Cirque Lodge > Blog > Addiction > How to Help Someone with an Addiction to Cocaine

Cocaine addiction is a serious mental health disorder and it can be hard not only for the person suffering from this but also for their loved ones. It is imperative to provide support as soon as you spot cocaine addiction to get them the help they need as soon as possible.

If you know a person struggling with a cocaine addiction, it is important to understand the symptoms of the addiction so you can help them to find and receive the right treatment. Knowing what cocaine is and the different manifestations of addiction will help you decide if assistance is needed.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine, also known as coke, is derived from the coca plant, found in South America. It is a powerful stimulant drug that can give the user a strong feeling of euphoria, making it highly addictive. It comes in the form of a white powder and is commonly snorted, but can also be injected or smoked.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that in 2020, around 5.2 million people in the United States have used cocaine in the past twelve months. This Schedule II drug leaves an increased risk of addiction; however, there are plenty of addiction centers in the US to provide treatment for substance use disorder.

Is Cocaine Addictive?

Addiction to cocaine is a real thing, caused by the stimulant effects it has, creating short feelings of euphoria. These short bursts of energy give this drug a very addictive nature because those who take it will keep searching for that feeling again. Those who take it for a long period of time may struggle to feel happy outside of using the drug, making it a highly addictive substance.

Symptoms of a Cocaine Addiction

People addicted to cocaine show a variety of physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms. It is important to know them so you can spot any potential drug abuse and help them access treatment before it causes any further damage.

Physical symptoms

  • Frequent nose bleeds
  • Insomnia
  • Reduced appetite
  • Fast heart rate

Behavioral symptoms

  • Stealing or borrowing money from people, even loved ones
  • Acting secretive about where they are and their cocaine use
  • No longer attending social events or activities they used to enjoy
  • Only socializing with other cocaine users
  • Unable to cut back on cocaine, even if it is having a negative effect

Psychological symptoms

  • Irritability or agitation when they have not taken cocaine for a while
  • Overconfidence, impulsivity, and excessive energy when they take cocaine

If you spot the signs of cocaine addiction, you may need to approach them in a non-judgmental way and help them receive professional help.

How to Help Someone With a Cocaine Addiction

There are do's and don'ts when it comes to approaching someone who is addicted to cocaine. Substance abuse is a very sensitive topic so it is essential to deal with it in a supportive manner.

DO Help Them to Seek Professional Support

DO Help Them to Seek Professional Support

It is important to treat cocaine addiction as substance use disorder is an illness and requires the right treatment process to recover healthily. There are many treatment locations that can provide individuals with the rehabilitation process they need.

Make sure to approach your friend or loved one in a compassionate, non-judgmental way. Feeling heard and understood can help people feel more inclined to want to get help. Asking them the right questions may trigger a desire to find the right treatment. Some questions may be:

  • What can I do to help?
  • Do you know that those close to you are worried about you?
  • Have you thought about getting help?

The right questions may help this person think about getting addiction treatment. Make sure when you approach them, to do it in a comfortable and quiet place to make it easier to open up.

DO Look After Yourself

Although you might want to help someone struggling, drug addiction affects more than just the user. Make sure to look after your own well-being by practicing self-care; you can take care of yourself by using relaxation techniques like reading a book or mindfulness meditation. Alongside this, you can access support groups for yourself that are based in the community and therapists to help with the stress. Healthy habits like getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating healthy can help you to keep your mental health on track.

DON'T Enable Their Cocaine Addiction

DON'T Enable Their Cocaine Addiction

Without realizing it, you may be doing things that enable someone's addiction. Enabling them refers to things you may do that allow the person to continue their cocaine use. Such behaviors include:

  • Defending their drug abuse
  • Bailing them out of bad situations caused by their drug addiction
  • Giving them money or paying their bills

Even if it comes from a place of love and compassion, sometimes these behaviors can prevent the person abusing cocaine from taking responsibility for their actions or from understanding the consequences.

DO Educate Yourself About Cocaine Addiction

Learning about the effects, symptoms, and treatment of cocaine addiction will not only help understand the person you are worried about, but will allow you to give them the information they need to trigger a desire to change. Noticing patterns in their behavior, such as the stressors that trigger drug use, will help you be a better support system for them.

Information about addiction and treatment for cocaine can be found on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website and the Cirque Lodge website.

Long-term effects of cocaine addiction can lead to many health issues such as:

  • Kidney or lung damage
  • Stroke
  • Unhealthy weight loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Tissue damage in the nose

Explaining these health issues to the person abusing drugs may speed up their motivation to get help. Other effects may be interpersonal like a breakdown of relationships.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options

Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options

Alongside your support, someone addicted to coke will need professional help to stay sober and there are many treatment centers that can help with this.

When finding the right cocaine addiction treatment, make sure you ask for the person's preference as you want to avoid making them feel like they are being forced to go. While there are many options for addiction treatment, everyone is different so you need to find the one that will best suit them.

Drug Abuse Helplines

Helplines are helpful for multiple things: they can find the best treatment for your loved one and offer recovery information and addiction resources. Some addiction centers provide 24/7 text support, ensuring you advice whenever you or your loved one need it. You may receive reoccurring messages, however you can stop these at any point. Remember message and data rates may apply if you use these.

Inpatient Rehab

With cocaine addiction, you may need detoxification from drugs first before receiving therapy. Withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult, and those suffering from cocaine addiction may experience mood swings, depression, and fatigue. Cirque Lodge can help with the detox with our state-of-the-art facilities. Our trained medical staff are always there to support those suffering from withdrawal.

Once the detox process is complete, individual and group therapy sessions are attended to combat the addiction. These sessions will help to educate the individual on cocaine and the effects of addiction. Transitioning back into the community after treatment is complete will be carefully planned so that you enter a sober and supportive environment.

While there is currently no medication for treating cocaine addiction, therapy is considered effective for addiction treatment. Cirque Lodge offers various behavioral therapies, and our experiential therapy provides motivational incentives to stay drug-free. With the beautiful Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, our treatment programs can help provide you with the confidence and skills you need to keep drugs out of your life.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is another form of cocaine addiction treatment that is beneficial. CBT works to identify the thought patterns behind negative behaviors. By practicing coping techniques, you can avoid future relapse by understanding the temptations.

Inpatient Rehab

Support groups also help recovering users share their experiences and strategies with each other. Providing support to someone else in a similar situation to yourself is a good way to develop empathy and improve the efficacy of the treatment you receive.

Receive Help for Your Loved One Today

Addiction is hard, not just for a person suffering from the addiction but also for the people who provide the support system around them. An addiction treatment program from a rehab center like Cirque Lodge will provide the best care to help you and your loved one today. Get in touch today to start the journey toward recovery.

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