Intervention For Cocaine Users
Cocaine is an intense drug in all respects. The mood states and extremes of mood state are relatively short lived yet very powerful. Family intervention for cocaine problems often comes at an early stage in a person’s addictive condition as the extremes of behaviour and attitude change are so severe and apparent. Cocaine is relatively expensive and produces extreme reactions in the person so that they very quickly exhibit severe problems within relationships, family, workplace and of course with friends.
The un-manageability factor impacts upon those around a cocaine user quite rapidly in a very chaotic way. Cocaine is such a powerful mood altering chemical but with a relatively short arousal and intoxication stage that a person’s behaviour can be offensive, and then returned to pleasant, and a rapid move into very low mood.
The family will hit rock bottom around another person’s cocaine usage quite quickly as they feel pushed and battered by this monster personality that appears within their midst. Cocaine users tend to exhibit severe denial minimisation of their emotional state, and will certainly lie about the cocaine use regarding its quantity frequency.
Cocaine users can rarely stay stopped for more than 10 or 11 days at a time, but will often attempted several days of abstinence. This leaves the family constantly wrong footed, in a state of confusion and bewilderment. The cocaine users mood state when withdrawing from a recent bout of using can be very difficult to live with.
Cocaine users tend to be very demanding of others, will leap easily to be defensive and blaming. This results in family members “walking on eggshells” as they are in fear of the type of person and reaction that may be with them at any moment.
Cocaine dependency is certainly more psychological than physical. This does present some interesting problems when attempting to help a person who has a drug problem relating to cocaine. They will rarely consider abstinence from all mood of mind altering drugs and option for them, preferring instead to take up drinking. Cocaine users will often feel that they have solved their problems if they stop taking cocaine but will rarely acknowledge the fact that they have replaced the sobriety from cocaine with another chemical behaviour.
Cocaine stimulates the pleasure arousal system. Sexual relationships, risk-taking or high achievement at work appeared to provide a person with stimulants to this arousal system as well. The family intervention will have to be centred on abstinence-based boundaries in order that an individual can engage in a treatment package where they can learn for themselves the relationship between the need for arousal and the need for sobriety.
Interventions for cocaine users are often long before the kind of powerful rock bottom that can lie in wait for untreated addiction. Left unattended, cocaine addiction will often result in jail by way of the pressures of maintaining the supply of cocaine. Cocaine addiction will often give way to other forms of chemical usage. When this becomes alcohol or heroin it is likely that rock bottoms will involve health and social consequences.
Cocaine interventions require a group of concerned others to work well together. This is an early intervention drug for many people. Often cocaine users still have partners, children, employment etc. These factors combine to offer the individual with a severe alibi system for their addiction induced denial. It is important at this stage to remind ourselves, what will happen if we do nothing.
Family and workplace interventions for cocaine are also highly effective because there are so many normal social environment still available to the person with a drug problem. An intervention has the normal emotional support and challenge to the addiction, but invariably it is also based around employment, social standing, legal issues, friendships and family. Untreated, addiction to cocaine will of course destroy all of these things over a period of time. To intervene in the process now by presenting the consequences of choosing cocaine rather than treatment tend to result in a high uptake of the treatment option.
Once a person is in treatment after a family intervention they will often feel that it has been a major mistake. The psychological craving for cocaine tends to be masked and presented to the person with alibi statements. These are irrational rationalisations that are presented as arguments to family and counselling staff within the treatment centre. They will often involve minimisation that there is indeed a problem, maximising the families received overreaction. The individual always claim that they need to get back to work that they are relied upon by others etc.They very rarely realise that they are creating opportunity for them to leave treatment and use cocaine again.
Family intervention groups are highly effective at reforming around the (day 11 do a runner) leaving demands of the cocaine client. The group can reform at this point and present the reality to the individual about the requirement for them to take responsibility for learning how to live without the need for drugs or alcohol. It is at this point that the individual starts to realise the self obsession and delusional mentality that cocaine dependency creates.
Cocaine users that complete treatment often then go on to become quite high achievers in many areas of their lives. They often become quite energetic in embracing a higher quality of life and social values. They often are very energetic in the ongoing after-care programmes and engaged well with self-help groups like Cocaine Anonymous to good effect. Cocaine users who are in active recovery often share how the drug managed to create a psychological dependency and a state of denial that was all consuming at the time. They also note that they needed months of abstinence from all mood in mind altering chemicals, alongside a powerful and effective therapy experience in order for this realisation to take place.
The family intervention for cocaine users becomes very aware of these factors early on. Cocaine interventions are not just about getting an individual into treatment. They are very much about keeping them in treatment and then having clear and powerful recovery boundaries post-treatment to create this opportunity for the individual to awaken to the reality of sobriety.