Speaking to a friend or loved one about cocaine addiction is a difficult bridge to cross, but doing so can make an enormous difference in their decision to seek help in the future. The unfortunate truth is that many people witness signs of cocaine abuse in someone they know but do nothing to help them access or succeed in substance abuse treatment.
Stigma and misinformation can threaten the most well-meant attempts to obtain help for someone you care about. With that in mind, we have put together this short guide to recognizing cocaine abuse, discussing addiction, and ultimately supporting a loved one through drug abuse treatment.
Understanding the signs of addiction can help you assess the severity of your loved one’s cocaine use. Understanding the signs will also help you build the foundations to support them and encourage them to seek treatment.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that “substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.”
According to this, cocaine addiction may have reached a point where it is harmful, recognizable, and treatable regardless of whether it is affecting the individual’s physical, emotional, or social health. In many cases, particularly when considering more extreme addictions, cocaine addiction begins to permeate many aspects of the addicted person’s life, degrading personal health, sabotaging work and relationships, clouding emotional reactions, and hindering rational judgment.
If a person recognizes these impairments and negative consequences but fails to cut back or quit, the signs point clearly to cocaine use disorder.
If you recognize any of the above signs and symptoms of addiction in a loved one or friend, the possibility that you are dealing with a cocaine use disorder needs to be taken seriously. In most cases, the next responsible step is to start talking.
Bringing up the subject of problematic drug use for the first time can be challenging, so it is important to feel grounded and secure in your observations before you begin. Once you’re ready, it’s time to start talking, but remember that stigmatization, blame games, and alienation are poisonous to recovery. Instead, we recommend the following:
Many voices are stronger than one. Likewise, discussing drug abuse one-on-one may not be the best way to get your loved one’s potential addiction seen.
In an intervention, a meeting will be planned by the worried and affected friends and family members of the person who needs help from a treatment center. During the intervention, the various organizers will each share their own experiences of their loved one’s cocaine use, highlighting how it has affected their lives, changes they have observed in the central person’s behavior, and why they feel it is time to stop drug abuse.
Intervention does not need to wait until your friend or a family member has hit their lowest point. In fact, these essential social tools can work even in the early stages of cocaine addiction. The sooner a person checks into treatment facilities and starts receiving specialized care, the better the chances are that they can avoid the terrible health consequences of long-term drug abuse.
Whether they continue living with or near to you or check-in for full-time medical supervision for an extended period, don’t think that because your loved one has signed up for substance use disorder treatment, you can’t do anything to help. There are many things you can do, some of which we have outlined below.
Whether they select inpatient treatment or intensive outpatient treatment, put some work into learning what your loved one can expect from the form of treatment they opt for. Check out what kind of therapies and treatment options are on offer for treating cocaine addiction, and do your best to learn about how they work.
It can be hard to accept, but casting a therapeutic eye on yourself during your loved one’s addiction treatment can do wonders to help them stay sober. If the addicted person is a family member or spouse, the treatment facility may offer some form of family or couples therapy designed to help you uncover and manage the historic and present-day relationship dynamics that may be contributing to your loved one’s substance use disorder.
Family or couples therapy is a private and convenient solution to dealing with these dynamics and preventing relapse, helping you process the causes and outcomes of cocaine addiction with the expert guidance of a clinical professional.
Social support after treatment is one of the best predictors of success in sobriety. If the addicted person does not live with you or stays elsewhere during treatment, make preparations to adjust to their new needs before seeing them again.
This may include hiding reminders of cocaine use, creating a substance-free living environment, finding local Narcotics Anonymous (NA) chapters, or brainstorming sober activities to do together when you see them again.
Simple acts like this communicate your solidarity and care for the mental health of your loved one and ensure that recovery is sustainable, supportive, and connected.
If you are worried about a loved one or friend, contact us today. We can support you in helping them by providing you with a wealth of information surrounding our services.
Contact our team to find out how we can help you