There is no question that learning that a close friend or loved one can take its toll on an individual. Chances are they have a range of conflicting emotions when they learn someone close to them has been using a dangerous substance such as cocaine. Of course, like any other good friend, they probably want to do their best to help. How do they get their loved one back on the right track and getting clean? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Understand the signs of a cocaine addiction.
The first thing a concerned friend or family member needs to do is understand the potential signs someone might exhibit regarding a cocaine addiction. Some red flags that someone is developing a cocaine addiction would include such things as regularly feeling agitated, anxious or depressed; disregarding their appearance, work, family or friends; or they are isolating themselves more often than normal. Additionally, if they have dilated pupils or seem to have long periods of being awake, then that is a red flag. General over-excitement and paranoia over everyday issues could be cause for concern as well.
Understand the process of cocaine withdrawal.
Even if someone is successful in getting their friend or loved one to quit the drug completely, they still need to understand some of the messy withdrawal symptoms their loved one will go through. For example in stage one they will likely encounter such things as a “crash”, which will be characterized by depression, anxiety, fatigue, and an intense desire for the drug. Additionally, a long-term user of the drug might have more serious symptoms such as tachycardia, arrhythmia, trembling, seizures, trembling, or even heart attacks.
In the second phase of cocaine withdrawal, the fatigue, lethargy and irritability will continue, but mood and other physical issues will start to subside during this stage. This phase will last up to two-and-a-half months.
In phase three, cocaine users will encounter what is called the “extinction phase” and they will continue to struggle with cravings for the drug. Their risk of relapse is still going to be strong, and it could easily occur if they are exposed to any triggers. During this time period, it is crucial for those going through cocaine withdrawals to have an ongoing support system.
Be aware of their mindset.
There is a popular image of cocaine simply being a party drug, but for a long-term user this simply isn’t the mindset at all. According to AION Health Group, “cocaine addiction treatment begins with realizing that almost anyone can have a cocaine addiction, even behind closed doors.” There are individuals from all walks of life that appear to be functioning well, but they are isolating themselves and living a double life with a cocaine addiction.
Get ready for some mood swings.
If someone you care about is escalating their use of cocaine, then you will probably notice some serious mood swings. Get ready for moods such as aggression, anger, and strong reactions. Simply put, be ready for a sudden shift in behavior when you decide to address the cocaine use of your loved one. Be ready to hang up the phone or walk away if the situation calls for it.
Have the right timing in mind.
If you are trying to take steps to get your family member clean and sober, remember that timing is everything. Don’t try to confront them when they are high; you are likely only going to get more confrontation or an argument. Your best bet is to approach them in between their cocaine binges.
Remember, persistence pays off. You will be more than just a friend or family member to them if you help them stop their use of this terrible drug.