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Why the party season is the hardest time of the year to stop taking cocaine


Meet Tony, 31, from Alderley Edge. Not so long ago, this recovering cocaine addict’s festive seasons would lurch from one drug-fuelled party to the next. This is Tony’s upfront account of how the party season was the hardest time of the year for him to quit cocaine but, with a little help from Port of Call, he succeeded.

Tony’s story

I used to work in a high-stakes, high pressure sales job. How would I unwind after a bad run of results? Cocaine. How would I celebrate with my team if we smashed our sales targets? Cocaine. How would we fuel big nights out entertaining our most prized clients? You guessed it: cocaine.

Cocaine addiction treatment

It was everywhere and a huge part of the culture. That was never truer than around Christmas. It was common at office parties to see groups of executives disappearing to the toilets together and coming back in ‘high spirits’ shall we say.

One year, after a particularly heavy run of parties, I remember sitting down to Christmas dinner with my wife and parents. I was finding the politely strained conversation tedious and all I could think about was relieving the boredom with a line of cocaine. I was agitated and moody. Eventually, I snapped and ended up flying off the handle at my mother for no particular reason.

Seeing her in tears was enough to snap me back to reality. What am I doing? I thought. How has it got to this stage? I made my apologies and promised myself that I’d look for help in the New Year. Of course, the lure of going out in those deathly dull days between Christmas and New Year, then of course on New Year’s Eve itself, was too much to resist.

I slipped right back into my cycle of cocaine abuse.

I woke up on 1 January 2015 with a note on my wife’s empty pillow. “I know about your cocaine addiction Tony,” my wife’s note said. “I’m leaving you. Please get help, for your own sake. I think Port of Call can help.” I was dumbstruck. I thought I had hidden my problem from everyone. Obviously not.

After a few hours of soul searching, I called the number on the note. I hadn’t expected to but I ended up pouring my heart out to Port of Call’s adviser. To be fair, they listened patiently and gave me some great advice. We talked through my options; it was clear that I needed some treatment. So I decided to check into rehab as soon as I could.

Port of Call were able to find me a private rehab centre right on my doorstep and I checked in for 28 days of intensive addiction treatment. I went through detox and talked through my issues in counselling sessions, while Cognitive Behaviour Therapy really helped me to cope with stress in a healthier way. I’ve now been cocaine-free and in active recovery for nearly a year now.

Disclaimer: Names and certain details have been changed to protect the identity of case study participants.

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