About Cocaine

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Quick Facts

  • DRUG CLASSIFICATION: Schedule II drug (USA/Canada)
  • SLANG NAMES: Coke, Blow, Nose Candy.
  • COMMON IMMEDIATE EFFECTS AND RISKS: Euphoria, increased energy, mental alertness.
  • COMMON LONGER TERM EFFECTS AND RISKS: Highly addictive, heart disease, strokes.

Cocaine Addiction

When addicted to cocaine, it is easy to feel alone, isolated, misunderstood by those closest to you. Addiction can feel like a dark, lonely place. But, the truth of the matter is that you are not alone, that your loved ones are still there.

We can help you get back to them.

Sobriety Home’s Cocaine Addiction Treatment Program is structured to suit your individual case, ensuring lasting sobriety. Our team of specialists is dedicated to your recovery, available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week while you stay with us in our residential treatment center.

And when it’s time for you to leave, we will design an exit plan that includes aftercare so that you stay strong, supported, and sober.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment Program

Sobriety Home’s Cocaine Addiction Treatment Program starts from a holistic approach to addiction recovery, healing both mind, body, and spirit. Our Cocaine Addiction Treatment Program treats more than the physical addiction, healing the underlying issues at play.

Working Together for your Sobriety

We work together to design an addiction treatment program that works for you, creating a new life of happiness, success, and sobriety. Through our different therapies, you learn to take personal responsibility for your decisions, good and bad, and to recognize your triggers—recognizing situations where you are most likely to use again. You will also be taught useful skills to cope with these circumstances, avoid using, and using healthy coping mechanisms to life’s stresses.

A Holistic Approach to Cocaine Addiction Treatment

We believe in an all-encompassing approach to cocaine addiction treatment. We have many addiction treatment therapy options to choose from, both traditional and non. We want you to find what feels best for you so that you can take your addiction treatment program with you into the future.

As part of the Cocaine Addiction Treatment Program, you will be required to participate in individual cognitive therapy sessions. Here, partnered with one of our addiction specialists, you will modify your thought processes, identifying what is no longer serving you and actively changing. You will be left with reliable coping skills, more self-confidence, and trust in yourself.

Sobriety Home also has several non-traditional therapies available to you—from native healing circles, to laughter therapy, and creative art therapies. Through these classes, you will learn about yourself in new situations, how to interact with others sober, and how to have fun without cocaine.

As part of our holistic approach, we also recognize that abstinence is not the only model, and that other alternative treatments are effective for some. Our Cocaine Vaccine Treatment Program might be right for you.

Some Cocaine Science

Cocaine is a central-nervous-system stimulant that offers users a sense of euphoria and energy. It does, however, come with a terrible price of addictiveness and possibly future health risks that can affect the brain and one’s emotional state. The drug is primarily taken from the leaves of the coca plant which can be found in several South American countries. The drug can be chewed, snorted, injected into the blood stream and smoked via a pipe.

Cocaine is broken down by the blood and liver into a number of substances including: benzoylecgonine, ecgonine and methyl ester. A large portion of the drug is passed through the user’s system without changing much, and is expelled upon urination.

The affect of cocaine on the brain can be a damaging one as the drug affects certain brain chemicals known as serotonin and dopamine. Specifically it messes with the brain’s ability to renew it’s supply of the above mentioned chemicals. Some scientists have determined that cocaine releases dopamine in a manner similar to the ingestion of water, food and the act of sexual intercourse. Cocaine can have the effect of “tricking” the brain into remembering the feeling it had when affected by the cocaine, in a way that the brain deems the injection of the drug a good thing worth exploring. Of course overtime the brain requires more and more of the drug in order to satisfy the chemical’s presence and the reaction that follows.

Celebrities & Cocaine

It seems that it’s common ground for many celebrities these days to have some sort of addiction problem. Cocaine is indeed right up there on the podium for most wide spread use by celebrities including:

John Belushi: Known for a party game where one person pours a line of cocaine, one friend starts from the left, the other the right and they see who can snort the most as they both make their way to the middle of the line.

Whitney Houston: A famous and brilliant singer who met an early death in a hotel bathtub due to cocaine and related heart disease.

Ike Turner: The rock ‘n roll legend struggled with cocaine addiction for many years and was even sentenced to prison for drug related offences. He died from a cocaine overdoes in 2008.

Robert Downey Jr.: Arrested a number of times for drug possession, Downey Jr.’s cocaine problems have not exactly been kept secret in Hollywood. Since 2002 however, the famous actor has had an amazing come back to the big screen and seems to have kicked the habit.

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine Addiction

Sobriety.ca Foundation remains one of the best drug addiction treatment facilities in Canada. Located in idyllic Godmanchester County, we provide individuals struggling with substance use disorders a variety of evidence-based addiction services and addiction treatment options. At Sobriety.ca Foundation, individuals living with cocaine addiction have access to individualized cocaine recovery programs with a comprehensive rehabilitation plan. It is our goal to provide our patients with individualized evidence-based addiction treatments to move towards living a cocaine-free life. Patients at Sobriety.ca Foundation can look forward to the following:

  • Detoxification from cocaine
  • Cocaine treatment in a residential setting
  • Cocaine intervention
  • Rehabilitation from cocaine
  • SMART Recovery Meetings

Cocaine – What is it?

Cocaine (aka: coke) is an illicit drug that often comes in the form of a white powder. Originally, it was extracted from the coca plant and used for medicinal purposes. However, it became a popular substance among civilians towards the mid to late eighties. As it happens, the invention of “crack” cocaine is what introduced the drug to lower socioeconomic city areas. It has served as a cheap alternative to pure powder by cutting it with baking soda. This crystalizes the drug into a smokable form which produces more rapid effects. Conversely, coke in powder-form gained a reputation among rich and powerful individuals which perpetuated its use among upper-class individuals. In the powder form, it is insufflated (snorted). Overall, usage of this drug tends to be concentrated within certain demographics in Canada such as street-involved individuals or youth.

