Kicking Your Cocaine Habit
Cocaine is a stimulant that causes you to feel euphoric and energetic. It also causes the brain to become more alert and you may feel highly sensitive to stimuli i.e. sights, smells and sounds. The downside of the drug even in the short term is extreme. The euphoric effects last for a very short while and are usually followed by extreme depression and cravings for more of the drug. This combination is what makes cocaine one of the most addictive drugs. This is also why kicking the habit requires you to commit to the desire to get better.
Symptoms Of Cocaine Withdrawal
When you stop taking cocaine, you are likely to go through a period of cocaine withdrawal. You should know what to expect in this period so you can mentally prepare for the challenge. Although there may be no physical symptoms that you’re undergoing a withdrawal from cocaine, the psychological symptoms are extremely powerful. If not handled properly, they may cause you to relapse. These withdrawal symptoms usually include:
- Feeling lethargic
- Interference of sleeping pattern
- Heightened agitation
- Higher appetite levels
- Paranoia and hallucinations
During this period, you are also likely to experience a high level of cravings for the drug. The degree of these withdrawal symptoms will also vary depending on factors such as age, sex, level of addiction, medical history and general levels of physical health.
How To Quit Cocaine
Quitting cocaine at once, which is usually referred to as quitting cold turkey, was once a common method used in treating cocaine dependence. However, the evidence has been that quitting cold turkey leads to more severe withdrawal symptoms. This is due to the fact that the brain is usually accustomed to having the drug around and suddenly cutting off the supply doesn’t give it time to adjust.
It has been noted that withdrawal symptoms may also last longer among patients who quit cold turkey and that this method doesn’t effectively reduce the cravings for the drug sometimes even after years. This is why people who quit cold turkey are much more likely to experience a relapse.
A better way of kicking the habit involves a gradual reduction in the dosage so the brain gets time to adjust. Although there will still be withdrawal symptoms, they won’t be as severe as when you quit cold turkey.
Where To Quit
The environment in which you’re in when you quit cocaine is important. In a rehabilitation centre, you will be in a controlled environment. This means that you’ll be far from most of the things that trigger the psychological need to use the drug. In case you don’t want to be admitted into a rehabilitation clinic, you should still be surrounded by people who can offer you the emotional and psychological support you’ll need. It is also a good idea to be meeting with a doctor several times a week during this period. A doctor can help to assess your condition and ensure that the quitting process is proceeding well.