Cocaine is an abusive drug that is illegal in the United States. It is primarily administered nasally. However, it can be taken intravenously or smoked. Cocaine taken nasally enters the bloodstream in three to five minutes and its high lasts only 30 to 40 minutes. Due to this short acting high, people will re-administer to repeat the experience and maintain the high. After periods of prolonged use, the body is accustomed to the cocaine. When someone tries to stop cocaine use, he or she may experience a withdrawal syndrome characterized by a depressed mood, insomnia or the inability to sleep, fatigue, and vivid unpleasant dreams; this is usually when drug cravings are at a peak. People will often do whatever they can to relieve symptoms of withdrawal, even return to drug use. Users risk heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes, seizures, abdominal pain, and nausea. Keep in mind this advice to help you stop using cocaine.
You should keep an eye out for changes in behavior if you suspect a family member of abusing cocaine. A lack of interest in family and work commitments as well as an interest to only socialize with other users are both common. Also, look for an increase in spending habits. A cocaine addiction can cost several thousand of dollars per month.
Due to the severe consequences of cocaine addiction, you should seek an evaluation by an addiction expert to determine what the most appropriate treatment should be. Often, an interventionist should be used to convince the addict that he or she needs to go into an inpatient program. A professional interventionist will manage the process and advise the family on the best way to approach the addict.
Cocaine addicts are often also abusing alcohol and other drugs, possibly opiates. The use of any combination of drugs and alcohol, known as polysubstance dependence, will require an inpatient program that will include detox and intensive therapy with full medical supervision.
Dual Diagnosis is when somebody has both a mental disorder and an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Frequently, these conditions come to the surface at the same time and then feed off each other. It is important to identify whether dual diagnosis is a factor and then seek appropriate dual diagnosis treatment.
Most good in-treatment programs will have an aftercare coordinator to help clients develop a comprehensive aftercare plan once they leave treatment. This may include, sober home living, finding a local therapist, attending NA meetings, or signing up for an enhanced monitoring program.
Often, the most difficult step is admitting that there is a problem with addiction for both the addict as well as family and friends. The first reaction from anyone in the grips of an addiction is to deny that there is any problem. For family and loved ones, it is often easier to ignore, rather than confront the issues. If the signs of addiction are there, more than likely so is the addiction.
Family and friends often enable the addict by helping or rescuing him or her in times of financial or personal problems, and not holding the addict accountable for improper behavior. An example of this is when a spouse calls into work for the addict when he or she is not in a fit state to show up. Family members will often believe the addict when he or she tells them that there is not a serious problem, or that he or she can and will stop using without getting the help of a professional. This behavior rarely, if ever, helps the addict.
Addiction affects not just the addict, but also their family and friends around them. Even when the addict is receiving treatment, it is important to seek help for family members and loved ones. Many good inpatient rehab facilities will include support and advice for family members. Al-Anon is a network of free support groups that operate all across the nation, which offers great support for the addict and the family.
If a person is in a full blown addiction, it will get progressively worse over time and too often will result in catastrophic consequences, including death. Particularly with cocaine or crack cocaine, the user’s behavior will become more erratic and unpredictable. Don’t think that the addiction will gradually get better over time; it will only get worse.
Just because a person has been through treatment, it does not mean that there is no chance that they will use/relapse again particularly in the early stages of recovery. Sustained sobriety requires healthy choices, determination, and support. Make sure you have all the support you need while in recovery and afterwards to help you in maintaining your sobriety.
Latest figures from the NIDA shows that nearly five million Americans are abusing cocaine or crack cocaine. It affects people from all walks of life, across all age groups, usually from the age of twelve and up. As with all cases of alcohol and drug abuse, early intervention and seeking professional help is the best course of action.
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Photo Credits: Cocaine by Flickr: Nightlife Of Revelry; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com