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Ways to Cope with Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms at Home

Although cocaine withdrawal symptoms are rarely dangerous, they are extremely unpleasant. Unlike other addictions, cocaine addiction lasts a very long time comparatively, for up to six months with craving peaking at two months. During this time, it is very easy for an addict to relapse if they do not take steps to prevent it. There are many constructive ways you can cope with cocaine withdrawal symptoms at home.

Recognize it as a symptom

According to the National Library of Medicine, cocaine withdrawal starts immediately after the high from cocaine is finished. The high ends in a crash. The symptoms of a crash are:

  • fatigue,
  • decreased pleasure response,
  • irritability,
  • agitation,
  • paranoia, and
  • sleepiness.

This is just the first part of withdrawal. The secondary stages of withdrawal begin a few hours after an addict stops using. They can last for up to six months.

  • restlessness,
  • agitation,
  • loss of pleasurable feelings,
  • depression,
  • paranoia,
  • nightmares and vivid dreams,
  • cravings for cocaine or its derivatives,
  • general fatigue and malaise, and
  • increased appetite.

Although knowing these symptoms will not stop them, but they can be used as a reminder of what is happening and why. Repeating, “this is just a symptom of withdrawal,” can help to understand them. Knowing the symptoms can also allow you to track them.

Relaxation techniques

deep breaths

Taking deep breaths can help you relax.

Any psychologist or therapist will say that relaxation and breathing techniques help in dealing with the symptoms of withdrawal. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there are several relaxation techniques that can help addicts overcome anxiety and other conditions associated with withdrawal. These techniques are:

  • Deep Breathing – this technique focuses on taking slow and even breaths until the anxiety lessens.
  • Progressive Relaxation – this technique involves psychically tensing and then relaxing each muscle group in the body in order. Usually starting from the toes and working upwards.
  • Guided Imagery – this technique uses focusing on pleasant imagery to relax the body.
  • Autogenic Training – this technique involves a focus on warmth and heaviness in order to relax the body.

These techniques work for reducing stress and anxiety associated with withdrawal as well as giving the person something to focus on while in the throes of a craving. You can practice these relaxation techniques at home, in your car, or just about anywhere.

Journaling and writing

Most therapists agree that writing is an excellent way to cope with withdrawal. It keeps the hands busy while occupying the mind. A person can do it almost anywhere at almost any time and it is inexpensive. The writing does not have to be about anything in particular. It can be about the addiction, the person’s experiences, the weather, or whatever else pops into a person’s mind.

Writing in a journal is also a good coping mechanism. Journaling is a form of constructive writing and is more structured than just regular writing. A person is encouraged to write down their thoughts, feelings, and goals. Again, it keeps the hands and mind busy while serving as a constructive record. Journals provide documentation of what the addict is feeling and going through. The person in withdrawal can look over the journal and see how far they have come.

Exercise and diet

Another important coping technique is through exercise and diet. Heavy cocaine and crack use depletes the body of dopamine and serotonin. These two neurotransmitters play an important part in happiness. By eating foods that help the body replenish these chemicals, a person can lessen the cravings and ease the withdrawal symptoms.

Exercise causes the body to produce endorphins. Endorphins elevate mood and help the body replenish the lost dopamine. Both diet and exercise, elevate the mood, promote healthy habits, and can help a person cope with the unpleasantness of withdrawal.

Develop hobbies

Experts agree that keeping busy during the worst of withdrawal is extremely important in preventing relapse. Developing constructive hobbies at the very least will pass the time and at the most help them past the cravings. Learning a new skill or hobby, forces the brain to focus on something besides the symptoms of withdrawal. By distracting themselves, addicts can keep their mind off the cravings and other issues.

Utilizing friends and family

Friends and family are a wonderful distraction when the withdrawal symptoms hit. When you are coping with withdrawal, it is good to have someone there with you to help. Not only do they provide a much needed distraction, they can help talk you through cravings and out of relapse. You can occupy your time with board games, cards, or other family games. These games are a great way to bond as well as cope with the cravings of cocaine withdrawal without ever leaving home.

Keep busy during cravings

The majority of coping strategies for cocaine withdrawal symptoms involve keeping busy. Keeping busy keeps the mind occupied and away from the drug. It also keeps a recovering addict away from situations where they would ordinarily use cocaine. Keeping busy can mean working, playing, or practicing positive thinking techniques. It can mean playing video games, reading a book, or writing. Any constructive, positive behavior helps an addict overcome and cope with the symptoms of withdrawal. It is important to remember that you are not alone in this; many others have gone through withdrawal and come out on the other side with positive coping mechanism they can use in any situation.

