Addiction Recovery: A Hard Look at Heroin and Cocaine

Things to Know about Cocaine Addiction

addiction recoveryJust one of the main problems with cocaine addiction is that the habit is expensive to begin with. It is one of the status-laden drugs that are usually associated with celebrities and more high-end users. While the health effects can be grave with long-term use, there are also devastating financial burdens for the typical cocaine user who, like most of us, isn’t in the Hollywood income bracket.

Cocaine wreaks havoc with the body’s dopamine receptors, essentially the “feel good” receptors that use natural dopamine. As cocaine use continues, it requires more and more of the drug to return to even a level of feeling good that is normal. Crack cocaine can be more addictive than regular cocaine.

  • Take steps to avoid the people and places that have been associated with your past cocaine use, as even one such influence can trigger cravings leading to relapse.
  • Avoid all alcohol, marijuana or any other substances that get you “high” or alter your mood. It is a mistake to think that just a few drinks or smoking a little pot can’t lower inhibitions enough to lead to returning to your drug of choice.

With addiction recovery, it takes a full year for the dopamine receptors that have been damaged by prolonged cocaine abuse to fully recover. If that sounds discouraging, remember that those receptors can recover significantly in as short a time as two months. More good news is that they then continue to recover, and the experience becomes easier with each subsequent month.

If you slip up, it’s best not to make excuses to justify it. But if it happens, it also doesn’t mean that all of the recovery time and hard work to date is a waste. Acknowledge the error and get right back on track. Compare it to riding a bicycle: when you pedal for many miles and then take a fall, it doesn’t erase the distance you have already covered. Get yourself right back on that bike and continue to ride.

The Battle with Heroin Addiction

Perhaps one of the substances that truly embody what addiction means is heroin, a drug that doesn’t like to let you go. If for some, cocaine is still manageable, those who are dubbed to be “true addicts” of heroin may find that getting the next hit can become their sole purpose in life.

Once dependency is established, many addicts greatly fear the symptoms of heroin withdrawal.

Further to this, note that prescription drugs may be needed for a relatively short time to prevent the grueling effects of going “cold turkey”—but the stress here should be on short term, rather than prolonged prescription drug use.

Some of the most important how-to tips for addiction recovery success include:

  • addiction recoveryDesire to succeed with addiction recovery
  • Seek out a solid support group
  • Avoid people, places and things that are associated with drugs in your past
  • Learn how to enjoy life without drugs
  • Regular bathing helps to wash away any night sweats; an overall feeling of cleanliness also promotes a better sense of well being

Maintain a proper detox and diet program, avoiding sugar, plus processed and junk foods. A diet rich in high protein and nutrients, and one that in general emphasizes raw foods, is beneficial. Include lots of omega 3s and essential fatty acids and incorporate dark green leafy vegetables, such as baby spinach. A good diet helps the body heal faster and also helps to reduce cravings.

Everyone knows that a drug overdose can cause death, but many are not aware of the other ways that drugs can damage your body, by weakening the immune system or causing life- threatening damage to the heart muscle, for example. Adopting a healthier eating regime will help tremendously during and beyond addiction recovery.

More Good Addiction Recovery Advice:

  • It’s advisable not to rely too strongly on the standard drugs used for addiction recovery for too long a period. Some experts see this as simply replacing your drug dealer from a street seller to the world of mainstream pharmaceuticals.
  • Exercise: it helps to eliminate drugs from your system and increases energy and overall health. It also releases endorphins, the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals that decrease stress and provide improved feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
  • Have fun and enjoy life without using drugs. Remember what brought you pleasure before you started using. Was it being on a softball team? Hiking or camping? Reading, painting, or volunteering in the community? Even enjoying interaction and some play time with your pets. The more you use drugs, the more the things you used to do are discarded. You can successfully reverse the process, and reintroduce life’s meaningful and satisfying pursuits and activities.

Ridding oneself of any kind of substance abuse requires a lot of willpower, perseverance and hard work. Acknowledge that the road to addiction recovery isn’t easy, but the key thing to remember is: it can be accomplished and millions of people have made it work. So can you.


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