Cocaine is one of the world's most powerful stimulants. Addiction to cocaine can cause job loss, ruin family relationships and even be life threatening. There are no physical effects of withdrawal from cocaine. However, the psychological addiction can be equal to the physical addiction to heroin. Plus, unlike heroin, there is no substitute drug to wean an addict off of cocaine. The drug actually changes brain chemistry, so the only effective way to treat the addiction is to modify the addictive behaviour.
Stop using cocaine. This is harder than it sounds but is the first crucial step in kicking a cocaine habit. If you have cocaine at home, flush it down the toilet. If you have hidden any of it from yourself, get rid of that, too. Get rid of all cocaine related paraphernalia, so that you are less tempted. Do not allow anyone to bring cocaine to your home, either.
Tell your friends and family that you are kicking your cocaine habit. It might seem embarrassing at first, but this is important. By letting people know, you are drawing on the support of people that can help you. You will not only have your own expectations, but those of friends and family as well. It sounds like peer pressure but can used as positive reinforcement.
Stop using any other substances. This includes alcohol, marijuana, heroin and prescription painkillers such as Oxycodon or Vicodin. Prescribed pills, such as Xanax, fall into this category as well. But speak with your doctor before ceasing use of anything prescribed for anxiety, or a psychological disorder. Also, abstain from pornography, if it is an issue. Because of the way cocaine influences the pleasure receptors of the brain, any activity that overly stimulates those receptors, such as habitual pornography watching, should be stopped.
Recognise things that trigger cocaine use. Make a list of these things. Alcohol is a common trigger for substance abuse. TV and movies depicting drug abuse are also known triggers. Because cocaine is a psychological addiction, look for triggers that cause emotional stress. You may not be able to avoid all triggers, but by becoming aware of them, you strengthen your chances of defending against them.
Exercise. Kicking a habit at home doesn't necessarily mean you have to lock yourself inside your house. Often cocaine addicts will shut themselves up in a house for days at a time, curtains drawn, not sleeping and snorting cocaine. Fresh air and sunlight are healthy for an addict. Get on a regular schedule. Go to sleep at night and wake up the same time every morning. Use exercise equipment if it is available. This will cut down on the urge to use cocaine because it releases serotonin, a pleasure inducing chemical, into the brain.
Change your diet. Cocaine addicts don't eat regularly as the drug tends to suppress appetite. Eat three square meals a day, or five smaller portioned meals spread out through the day. Your body will need the nutrients, especially if you are exercising. Drink lots of water and juices. Cocaine can severely dehydrate the body so it will need to be replenished.
Reward yourself. Kicking a cocaine habit doesn't have to be some miserable chore. It is a positive thing that requires patience and perseverance. Reward yourself as you make progress. Treat yourself to a speciality food item, put some new songs on your MP3 player or buy a new dress. However, do not celebrate with alcohol or cigars as these will only trigger a desire to use cocaine.
Stay motivated. Make a plan. Write out all of things you have been doing to kick the cocaine habit. Also list all the things you want to do once you are clean. Give yourself goals so that being sober will have purpose and not feel like it's boring in comparison to the so-called excitement of the drug-using period.
- Be prepared for the withdrawal symptoms. The initial symptoms include: depression, anxiety, tiredness and moodiness. Once you have been clean for a few weeks another phase of withdrawal sets in called post-acute withdrawal. These symptoms can be: mood swings, apathy, lack of concentration and insomnia. These symptoms can last in varying degrees for up to two years. Professional help is always recommended when dealing with a severe cocaine addiction.