Once an addict makes the decision to seek cocaine addiction rehab, it’s vitally important that—because cocaine addiction relapses are common—the individual find a quality recovery center that can help manage their withdrawal and provide the strong support needed to reach positive outcomes. Cocaine addiction differs from addiction to other substances due to the drug’s many forms and its highly addictive nature. Therefore, specialized and customized treatment, including a comprehensive continuing care program, greatly increases the chances for long-term recovery.
Often, cocaine addiction recovery in an inpatient or outpatient setting begins with a cocaine urine test, which physicians and counselors use to establish a baseline of cocaine use in the individual: such a test is repeated often during the initial recovery stages to ensure the addict hasn’t relapsed into drug use. Additionally, cocaine abusers are evaluated and assessed both physically and psychologically so that the best course of treatment, which often includes a combination of individual and group therapies and addiction education, can be effectively planned and managed.
Once the first days and weeks of cocaine withdrawal have passed, it becomes crucial that the addict—relying on support from not only counselors and therapists but also from friends, family members and loved ones—avoid high-risk situations that often lead to a relapse into cocaine use. Such high-risk situations to cope with are: avoiding people who they have used cocaine with on a regular basis, especially those who they’ve had conflicts with or those they’ve celebrated with by taking cocaine; places where they either got or used drugs; and of course, all the things that remind them most of cocaine use. Avoiding these high-risk situations is difficult at times, but by planning ahead and being aware that they will occur the addict can prevent the cravings that come with these scenarios. Many addiction professionals even recommend making a list of one’s high-risk situations so that they can be easily spotted and avoided.
Of course, because of cocaine’s physical effects, it’s important that an addict begin their recovery by taking proper care of themselves. For instance, cocaine abusers often don’t eat properly, so one element of recovery is to begin a healthy diet. Another crucial part of cocaine addiction recovery is to find ways to relax the body and mind, as one of the main reasons people use drugs in the first place is to relieve tension and as an escape from reality.
Just as becoming addicted to cocaine and recovering from that addiction occurs in stages, so does the process of relapse into abuse. In recent decades addiction professionals have come to understand the most common causes of relapse, and have formulated effective strategies to prevent the process. Relapse is a major cause of concern for any addict, but the reasons for it vary from person to person. However, there are typical stages of relapse that the addict should be particularly aware of so they can best fight the effects.
One stage is emotional relapse, when the addict is struggling with feelings and behaviors urging them to return to cocaine use. The signs of this phase are virtually identical to those symptoms that occur during post-acute withdrawal, and it’s critical that the addict recognize that they need to rely on others for help; practice relaxation techniques; and look for guidance on how to change the behaviors that led to their addiction.
During the mental relapse stage, the addict’s mind is telling them how much it wants to use cocaine by evoking images of what life was like during use: the glamour of cocaine; spending time with fellow users; and thinking about the places where they used the drug. Techniques for dealing with mental relapse include calling on a support system to let them know about these urges and distracting oneself by taking a walk or even restarting a healthy hobby that was given up when cocaine addiction began. Fortunately, mental relapses are generally short in duration, and pass quickly if the mind is kept busy with distractions.
Although millions of people have struggled with abuse to cocaine, millions have also found the strength to reach long-term recovery with help from addiction specialists and counselors and a strong support system of family and friends.