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Yes. Our interventionists work to break down the barriers standing in the way of seeking drug and alcohol treatment while creating a safe environment for your loved one. They serve as your family’s advocate, providing support and helping you get a desirable outcome, and help build and empower your support team to deliver a clear-cut plan for help. 

An intervention allows loved ones to share why they believe someone in their life requires treatment. The goals of an intervention are for the individual to conclude that they have a substance use disorder and need help and enter treatment at the appropriate level of care.

An interventionist is an expert who guides families through the intervention process if you have a loved one struggling with addiction. The interventionist helps you communicate your concerns to the individual in a way that is effective and compassionate. They also assist in the planning and execution of the intervention, as well as provide ongoing support throughout the treatment process. 

Your intervention team should be comprised of people who are influential in the individual’s life, such as those who the individual will listen to, those they trust, and those who can have a profound effect on them. The ideal team is typically about 6–10 people. 

Our intervention services historically have a 90% success rate of getting people into treatment. 


We are available to admit patients 24/7, 365 days a year.  

Treatment will provide you with the best tools and skills for successful chronic disease management. You’ll work with your treatment team to develop a comprehensive plan, which will include an initial commitment to treatment.

Often, this recommendation is between 20 and 35 days of inpatient care and then transition through the full continuum of outpatient care, including PHP and IOP.

The length of a stay is specific to the individual and is based on the severity of the condition and the progress you make. A thorough assessment based on medical necessity and clinical criteria as well as progress in treatment will help to determine length.

Phase 1 of treatment is detox/withdrawal management, which typically lasts between 5-7 days, although there is no definite timeline. Your medical team will decide how long the taper and detox plan is. Upon completion of detox/withdrawal management, you will progress into phase 2, which is residential treatment. Typically, patients are in inpatient treatment between 20-35 days to ensure stabilization and a solid foundation of education, skills, and a comprehensive continued care plan is in place to ensure they are prepared to continue your treatment outside of the facility within the community.

During your stay, we will work with you on developing a continued care plan, which will include phase 3 of treatment, which is outpatient treatment such as PHP and IOP, living arrangements (if needed), and alumni organization involvement.


We want you to focus on one thing during your time with us: your recovery. For your first five days in treatment, you will not be able to make outbound phone calls as you are getting acclimated to treatment.

Staff will contact your family should you provide consent during this time to let them know you are safe and provide information on family visitation. There may be exceptions to this based on extenuating circumstances, in which you can make a phone call with a staff member nearby.

After this five-day centering period, you can make limited phone calls to your family and other sober supports.

No. Phones are available for use; please work with your care team on the site. Exceptions can be made for those who are in WorkFlex, which is our program enabling patients to continue fulfilling employment or education responsibilities while in an inpatient rehab facility. 

Generally, we recommend bringing comfortable clothing and shoes, toiletries, a form of identification and insurance information, and any necessary medications. Enough clothing for 5 days is suitable as you will have access to laundry facilities during your stay. 

If you use any nicotine or tobacco products, please ensure they are sealed and unopened. Please bring enough with you to last your entire stay, as we are unable to provide any for you. 

Please leave any valuables at home, as you will not need them during your stay. Reviewing the packing list and packing accordingly will ensure that your stay is as comfortable as possible. 

Laptops are sometimes permitted on-site based on the patient’s need and at the discretion of the facility.

We believe transportation should never be a barrier for individuals seeking addiction treatment. If you cannot get to treatment on your own, we will provide you with secure and comfortable transportation to a Recovery Centers of America addiction treatment center.

Your focus during treatment should be on getting well. You will have a financial counselor and a case manager to help you navigate the logistics so you can concentrate on your recovery.

We have three distinct Pathways to Recovery, each designed to support patients at different stages of their recovery journey. Our Foundations of Recovery Pathway is designed for first-time patients.

Learn more about our Pathways to Recovery from the resource below:

Pathways to Recovery: Our 3 Pathways to Treatment

We have three distinct Pathways to Recovery, each designed to support patients at different stages of their recovery journey. Our Fresh Start Pathway is for those who have been in treatment before and may have experienced a relapse. 

Learn more about our Pathways to Recovery from the resource below:  

Pathways to Recovery: Our 3 Pathways to Treatment 

We have three distinct Pathways to Recovery, each designed to support patients at different stages of their recovery journey. Our Balance Pathway caters to individuals with co-occurring mental health or medical conditions. 

Learn more about our Pathways to Recovery from the resource below:  

Pathways to Recovery: Our 3 Pathways to Treatment 

Your focus during treatment should be on getting well. For legal, financial, and employment-related matters, you will have both a financial counselor and a case manager to help you navigate the logistics so you can concentrate on your recovery.


