According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2018, more than 4 out of 5 people or 86.5 percent of people aged 12 and older were perceived as having a great risk of harm from weekly cocaine use. Additionally in 2018, 1.9 million Americans aged 12 and overused cocaine in the past month and 5.5 million people used cocaine in the past year. These numbers are alarming because cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug. When abused, it can result in fatal overdoses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2012 through 2018 the rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine more than tripled.
Given the severity and potentially deadly consequences of cocaine use, it is vital to take the steps necessary to wean off cocaine. By now you might be wondering, how to wean off drugs? A few steps can be taken to wean yourself off drugs. These include getting help to control the doses, create a schedule, track the changes, seek out support, work through the cravings, and find an addiction rehabilitation clinic.
It’s important to know that weaning off cocaine can result in profound depression, negative thoughts, and feelings that could result in suicide attempts. Also, seizures and cardiovascular complications can arise during the cocaine detoxification process. Therefore, don’t attempt to quit cold turkey on your own. A person who is weaning off cocaine needs to be supervised closely by a loved one or medical professional in order to increase their chances of success and reduce their chances of harm.
Get help with controlling doses
If you have been using cocaine for a long time you have probably developed a tolerance for the drug. This means that it takes a higher dose of the drug to get the same high you originally experienced. Therefore, it can be extremely difficult to try to wean off drugs on your own. One way to control the amount of cocaine you take is to lock the substance up in a secured cabinet to prevent binging. When the withdrawal symptoms start and your body starts craving the drug, the cabinet will make it impossible to get the cocaine. Typically, stimulants like cocaine are used in a binge pattern that is followed by periods of withdrawal. Therefore, giving a friend or loved one the key to the cabinet so you can only receive the appropriate dose can increase your chances of withdrawing by making it difficult for you to have access to your cocaine.
Create a schedule
Have you ever heard the phrase consistency is key to success? Well, the same can be said when weaning off drugs. Creating a consistent schedule keeps you focused on your task at hand and leaves little time to seek or use drugs.
How to get off drugs at home? The Mayo Clinic stated that when coming off drugs tapering is the best to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms. Tapering is the act of gradually reducing drug use. By creating a schedule to monitor your cocaine use you can see just how much of the drug you are using. Knowing how much cocaine you are currently taking and making a schedule to slowly reduce your drug intake is a safe way to taper off the drug. This will ensure that you are not quitting cold turkey which could result in painful withdrawal symptoms. Depending on how much cocaine you’ve been taking it can take weeks or even months to gradually reduce your dose safely and get off drugs.
Track the changes
As you taper off cocaine keep track of how your body is feeling and what dosage you are currently taking. This can help you determine if you are cutting your dose too steeply or think you can handle more of a dose reduction. It’s important to really focus on your symptoms and the way you are feeling to experience the best possible outcome. Daily keeping track of things like how much money you are saving, how much more energy you have, how many hours you were able to work, and how much time you spend with friends or family can keep you motivated to continue your detox journey. Talk to a Intake Coordinator
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Seek out support
A strong support system can help you stay on track to recovery and avoid relapses. Family and friends make a huge difference in the detox process by motivating you to stay on task and keep working through the painful detox process. During the detox process you may start to feel alone and like no one understands what you are going through. These negative thoughts can take over your mind, making you start to think about relapsing. Peer support has been proven to increase self-esteem, confidence, positive feelings of accomplishment, increase your ability to cope with challenges that arise as a result of drug use, and increase your chances of recovering from drug use.
Seeking out support groups like Cocaine Anonymous can help you get connected with peers who are going through the same journey as you are. Cocaine Anonymous is a 12 step intervention for cocaine abuse and addiction that can help lead to recovery from substance abuse. Peer support groups can be delivered in a bunch of different methods like in-person self-help groups, internet support groups, peer-run or operated services, peer partnerships, and peer case managers. Peer support groups are an important aspect of the addiction recovery process.
Work through cravings
Stimulants like cocaine reduce your appetite which leads to weight loss and poor nutrition. You may feel dehydrated and have electrolyte imbalances from your drug use. When you don’t feel good you are more likely to use cocaine to make you feel normal. However, when you feel good you are less likely to resort back to drug use. Therefore, you can work through your cravings by drinking water, sticking to regular mealtimes, eating foods low in fat, eating more protein and fiber, taking vitamin supplements, and getting regular exercise. These can all help you reduce your cravings for cocaine.
Practicing yoga is another tool to help you work through your cravings. It can help improve your general wellness through relieving stress, supporting good health habits, and improving mental and emotional health, sleep, and balance. This can be very beneficial when dealing with painful withdrawal symptoms. Yoga has been found to help people who suffer from anxiety or depression manage their symptoms. Anxiety and depression are two symptoms of cocaine withdrawal, so being able to manage them can be very helpful to get through your withdrawal from cocaine. Lastly, yoga can help reduce cravings to improve your quality of life.
Finding An Addiction Rehab Center
Weaning off cocaine can be extremely difficult on your own. When all else fails, a high-quality rehab can help. If you feel overwhelmed and are thinking about returning to using cocaine, finding a rehab facility can greatly increase your chances of success. Rehab facilities provide the support and treatment necessary to recover from your drug addiction. While there are currently no medications that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help with the detox process, behavioral therapies have been proven to help. Behavioral therapies will work to alter your thoughts towards drugs making it easier for you to achieve lifelong abstinence.
- 4 Physical detoxification services for withdrawal from specific substances. SAMHSA.
- Addiction Treatment Options. Sunshine Behavioral Health.
- Benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addictions. Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Journal.
- Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999-2018. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. SAMHSA.
- Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
- Substance use recovery and diet. Medline Plus.
- Tapering off opioids: When and how. Mayo Clinic.
- Yoga: What you need to know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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