How to give up cocaine once and for all

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Whether you have been taking cocaine occassionally, regularly binging or feel that you have developed a cocaine addiction, by continuing to take the drug, you are continuing to put yourself at risk of serious physical and mental harm.

Within this blog, we have outlined the effects that cocaine is likely having on your health and wellbeing, along with information on how to give up cocaine once and for all with the support of the Life Works team.

Understand the effects of cocaine

Cocaine gives you temporarily feelings of euphoria, swiftly followed by a sharp drop in dopamine. This causes many people to continue taking the drug once they start, as they want to carry on experiencing the elation and also delay their eventual ‘comedown’.

Overtime, cocaine will damage your natural ability to produce pleasure chemicals like dopamine and your brain starts to rely on the drug to experience these sensations, resulting in dependency. Ultimately, signs of a cocaine addiction will start to show and the dependency will effect your mental health, resulting in feelings of anxiousness and paranoia.

This can make it very difficult to give up cocaine, regardless of any damage that it is having on your health and wellbeing.

Some of the short-term after-effects of taking cocaine that you may have seen include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Irritability
  • Poor sleeping patterns
  • Paranoia

Taking cocaine can also cause reckless behaviour, as you temporarily feel extremely confident and invincible.

There are also long-term risks associated with repeated cocaine use. These include:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Panic attacks
  • Feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Nose damage, including your tissue, cartilage, septum and sense of smell
  • Heart problems, such as heart attacks, strokes and embolisms
  • Digestive difficulties, including tears and ulcers in the stomach
  • Impaired kidney and liver function
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Risk of permanent brain damage

Continual use of cocaine can impact all areas of your life, including your performance at work, finances, and relationships with your friends and family.

Talk to someone close to you

If you are worried about your cocaine use and want to give up, reach out to someone you trust and talk about it. There is cocaine addiction help available and the sooner you talk about your addiction, the sooner you can seek that help. When telling someone about your concerns, make sure that the person is someone who is responsible, who wants to see you get better and who will support you through your recovery.

It may be the case that this person has tried to bring up the topic with you before. If this has happened, let them know that you are ready to open up. This will be a massive relief to them.

If you’re wondering about how to start the conversation, think about the following steps:

  • Try to prepare for a range of possible reactions – consider the different ways someone could respond to the news, or how you might react if you were in their situation. Also, think about what questions they are likely to ask and prepare answers
  • Write down what you want to say – this will help you to feel more confident as you go into the conversation. Also, by knowing what specific points you want to prioritise, you can steer your chat back to what you deem important if you are thrown off-course by their reaction or if you start to feel overwhelmed by emotion
  • Choose a neutral but motivating meeting place – try to meet your chosen confidante outside of both of your homes so you both feel equally comfortable. You may want to choose somewhere like a nature spot as this can be private, help to uplift you both and give you something else to focus on in moments of uncertainty
  • Wait until the right moment – try not to feel pressured into launching straight into what you have to say. If you don’t feel comfortable, or the other person has things to chat about too, allow the conversation to flow. Once you feel ready, tell the other person that you have something important to talk about. You can make it clear early on that what you are telling them is confidential at this stage
  • Try not to overreact if you get a response you don’t like – whatever the person says is likely to be coming from a place of love. Everyone communicates differently, so try not to be defensive if the reaction isn’t what you might have hoped for. Just help them to understand what you are going through, so that they can then help you. Keep an open mind towards their outlook, as you would want in return

Get professional help to give up cocaine

When battling with drug abuse and addiction, the best and most important step for you to take is to reach out for professional support. You may want to start off by visiting your GP, who can recommend next steps for you to take.

You can also come directly to an addiction treatment facility like Life Works, where we are able to provide you with a free addiction assessment to determine the best form of treatment for you to receive in order to give up cocaine.

Within our facility, we specialise in the following treatment methods:

  • Detox – the medically-assisted drug detoxification process rids your body of the last traces of cocaine in a safe environment and helps you to manage any drug withdrawal symptoms you experience. The whole process usually takes around seven days or longer, depending on how much cocaine you have been using

  • Residential rehabilitation – our residential treatment programme helps you to put the right steps in place for a successful recovery from cocaine. At Life Works, our residential rehabilitation programme usually lasts for 28 days, as this is the optimal recommended length of treatment. However, it is possible to undergo shorter courses of treatment, or to stay for longer if needed. You will receive around-the-clock care, with comfortable facilities and an encouraging environment built on community and compassion.

Contact us to make an enquiry or for more information

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