Seeing a loved one spiral with an addiction to cocaine is heart-wrenching and realistically that pain extends to all substances. You just hate to see someone you care about in the vice grip of dependency.
You feel powerless, totally devoid of control. They seem well beyond the point of reasoning and you find yourself at a loss for what to do next.
However, and you know this deep in your core, giving up on someone you love isn’t an option either.
Is there a viable move you can make?
Absolutely, cocaine addiction interventions can be the gamechanger and rejuvenator you’re searching for. More on that in a moment though.
The Dangers of Cocaine
What is cocaine and why is it so downright dangerous?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that it’s a powerfully addictive stimulant. Often referred to as blow, coke, snow and more cocaine is most typically snorted. Alternatively, it can be rubbed on the gums, smoked or dissolved and injected straight into the bloodstream.
Cocaine works by flooding the brain with dopamine, it essentially stimulates the reward pathways of the brain which leads to hard to fight cravings for more and more.
Again, as NIDA points out, “with repeated exposure to cocaine, the brain starts to adapt so that the reward pathway becomes less sensitive to natural reinforcers”. This serves to reinforce the compulsion to keep using because, “circuits involved in stress become increasingly sensitive, leading to increased displeasure and negative moods when not taking the drug, which are signs of withdrawal. These combined effects make the user more likely to focus on seeking the drug instead of relationships, food, or other natural rewards”.
It’s a brutal cycle that feeds into greater dependency and the need to take ever larger amounts, more frequently, to achieve the same effect as before.
The effects on the body are equally stark with weight loss and an overall lack of nourishment being hallmarks of prolonged cocaine use. The likelihood of strokes also increases as well.
What Is an Intervention?
Painting a picture of the dangers brings us back to what you can do about it.
An intervention is literally you stepping in and intervening in your loved one’s cocaine use. It’s a deliberate process by which change is introduced into an individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
It generally involves close family and friends who prepare remarks about how cocaine, or any substance, abuse has been self-destructive.
Think of it as holding a mirror to their behavior so they can truly, and perhaps finally, see the havoc they’ve caused themselves and the damage cocaine has done to not only their own lives but the relationships with those they’re closest to.
How Do I Know When an Intervention Is Necessary?
Even without being the keenest observer, the warning signs of addiction becomes clearer and clearer the longer someone is locked in. Unfortunately, there’s not an exact moment or line in the sand that they’ll cross that will miraculously dictate when a cocaine intervention is necessary.
Some things to look out for as red flags are:
- Drastically increased tolerance and usage
- Dramatic changes in appearance, most typically manifesting in significant weight loss
- Irritability and mood swings when not using
- Denial there’s a problem even though it’s clearly evident
- Riskier behavior
- Financial and legal troubles related to getting more cocaine
At a certain point, you’ll also reach your own limit of watching the self-destructive behavior, when it’s become abundantly clear that your friend or family member is losing the battle and a cocaine intervention is imperative.
Footprints of Serenity Are Intervention Experts
The best course of action you can take though is to learn and get educated on your options. Talk to professional interventionists like us at Footprints of Serenity. Tell us your story and let’s work together to create a plan that gets your loved one the treatment they need.