Medical detox is recommended for individuals who are addicted to alcohol, benzodiazepines, opiates (including prescription painkillers), and barbiturates. It is also essential for pregnant women who are dependent on any of these substances, as well as those with severe alcohol use disorder or poly-drug dependence.

Detox can last up to 5-7 days, though there is no definite timeline. Your medical team will decide how long the taper and detox plan is based on your individual needs.

Inpatient Treatment

Yes, we highly recommend attending all scheduled programming to get the most out of your treatment and increase your chances of long-term recovery. However, if there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from attending a session, please speak with your therapist or treatment team to make alternative arrangements.

Yes, please work with your care team if a delivery is required. However, we do stress to bring all your personal items with you upon arrival. Please only have needed personal items shipped to the facility with approval from your treatment team.

The availability of private rooms varies depending on occupancy, staffing, and clinical recommendations. When available, a private room incurs additional charges.

Yes. If you use any nicotine or tobacco products, please ensure they are sealed and unopened. Please bring enough with you to last your entire stay, as we are unable to provide any for you.

Outpatient Treatment

We offer a partial hospitalization program (PHP), also known as partial care in some states, and an intensive outpatient program (IOP). Both programs provide structured treatment sessions, individual therapy, medication management, and other supports specific to your needs. Our PHP offers more treatment hours than our IOP and is ideal for individuals who need a high level of care but do not require medical detox or residential treatment. Many people stepping down from inpatient care find that PHP provides the structure they need to begin the transition back to their lives outside the facility. Our IOP is designed for those who have completed inpatient or PHP treatment or who require less intensive support.

Learn more about our outpatient programs from the resources below:

What Is PHP and Can It Help Me?

5 Benefits of Outpatient: Real Examples of Flexibility and Community

The amount of time you dedicate to outpatient treatment will depend on your individual needs, progress, and recovery goals. Our PHP, also known as partial care and extended day in some states, typically requires a commitment of 20-30hours per week for 2-4 weeks, while our IOP program may require 9-15 hours per week for 4-8 weeks.Programs are available in-person and virtually, and IOP is offered days and evenings to appeal to those needing flexibility. 

Virtual Outpatient Options

We encourage PHP to be in-person or hybrid. IOP is in-person, virtual, or hybrid. 

Yes—care may be available in-person, online via HIPAA-compliant web and video conferencing, or through a combination of both. If distance to our sites, health concerns, transportation challenges, or other personal responsibilities are holding you back, RCA’s telehealth treatment can be the solution. All you need is a smartphone, tablet, computer, or laptop to get started.

Learn more about our virtual treatment programs from the resource below:

Can I Get Help for Alcohol Addiction Online?

Alumni Association

If you are in need of support, please reach out! You can email [email protected], call 1-800-RECOVERY, or touch base with your Alumni Coordinator. We are here to support you as you learn how to live your new life in recovery.

To help you get the most out of the Alumni Association and ensure the community remains safe and supportive of all, RCA has put together our RCA Alumni Association Code of Conduct.

Before leaving RCA, if you choose to receive information from the Alumni Association, you will automatically receive it by email or text. If you are not receiving our communications, please fill out our Alumni Association form. You can also see what’s happening on the alumni meetings and events pages.


Our guide to what patients need to bring (and leave at home) can help you prepare for your loved one’s stay at RCA. Generally, we recommend bringing comfortable clothing and shoes, toiletries, a form of identification and insurance information, and any necessary medications.

Your loved one will go through a five-day centering period during which they will not be able to make outbound phone calls. Staff will contact you should your loved one provide consent to let you know they are safe and provide information on family visitation. During this time, they will also undergo a thorough assessment based on medical necessity and clinical criteria to determine their custom-tailored treatment plan. 

If your loved one provides consent to speak with you, our Admissions Team will ask for information on their history and background to assist in creating a personalized treatment plan. Within 24 hours of admission, you can also share any concerns or input with the patient’s primary therapist. If, for any reason, they have not given consent for us to release information to you, while we cannot disclose any details to you because of this, you can still share information with us about your loved one. We know that having a friend or family member in treatment can be scary, but we are here to help them and you.  

At RCA, we understand that SUD affects the family and that family can play an important role in a patient’s recovery journey. That’s why we offer resources to educate and engage family. If your loved one consents, you can expect weekly contact to provide updates on progress and continued care planning. 

Additionally, there are resources through our Family page that can help you find support, learn more about addiction, and discover how to best support your loved one. 

Varies by site and your treatment plan.


  • Visitation is allowed after the detox/centering period is over.  Patients must attend all groups and get their sheets stamped by the group facilitator.
  • Children under 18 are not allowed to visit in the cafeteria with the rest of the visitors but at times, if a therapist is available, they can meet with patients at a different time in a room in the lobby, usually for an hour. The therapist schedules these on an individual basis.
  • Both Saturday and Sunday visitation.


