The Risk of Relapsing on Cocaine after Recovery from a Severe Addiction

Severe cocaine addiction is something that can be incredibly difficult to overcome. When addicts seek treatment for their problems, it is the first of many steps to achieving a more fulfilling life. Unfortunately, completing treatment does not ensure a full recovery. There are many risks of relapse that may occur after treatment.

Factors that Contribute to Relapse

There are many things that contribute to the risk of cocaine relapse, and the risks are especially high for those recovering from a severe addiction. Cravings are a common cause of relapse for individuals, as cocaine is known to produce intense, overwhelming cravings. Even the slightest triggers can prompt the brain to strongly desire cocaine use. Those with these cravings may recall vivid memories and tastes of cocaine that can feel irresistible. Cravings are most often brought on by people, places, sights, sounds, and scents that the recovering addict associates with prior cocaine use. When the recovering addict cannot control these cravings, relapse is often the result.

Other times, recovered addicts fall back into addiction for reasons other than cravings. Peer pressure is one of these reasons. When cocaine addicts enter treatment, they are temporarily separated from the people that they usually spend time with using drugs. However, once treatment has ended, recovering addicts are placed back into an environment where their friends are still using cocaine. Even if these people don’t openly pressure the recovering addict, peer pressure may still occur. Unspoken peer pressure takes place when others use cocaine in front of a recovering addict, making that person feel left out from the group. Unfortunately, it can be easy to give in to these pressures and fall back into addiction.

Preventing Cocaine Relapse

Perhaps the best way to avoid relapse is to reduce the triggers in your environment. These triggers may initiate the onset of cravings or addictive behaviors, pushing you into relapse. By ridding your environment of personal triggers, relapse risks can be minimized. To do this, you must first determine what your triggers are. Do you think about using cocaine when you are around a particular person? Are there certain scents that remind you of cocaine? When you identify these types of triggers, you can alter your environment accordingly. For example, you may need to stop spending time with the people you used to use drugs with.

While it is beneficial to reduce triggers, it is impossible to completely avoid them altogether. For that reason, it is necessary to create a plan for when you are confronted with your triggers. There are many effective ways to overcome cravings, and each person responds differently to the different methods. Many people find it useful to simply go somewhere else when they notice the onset of a craving. Others find it helpful to distract themselves with unrelated entertainment or conversation. Furthermore, some people best overcome cravings by recognizing that it is a normal experience and by talking it through with a reliable friend or family member.

Get Help for Cocaine Addiction

If you or someone you know has become addicted to cocaine, it is important to seek appropriate treatment. Therefore, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about cocaine addiction treatment.

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