How to Quit Cocaine and Build Long Term Recovery

cocaine

Cocaine is a hell of a drug…
- Rick James

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. It produces short-term euphoria, energy, and increased talkativeness. Cocaine is loosely defined as a party drug and a “feel good” drug.

Cocaine is often considered a “high class” drug. It is relatively expensive and clean in comparison to other drugs. Some may say that the social stigma associated with cocaine is less demeaning than say heroin or methamphetamine. The term “junky” or “addict” may not be attached to cocaine users in the same way as other hard drugs. Granted, this is a generalization, but through our experience we find that cocaine use is more common in wealthier demographics.

Cocaine use can have severe long term effects on the mind and the body. Many times cocaine use leads to crack use as well, being that crack cocaine is much cheaper.

** if anyone can knows of any data or studies on the financial demographics of cocaine users, feel free to leave in the comments or email it to tim@sobernation.com. We have looked all over the internet for studies with no avail**

The Dangers of Cocaine Addiction

What separates cocaine addiction from other drugs is the shortness of the high. After the first use, the high usually wears off within 15-30 minutes. The high of cocaine is very intense and pleasurable, and once it wears off it leaves the user longing for that instant gratification. This is the real danger of coke. It is the reason people go on 4 day coke binges because -generally speaking – it is difficult to stop until you pass out, run out of money, get arrested or end up in the hospital.

“A cocaine high does not last very long. The average high a user gets from snorting cocaine only lasts for 15-30 minutes. These highs are less intense, as it takes longer for the drug to be absorbed into the bloodstream when snorted. A smoking high, although more intense due to the rapidity in which the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream, lasts for an even shorter period of only about five to ten minutes. After the euphoric high comes the crashing low, in which the addict craves more of the drug and in larger doses.”

[via: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/]

When a cocaine user passes the threshold from recreational user into addict, the drug may lead you spiraling into a miserable cycle.  It is not uncommon for a cocaine addict to receive their paycheck on Friday, and be broke by Monday. They start the next week depressed and anxious about the consequences of their actions and also from the crash of their dopamine levels. They may get through the week swearing off cocaine for good. Yet, once Friday comes, that first line of cocaine will start the cycle all over again.

Once you’re caught in that downward spiral, it’s very difficult to stop yourself before you hit a bottom.

Most people need help to quit cocaine. Do not be ashamed to ask for help. Sober Nation quit hotline: 866-317-7050.

Effects of Cocaine on the Brain and Body

Cocaine is a stimulant that increases the levels of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain. Usually, your brain will essentially recycle these chemicals, but cocaine stops that process from happening, resulting in a buildup of neurotransmitters that causes the euphoric feelings that cocaine users experience.

Psychological Effects of Cocaine: varies with dose and the tolerance of the user.

  • increases alertness
  • wakefulness
  • elevates the mood
  • mild to high degree of euphoria
  • increases athletic performance
  • decreases fatigue
  • clearer thinking
  • increases concentration
  • increases energy
  • increased irritability
  • insomnia
  • restlessness

With high doses an individual may exhibit a pattern of psychosis with confused and disorganized behavior, irritability, fear, paranoia, hallucinations, may become extremely antisocial and aggressive – generally referred to as cocaine psychosis.

Physical Effects of Cocaine

  • increases heart rate
  • increases blood pressure
  • increased body temperature
  • sweating
  • increases speed of respiration
  • dilates the pupils
  • decreased sleep and appetite

Can decrease seizure threshold and is associated with seizures, strokes, and heart attacks in susceptible individuals.

Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal

side effects of cocaine use

source: positivemed.com

When you try to quit cocaine, you can experience withdrawal symptoms – the severity of which will depend on your history of cocaine use. One of the strongest symptoms of withdrawal is cravings for more cocaine. The withdrawal symptoms of cocaine are not as chemically dependent as other drugs like heroin or alcohol. It can be described more as a crash than a withdrawal…

Since the body and brain is craving cocaine, withdrawal symptoms include…

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • paranoia
  • hallucinations
  • fatigue
  • restlessness
  • appetite problems
  • delusions

How to Quit Cocaine

In order for you to quit cocaine safely, the best way to do it is with help from professionals. We recommend attending an addiction treatment center with the supervision of medical professionals. It is best to start with a detox, because your mood and vital signs should regulate before the work on treatment begins.

