A former cocaine addict has revealed how Cocaine Anonymous meetings helped him to quit the party drug and change his life for the better.
In the wake of possibly the UK’s largest ever cocaine seizure, thought to be worth in the region of £500 million pounds, by the National Crime Agency off the coast of Aberdeen, a new Cocaine Anonymous fellowship in Kirkcaldy has set out to address cocaine’s effects on a human scale north of the border.
One member, who chose to remain anonymous, told Dundee newspaper, The Courier that Cocaine Anonymous had changed his life and could do the same for other addicts dependent on the substance.
“Cocaine addiction is a big problem all over Scotland but these meetings can change the life of users,” he said. “They definitely changed my life. It was the first place I could talk properly about my substance abuse without fear of being judged or criticised.
I was addicted to cocaine and other mind-altering substances and used it to escape reality but in truth, the damage it did to me was unbelievable. Every minute of every day I was living in abject misery. I wanted to stop but I couldn’t. I couldn’t understand what was causing me to use every day, he added.
Since joining CA, however, the former addict’s prospects have brightened significantly. “I’ve been clean for a number of years now and it’s all thanks to everything I learned from the 12-step recovery programme,” he said.
“Everyone is welcome and I just hope by speaking out this reaches someone and they take the first step to changing their lives for the better by going along to one of the meetings. If I can do it, others can too – they just need to take that first step,” he added.
Essential cocaine facts
- Short-lived cocaine effects can include increased confidence, alertness and staying awake for longer.
- It also raises the body’s temperature, reduces appetite and makes the heart beat faster.
- Cocaine side effects range from the resulting ‘comedown’ depression, which can last several days afterwards, to deadly overdoses that can bring about a heart attack and heart failure.
- Prolonged cocaine use can seriously damage the cartilage in your nose and also lead to problems with anxiety, paranoia and panic attacks.
- During the depressive cocaine withdrawal stage, the temptation can be to take more to ward off the negative effects.
Cocaine treatment and aftercare
Residential addiction treatment is often the most effective course of action for cocaine addicts. Rehabs are abstinence based and provide an intensive programme of support and care for people who have difficulty becoming drug or alcohol free. Many treatment centres have detox facilities to ensure that abstinence can be reached in a safe, comfortable and medically supervised environment.
Private rehab offers the opportunity to deal with not only the physical but also the psychological aspects of addiction. This can help to ultimately conquer a physical or emotional dependence on substances or behaviours. Residential programmes also remove outside stimuli, triggers, associations and distractions –allowing an addict to ‘press the pause button’ and take the time to get well without the pressures of everyday life.
Plus, it’s an opportunity to acquire the skills to adjust to a clean and sober life, building a solid foundation for recovery and preparing for a life without addiction. Post rehab, regular attendance at support groups – like CA – can prove hugely beneficial in terms of maintaining that ongoing recovery process.
For more information about Cocaine Anonymous visit www.cauk.org.uk.
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