  • Every Saturday afternoon from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.
  • All visitors must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Each family is allowed 3 guests only.
  • Wednesday night family night.

Capital Region

  • Visitation is held virtually Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Approved visitors (by the therapist) will be emailed a Zoom link to the virtual visitation session a day prior to the scheduled virtual visit.
  • In-person visitation is held on Sundays and must be approved by the therapist after the loved one has been in treatment for at least 14 days.
  • Virtual visitation will occur on Saturday 12pm – 3pm in the gymnasium.
  • Signup sheet will be available at the front desk for signups to occur throughout the week.
  • Visitation will be monitored by lead RSS or whomever RSS lead assigns.

Bracebridge Hall

  • In person visitation offered in a limited capacity Wednesday evenings from 6pm – 8pm.
  • Only 8 patients per week. Max of 3 visitors per patient, including children.
  • Patients in centering period are ineligible for visitation.
  • 1 on-site visitation per treatment episode only after family session with therapist.
  • Patients will receive a Notification of Visitation flyer before visitation.
  • Facetime visitation.
  • If you wish to visit your loved one, you will need to send an email to request a scheduled visitation to [email protected]. Include in the email:
    • Name of the patient
    • Family members are allowed to bring certain items, food gifts are not allowed.
    • Community Meetings are held on Thursdays from 6pm – 8pm at the wellness center. This is an open meeting for anyone in the community.
    • Visitation lists are generated weekly.
    • Visitation availability opens Mondays at 8am.
    • Patients are permitted one visit per week.


  • Visitation in-person from 1pm – 2pm.
  • Orientation from 2pm – 3pm family visits are available every Sunday for the patients and families, at the direction of the therapist.

Raritan Bay

  • Offers visitation in-person and virtually.
  • There are 30-minute sessions available weekly for the patients and families to sign-up after the centering period.
  • Visitation policy is not to be confused with in-person family therapy sessions which are held in person.


  • For the patient to be approved for visitation they must be compliant with treatment, including group attendance and outside of the centering period.
  • Visitation is on Sundays: patients must have therapist approval for visitation after the 5-day centering period.
  • Only 4 visitors are allowed. Visitors will receive a call from the clinical coordinator prior to visitation if approved.
  • Visitors should be at least 14 years of age.
  • Virtual calls are available MWF and can accommodate younger ages.

St. Charles

  • Virtual visitation and in-person family sessions.
  • No in-person visits.


  • Family sessions only.
  • Families can contact the primary therapist for family sessions.
  • Newly admitted patients undergo a 5-day centering time.  This period means that patients will not be able to have any interaction with outside contacts, including family.
  • If a patient has signed releases, supporters may have contact with the therapy team.


  • Visitation is virtual and live.  Contact the patient’s primary therapist to schedule.
  • All drop-offs must be approved prior to drop-off by clinical team.
  • Patients in residential treatment have visitation every other Saturday.


  • Saturday and Sunday from 10:45am – 11:45am.
  • 2 guests only, children are allowed. Children under four will not be included in the guest total, as long as they are a lap child.
  • Extended visitations are available during holidays.
  • First-time visitors should arrive 15 minutes early to complete orientations.

Paying for Treatment

Recovery Centers of America does offer scholarships based on need and availability at any given time.

RCA is in-network with most major insurance plans because we believe addiction treatment should be accessible to everyone. If you do not have health insurance, we will work with you to find the best financial solution. Our Admissions Team can help verify your insurance coverage and explore alternative payment options if needed. 


What addictions do you treat?

We provide treatment for all substance use disorders, including but not limited to addictions to the following substances:

Adderall is a commonly abused prescription stimulant used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It’s similar to other amphetamines and can cause a wide range of physical and psychological effects, including increased energy, focus, and feelings of euphoria. Over time, Adderall abuse can lead to addiction.  

The physical and mental effects of alcohol addiction can impact every part of your life. Alcohol use disorder is one of the most common substance use disorders, but there is hope for recovery. 

Learn more about alcohol addiction 

Ambien is a prescription sedative used to treat insomnia. It can cause feelings of relaxation and drowsiness, making it highly addictive if misused for its calming effects. Prolonged use or abuse of Ambien can lead to physical dependence and addiction.

Benzodiazepines are prescription medications commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. While effective when used short-term and as prescribed, benzodiazepines can be highly addictive. Misuse can lead to dependency, withdrawal symptoms, and overdose.

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant. It produces intense feelings of euphoria and increased energy but is highly addictive and can have severe physical and psychological consequences, including heart attack, stroke, and psychiatric disorders.

What is cocaine?

