Cocaine is a white powder which comes from the coca plant of South America. In the 1880s, medical community began using the substance as a local anaesthetic. By the 1960s, people were taking the illicit drug as a ‘feel good’ stimulant used to party all night. Some of the unpleasant and harmful risks include heart attacks, seizures and strokes, not to mention physical addiction. Cocaine was made illegal by the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1920. It is now classed as a Class A Drug, controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Possession carries a punishment of up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Possession with the intent to supply holds the price of life in prison.
Signs or symptoms of an overdose include unpleasant physical reactions all the way up to a heart attack or stroke caused by elevated heart usage. Some of the most common signs are:
In the event of an overdose please contact emergency medical services (999) in the UK or 911 in the US. Medical professionals will try to restore blood flow to the heard, stop the seizure and restore blood flow to the brain.
Someone who is addicted to cocaine, or crack cocaine does not have to be taking it every day. Some common signs of addiction include; wanting to stop and not being able to, the inability to moderate or control using, returning to using cocaine regardless of its negative consequences on one’s life or the lives of those around them.
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Unlike alcohol dependency or heroin addiction, there is no medication that works as a substitute for cocaine (powder), crack cocaine or other stimulants. The comedown from cocaine use can vary in time and intensity from hours, to days, weeks or even months of withdrawal. Some people who are coming away from active addiction may experience PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome). The risk of returning to use increases during this time as the body attempts to rebalance itself.
Cocaine withdrawal can be difficult, and the good news is overcoming drug use and never returning to it, is possible! Things like having a support structure including family, friends, and practical tools to help cope with this challenging phase of recovery can be invaluable.
Help Me Stop have had many successful graduated who had a long history of cocaine use stop and stay stopped after completion of the Dayhab and Digital Dayhab programmes. This is also in line with the NHS view that most people who have cocaine addiction treatment have good results. The NHS website also says that, “The majority of people treated for a powder cocaine addiction remain drug free.” (15 April 2020)
The intensive addiction treatment program at Help Me Stop lasts just six weeks and consists of a mixture of group work, one to one counselling with specialised therapists and the twelve step model of recovery. This approach has proven most affective in lives of many people who after short stint in treatment and engagement with community-based support, go on to live meaningful and joyful lives without the use of any drugs inclusive of alcohol.
If you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, or know someone who does, contact us for confidential advice: