How to give up cocaine

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that typically causes people to experience a very intense ‘high’ as well as feelings of euphoria, happiness, confidence and excitement. For some, these effects can be very addictive and can make them want to take cocaine over and over again. However, this can soon develop into a harmful addiction that can have a detrimental impact on all areas of your life.

Over time, cocaine misuse can lead to a range of devastating long-term consequences, affecting you physically, psychologically, professionally and socially. Just some of these negative effects can include:

  • Heart problems, including an increased risk of heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms
  • Breathing and respiratory problems, including asthma and infections such as pneumonia
  • Digestive problems, including stomach ulcers
  • Permanent damage to your nose and mouth due to snorting cocaine
  • Damage to the brain resulting in impaired memory, poor attention span, and reduced decision making abilities
  • Increased risk of brain aneurysms, seizures and brain damage
  • Damage to the liver and kidneys
  • Psychosis and hallucinations
  • Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and panic attacks
  • Withdrawing from social situations
  • Family and relationship problems
  • Impaired performance at work
  • Job loss and unemployment
  • Financial and housing problems
  • Suicidal thoughts

Admitting that you need help can feel overwhelming, but it’s so important to take steps to overcome your destructive cocaine dependency. Cocaine addiction support is available and it’s possible for you to give up cocaine completely and live a life free from addiction.

How to give up cocaine

Whether you take cocaine occasionally, binge the drug regularly, or believe that you have developed a full-blown addiction, there are a number of steps you can take to help eradicate this drug from your life.

Change your habits

One of the steps on your road to recovery from cocaine dependency is to make a conscious effort to change any habits you have that are related to your use.

For example, you might find that you only take cocaine when you’re in certain places or with certain people. It’s a good idea for you to try and avoid the people and places that you associate with taking cocaine, in order to reduce your urge to use.

You may also take cocaine when you’re in particular emotional states such as when you’re feeling stressed, upset or bored. If this is the case, try to replace your cocaine use with another behaviour instead. For example, listen to some music, get up and do some exercise, or call a friend whenever you’re feeling this way, instead of reaching for cocaine.

Speak to a friend or family member

If you’ve made the decision to give up cocaine, it can be a really useful step to speak to a trusted family member or friend about your intentions. Remember, they care about you and will want to help.

They’ll be able to:

  • Support you through the process and your journey to recovery
  • Act as a sounding board if you’re having a tough time
  • Help you to stay accountable and abstinent
  • Serve as a distraction and offer words of encouragement if you ever feel like you might slip

If you’ve been using cocaine for a while, it’s likely that your loved one has been worried about you and will want to support you to get back on track.

Sometimes, turning to someone you know may not be an option. You may struggle to trust people or have difficulties with your family relationships; this is where a specialist can help.

Talk to your GP

If you have decided that you want to give up cocaine, it’s important to recognise that you might need professional help to do this. As such, another useful step would be to talk to your GP about your cocaine use and your plans to stop taking it. They’ll be able to offer medical advice for coming off cocaine, let you know about any support groups that you may find helpful, and can refer you for specialist addiction treatment if appropriate.

Charlotte Parkin, Addiction Psychotherapist at Priory Wellbeing Centre Fenchurch Street, says:

“Some people find it hard to accept they have a problem and stigma is the main block to asking for help that I see. Cocaine addiction is a double-edged sword – it can both alert a user to the need for help based on its stigma, but this same stigma can also create fear of judgement and over-simplification of the underlying issues.

“That’s why it’s so important to seek specialist help. A specialist can help you to understand why you have become dependent on cocaine, in a non-judgemental, compassionate and confidential environment.”

Seek specialist addiction support

You can also contact a private drug addiction rehab provider, such as Priory, directly to find out how we can help you give up cocaine. Our world class team will be able to discuss your unique concerns with you and support you every step of the way towards achieving your goals.

As a first step, we offer a free, no obligation addiction assessment. During this, you will speak to a member of our expert team about your cocaine use, discuss the treatment options that are available to you as part of our specialist Addiction Treatment Programme, and begin to develop an understanding of the journey that you could be taking towards recovery and wellbeing.

Our Addiction Treatment Programmes consist of:

  • A 28-day inpatient (residential) stay, where you’ll receive round-the-clock care
  • A 7-10 day medically assisted detoxification, if this is required, to help you withdraw from cocaine in a safe and controlled environment
  • A structured group therapy programme, delivered by highly experienced therapists
  • Specialist family support, providing advice and help to your loved ones who may have been affected by your cocaine use
  • Individual 1:1 therapy and online therapy, where appropriate
  • Access to both on and off-site 12-Step support groups, including Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
  • Beautiful hospital environments, providing the perfect settings for rehabilitation and recovery
  • Free addiction aftercare for 12 months following treatment (aftercare is provided for life at Priory Hospital Roehampton and Manor Clinic)
  • Free family support for 12 months following treatment (family support is provided for life at Priory Hospital Roehampton and Manor Clinic)

Cocaine dependency has the potential to wreak havoc on all aspects of your life, affecting your health, wellbeing and relationships with loved ones. However, the good news is that cocaine addiction is treatable; we can help you to give it up once and for all, empowering you to start living your life to the fullest