Cocaine is a strong neuro-stimulant drug that usually comes in the form of a white powder. People primarily use cocaine intranasally, intravenously, or by smoking it for recreational purposes. Cocaine is also (although rarely) used by healthcare professionals as an anesthetic to temporarily numb mucus membranes such as the lining of the mouth, nose, and throat before some medical procedures. When used illegally, users generally inhale cocaine nasally (snorting), smoke cocaine by purchasing it in the smokable form (crack cocaine), by dissolving it in water and other chemicals to create “freebase,” or to be injected directly into the bloodstream after dissolving it in water. Recreational cocaine affects its user’s perception of reality and invokes feelings of intense alertness, well-being, and euphoria. In the street, it is known by names such as blow, coke, powder, white, girl, snow, or “Yeyo”, which is also the nickname of two prominent Mexican drug lords. Cocaine can cause intense craving after the initial dose begins to wear off and users usually take frequent doses to maintain their high, often resulting in binges or “all-nighters.” Cocaine used to be referred to as the “rich man’s drug” due to the prevalence of its use in the middle to upper-middle-class communities, a stereotype that has been perpetuated in movies and television; however, the price of cocaine has fallen drastically since its heyday in the 1980s, leading people across all income levels to afford its use.

What type of drug is cocaine?

Cocaine works primarily on the dopaminergic system in the brain, but also acts as a serotonin–noradrenaline–dopamine reuptake inhibitor (SNDRI). It is a very powerful nervous system stimulant. Like all SNDRIs, cocaine inhibits the brains ability to “reuptake” or reabsorb excess “feel good” brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, as well as noradrenaline (very similar to adrenaline) from the brain’s synapses, thus leading to their increased effect on the user. An excess of serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine in the brain will create an extremely powerful stimulant effect as well as intense euphoria.

Serotonin is most known for its roles in mood modulation and feelings of well-being; however it does a lot more than that. Serotonin also affects reward systems, mental functioning such as learning and memory, as well as many body functions like vasoconstriction.

Dopamine is a key brain chemical (neurotransmitter) in reward-motivated behavior. Dopamine signals to the brain that something is desirable, which then creates a strong influence or compulsion toward that action or outcome. Large releases of dopamine is what makes cocaine feel rewarding and promotes its compulsive use.

Noradrenaline acts much like adrenaline and mobilizes the brain and body for action. When released in the brain due to cocaine use, it increases arousal, alertness and attentiveness, and improves memory functions, as well as increases feelings of restlessness and anxiety.

These three brain chemicals make cocaine a very powerful stimulant. Stimulants act directly on the central nervous system and typically lead to increased energy levels, attentiveness, alertness, wakefulness, physical endurance, productivity and motivation, as well as a diminished need for eating and sleeping. It also produces physical changes such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, and arousal.

What is the difference between crack and cocaine?

Crack cocaine is an inexpensive form of smokable cocaine sold on the street. It has a more intense high compared to snorting cocaine. Crack is easy to identify due to its solid, soap-like chunks the size of pencil erasers. The name “crack” arose from the crackling sound the drug makes when it’s heated to create the smoke. Cocaine, on the other hand, comes in the form of mostly white, pearly powder and unlike cocaine, crack is not soluble in water.

Crack is typically created in home kitchens by “cooking” cocaine with various ingredients typically found in the home. By processing powder cocaine with these ingredients, small “rocks” of crack resembling chunks of soap or candle wax are produced. These “rocks” are then smoked in glass pipes which are usually purchased at “head shops” or can be home-made from various common materials.

Crack cocaine’s route of administration increases the speed and amount of the drug that enters the bloodstream, causing a much more potent and intense form of cocaine high. Specifically, compared to snorted cocaine, smoking crack allows far more cocaine to reach the brain far faster. This results in a shorter but much stronger high that causes more intense cravings and a stronger subsequent addiction.

What is cocaine cut with?

Cocaine sold in the street is often mixed with any number of “cuts” to dilute and make more of it, usually for financial reasons. Some of the most common cocaine cuts include: local anesthetics such as benzocaine, lidocaine and procaine; synergistic stimulants such as caffeine, ephedrine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and many more inert ingredients or mundane cuts such as cornstarch, sugars, creatine, inositol, baking soda, acetaminophen, aspirin, glucose and lactose. Certain non-stimulant pharmaceuticals are also used as cut to increase the potency of cocaine. Unfortunately, a new development secondary to the opioid epidemic is cutting cocaine with highly dangerous synthetic opioid cuts such as fentanyl and carfentanyl. Synthetic opioid cuts are the most dangerous of all as they carry the possibility of a lethal overdose in an opioid naïve cocaine user.

How is cocaine made? What is cocaine made of? What plant does cocaine come from?

