As one of the most recognized psychotherapists in the City of London with offices in Mayfair, Bermondsey, and Harley Street, Philippe Jacquet is often asked by family members how to determine if a loved one is abusing drugs.
This can be a very difficult question to answer, as different drugs can create various symptoms, but with those concerned about the possibility of cocaine addiction there are some key symptoms to identify.
Most people using cocaine, especially those who are business professionals and individuals of some status in the community, are very careful to conceal their illegal drug use. This is not just for legal reasons, but also for protecting their professional status and reputation.
The vast majority of cocaine users start out snorting the powder. This produces an almost instantaneous high or a feeling of euphoria, ability and even personal strength to handle challenges. Often the sensation of being in control and having all the answers to problems is highly attractive to professionals and individuals under a lot of stress at work, in a career, or even in a relationship.
The reason cocaine produces this euphoria is because of how it acts in the brain. It triggers the flooding of the brain with dopamine, one of the “feel good” neurotransmitters naturally produced within the human body. At the same time, it prevents the reuptake of dopamine, gradually building the level and requiring the need for more and more stimulation to produce the same sensation.
The euphoric feeling is short lived, and so the cycle of usage has to be continually ramped up with either more frequent and larger amounts of cocaine. Some people may turn to injecting coke or even the use of crack cocaine, which can be deadly.
A great number of people with cocaine addiction struggle to recreate that initial high by combining cocaine with other drugs including alcohol, amphetamines, ecstasy and ketamine. The combination of cocaine and heroin, known as a speedball, is a particularly deadly mix.
Signs of Use
Each individual, and depending on the amount of use, frequency of use, and the types of drugs used with cocaine, can have different symptoms or signs. These can include both physical symptoms as well as changes in mood and behaviours.
The most common signs of cocaine addiction include:
- Extreme mood swings from euphoric to angry and anxious
- Poor decision making such as impulsive or irrational choices very atypical of the individual
- Panic, anxiety, psychosis and paranoia
- Violent outbursts
- Extreme risk-taking behaviours
- Breaks from reality and hallucinations
- Stealing and dishonesty both at work as well as with family
- Erratic behaviours, inability to follow a schedule or keep appointments
- Extended periods of time with little or no sleep
- Crashing, or long periods of sleep after periods of little sleep
- Constant headaches, flu-like symptoms and runny nose
- Rapid weight loss and loss of appetite
- Bleeding from the nose
- Increased heart rate
- Periods of extremely high energy levels
- Tremors, muscle twitches and facial twitches
- Sexual dysfunction
These symptoms of cocaine addiction are common, but they can be treated through the therapeutic interventions offered at the offices of Philippe Jacquet & Associates in Mayfair. With a true holistic approach to addiction recovery, patients will have the support and professional expertise to overcome the addiction and move forward with their lives.
Treating Cocaine Addiction
As with any addiction, there is no “cure” for cocaine use. However, with integrated therapy and treatment options clients working with our top psychotherapists in Mayfair can achieve a life without addiction.
To accomplish this, there is first the need to end the use of the drug, which may be done at home or through a drug detoxification process. Once the cocaine is out of the system and the brain chemicals have returned to normal levels, urges and cravings to use to get high will decrease dramatically. This gives the client time to focus in on their addiction recovery from a psychological standpoint.
Through psychotherapy using best practice methods for cocaine addiction, the client will learn about their own triggers for use. They will also learn how to use more effective coping mechanisms for dealing with the challenges they face in their life without relapsing.
With art therapy, meditation and relaxation training as well as one-on-one therapy, clients will learn how to break the hold this drug has on their lives to complete cocaine addiction treatment now and for their future.