Tips for Intervening With a Cocaine Addict
Cocaine is a very potent and addictive drug substance derived from the leaves of the South American coca plant. The native Incas chewed the leaves of the coca plant in order to deal with the troubling effects of altitude sickness, as they discovered that doing so stimulated their body. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependent, it was in 1860 that cocaine was extracted and purified into the powdered form that is more widely known and used today.
Cocaine produces its intense stimulating effects by pushing the body to produce more dopamine and then blocking the brain’s natural reabsorption of this dopamine. This overabundance of the brain’s key pleasure and reward-associated neurotransmitter causes the user to remain alert, awake, and focused for hours on end. Unfortunately, an individual who abuses or becomes dependent upon and addicted to cocaine can actually impair the individual’s natural dopamine-producing ability, which in turn lessens and even stops their ability to naturally experience pleasure.
Like other drug addictions, the individual himself may not actually be able to tell that they have a problem for which they need professional help. In the case of cocaine addiction, this is exacerbated by the fact that cocaine can interfere with normal thought processes, preventing the individual from seeing the full extent of damaging effects being caused by drug use. It, therefore, falls to family members and friends to extend the help that their loved one needs in order to recognize that there is a problem and that someone must be done about it.
How to Help Someone Overcome Cocaine Addiction
The first step to successfully intervene with a cocaine addict is to determine whether they are, in fact, addicted to cocaine. Following is how to tell if someone is high on cocaine:
- Lack of responsibility
- Poor production at work or in school
- Physical deterioration such as lack of appetite and sudden weight loss
- Inability to fall asleep, stay asleep or achieve restful sleep
- Mood swings
- Irrational behavior
- And much more
Once you have determined that a loved one is suffering from cocaine abuse or addiction, you should immediately take steps to intervene and help them. Here are some basic tips to follow:
- Educate yourself about drug abuse and addiction generally, and cocaine abuse and addiction specifically. It is important to understand what your loved one is struggling with so that you don’t err in assuming that they must not want help if they keep using cocaine.
- Learn about rehabilitation treatment for cocaine abuse and addiction. Just as it is important to understand what your loved one is currently struggling with it is also important to understand what challenges they will face on the long, challenging road to full recovery. This will allow you to better support them through treatment.
- Confront your loved one about their cocaine abuse or addiction. It is important that this is handled in such a way that your loved one knows that you understand what they are dealing with and you are willing to help them with recovery, but that you will not tolerate or support further cocaine use. You need to make them aware of the fact that their refusal to get treatment and their continued cocaine use will result in specific consequences, most notably a withdrawal of financial and other support. If you feel that this conversation has the potential to be extremely difficult and perhaps even go awry, you may want to consider getting the help of a professional addiction specialist or interventionist.
- Offer treatment solutions. Even when a loved one is able to admit that they have a cocaine abuse or addiction problem, chances are that they won’t have any idea how to address and resolve it. This is where your help and support can be incredibly valuable.
- Be patient and persistent. It can sometimes happen that a cocaine addict initially refuses to accept the help they have been offered by family members or friends. It’s your job to withdraw financial and other support as discussed, but be patient and persistent in letting them know that you are willing to help them get the treatment they need to fully recover. In most cases, a well-performed intervention will result in success, though there is sometimes a delay between the first conversation and the individual’s acceptance of the help they are being offered.
It can be difficult for a cocaine addict to consider that there is hope for a better life after cocaine addiction, but with the right help and support they can achieve and maintain a stable recovery. If someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction, contact Narconon Arrowhead today at 1-800-468-6933 so that they can get the help they desperately need and you can help to support them on the road to a better, happier future.