How to Approach a Loved One Abusing Cocaine



It’s not easy to watch a loved one fall into that downward spiral of drug use and addiction. And when it comes to abusing cocaine, as with other narcotic substances, things can really get messy.

While there are those who are functional addicts and can accomplish their daily tasks and be responsible individuals in spite of their drug use and addiction, not everyone is like that.

The bottom line is, whether your loved one is abusing cocaine recreationally or is fully hooked to it, you as a caring and loving family member hold the key to getting them the help they need. Paradoxically, however, you may also find yourself on a disadvantage as a codependent.

This said, you may find the following tips helpful in approaching and helping someone you know and love who may be abusing cocaine or other illicit substances.

Get into the right mindset

First and foremost, you have to frame your mind and cultivate empathy before you approach the individual. You must understand that their behaviors and way of thinking are different from yours, and that as addicts, they may appear as irrational. This is because they have addiction, a chronic disease, which affects their brain’s reward system.

By understanding and making yourself more informed about addiction and cocaine, you can be on a better frame of mind as well to consider what they are going through and what kind of help they need. Furthermore, you can also create a more conducive approach that is less combative or confrontational, but more positive and constructive.

Another thing to understand is that addiction, especially on cocaine, is not as glamorous as the media puts it out to be. Many addicts do it alone, going even deeper into loneliness and addiction. Some also develop behavioral disorders. On the other hand, their addiction may also be due to behavioral disorders or something they have gone through in the past, such as PTSD or childhood trauma.

Be prepared for moodswings

Drastic changes can happen to a person who develops addiction. Aside from losing interest to the people they usually hangout with or the activities they usually do, their behaviors and moods may also be different.

They can be very secretive and even defensive, to the point of becoming aggressive. This is something you must consider when approaching a loved one abusing cocaine.

This said, you may want to consider creating a space that your loved one is comfortable in. And, should things turn violent, that you have a way out. It may also help to have trusted family members around, people that would be supportive of your loved one.

In a situation that turns heated, you may try to back off and return to the talk another time.

Consider timing

If you live with them, you might want to observe their patterns. It’s important to approach them when they have come down from the effects of the drug. If you would approach them while they’re high, they will most likely not listen to you, as the effects of the drug, as a stimulant, will make them feel good, overly confident, euphoric, and unstoppable.

You may wait it out until they have expended and slept off the effects of cocaine. At this time, once they are fully rested, you may sit them down and start a discussion.

They need your help

They need your help and support. While they can’t do it alone, the decision to change still rests upon them. Remember that you are there not to change them, but to help them in their process.

As caring family members and friends of someone abusing cocaine, it’s important for you to realize the pivotal role you have. You may talk to counselors such as what we have in Bridges of Hope, so that they can help walk you through the process. They will also let you know what to expect and what to do to ensure life-long recovery for your loved one.

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