In detox, doctors and nurses can monitor your health. They may prescribe medication to ease your withdrawal symptoms. There are no drugs, however, that are FDA-approved to help people quit cocaine or ease cravings for cocaine.

Complete detox from cocaine can take several days, and the recommended course of action after detox is a stay in a rehab center. Inpatient rehab will assist you in your pursuit to quit cocaine by providing you with a safe, controlled atmosphere in which to cope with cravings and learn to live without the drug.

In treatment, you will learn the skills and coping mechanisms to help you move forward. Therapy will be a huge factor in learning to modify your behavior and your impulse control.

Successful cocaine addiction treatment programs begin with a safe and medically supervised detoxification, followed by a transition from addiction to recovery. Support and treatment to help individuals embrace new concepts and ideas that will result in a meaningful change in everyday behavior.

But What Comes Next??

After care is just as important as treatment. Many recovered addicts give credit to a 12 step program for their continuous and long term recovery. Cocaine anonymous is a 12 step group that will help you dig into the reason you used cocaine, and help you build a support group to help you build a life without cocaine use. Attending meetings is highly recommended.

Also, continuous therapy or one on one counseling is a great option. Constant maintenance is essential because all it takes is one small slip or relapse and the entire cycle can start all over again.

Other Ways to Quit Cocaine

It is possible to quit cocaine without the help of a detox or rehab, but the do-it-yourself method isn’t recommended. More often than not, this type of approach eventually leads to relapse. You should always consult a doctor before you try to quit cocaine.

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Comments

  1. nina says

    I have just discovered a close relative has been doing cocaine and pain killers for several years now..I am a believer in Jesus and the power of prayer, and I believe there is a demon associated with these addictions. There has been such a feeling of hopelessness by the user trying to quit, or asking for help. It’s a country wide problem and probably worldwide as well, but for each one it must be a living hell, and knowing so many others suffer the same way doesn’t make it any easier I’m sure. I would like to pray for them, for their release from this addiction, and strength and will power to stay sober. I believe that God loves them, and has the only answer. It may not seem to the addict that he is loved..he may feel alone in his suffering. But there is a way out..and a person who is very much interested. His name is Jesus Christ and he paid for the sins of the world, including the sins of the addict. He offers forgiveness for anyone who asks, and will give them new life in exchange for their search for the truth. The bible says ‘All have sinned and come short of the glory of God’ It goes on to say ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever would believe on him, would not perish but have eternal life’ and that ‘if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.’
    If a person is in the clutches of this demonic influence, possibly the only way to be truely released is to get on the other side, with God as his defender. There is no risk in trying…after all else fails. The bible also says ‘Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.’ I believe there is hope…for the person who desperately cries out to God.

  2. says

    Nina- Ultimately you are probably correct for a person of faith who has fallen into abuse.
    The problem for me is being diligent in the pursuit of freedom from addiction thru spiritual practices.
    The very nature of the drug demon is to make it most difficult, to cause one to want to give up and return to using. As most people of faith know, it’s a long , difficult journey and seldom will you see a sudden miracle cure. These things must, in most cases, be worked thru with time , pain, suffering and an unbreakable steadfast faith. …That is almost impossible for an addict to do alone…..That is who I am and I cannot quit, I will quit with spiritual help, but i need to check into a medically professional rehab to make it happen. I have tried and tried spiritual only and I am just not strong enough to do that alone

  3. chuck says

    you can quit just replace the good feeling you get from coke with something else.
    i used motorcycle my brother sky diving

    you brain is used to a rush from drugs now just replace it with something exciting….scuba,hoops,hockey,biking ANYTHING…..food, sex, running, college, pottery class.

    everytime you want to get high get up and do something else…..bowling, movies, boxing ANYTHING
    to give you a rush

    if i can quit after a ball a week for ten years anyone can!

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