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Should I Quit My Cocaine Use Before Xmas & The New Year?

By Chris Cordell

Britain is a cocaine-loving country, and its love for the drug is growing. The country uses more cocaine than anywhere in Europe and in some big cities like London 23kg of it is being used every day. For some of you reading this you may think the answer to the above question is a no brainer, especially after reading the following.

The Negative Effects Of Cocaine

Because cocaine affects the central nervous system, there is a wide range of negative effects that result from using it. Here are some commonly reported downsides of cocaine use:

  • Nose bleeds
  • Trouble breathing
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Chest pains
  • Inability to get or keep an erection
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness or anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Dry mouth
  • Talking rubbish
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stomach pains
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Extremely low blood pressure
  • Uncontrolled weight loss

And of course, cocaine use may lead to sudden death often due to cardiac arrest or seizures.

Heavy cocaine use also brings in additional consequences such as:

  • Kidney failure
  • Brain haemorrhage
  • Lost sense of smell.
  • Reduced cognitive abilities. This includes memory loss, lowered attention span, or decreased decision-making ability. Attention span may be permanent, and some may experience a shrinkage of grey brain matter and premature aging
  • Inflammation of nose tissues. Prolonged inflammation can lead to collapse of the nose and nasal cavity, as well as holes in the roof of the mouth
  • Lung damage. This can include scar tissue formation, “cracked lung”. internal bleeding, new or worsening symptoms of asthma, or emphysema.
  • Increased risk of nervous system disorders. Risk of conditions affecting the central nervous system, such as Parkinson’s, may increase.

Then there is also the added risk of combing alcohol and cocaine that causes the liver to manufacture a third substance, cocaethylene, that intensifies the drugs euphoric effects but also increases the risk of sudden death.

cocaine woman

Plus, there are all the additional nonphysical or psychological consequences of cocaine use to look forward to such as:

  • Escalating arguments with you partner because yet again you have put your cocaine use above their needs. This maybe because you have also had a few drinks and then went off with someone else for the night, hour etc. and you’ve been caught out. Or yet again you are late home because you have “been on it”
  • Money troubles. Cocaine use escalates as your body becomes tolerant causing you to buy more and use more. So, unless you have a bottomless pit of cash this is going to be a problem. It won’t be long before you find you are; consistently paying bills late in favour of spending money on cocaine, maxing out your credit cards in an effort to pay bills or get money for cocaine, frequently borrowing money from friends or family members to buy cocaine, stealing money from family members or friends to buy more cocaine or engaging in illicit activities, such as other types of theft or selling drugs.
  • Work issues as yet again you have been on it and turned up late or not at all and even when you are at work you are underperforming as you are tired, irritable and not focussed. The last one is a great excuse for having a “cheeky one” at work to bring you back on point. If you are at this point you are in real trouble.

So with all of the above as possible consequences why wouldn’t you give up now?

Well here are a few that we have heard

  • My use is not that bad – you got to love denial it’s a great excuse to keep on doing what you are doing. Its just a shame that unless you can get honest with yourself all of the above is coming your way, if it hasn’t started all ready.
  • I am having one last blow out and then I will stop – (see above) you go to love denial it’s a great excuse to keep on doing what you are doing. If I had a pound for every time someone that has a drug or alcohol problem says this to themselves, and others, then carries on using I’d be a rich man. The simple truth is stopping and staying stopped is not easy as many of you reading this will know. Trying to do it on your own and just relaying on will power just isn’t going to work.
  • Its party month, even in a COVID situation, and I don’t want to be the killjoy - Lucy White, a student at the University of the West of England, knew the dangers of messing with drugs: she saw 19-year-old Drake Morgan-Baines collapse and die in front of her while she was working in Motion nightclub in Bristol. But just seven months later, Lucy herself died of a lethal cocktail of cocaine and prescription drugs. “It was the drugs that killed her, but it was also the people she was with, and the peer pressure,” says her sister.
  • It makes me more confident, funnier, and more interesting. It makes me a better version of me -And now we are getting close to one of key reasons not to quit now or maybe ever – fear. Of course, the reality is that you are not funnier, you are not a better version of you when using and with regards to confidence issues then there are far more healthy ways of addressing this.

I am sure there are many more reasons and it would be great  if those reading this that have found abstinence would email us them in at enquiries@hepmestop.og.uk so we can publish them anonymously in a later blog.

A Way Out

The staff at Help Me Stop have been there, done it and worn the t-shirt so we know what its like as individuals but also as professional drug and alcohol therapists we have found solutions and can help you as well.

Help Me Stop’s intensive non-residential outpatient Dayhab programme is an effective solution that also offers 12 months of free accessible aftercare and family support options. Treatment is delivered face to face either in the mornings or afternoons over 6 weeks right through this Xmas period.

For those adults who are working and can’t access services in the day or get to our centre in West London we offer a 6-week evening online outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programme, run by the same therapists that provide the face to face programme. Again we are running this all through the Xmas period.

If you concerned about your cocaine use, or someone you care abouts' use, and want to know what your options are then call us now on 0208 191 9174 or jump onto Live Chat/email us directly at https://helpmestop.org.uk/contact-us

Chris Cordell is Help Me Stop's General Manager and is a senior associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine, Certified International Recovery Specialist, member of the International Society of Addiction Medicine and a member of the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals.

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