Cocaine Intervention

Cocaine Intervention

It is important to understand that each substance abused does require a different approach in terms of the interventionist. Each intervention is handled according to what substance your loved one is addicted to and what type of detox and treatment will be required for recovery.

The most psychologically addictive of substances, cocaine, is a stimulant with euphoric attributes that work directly on the endocrine and nervous systems. Using cocaine gives the user feelings of empowerment due to a massive release in pleasure-causing endorphins, an increase in strength, an adrenaline rush, and an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and respiration. After usage, the body tends to bio-chemically “swing the other way”, resulting in a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and respiration. In addition, the resultant flood of endorphins and now lack of them often causes feelings of depression, suicidal thoughts and lack of motivation. The combination of these are often referred to as “the crash”. After enough usage, the cocaine user develops paranoia and often, delusions. Although chemically similar to its freebasing companion, crack cocaine —  and technically the same drug — a cocaine interventionist working with a cocaine user handles the intervention differently than he/she would with a “crack addict”. Often, most cocaine users have a tendency to look down on a “crack head” and think of themselves as somehow better. In dealing with a standard cocaine (not crack) addict we generally have two types of people needing a cocaine interventionist, each of which is dealt with in a different way. Ideally, it is wise to avoid conducting a cocaine intervention on a cocaine user while under the influence of the drug, but sometimes this is unavoidable.

Binge Cocaine User

The type of cocaine interventionist needed the most is the intervention on a binge user. The binge user is someone who can go for days, weeks or months without using cocaine. However, over time the amount and duration of the binges have a tendency to increase, sometimes even lasting for days. Essentially, the typical pattern or description of a binge user of cocaine is as follows:

  • He/she may be a highly motivated, outgoing individual with a great personality.
  • Everything goes fine for awhile and then there is a degree of irritation and agitation, sometimes described as a manic state.

It is soon after this that the binge user goes out and uses his drug, sometimes with the intention of “only using a little bit”. After the binge the user is remorseful, depressed and sometimes suicidal. The user might not even understand why he went and used the cocaine in the first place, maybe he promised himself and others not to do it again. Oftentimes, even family members are discouraged from doing a cocaine intervention on a binge user because they too feel that after one of these binges the addict will eventually stop. Unfortunately, the reality is that with each successive binge, the addiction actually grows stronger if some sort of treatment is not put into place.

In performing a cocaine intervention on a binge user, ideally if one can time the cocaine interventionist to within a week after the binge, the chances of successfully getting the addict to agree to treatment increase exponentially. If, however, you attempt a cocaine intervention on the day prior to an upcoming binge, during the manic phase, it has a greater degree of difficulty. Oftentimes the addict himself is unaware of this “manic phase” or upcoming binge, but those around him who have observed him for any length of time can eventually begin to predict the cycle. Does that mean that if it has been weeks since the binge a cocaine intervention is useless? Absolutely not. A professional intervention specialist has the ability to get a cocaine addict to understand the cycle and necessity for treatment no matter how long since the last usage. Again, performing a cocaine intervention on the binge user is one of the most common of the cocaine addicts.

Daily Cocaine User

The more rare type of cocaine intervention is that on a “daily user” of cocaine. The daily user is someone who cannot “function” on a daily basis without using the drug. Interestingly enough, most daily users have a higher degree of functionality than a cocaine user does during his binge period. However, eventually even the daily user spirals out of control, often into insanity. Doing a cocaine intervention on a daily user can actually be more difficult than on a standard binge user. If the daily user has been using for years he may have become so delusional, reactionary and sometimes violent that conducting a cocaine intervention can become an explosive or even dangerous experience. If conducted early enough in his using life, it is important to make an attempt to perform the cocaine intervention while he is not actively using the drug. In some cases this is early in the morning, before he begins his daily cycle of use. Unfortunately, however, sometimes it is impossible to conduct a cocaine intervention on a daily user when he is not under the influence of the drug. Although more difficult, however, performing an intervention on a cocaine user when he is actively under the influence of cocaine does have a high degree of success.

Essentially each cocaine intervention is unique and after proper analysis and guidance your professional intervention specialist will help you to determine when and what is the best approach.

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Rusty Marvin
4/3/87 - 7/7/05

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