Nip It In The Bud!
Our parents are sure to have said to all of us, in some way or another, “Nip those bad habits in the bud! Or else, they’ll sprout roots and stay with you for a long time!” That’s good advice to follow when it comes to cocaine. The use of cocaine should be nipped before it grows roots and addiction sets in. If you can stop it before it starts, if you can remove temptation, that’s the best scenario. If you or someone you know has started, the best thing is to stop it early. If it’s already been a while since you or the person you know has started, it’ll be a tougher task to chop that poisonous tree, but it can be done.
Through The Eyes Of A Dealer
If you’ve ever been in downtown, you’ll know about the vendors or promoters that hang around on the sidewalks, trying to attract the attention of people and pitch their ideas to. You’d also know how persistent these people can be. I’ve sometimes been forced to pretend to talk to someone on the phone (and I’ve still been waved down and asked to stop), cross the street or just stare at the ground while I walk in order to avoid these people.
Dealers are kind of like these vendors and promoters. Foundation For A Drug-Free World says that firstly (and most importantly), dealers know who to target. They’ll change their pitch according to the type of person they’re talking to. Take teenagers for example. They are the future of our society, but at their age, most just want to survive the pressures of school, friends, parents…and just to fit in. And dealers know this. They’ll approach you like a friend and scope out your weaknesses, flaws and strengths. Then they’ll play on that and say anything to get you to buy their drugs.
Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me This Before?
While scrolling through some sites, I came across this interesting article on the Elephant Journal website, about things that nobody tells you before you start using drugs in your youth. You know that commercial about Red Bull and how it apparently gives you wings? Sometimes, recreational drugs can seem like the Red Bull of your youth. I mean, at times it seems like everyone is smoking marijuana, popping some kind of pill or dropping acid right? But are you really thinking about what comes after? What happens when you grow older and have to face the choices you’ve made in the past?
When your kids become teenagers, you need to realize that they will also encounter the choices that you had to make while you were young. And that includes peer pressure and the use of drugs and alcohol. And like the “sex-talk,” you can sit them down and have the “drug-talk”. But you have two choices. You can either be honest with them – which will possibly make them think that even though you used drugs, you came out generally ok. And whether you did or not, it doesn’t mean your kids will if they try drugs. Or you can be dishonest with them and lie to them about your past. But if that past resurfaces, somebody (you) will have a whole lot of explaining to do!
Kids are not the only aspect of your life that your youthful experiences will affect. Obtaining jobs may be difficult. Jobs such as the military or any job that requires you to be around medications/prescriptions/narcotics will be off the table because of your past use. And maybe you don’t think you want to go into any of those fields. But you never know how your life will change and where you’ll end up. Don’t limit your choices before you even get a shot at what life’s got to offer you.
Let’s say you use drugs during your youth and then you get clean. Unfortunately, when you get clean, you’re changing habits, not erasing them. And the memories you had of those times? They’ll never disappear. So you may be clean for years and years, but there’ll always be a part of you that’ll remember the feeling of getting high or popping that pill and you’ll be tempted. And you’ll wonder what if…
Your mental health is a fragile thing. Taking drugs that may enhance or change your experience of reality can really cause some mental damage. There are fortunate cases who have recovered through these experiences through drug-free coping mechanisms and activities – like Kara-Leah Grant, the author of that article on The Elephant Journal. But there are some cases who do not recover and their touch with reality is forever lost. Take great care of your mental and physical self because the human body can work wonders, but sometimes even it can’t overcome what you’ve dished out to it.
Your Choices, Your Body, Your Sufferings
The choices you make change every aspect of your everyday life in the present and in the future. But what you have to understand is that cocaine can ruin your life. It’ll first start off as minor sufferings that you’ll have to endure in exchange for using cocaine. As your usage progresses, the consequences progress as well. Here are some of the problems you can experience from cocaine use unless you get the proper help from our program:
- Mental Problems: Using stimulants in general is bound to pick up your mood. As a stimulant, cocaine will give you a sense of euphoria and increased confidence. But you’ll also have uncontrolled behaviour, maybe develop some delusions or hallucinations and have hypersexuality. The combination of behaviours put you in a very dangerous place. A place where you can harm yourself and others. As a result, it can result in arrest, coma, a mental breakdown or even death!
- Nose problems: When snorted, cocaine is easily absorbed into the bloodstream because of the highly vascularized tissue in your nostrils. Unfortunately, the lining of the inside of our nostrils is delicate and is subject to tearing or breaking down over continual snorting of cocaine. In addition, our septum – the bone piece which separates our nostrils – is prone to deterioration as well with continued use of cocaine. As a result, you will no longer have the strong base to hold your nose in the original shape and your nose may collapse – looking “crooked” almost.
