The Benefits of Journaling in Recovery

Drugs can cause utter chaos to any individual’s life and to her loved ones. Because of this fact, cocaine addicts and their loved ones often fail to express their concerns, emotions and struggles effectively without experiencing some form of fight internally or from other people. Unfortunately, along with a lack of effective communication, addicts may also struggle with numerous other issues, such as coping with trauma (perhaps the death of a loved one) or a past experience of abuse (physical, sexual, verbal and etc.). These situations could have all triggered drug abuse, which means both they and the drug abuse must be addressed for users to get and stay clean from cocaine.

To that end, journaling can be a form of release for anyone, even for those who do not struggle with drug abuse. In fact, some individuals can better express themselves in written forms of communication rather than by sitting in front of an individual and explaining their thoughts and feelings. Although this form of communication may not be ideal for everyone, it can be extremely beneficial for many people in myriad ways. For instance, drug addicts typically respond to some methods of treatment better than others, so one addict may absolutely need this creative outlet to succeed while another drug user may not. However, effective communication, whether verbal or written, is extremely important in recovery, so recovering addicts can use this method to plan their words or even to relieve pain from the past.

How Can Journaling Help Someone in Addiction Recovery?

Cocaine abuse affects each user differently based on the duration of use, the amount of cocaine used, method of use and if any underlying health issues exacerbate drug abuse. Typically, most of cocaine’s side effects start to dwindle after 30 minutes, which may leave users scrambling for more drugs to experience the same effects. This process often leads users down a dangerous path that elevates the risk of sudden death due to overdose. In fact, many cocaine users report feeling the following side effects[1]:

  • An increased sense of alertness and energy
  • Extremely elevated mood
  • Feelings of supremacy

The above sensations that cocaine users typically feel can cause them to experience serious problems. For instance, some people who are high on cocaine behave poorly, which can lead to legal trouble and relationship issues due to mood swings. With all these issues that affect a cocaine user’s personal, social, and professional life, it can lead to even further drug abuse so they can feel better about themselves. In fact, some drug users and addicts finally reach the point where they desire sobriety so badly that they will seek out any ways to get clean. Such people may attempt sobriety in numerous ways, from online tools to community resources and self-help groups. However, most forms of treatment utilize journaling for the following reasons:

  • Self-reflection
  • Make connections
  • Identify goals
  • Keep track of progress

For most addicts, journaling is an extremely positive way for self-reflection and to cope. By recording their thoughts, they can understand how addiction impacted both their own lives and the lives of their loved ones. Furthermore, maintaining a journal helps addicts document their progress, keep record of their daily experiences and connect their thoughts and feelings with their actions. In short, it teaches addicts to be responsible for their own behavior that stems from their thoughts. Lastly, journaling is a great way to identify and record goals, dreams, habits and conflicts on a daily basis. By keeping a journal, recovering addicts can fully express their thoughts and emotions privately, which means they can avoid feeling judged and criticized.

Keeping a journal can also help recovering addicts establish checkpoints during their sobriety. Each checkpoint reveals a bit more perspective about one’s addiction. For example, painful memories often underlie addiction, but, if you bury and ignore these problems, then they can come back to haunt you in such a way that jeopardizes your sobriety. However, if you write about these events along with the emotions surrounding them, then you can work through these problems in a healthy manner rather than masking them with cocaine abuse. Ultimately, if these feelings of anxiety, guilt, depression and remorse continue untreated, then addicts are at much higher risks for relapse. On the other hand, journaling is an excellent tool for any addict to continue moving forward by sharing his feelings, thoughts, progress, triumphs and setbacks.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one suffers from cocaine addiction and a mental illness, then know that professional help can support your recovery efforts. Please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now, because our admissions coordinators can answer your questions and help you find the best treatment for your condition. Give us a call today and seek professional help as soon as possible.


[1], Cocaine Use and Its Effects, Joseph Goldberg, MD, 01/02/2016, 06/23/2013.

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