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Cocaine is highly addictive and giving up can be very difficult.
Professional support is vital to overcome cocaine addiction and to remain addiction free. Effective treatment will significantly increase the chances of success.
Here are five steps for anyone considering how to stop cocaine use:
These steps are not simple and take a lot of work, dedication, courage and support to achieve.
It’s likely they’ll take place over time and you’ll face challenges along the way. You’ll need support to get started, to cope with withdrawal symptoms, to begin achieving these steps and to continue achieving them.
Cocaine withdrawal can impact your mental health both due to the removal of the substance from your system and due to the removal of the distracting and numbing effect the drug may be having in relation to underlying problems.
Anyone considering how to stop taking drugs needs to build the tools and resilience to forgive themselves and to seek the forgiveness of others if they stumble. Therapy helps significantly.
It may be that you’ve promised family and friends in the past that you’ll give up cocaine and have not been able to see those promises through. Regardless, don’t be put off letting them know that you still want to stop.
By making people who care about you aware that you wish things to change and are seeking positive support to make it happen, you’ll be creating a support network.
It’s also vital to ensure this message is spread to anyone you use with or have used with in the past. If you can’t (or don’t wish to) cut contact with them, at least make them aware that you don’t wish to use any more. Ensure you do this at a time when neither of you is high and cocaine is not present. Don’t wait until you are in a situation where you’d usually join in with cocaine use as the pressure and temptation will be strong.
Cocaine use is often linked to a particular social scene or social circle and one way to begin the process of giving up is to make a decision to step outside of that world.
If you know you take in a certain place and when you are with certain people, you will increase your chances of giving up cocaine if you can stop mixing with those people in those circumstances.
Mixing cocaine and alcohol is very common, though it increases the risk of harm. If you tend to take cocaine when you’re drinking you may wish to consider giving up drinking too. If you are alcohol dependent it is vital to get the right support to do this as giving up without the right medical oversight can lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
It’s wise to give some thought to how you’ll maintain your drug free status before you begin a cocaine detox.
If only taking up a new hobby were enough to help you quit cocaine. Of course, it’s not as simple as that – but replacing using cocaine with other positive activities will help.
Taking up exercise, reading, gardening, hillwalking or any other healthy and engaging hobby or activity will help you to focus your time and energy away from using drugs. It can also help fill the void in your time where you might otherwise be using drugs.
It’s good to discuss positive activities that you will have a genuine interest in when talking with whichever professional you are working with for support to give up cocaine. They may be able to help you come up with some strategies to help you weave new positive activities into your life.
Seeking out other people or the stories of other people who have been where you are now and come out the other side, can provide great strength.
Everyone is different and the specific things or words that will inspire your recovery will not necessarily be the same as those that have helped others. However in hearing about the experiences of others, you’re likely to find nuggets of information that you can use. The stories of others are also a reminder that your goal can be achieved and you too can grow beyond addiction.
You may benefit from joining a support group such as Cocaine Anonymous. It offers peer support sessions and fellowship for anyone who wants to stop taking it and be abstinent from other mind-altering substances, including alcohol. It is a programme built on the 12-step approach also used in Alcoholics Anonymous. A support group such as Cocaine Anonymous can be particularly helpful to aid maintenance of abstinence achieved through methods such as rehab.
Addiction to cocaine or any other substance is rarely a case of just ‘enjoying it’.
That’s why people continue to use cocaine, alcohol and other substances even when it is causing havoc in their lives and they desperately don’t want to continue being a user.
Some people may well have a propensity to addiction. In addition, addiction is often a form of self medication, survival, avoidance or comfort.
Trying to remove an addictive substance from your life without attempting to understand what led you to become addicted and to address that root cause, is setting yourself up to fail.
Professional help from a counsellor, therapist, in group work or via somatic techniques will help you to uncover the base causes and contributors to your addiction and form ways of dealing with those.
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