Ways to Cope with Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms at Home (Cocaine.org)

Although cocaine withdrawal symptoms are rarely dangerous, they are extremely unpleasant. Unlike other addictions, cocaine addiction lasts a very long time comparatively, for up to six months with craving peaking at two months. During this time, it is very easy for an addict to relapse if they do not take steps to prevent it. There are many constructive ways you can cope with cocaine withdrawal symptoms at home.

Recognize it as a symptom

According to the National Library of Medicine, cocaine withdrawal starts immediately after the high from cocaine is finished. The high ends in a crash. The symptoms of a crash are:

  • fatigue,
  • decreased pleasure response,
  • irritability,
  • agitation,
  • paranoia, and
  • sleepiness.

This is just the first part of withdrawal. The secondary stages of withdrawal begin a few hours after an addict stops using. They can last for up to six months.

  • restlessness,
  • agitation,
  • loss of pleasurable feelings,
  • depression,
  • paranoia,
  • nightmares and vivid dreams,
  • cravings for cocaine or its derivatives,
  • general fatigue and malaise, and
  • increased appetite.

Although knowing these symptoms will not stop them, but they can be used as a reminder of what is happening and why. Repeating, “this is just a symptom of withdrawal,” can help to understand them. Knowing the symptoms can also allow you to track them.

Relaxation techniques

Any psychologist or therapist will say that relaxation and breathing techniques help in dealing with the symptoms of withdrawal. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there are several relaxation techniques that can help addicts overcome anxiety and other conditions associated with withdrawal. These techniques are:

  • Deep Breathing – this technique focuses on taking slow and even breaths until the anxiety lessens.
  • Progressive Relaxation – this technique involves psychically tensing and then relaxing each muscle group in the body in order. Usually starting from the toes and working upwards.
  • Guided Imagery – this technique uses focusing on pleasant imagery to relax the body.
  • Autogenic Training – this technique involves a focus on warmth and heaviness in order to relax the body.

These techniques work for reducing stress and anxiety associated with withdrawal as well as giving the person something to focus on while in the throes of a craving. You can practice these relaxation techniques at home, in your car, or just about anywhere.

Journaling and writing

Most therapists agree that writing is an excellent way to cope with withdrawal. It keeps the hands busy while occupying the mind. A person can do it almost anywhere at almost any time and it is inexpensive. The writing does not have to be about anything in particular. It can be about the addiction, the person’s experiences, the weather, or whatever else pops into a person’s mind.

Writing in a journal is also a good coping mechanism. Journaling is a form of constructive writing and is more structured than just regular writing. A person is encouraged to write down their thoughts, feelings, and goals. Again, it keeps the hands and mind busy while serving as a constructive record. Journals provide documentation of what the addict is feeling and going through. The person in withdrawal can look over the journal and see how far they have come.

Exercise and diet

Another important coping technique is through exercise and diet. Heavy cocaine and crack use depletes the body of dopamine and serotonin. These two neurotransmitters play an important part in happiness. By eating foods that help the body replenish these chemicals, a person can lessen the cravings and ease the withdrawal symptoms.

Exercise causes the body to produce endorphins. Endorphins elevate mood and help the body replenish the lost dopamine. Both diet and exercise, elevate the mood, promote healthy habits, and can help a person cope with the unpleasantness of withdrawal.

Develop hobbies

Experts agree that keeping busy during the worst of withdrawal is extremely important in preventing relapse. Developing constructive hobbies at the very least will pass the time and at the most help them past the cravings. Learning a new skill or hobby, forces the brain to focus on something besides the symptoms of withdrawal. By distracting themselves, addicts can keep their mind off the cravings and other issues.

Utilizing friends and family

Friends and family are a wonderful distraction when the withdrawal symptoms hit. When you are coping with withdrawal, it is good to have someone there with you to help. Not only do they provide a much needed distraction, they can help talk you through cravings and out of relapse. You can occupy your time with board games, cards, or other family games. These games are a great way to bond as well as cope with the cravings of cocaine withdrawal without ever leaving home.

Keep busy during cravings

The majority of coping strategies for cocaine withdrawal symptoms involve keeping busy. Keeping busy keeps the mind occupied and away from the drug. It also keeps a recovering addict away from situations where they would ordinarily use cocaine. Keeping busy can mean working, playing, or practicing positive thinking techniques. It can mean playing video games, reading a book, or writing. Any constructive, positive behavior helps an addict overcome and cope with the symptoms of withdrawal. It is important to remember that you are not alone in this; many others have gone through withdrawal and come out on the other side with positive coping mechanism they can use in any situation.

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