Whitney Houston. There really aren’t many people on the planet who do not know this name. She was a pop music icon in the 80s selling millions of records. She had fame, money, beauty and prestige. Yet she had a tiny secret. A secret that unfortunately was discovered in her system when she was found dead in a bath tub of water on February 11, 2012. Why would this woman with so much going for her risk everything for this little white powered substance?
Cocaine, Crack and Coca
Cocaine is a purified extract from the leaves of the Erythroxylum coca bush. This plant grows in the Andes region of South America. Different chemical processes produce the two main forms of cocaine:
- Powdered cocaine — known as “coke” or “blow” — dissolves in water. Users can snort or inject powdered cocaine.
- Crack cocaine — known as “crack” or “rock” — is made by a chemical process that leaves it in its “freebase” form, which can be smoked.
The Effects of Cocaine
Using cocaine results in an almost instant effect. Cocaine enters the bloodstream and travels quickly to the brain. The reality of cocaine hits after the high. Cocaine has powerfully negative effects on the heart, brain, and emotions. Despite the 80’s mantra of “just say no”, millions of teenagers still succumbed to the powerfully addictive nature of cocaine. This addiction wreaks havoc through their lives causing damage to virtually every aspect of the teenagers’ life. An adolescent who sometimes possess the narcissistic ideas that addiction could never happen to them realize that even occasional use can lead to addiction, or even sudden death.
The effect of cocaine is a short lived high in response to cocaine blocking the re-absorption of the neurotransmitters associated with pleasure (serotonin, noreoinephrine and dopamine). This blocking causes the brain to sustain the positive neurotransmitters in the brain for a longer period of time thus the euphoric feelings are sustained for a longer period. This feeling is very short lived. That is why continued use ensues at increasing levels. Moreover, continued use causes the brain to “communicate differently”. The brains’ natural ability to produce euphoric feelings has been impaired. Therefore withdrawal symptoms from cocaine produce both physiological and psychological effects including suicidal thoughts.
Help is Here
At Adolescent Growth our clinicians possess a wide array of experience treating and working with an adolescent abusing cocaine. We begin by conducting a thorough drug and alcohol assessment. This includes a medical examine and meeting with the psychiatrist. Most teenagers do not begin drug use with cocaine use; rather they matriculate up to cocaine use following possibly marijuana, alcohol, pills, etc. Often times cocaine may be the drug of choice however there may be other substances the teenager is abusing.
We can facilitate the entire process for teenagers in need of detoxification (or “detox”). We work closely with a certified hospital that specializes in adolescent detox. This process can last from 3 to 10 days depending on drug use pattern and quantity of drugs used.
Upon completion of detox, the client is transferred to our program for treatment. The staff utilizes an individualized approach for each family. We ascertain information from the client and the client’s family (i.e., the underlying issues surrounding the substance abuse). We also explore triggers to use and prior attempts at treatment.
Since we use a strengths based approach designed to equip and empower each adolescent, we immerse them in the 12 step program. As such, clients actively “work the steps” by acknowledging helplessness and embracing honesty and responsibility for past drug use.
A client is taught coping skills and how to enjoy life without being high. Activities such as daily exercise aid the client in “re-teaching” the brain how to produce the natural pleasurable endorphins that accompany exercise. Additional weekly activities such as horseback riding, hiking, visits to the museum, miniature golf, bowling, etc. further aid the client in re-discovering himself or herself. A teenager is given an opportunity to reestablish family bonds that may have been damaged because of lies and theft associated with supporting drug use.
For more information about any of the services we offer, please call for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day. Our kind admissions department staff is here to partner with you during this difficult time. And we are committed to helping you and your family. Call now 888.671.0290 option 1.