Individuals with first-degree relatives who have experienced the disease of addiction face an elevated risk of developing a substance use disorder sometime during their lifetime. Also, the earlier in life a person experiments with or misuses alcohol, illegal, or prescription drugs, the greater chance they will suffer from substance use disorders as adults.

Stress-filled occurrences such as a trauma or a death in the family can trigger substance use once again in adults and lead to addiction. Many of our Headwaters clients often report taking a mix of several drugs concurrently upon entering treatment.

Other risk factors for cocaine use are seen in people who lack dopamine or dopamine pathways. These individuals may seek out pleasurable activities – such as cocaine use – to correct their neurological imbalance. Individuals who struggle with co-occurring mental illnesses may turn to cocaine to alleviate their symptoms.

Co-occurring conditions include:

  • Alcoholism
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depressive disorder
  • Schizophrenia

In addition, individuals who use cocaine also may misuse opioids, benzodiazepines, and methamphetamines.

Cocaine Addiction Medical Detox

Stopping cocaine is highly difficult as the brain has grown accustomed to a continual flood of dopamine. When struggling to overcome cocaine addiction, it is highly beneficial to undergo detox and treatment by trained medical professionals.

A person addicted to cocaine will take the stimulant repeatedly or binge during a concentrated period lasting for hours or even days. Following the binge, there may be a crash characterized by extreme fatigue and negative emotions. When the obsession with using returns, the person becomes preoccupied with using the substance again, often convinced they could manage their drug use. This deadly cycle of addiction feels impossible to break, and professional help is needed.

Because cocaine withdrawal symptoms can prompt further use, residential treatment with state-of-the-art detox can provide a safe setting that protects individuals as they move through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Suicide
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Depression
  • Reduced energy
  • Increased sleeping
  • Tremors
  • Achy muscles
  • Elevated appetite
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Unpleasant dreams
  • Nightmares
  • Nerve pain

Headwaters Center for Brain Recovery

Cocaine increases levels of the natural chemical messenger dopamine. This strongly reinforces drug-taking behaviors because the surge of dopamine causes the user to become less sensitive to it. As a result, people take more potent and more frequent doses to feel the same high.

For this reason, we founded Headwaters Center for Brain Recovery (CBR) to ensure we remain on the leading edge of mind-body research. Headwaters uses principles from the growing and interrelated disciplines of health psychology and psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), focusing on the many ways that mental and physical health interact.

Led by a licensed psychologist, the Headwaters CBR team offers advanced testing and clinical interventions and therapies. We use neurofeedback, biofeedback, neurotherapy, and mindfulness training to help health the brain on a cellular level. Clients with a cocaine addiction need brain retraining to learn how to experience pleasure without a flood of dopamine.

People Can and Do Recover


At Headwaters, we know that mental health disorders and substance use disorders impact one another and must be treated together. Mental, physical, psychological, and spiritual wellness is central to recovery. Research-based therapies and treatment interventions are effective in treating individuals living with co-occurring diagnoses.

The key is receiving personalized, intensive, and integrated treatment. When long-term support and therapeutic interventions are applied to addiction and mental health illnesses, people can recover.


Contact Headwaters

Headwaters treatment programs provide an approach that enacts real, lasting change for our clients. We can help you or your loved one lead a healthier, more confident, and purposeful life. Today is the day you break the cycle of addiction for good.

Relief begins today. Contact an Admissions Specialist at 561.270.1753 to get started.
Address: 933 45th Street,
West Palm Beach, FL 33407

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