Monthly Archives: January 2019


Cocaine and the Brain

Cocaine addiction is one of the deadliest substance use disorders in the U.S. today. Every year, there are 5,000 deaths and almost half a million hospitalizations due to the illegal drug. This powerful stimulant can easily result in a substance use disorder, along with various other physical and mental side effects. Using cocaine means that the user will build up a tolerance to it, requiring a higher and higher dose to feel the effects and develop a physical dependency. A cocaine detox and an addiction treatment program can help break the cycle caused by this dangerous substance. 

Effects of Cocaine on the Brain 

The ventral tegmental area of the brain is first affected by cocaine use. Nerve fibers in this area of the brain are flooded with high levels of dopamine. Protein transporters that usually recycle dopamine are put out of commission during a cocaine high, allowing dopamine to flood the synapses unhindered.

What results is a state of euphoria that, unfortunately, only lasts as long as the substance does. The comedown causes feelings of depression and the only solution is to use again, building up a tolerance to the drug. A coke comedown, scientifically, occurs when the dopamine lingering in your brain needs to be reabsorbed and recycled, which leaves a brain with no dopamine. This causes exhaustion, depression, mood swings, and other withdrawal symptoms.

The brain also develops neurotransmitters that inhibit effects of the drug, leading to a physical addiction. A qualified detox then addiction treatment is the only way to combat this vicious cycle. 

Dangers of Regular Cocaine Use 

Regular drug use can cause a multitude of unwanted physical and mental side effects. Damage to the linings of veins and arteries cause a higher risk of blood clots. Higher risk of blood clots also means a higher risk of stroke—a person is seven times more likely to have a stroke in the immediate 24 hours after using.

Bingeing on the cocaine can result in seizures and even a chronic seizure disorder. Long-term mental health effects also include psychosis, paranoia, auditory hallucinations, and persistent restlessness. Studies have also shown that the regular use of the drug can literally kill brain cells. Many areas of the brain show reduced levels of glucose metabolism due to regular use. This suggests that the neurons are beginning to underperform or even die.

Withdrawal symptoms include depression and fatigue, as well as a multitude of mental and emotional issues that require intensive treatment.

If you or a loved one are addicted to cocaine, it is important to get help immediately. The longer a person waits, the more addicted they become and the more dangerous the effects will be.

Call a Licensed Detox Technician

The first step is finding a licensed, qualified detox. Please call SoCal Detox, located in Orange County, California) today for a free consultation with an addiction specialist.

Call now: 888-590-0777.

What are Drug and Alcohol Withdrawals?

What Are Drug and Alcohol Withdrawals?

Many people have heard of withdrawals that occur during a drug or alcohol detox, but what are they and where do they come from?

Detoxification (detox for short) is the first step in addiction recovery. It is essentially a physical treatment that makes room for the demands of the psychological work that comes with the beginning stage of sobriety. Often the only thing a person can do while in the detox process is focus on getting through it physically and mentally. More extensive cognitive and behavioral therapies will come later, but at the initial stage, the work is very acute.

A common reason the detox process is so consuming for an individual is the presence of symptoms that come from drug or alcohol withdrawals.

What  Are Withdrawals?

When a person uses drugs or alcohol over an extended period of time, they are consistently introducing chemicals into their body. Often these chemicals exist already or the effects are handled by other natural biological processes. However, the human body is quite efficient. And in the case of drugs or alcohol, this is a problem.

When a person’s body gets its required chemicals from outside sources (in large quantities), their body will reduce its own natural production.

This means that the drugs or alcohol are replacing the natural process of supplying a body with the chemistry it needs to survive. It might sound like a nice thing, but it is not. It is what people refer to as “dependence.” This dependence becomes a prison with damaging effects that cross the spectrum of physical, behavioral, and psychological.

What Are Withdrawals? - 2

Cutting the Flow

Beyond that, if a person stops consuming a narcotic or alcohol those necessary chemicals are gone (like in the case of a detox). This is where withdrawal symptoms come in. When a person’s body is deprived of the substances it is dependent on, there are physical consequences.

So the physical detox process involves both ridding the body of the substances AND reorienting itself back to its natural state of self-regulation.

Every drug affects the body differently. The type of withdrawal symptoms a person experiences will depend on the type of drug, the quantity, and the amount of time they used. 


Typical physical withdrawal symptoms include headaches, chest pain, vomiting, nausea, racing heartbeat sweating, dizziness, difficulty breathing, skipped heartbeats, palpitations, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach aches, muscle tension, twitches, tremors, shakes, muscle aches, and more.