Cocaine Addiction – What does it look like?

This drug is an extremely addictive drug. Roughly 0.8% of Canadians over the age of 25 use cocaine. Moreover, usage is higher among youth ages 15 – 24 at 3.5%. In fact, it is the third most used substance in Canada. In Montréal, coke accounts for 60% of recreational drug use, 61% of drug use in street-involved adults and 50% of street-involved youth. Thus, cocaine accounts for a high proportion of drug use in Canada.

First-time coke users are at risk for addiction, especially with crack. Researchers credit the inhibition of dopamine reuptake by neurons as the cause for both the addictive and stimulating properties of the drug. In other words, coke blocks a neuron’s ability to recycle already released dopamine into the brain. The addiction is so powerful that animal studies have shown once rats and monkeys learn how to self-administer the drug, they will spend most of their time doing only this. As it happens, they will resist eating, sleeping, and other functions of survival to self-administer the drug for as long as possible.

Addiction cues have also been linked to compulsive coke-seeking behavior. In other words, when individuals who are addicted to cocaine encounter a cue associated with the drug (e.g., crack pipe, alcohol, familiar places, etc.), their heart rate will rapidly increase in conjunction with intense feelings of craving. This immediately drives the individual to seek out the drug.

Finally, the development of tolerance through prolonged use is another driver for addiction. When individuals consume cocaine on a daily basis, they build a significant tolerance for the drug. This subsequently requires consumption of larger doses to achieve the same effects or to dissipate symptoms of withdrawal.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine

  • Increased energy
  • Increased alertness
  • Euphoria
  • Increased body temperature
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stroke
  • Fainting
  • Overdose

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine

  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Tolerance
  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular complications
  • Kidney failure
  • Throat and lung damage
  • Headaches
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Problems with memory and attention

Intoxication and Overdose

Overdose is a serious concern in individuals with a coke addiction as it can happen unexpectedly and easily. Typically, initial signs of intoxication can include acute agitation, seizures, strokes, or overheating. These can be accompanied by psychosis, blood clots, or rhabdomyolysis. Organ failure and heart attacks are other serious consequences of an overdose. In addition, some individuals may experience failure or complications in the respiratory system. This is most common in individuals who smoke crake. A common consequence of chronic crack smoking is “crack lung”, which causes alveolar hemorrhaging (i.e. bleeding in the lungs). Furthermore, it can worsen already present asthma problems.


Blood and liver-borne enzymes break down cocaine into 12 different inactive metabolites. Of the 12, norcaine is the only active substance. As previously mentioned, coke prevents the proteins in the brain responsible for maintaining neurotransmitter concentrations from doing its job. Therefore, there are excess amounts of dopamine, serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine in specific brain areas when one consumes cocaine.

Dopamine is a major neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure. Normally, it is released by neurons and then taken back up into the neuron by transporter proteins. These proteins are not able to recycle dopamine when cocaine is in the brain, leading to an excess circulating dopamine. This occurs in nucleus accumbens of the brain which, in turn, produces the hallmark feelings of euphoria associated with this drug. However, the neurotransmitter eventually becomes depleted, leading to subsequent depression and symptoms of withdrawal when the drug leaves the system. This is part of the addiction process. These symptoms drive the urge to seek out the drug in addition to tolerance.

Cocaine Vaccine Information

Cocaine is quickly becoming one of the most popular drugs in North America. More than 2 million Americans and over 220,000 Canadians take some form of cocaine regularly. Most recently, it was found that approximately 90% of all bills in circulation in the US and about 85% of all Canadian bills had some trace amounts of cocaine.

With the ever-increasing pervasiveness of this highly addictive substance, come increasing rates of addiction. Cocaine addiction can be an extremely hard habit to kick. The path to sobriety can be long and hard. Even after months of living cocaine-free, a single relapse in a moment of weakness can cause the physical and psychological cravings to surge. One single slip, and your cocaine addiction can take over your life again.

Our Cocaine Addiction Treatment Program arms you with the coping skills needed to resist your triggers. However, we also recognize that abstinence is not the only effective treatment model and that, for some addicts, alternative medical treatments suit them best.

Cocaine Vaccine at Sobriety.ca Foundation

We read and study new addiction research constantly, considering new treatments we could integrate into our various addiction treatment programs. This very often includes investigations into various medical drug therapies to control craving and relapse at the physiological level.

From our perspective, we see that an addiction treatment program that combines individual psychotherapy and medical therapies appear to be most effective in ensuring long term sobriety. Recovery rates are twice as high for addicts participating in a psychotherapeutic-medical combined program. Participants, conversely, whose addiction treatment program consist of medical interventions alone, do only half as well.

We advocate that some form of psychotherapy be a corner stone of any addiction treatment program, as it is with all of our programs.

Science Behind The Cocaine Vaccine

Thomas Kosten, while at the Yale School of Medicine, conducted a trial of an experimental vaccine against cocaine. The vaccine was cleverly engineered to entice the immune system to produce antibodies against cocaine, effectively attacking the drug’s molecules in the body. Antibodies bind to the cocaine molecule, making it too large to pass through the blood-brain barrier. Cocaine is thus trapped by the immune system and excreted by the body without having any effect.

However, initial studies also found that immunization against cocaine is very difficult to maintain in practice. The human immune system has evolved to fight invaders, which enter the body in low numbers. We require only low levels of circulating antibodies. Cocaine, by comparison, enters the body in one big hit, overwhelming antibodies. In order to keep antibody levels high enough to cope with the flood of cocaine, booster shots have to be given every 2 to 3 weeks.