Cocaine is made using a chemical refining process from the leaves of the coca plant, which is typically found and cultivated in the mountainous regions of South America, most commonly in countries of Columbia, Peru, and Bolivia. The coca plant has been used for over a thousand years by the indigenous people of South America, who chewed the plant for its mild stimulant effects. When the cocaine in the plant is isolated and processed, its potency increases dramatically.

Making cocaine from these leaves is a relatively simple three-step process. First, the leaves of the coca plant are harvested and made into “coca paste.” The coca paste is rendered into a cocaine base, which ultimately turns into cocaine hydro-chloride. The manufacturing process requires various chemicals such as kerosene, sulfuric acid, sodium carbonate, hydrochloric acid, potassium permanganate, and acetone. Some of these chemicals remain in the cocaine as byproducts of the poor standards used in the manufacturing processes.

What does cocaine do to you and what does cocaine feel like?

Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system by inhibiting the reuptake (or reabsorption) of the following important brain chemicals: serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine. This causes a drastic increase of the amount of these three brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain and leads to intense euphoria, increased energy, endurance, alertness, motivation and productivity, decreased need for food and sleep, as well as heightened feelings of competence and sexuality. Also common are physical changes such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, and arousal.

Cocaine users often describe feeling “on top of the world” and “invincible” while under the influence of cocaine. This can sometimes cause them to have an exaggerated view of their own abilities which may lead to risky or aggressive behaviors.

After the stimulating effects are finished, feelings such as lack of energy and focus, extreme tiredness and fatigue, depression, lethargy, confusion, and cravings for more cocaine usually follow. This is a period is commonly called the “crash” and its negative effects often provoke stimulant users into redosing.

How much cocaine is too much and what amount may cause an overdose that can kill you?

According to the EU’s drug monitoring organization, a cocaine overdose can happen with roughly 1.2 grams of pure cocaine; however, people who are sensitive to cocaine or who have various genetic components have died from doses far lower – as low as 30 milligrams of cocaine, only 2.5% of the dose considered typically lethal. Regular cocaine users who develop a high tolerance to cocaine have been known to survive up to 5 grams per day.

In most cocaine-related fatalities, another drug like an opioid or alcohol is also ingested. The addition of a downer or an opiate with the cocaine makes it very easy to misjudge the amount of cocaine being ingested. Cocaine users in the process of binging (using larger amounts of cocaine and over a longer period than usual) are also at a higher risk of overdose as it is easy to lose track of the amount consumed when dosing many times over an extended period of time.

How long does it take for cocaine to kick in and how long does a cocaine high and its effects last?

Cocaine affects the nervous system almost immediately. Depending on the method of use (snorting, injections, smoking, etc.), its time and intensity can vary. Injecting or smoking it produces a quicker and stronger but shorter-lasting high than snorting. The high can last 15 to 30 minutes when smoking or injecting it and 30 to 90 minutes when snorting. It has a rather short duration compared to common illicit drugs, which typically promotes the constant redosing of cocaine and often leads to binges.

Why is cocaine addictive?

Cocaine is addictive because of its effects on the brain’s neurotransmitters. It increases the levels of the natural chemical messenger dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a key brain chemical responsible for the control of reward and motivation. Put simply, dopamine is the chemical in our brain that makes us feel good. By flooding the brain with an essentially unnatural level of dopamine, cocaine commonly produces a euphoric high that strongly reinforces the drug-taking behavior. As the brain adapts to excess amounts of dopamine, its sensitivity to it decreases. Consequently, users need to increase the amount of cocaine taken to get the same high.

How addictive is cocaine?

Cocaine is highly addictive, causing some users to go to extreme lengths to acquire more of the drug. There are many reports of users having their financial well-being severely affected due to the costly nature of their cocaine addiction. There are also reports of cocaine users who have to resort to crime and other illegal activities to fund their habit. Crack cocaine, in particular, has earned a reputation for destroying entire communities due to its highly addictive nature.

What does cocaine look, smell and taste like?

Cocaine usually comes in the form of a white or pearly white powder that is bitter to the taste and numbs the tongue and mouth. High potency cocaine tends to have a pearly white appearance, and because of its pearl like shine it’s sometimes referred to as “fish scale” cocaine. High potency cocaine tends to have a pearly white appearance, and because of its pearl like shine it’s sometimes referred to as “fish scale” cocaine. Cartels often compress their cocaine into solid rectangular forms known as “bricks” for packaging and transportation, because of this and a practice of dealers “re-rocking” cut cocaine to make it seem pure, cocaine can sometimes come clumped up in rocks or chunks. Prior to snorting such cocaine, users tend to break or “chop” up the clumps or rocks into fine powder and arrange it into snortable “lines” by using credit cards or razor blades. Cocaine has no smell unless processed. There are reports of cocaine smelling like nail polish remover, most likely because nail polish remover contains acetone and the smell can be a byproduct of its processing by the dealer or anyone else in the supply chain. Crack cocaine looks like soap or candle wax and has off-white color or waxy coloration. Cocaine is typically distributed in very small plastic bags.

How to tell if someone is on cocaine?

When someone is on cocaine, they usually have dilated pupils, may speak quickly, and appear restless or have trouble sitting still. On higher doses or after extended binges, cocaine users may also act anxious or even paranoid, being very vigilant of their surroundings and others around them. They may even experience hallucinations. In less extreme cases, a runny nose, constant sniffling and snorting, as well as repetitive touching of the nose can also be signs of cocaine use when combined with one or more other symptoms. Finally, possession of drug paraphernalia which can be used for snorting or chopping cocaine such as straws (often cut to size), rolled up money (sometimes used instead of straws), cards or razor blades (used to break up clumps and make “lines” of cocaine), when packed together as a “kit”, or with visible traces of white powder on them, or combined with physical and psychological symptoms listed above, can also be a strong indication of cocaine use.

What does cocaine do to your body, what are cocaine’s side effects?

Cocaine primarily acts on the brain’s neural pathways. It creates an excess amount of dopamine in the brain that leads to a euphoric high. Physically, cocaine use causes constricted blood vessels, increased blood pressure, fast and sometime irregular heartbeat and can lead to nausea, raised body temperature, as well as tremors with muscle twitch. Snorting it can cause nosebleeds, runny nose, and problems with swallowing. Smoking can cause heart problems, cough, asthma attacks, respiratory distress, and a higher risk of contracting infectious diseases like pneumonia.

Long-term cocaine use can negatively affect the general health of the user, as it can be hard on the heart. Long-term use can also cause serious damage to the nasal passages if snorted or cause abscesses, scarring, and collapsed veins if injected. Though many diseases can be transmitted just by sharing cocaine snorting devices, IV use carries a much higher risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis C, and bloodborne diseases. All routes of administration can cause severe dental health issues due to xerostomia (dry mouth). The dental health issues are intensified if cocaine is smoked or ingested by mouth due to its ability to reduce blood flow in oral soft tissues.

When did cocaine become illegal and what schedule is cocaine currently?

The Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 outlawed the sale of coca products, previously found in coca-cola and other home remedies. After this, the Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Act of 1922 forbade the importation of cocaine and cocaine-containing products. With the passage of this law, cocaine was essentially prohibited in the US for any non-medical uses.  Currently in the United States, cocaine is a Schedule II drug.

How to detox and stop using cocaine?

Stopping cocaine use is difficult and needs a support system, often including a strong family or support network and professional. Long-term users would greatly benefit from a professional rehab program. Families of those addicted are urged to consider an intervention guided by a trained addiction professional who specializes in interventions.

How long does cocaine withdrawal last?

The daily dose and length of time cocaine was used will determine the time necessary for withdrawal effects to end, particularly the psychological aspects of withdrawal. Acute symptoms, which are usually deemed as the hardest part, typically last around 7-10 days. This period can be made much easier to handle through appropriate therapies, support, and medication. Post-acute withdrawals are different for every user, but significant relief can happen anywhere from 7 to 30 days after the start of recovery.

Crystal methamphetamine, often referred to as “crystal meth,” is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It can cause a rapid release of dopamine, leading to intense euphoria. However, its use can result in severe dental problems, skin sores, and lasting neurological damage.

Etizolam is a thienodiazepine drug used for anxiety and insomnia. It is similar to benzodiazepines but with a slightly different chemical structure. Etizolam has a high potential for abuse, leading to dependency, withdrawal symptoms, and overdose.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is significantly more potent than morphine. It is used medically to treat severe pain but is also a major cause of overdose deaths when misused. Fentanyl can be deadly even in very small amounts.

Learn more about fentanyl

Is Fentanyl in Marijuana?

Why Is Fentanyl So Dangerous?


Recovery from fentanyl is possible with professional help, and support from family and loved ones. It’s essential to seek professional treatment to overcome fentanyl addiction, and Recovery Centers of America provides comprehensive support and care that is both empathetic and effective.

At RCA, we identify the SOURCE of addiction and offer customized treatment that eliminates the SYMPTOMS and addresses the day-to-day societal CONTRIBUTORS that get in the way.

Our clinical treatment program includes:

  • Diagnostic assessment: A healthcare professional will assess the severity of addiction, including physical and mental health, family history, and co-occurring disorders.
  • Medically monitored detoxification in a safe and comfortable environment
  • Individualized Treatment Plan: Addiction treatment can include a range of services, including medication-assisted treatment, behavioral therapy, group therapy, and family therapy.
  • Skills-based coaching: The development of skills and strategies to prevent relapse and address triggers or temptations that may arise during recovery.
  • Introduction to the 12-step program: Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous can provide encouragement and support from others who have experienced a similar struggle.
  • Alumni Services: A supportive community of individuals who are in recovery that offer continued support, networking opportunities, and resources to help maintain long-term recovery.

Our caring and experienced staff are dedicated to providing personalized care to each person struggling with addiction to promote a healthy and sustainable recovery. Don’t let fentanyl control your life – contact Recovery Centers of America today to get the help you or your loved one needs to start on the path to recovery.

How Fentanyl Negatively Impacts Your Life


Fentanyl abuse can lead to severe physical health problems, including respiratory depression, heart failure, seizures, and even overdose. Individuals may also experience weakened immune systems, gastrointestinal issues, and other complications, leading to a significantly reduced quality of life.


Fentanyl abuse can cause severe psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. It can also lead to disorientation, confusion, and poor decision-making, impacting the ability to sustain personal and professional relationships.


Fentanyl abuse can cause serious financial burdens for individuals and families. The cost of obtaining and maintaining fentanyl addiction can cause a financial strain, potentially leading to debt, loss of employment, and other harmful effects on overall well-being.


Fentanyl abuse can create social isolation, detachment from loved ones, and affect one’s ability to communicate inflicting damage on relationships. It can cause criminal activity to secure more of the drug and impact the ability to meet social and professional obligations, leading to legal and other issues.

What is fentanyl and how is it made?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, easier to produce than most opioids because it doesn’t require access to fresh opium poppies. It is also among the most potent of drugs, up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Some of its many analogues, such as carfentanil, are even more potent—as much as 10,000 times stronger than morphine. It’s typically made in laboratories both legitimate and illicit. Legitimate fentanyl is produced as a pain medication which sometimes gets diverted to the black market. Illicit fentanyl that’s most commonly found on the streets of major US cities, typically comes Mexican laboratories who synthesize it using precursor chemicals shipped from China.

Because there are innumerable ways to “tweak” the basic fentanyl formula, the drug is difficult to regulate effectively: it’s easy for illicit manufacturers to claim their formulas aren’t technically illegal. This scheme has been particularly abused by Chinese laboratories creating dozens of fentanyl analogues to skirt Chinese and American regulations.

Heroin is an illegal opioid derived from morphine. It is highly addictive and can be injected, snorted, or smoked. Heroin use can lead to severe health issues, including infectious diseases, organ damage, and overdose.

What is the chemistry of heroin?

Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin can be a white or brown powder, or a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin.

Heroin is technically considered an opioid not an opiate, since it is chemically manufactured, although molecules from the opium plant are used in the process. Some of heroin’s active ingredient molecules are not found in nature.

Heroin enters the brain rapidly and changes back into morphine. It binds to opioid receptors on cells located in many areas of the brain, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure. Opioid receptors are also located in the brain stem, which controls important processes, such as blood pressure, arousal, and breathing.

Heroin is manufactured from opium poppies cultivated in four primary source areas: South America, Southeast and Southwest Asia, and Mexico. Afghanistan now produces the majority of the world’s heroin, but little or none of the Afghanistan heroin reaches the US. Although 10 years ago, the US got 90% of its heroin from Columbia, today we get 90% of our heroin from Mexico (up from 10% in 2003).

Heroin’s long history

Heroin actually has a very interesting history. Heroin (as well as morphine, and other opiates) trace their origins to a single plant—the opium poppy plant. The earliest reference to opium use and cultivation of opium poppies comes from Mesopotamia around 3400 B.C. Narcotic drugs have been used both recreationally and as a medicine for centuries. Opium-based medicines, including morphine, have been widely used as pain relievers. Heroin, too, was first synthesized for medical use before physicians realized its overwhelming addictive properties.

Opium grew in popularity when it was introduced to China and other parts of Asia, likely in the 6th or 7th century A.D. through trade along the Silk Road, which connected the Mediterranean cultures of Europe to central Asia, India, and China.

There were actually two “opium wars,” – the first was in the 1700s when the British empire conquered a major poppy-growing region in India and began to smuggle opium from India into China. The second was when the British and French fought against China to make opium trade legal in China (between 1856-1860).

Hydrocodone is a prescription opioid used to treat severe pain. While effective for pain management, it has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Misuse of hydrocodone can lead to respiratory depression, overdose, and death.

Klonopin (clonazepam) is a benzodiazepine used to treat panic disorders and seizures. It is effective for these conditions but can be highly addictive and lead to dependency when misused.

Kratom is a plant-based substance from Southeast Asia, often used for its stimulant and opioid-like effects. Its legality varies, and while some use it for pain relief or opioid withdrawal, it can be addictive and has been linked to several health risks.

Loperamide, commonly known as Imodium, is an over-the-counter medication used to treat diarrhea. In high doses, it can produce opioid-like effects and has a risk for abuse and serious heart problems.

Marijuana is a widely used psychoactive substance derived from the cannabis plant. While it has medical applications, its recreational use can lead to dependency and various mental and physical health issues.

What is marijuana?

Marijuana comes from cannabis plants, native to Central and South Asia. The plant’s leaves, flowers, stem, and seeds are all rich in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the major chemical that creates the drug’s psychoactive effects.

THC affects brain receptors associated with memory, pleasure, coordination, and judgment. When these receptors are stimulated, the classic marijuana “high” takes effect, typically accompanied by distorted sensual perceptions, changes in mood, and impairment of mental functioning.

Methadone is a long-acting opioid used in the treatment of pain and as part of medication-assisted therapy for opioid addiction. While it helps manage withdrawal symptoms, it can itself be addictive and requires careful dosing.

Oxycodone is a prescription opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is highly effective but has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Misuse can lead to overdose and death.

Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen used to treat moderate to severe pain. While effective for short-term pain relief, it has a high risk of addiction and overdose if misused.

Phenibut is a central nervous system depressant with anxiolytic and nootropic effects. It is not FDA-approved in the US but is used in other countries to treat anxiety and insomnia. It has a high potential for abuse, dependency, and withdrawal.

Tianeptine is an atypical antidepressant with opioid-like properties. It is not FDA-approved in the US but is used in other countries for depression and anxiety. It has a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Tramadol is a prescription opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is considered less potent than other opioids but still carries a risk of addiction, dependency, and overdose.

Trazodone is an antidepressant commonly used off-label to treat insomnia. While generally considered safe, it can be misused, leading to dependency and withdrawal symptoms. It is important to use trazodone only as prescribed.

Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It is highly effective but has a high potential for abuse, leading to dependency, withdrawal, and overdose.

Co-Occurring Conditions

Co-occurring conditions refer to the presence of both substance use disorder and a mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These conditions can often contribute to each other and must be treated concurrently for successful recovery.

Learn more about co-occurring conditions from the resources below:

Gaining a Better Understanding of Co-Occurring Disorders

The Connection Between Depression and Alcohol Addiction

Successful Coping Strategies to Manage Depression & Anxiety

Yes—we understand the complex nature of addiction and are equipped to address co-occurring mental health conditions while treating substance use disorder. Our Balance Pathway is specifically designed for individuals with co-occurring conditions, providing integrated treatment that addresses all aspects of your well-being. 

Yes—we understand the complex nature of addiction and are equipped to treat both substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions. Our Balance Pathway is specifically designed for individuals with co-occurring conditions, providing integrated treatment that addresses all aspects of your well-being.

Therapies & Treatment Modalities

In the medical unit, our licensed medical team, consisting of our medical director, nurses, and nurse practitioners, will administer a complete physical and psychological assessment and manage your detoxification.

In detox, our licensed medical team completes comprehensive assessments and manages your detoxification. 

Yes—we utilize medication for addiction treatment (MAT) as part of a comprehensive approach to treating addiction. We can administer and monitor medications as part of your treatment plan to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. MAT has been proven effective in promoting long-term recovery and reducing the risk of relapse.

We provide a strong focus on wellness, which is reflected in our beautiful facilities, modern amenities, and specialized services like fully equipped gyms and nutritious food.

We have a pathway to meet the needs of patients living with substance use disorders alongside mental illness, medical illness, or injury, which affects their recovery.

Patients in this pathway have specific needs related to the interaction between their substance use and medical or mental health needs.

We offer an immersive 12-Step program to help our patients achieve and maintain recovery. If you have tried the 12 Steps before and are not sure they are for you, there is a place for you at RCA. We recognize that there are many paths to recovery, and we offer many additional approaches like cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. Many of our locations also offer SMART Recovery and/or Refuge Recovery meetings.

Patients can connect with others in the recovery community, providing a nearby recovery support system.


Recovery Centers of America is committed to providing accessible, high-quality addiction treatment. With 11 inpatient and 12 outpatient facilities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Indiana, Illinois, and South Carolina, our state-of-the-art addiction treatment centers and experienced team will provide the care you need close to home. 

About RCA

We employ a team of top professionals in the field, including master’s level clinicians, nurses, therapists, and recovery support specialists whose commitment and passion are unparalleled.

Learn more about our team members from the resource below:

Who Makes Up Your Care Team While in Addiction Treatment?

At Recovery Centers of America, we are committed to providing personalized and evidence-based treatment that leads to long-term recovery. Our outcomes speak for themselves, and we invite you to explore our success rates and patient testimonials.



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