However, if the drug or alcohol use was over a long period of time with larger amounts, the symptoms can be more serious, such as seizures, strokes, heart attacks and hallucinations.

People may also experience mental withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety and depression are common mental symptoms for anyone going through the withdrawal process. People may also have problems falling and staying asleep. Additionally, it is common for people to experience cognitive problems such as poor memory and poor concentration. 

Is Detox Necessary?

People suffering from substance use disorders will require time to restore their body to its normal functioning. They will require rest, nutritional replacement, rehydration and more, and it’s not an overnight process. 

A professional detox means licensed technicians are on-hand monitoring the detox process. The priority for a detox staff is to ensure safety and comfort in this stressful time. Mitigating the physical side of the adverse effects of withdrawals is absolutely necessary so each individual can have the wherewithal to engage the psychological aspect of this stage of recovery.

At a licensed facility like SoCal Detox, you will also receive counseling, further testing, and preparation for the next step of recovery with our unique DCAP program. Detox and managing withdrawals can be a challenging process, but with professionals who help along the way and an environment that is comfortable and supportive, the chances of full success are much higher.

If you or your loved one are looking for a licensed, safe, and comfortable detox facility, call one of our addiction specialists today: 888-590-0777.

5 Levels of Care Addiction Treatment

What Are the Five Levels of Care in Addiction Treatment?

For anyone struggling with addiction and substance use disorder, life can be a difficult, confusing and even dangerous situation. So when an individual finally makes the vital, life-saving decision to find help, the information they are given should be as clear as possible. Unfortunately, the care offered can sometime still be confusing.

It takes time for a substance use disorder to develop. That is why it also takes time for a person to overcome an addiction. As well, there is no single path to take. But essential, there are five different levels of care designed to help people overcome an addiction. 

Drug or Alcohol Detox

When a person stops using heroin, alcohol, opioids, and many other drugs, they can experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, withdrawals can be managed without putting your life at risk. Medically-guided detox will help mitigate the symptoms. In this kind of detox, individuals receive medical consultations and have a professional clinician monitoring them constantly during the initial detox stages. Some aspects of addiction treatment are optional, however, detox is typically not one of them. If you are interested in learning more about alcohol detox, here is a great place to start. For drug detox, find out more here.

Inpatient Rehab 

Inpatient treatment is often referred to as residential treatment or rehab, for short. Many inpatient treatment facilities also offer medically-supervised detox. However, if the facility does not offer this, then you will have to complete detox before you go to the inpatient treatment center. At a detox only facility, you will often get guidance to what your next steps will be. They will also have relationships with multiple facilities and be able to help you find the best fit for your long-term treatment.

Studies have shown that inpatient rehab is extremely effective. You will stay at the facility during your entire treatment, which eliminates the possibility of finding and using any substances. You will also be able to go to individual therapy and group therapy and, depending on the location, make use of a variety of experiential and holistic treatment options. 

Partial Hospitalization 

Partial hospitalization is similar to inpatient treatment. However, you will have more freedom because you will be able to leave the facility. Many people choose partial hospitalization because they want to be able to keep up with their responsibilities with family or other realities. This is not the most ideal situation for many, but every person is different. And this option can be the right choice if your addiction counselor or psychologist believes it is a good fit.    

Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)

Many people get outpatient treatment after they have done inpatient rehab or partial hospitalization. If you go to outpatient treatment, then you will be able to get therapy and attend meetings with recovery groups. You will also be able to address the things that triggered substance abuse while you are in outpatient treatment. Like PHP, individuals in this level of care return home at the end of the day. However, IOP usually is not quite as time consuming as PHP.


Addiction can be overcome, and life will become happier and fuller. However, substance use disorder requires lifelong management. Because it is most intense during the beginning, aftercare is strongly recommended. All of the progress that you made while in treatment probably will not last unless it is enforced. Aftercare will help you avoid the toxic thoughts and behaviors that triggered your addiction. 

Studies have shown that people who return to their normal routine after they receive treatment for an addiction have a tendency to relapse within four weeks. There are a variety of aftercare programs available. You can attend 12-step meetings, support groups, faith-based counseling, specialized workshops and recreational activities. 

One of the many great things about aftercare is that you can stay in it as long as you need to. In fact, many people participate in aftercare several years after they have received treatment. Aftercare will help you stay on your sober journey for the rest of your life.

Detox Only Facility in Orange County, California

SoCal Detox specializes in the crucial first step of recovery: detox. However, our unique program also offers high levels of care in stabilization, assessment, and guidance. If you or your loved one is ready to start the conversation, or you simply have any questions, please call us today. Our addiction specialists are available for a free consultation and offer you the guidance you need: 888-590-0777.