- Liver issues: Users who drink alcohol damage their liver and its functioning with repeated use. But research has found that those individuals who use both cocaine and alcohol damage their liver even more than those who misuse alcohol alone. With the damage of the liver, various consequences can result such as an increase in toxins in the body, kidney failure, swelling of the brain and malfunctioning of the body in general.
- Chest pain: While using cocaine, there is a large amount of constricting of the coronary vessels (i.e. the arteries around the heart) – as well as in the rest of the body. With the constriction of the vessels, the blood supply is also reduced to the heart – causing tissue to die. This may actually result in a change of rhythm in the way the heart beats or in an instant heart attack, causing the individual to drop dead suddenly.
- Blood Pressure: As mentioned earlier, with the use of cocaine, the vessels of the body constrict to become smaller. When blood is pumping through a smaller space, the pressure of it increases, causing overall high blood pressure. A risk associated with this is the bursting of the vessels when they are unable to handle the extreme pressures of the blood, possibly resulting in a stroke or a heart attack.
- Brain trouble: The regular use of cocaine can lead to weakness in the walls of the blood vessels in the brain. The weakening of the vessels leads to bulging when blood passes through – almost like a balloon popping through the side of the vessel. The weakening of the vessel makes it more susceptible to bursting. Eventually the damage will be so great that the bubble will burst, causing a huge outpour of blood into a certain part of the brain and causing damage to it.
I Can Change Him/Her…
To be addicted to cocaine and be involved in a relationship or marriage is difficult. In the beginning, simple use of cocaine or other drugs like marijuana can seem almost frivolous. Or maybe you think that after marriage, you can change your addicted significant other? Many have thought those same thoughts and have found themselves filing for a divorce.
Initially, some drug use in your partner can seem meaningless and you may feel like love will prevail! But, to pick up on the point For Your Marriage raises, as much as you enjoy the times you spend with your partner while he/she is sober, is it worth it to suffer when he/she is not? Drug users have a strong connection to the drug that they are using. An addiction is a hard thing to maintain. It requires time, effort, money and passion. And when you’re married to a drug user, the love you two share will always fall short because it will come in second to the love your partner shares with that drug.
Most drug users are unable to provide for the family. They are unable to put their full focus into a job and are unable to hold it down. As a result, funding and finances are low and pretty soon, it’ll be difficult to try and run a household on one person’s income while the other is spending money abusing drugs. The low income may even cause your partner to commit crimes such as breaking-and-entering or drug dealing in order to obtain the type of money he/she needs to fund the addiction.
Drug use doesn’t just affect the individual. It affects the whole family. The lack of attention will cause large distances between the people in a couple. Your partner might not even seem like the same person you fell in love with initially. He/she will likely turn into a whole different person that you will have have learnt to manage rather than live with.
If you’re the one considering or using cocaine, remember that drug use can destroy a marriage. Before saying “I do,” always remember that present choices will continue to affect every single step of your future.
Beginners Learn To Quit Cocaine
There are steps you can take to quit cocaine before it ruins your life. Of course, I’m not saying it’ll be easy… but this is a start.
- Knowing the signs and symptoms of addiction: Before solving a problem, you must know how to identify it. By knowing these signs and symptoms, keeping track of them and discovering which areas you must change, you will be more motivated to take a step towards change.
- Change your friends: Your friends make a huge impact on the life you lead. We go to our friends to share secrets, talk about bad and good times, and share experiences. Whether they are good or bad experiences, we share them. If you got into using cocaine with a certain group of friends – leave them. You’ll just want to use again when you’re around them. Make new friends who are sober. They will help you get a fresh start and you’ll get to quit cocaine and have fun without doing drugs.
- Take up new activities: Distract yourself. Quitting cocaine is no simple task. Distract yourself and come up with healthy coping mechanisms that you can engage in whenever you feel cravings to start using again.
- Take care of yourself: Maintain a good diet and healthy lifestyle. To feel better, you have to take better care of yourself. If you don’t, you’ll feel sick and you may start using cocaine again to make yourself better. And of course, that’ll start a vicious circle of doing cocaine to feel better, ending up feeling worse, and so on. Sleep at regular times and get an appropriate amount of sleep each night. Eat healthy and exercise daily to fill yourself with your body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals – endorphins.
- Find a detox program: You’ll have a really hard time doing this by yourself. You’ll need the support of your family, your friends and a rehab program that can help you through the struggles you may face while quitting. Just like if your loved one was suffering from alcohol addiction, you would seek out a treatment centre to get them the help they need.
It’s a Long Road…
It’s a long road to recovery and it won’t be an easy one either. But along that road, you will learn a lot about yourself, about your strengths and weaknesses, about how to cope and relax, about how to make new friends and have fun without drugs… it’ll be a road of self-discovery as well as healing. Take the step towards recovery before the use of cocaine ruins your life. It’s your life, so grab the steering wheel and lead yourself towards a happier and more successful you!