Everything you need to know about cocaine dependence and treatment options from Northlake.


Cocaine is a substance derived from the coca plant. Cocaine is often seen in a powdered form. Crack cocaine is another variant in the form of rock crystals. Crack cocaine is an even more addictive form of cocaine and is typically smoked rather than inhaled.

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that comes from the coca plant. Cocaine is often seen as a powdered form. Crack cocaine is another variant often seen as a form of rock like crystals.

Treatment options at Northlake include:

  • Medically Monitored Detox
  • Intensive Outpatient & Outpatient Treatment
  • Support Groups

Risks Associated with Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug and does so by causing changes in the brain. Reward mechanisms in the brain lose sensitivity while stress mechanisms in the brain become more sensitive. These changes in reward centers lead to dependence of cocaine. Long term cocaine use causes increased effects such as anxiety or can lead to convulsions. Tolerance is another side effect that increases the chance of overdose and death.

Common symptoms of cocaine abuse include:

  • aggression
  • bloating
  • congestion
  • damaged septum
  • fever
  • hallucinations
  • headaches
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • nosebleed
  • panic
  • paranoia
  • rapid breathing
  • runny nose
  • sore throat


Signs of cocaine overdose

Cocaine abuse can lead to overdose. Cocaine overdose can lead to heart attack or stroke and without medical intervention can cause death. If you suspect an overdose, immediately call 911.

Common signs of overdose include:

  • anxiety
  • arrhythmia
  • blurred vision
  • confusion
  • hallucinations
  • heart attack
  • increased heart rate
  • seizure
  • shakiness
  • stroke


Cocaine Withdrawal

Withdrawal can occur as early as 1 – 2 days and may persist for several weeks.

Common signs of withdrawal include:

  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • exhaustion
  • hunger
  • intense cravings
  • restlessness

Diagnosis and Treatment of Cocaine Dependence

Interventions in cocaine dependence can reduce negative consequences of cocaine use including physical, social, and financial costs.



Screening identifies the symptoms of cocaine abuse dependence. Often, there are co-occurring mental illnesses identified during screening which is important in effective treatment.


Assessment & Treatment

An individual first needs to get a comprehensive assessment that provides a full understanding of the severity of the cocaine dependence. If an individual goes through detox before treatment, this would be considered acute detox which can last up to several days, but it depends on the severity of cocaine use. Individuals with more mild cocaine dependence can benefit from counseling sessions that are both group sessions and individual sessions that provide important insights and coping methods in a setting such as intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment. This type of treatment is also paired with group sessions and individual sessions along with Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings for a support system.

Northlake offers the following types of treatments to help people suffering from cocaine abuse including:

  • Medically Monitored Detox
  • Intensive Outpatient & Outpatient Treatment
  • Support Groups


Contact The Ness Center at Northlake today to discuss how we can help you begin your recovery journey: