Using a drug such as cocaine does not make you a bad person, despite what others might say. Nobody chooses to be addicted to drugs or any other substance and making the decision to use such substances does not guarantee that you will become addicted.
Having said that, cocaine is one of the most potent and addictive drugs currently available and so there is a risk of a physical dependence if you use it. If you have found yourself struggling with a cocaine addiction, know that help is available. Here at Primrose Lodge, we have a team of experts who can provide you with the help that you need to regain control of your life.
Cocaine is a drug that is regularly used for recreational purposes. However, this drug has a high potential for abuse because it induces intense feelings of euphoria and vigour. Nevertheless, because the effects of cocaine are short lived, there is a strong temptation to use more of it to escape the inevitable comedown that follows the high. Therefore, abuse of cocaine can quickly lead to an increased tolerance and a psychological dependence that can be very difficult to break free from.
The first time you used cocaine, you may have experienced an intense rush of pleasure that made you feel on top of the world. You may have been alert and confident and very happy. But as these feelings began to wear off, you might have experienced feelings of sadness and depression. If you took more cocaine, these unpleasant feelings probably subsided. So you may have been tempted to continue taking the drug for as long as possible.
What most people do not realise when first taking cocaine is that it comes with these unpleasant feelings when the effects wear off. Some individuals will feel unwell for a few days after a night of cocaine use, with many likening it to having the flu.
Cocaine can quickly become addictive because of how it stimulates the pleasure and reward centres of the brain. Moreover, because a tolerance to the drug develops so quickly, you may be constantly trying to recreate that first elusive high by taking increasingly more of the substance.
It is hard to recognise a cocaine addiction in yourself, particularly in the early days. It is common for those who find themselves addicted to drugs to practice denial in an effort to protect themselves from the harsh reality of their situation.
It is often the case that family members notice that something is wrong long before the person with the addiction realises he or she has a problem. If family members have expressed concerns about your behaviour and are worried you could have an issue, it really is worth taking their concerns seriously.
They may not even realise that you are abusing cocaine as you may be hiding your use of it from them. But they will be able to see the changes in you; changes that you may not find so obvious.
Think about your use of cocaine and consider whether you could have a problem. Are you using it more regularly than you once did? If so, this is likely down to the fact that you have built up a tolerance to it and are not getting the same effects as before.
If you find that you are struggling to control your use of cocaine, then it is likely because you have developed a dependence on it. You may not have realised yet, but your use of the drug is likely to be affecting your quality of life. If you do have an addiction, you might find that you become consumed by your need for cocaine. This overwhelming need could start to take over your life and affect your relationship with others.
You might start to lose interest in spending time with family members and friends or in any hobbies or activities that you used to enjoy. All that will matter to you is when and how you are going to get your next fix.
If this all sounds familiar, then it may be time for you to reach out for help. Overcoming a cocaine addiction is not going to be easy but it is possible – provided you want to get better and that you get the right help and support.
You may not notice the signs of a cocaine addiction in yourself, but your family members might recognise some of the following:
The above is a list of just some of the side effects associated with cocaine abuse and addiction. As a cocaine user, you may also notice other symptoms such as nasal congestion or a rapid heartbeat.
Any addiction is dangerous in terms of how it can affect your quality of life, but when it comes to mood-altering chemicals such as cocaine, the effects can be profound. Your mental and physical health will be negatively affected by your use of such a powerful drug, and it can change the way your brain functions.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that can cause many of the body’s functions to speed up. It can affect body temperature and heartbeat; other side effects of cocaine use include convulsions, heart attack, and even cardiac arrest.
Due to the impact cocaine can have on mental health, use of it can result in episodes of depression, anxiety and even psychosis in some individuals. It can also lead to an overconfidence in some people with an associated loss of inhibition. Some individuals become paranoid and aggressive while under the influence, which can lead to an increased risk of harm for themselves and others.
There is no doubting the fact that it is difficult to overcome cocaine addiction, and this is largely due to the intense cravings that occur. Even after a detox, you may experience periodical cravings that could cause a return to addictive behaviour if you are not equipped to deal with them.
But while it may be difficult to overcome a cocaine addiction, it is not impossible. With a good programme of support that has been tailored to your requirements, you can learn how to quit cocaine for good and develop the skills to help you avoid a relapse going forward.
You will probably require a detox before starting rehabilitation. Detox is the process that will help to address your cocaine withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the drug. When you quit cocaine, you are likely to experience what is known as the post-cocaine crash; this is where you feel an intense sadness. You might become agitated and depressed and you may lose your appetite. At this stage, you will probably experience strong cravings for the drug.
In a detox facility, your ability to stay sober will be helped by the fact that you will have no access to temptations and triggers. You will also have around-the-clock care and support from individuals who have been fully trained in cocaine detox and many of whom have the experience to go with their training.
You will need this constant care and supervision to help you focus on the reason you are having the detox in the first place. If you are in pain or discomfort because of any withdrawal symptoms, you may be prescribed appropriate medication, but the most important thing at this point is that you are comfortable.
After about seven to ten days, you may be feeling a little better and ready to get started on your recovery. With a good rehabilitation programme, you can learn more about your illness and the reasons you initially became addicted. When it comes to cocaine addiction, recovery is usually recommended to take place in a residential facility as cravings tend to occur from time to time. So the less access you have to temptations, the better the prognosis.
During your rehabilitation programme, you will probably have a full schedule of treatments that are designed to help you get better. Individual counselling sessions will usually form a large part of your treatment and during these sessions you can build up a trusting relationship with your counsellor that will encourage you to become more open and honest about your feelings.
You can work together on identifying the reasons you began abusing cocaine before working on developing healthy ways of thinking and behaving that will enable you to avoid a return to addictive behaviour going forward.
As well as individual counselling sessions, group therapy is also important when it comes to beating a cocaine addiction. These sessions will involve a few addicts with one or more counsellors, and you will work on issues that are common to your situations. During these sessions, you will share your story with the group if you wish, or you can choose to listen to what others have to say. Most people find that group therapy is a hugely beneficial part of their treatment programme. Even those apprehensive about a group setting initially will see the benefits once they are used to the process.
Group therapy is also used to help the family unit deal with the issues caused by your addiction. Your addiction may be having a massive impact on those you love; family therapy means your loved ones can also get the chance to heal. It might also be the case that underlying issues and conflict within your family could be contributing factors of your illness. If this is so, these too will need to be dealt with.
Family therapy could involve your family members meeting as a group with your counsellor either with or without you present, or it could entail one-to-one sessions between individual members of your family and the counsellor.
Once detox and rehab are finished, you will return to normal everyday living; however, your journey does not stop there. You need to be alert to the risk of relapse for the rest of your life. Cocaine addiction can be treated but never cured and it will always be there lurking under the surface.
Maintenance and the skills to avoid the threat of relapse will help you to keep your recovery on track. It is important that you have support in place, and you can go a long way toward this by joining a local fellowship support group.
For more advice on how to overcome cocaine addiction, please call today on our dedicated helpline. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you beat your addiction to cocaine, so get in touch.