What are Cocaine Cravings and How Can I Get Past Them?
Withdrawal is one of the most difficult elements of recovery from any addiction. Cocaine withdrawal, while often considered the lesser of the evils when compared to many other types of drug withdrawal, can still be both challenging and intense for the user.
Cravings often persist well after the drug is no longer being used. These cravings may consist of a simple desire to use the drug again or a desire to feel “good” again. Often times the psychological stronghold that cocaine has on the user is much more difficult to overcome than any of the physical burden that comes alongside the decision to abuse cocaine.
In fact, intense cocaine cravings are cited as the number one cause of relapse for those who are in recovery from a cocaine addiction.
How Long will Cravings Last?
Cravings to use cocaine can last many months or even years after an individual has quit taking cocaine. For some, cravings will spike a year or more after the decision to quit making a seemingly solid chance at recovery now seem like a whirlwind of dissatisfaction.
The cravings are the result of psychological changes that occur within the brain when the drug is used. Cravings may interrupt the user in their dreams, in their daily activities, or in their thoughts. Often times, these cravings will lead to symptoms of depression which require medical intervention and proper treatment.
Cocaine cravings can also be treated with other behaviors the individual can practice every day:
- Avoiding caffeine and other substances that cause the person to feel jittery or too similar to being on cocaine.
- Taking up a hobby that teaches the individual to relax more easily, like yoga or meditation.
- Avoiding places and people, especially early in recovery, that remind the individual of their drug use.
If you do begin to experience cravings for cocaine, you can also ask someone you trust to talk to you, do breathing exercises, take a walk, or distract yourself with another calming or enjoyable activity.