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Mayfair Therapy Practice Counselling & Psychotherapy for Mayfair, Knightsbridge and central London

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Cocaine Addiction

For many people, cocaine is seen as a drug of the 80s. In fact, it is still a significant source of not only addiction, but of drug-related deaths.

One of the differences between cocaine and other narcotics is the group of people that are most likely to use and abuse the drug: generally speaking, the greatest number of cocaine users fall into the upper socio-economic status. This includes people in higher-income jobs, including corporate executives, financial professionals, medical professionals and those in positions of leadership in the industrial sector.

These drug users also tend to differ in their use behaviour from those abusing other types of drugs. It is not uncommon for these professionals to use cocaine daily, though it is more common for the drug to be used on a weekly basis. This means greater risk of a binging type of behaviour, which has significant health implications.

In studies carried out in the sewer systems in London, research showed that the highest levels of cocaine excreted from the body are found on Friday and Saturday nights. In anonymous self-reporting studies, approximately one in forty people in the UK reported using cocaine at least once in the previous six months of the survey.

Addiction to the Drug

Within the class of professional individuals having an addiction to cocaine is found a distinct sub-group: professionals with high-stress or high-pressure jobs; people with high levels of achievement in their profession and those that are often noted by their colleagues to be "driven" or highly motivated to succeed. The euphoric "high" that cocaine provides and the feeling of being powerful, in control and on top of the game is a factor in the addictive nature of the drug, and this is the feeling that these high-stress professionals seek.

They may initially start using to get away from this stress and pressure - and to feel the intense pleasure sensation provided - but the obvious issue is that the feeling does not last, and the frequency and amount of cocaine needed to bring that feeling back will increase. In addition, the crash after the euphoria is devastating, creating feelings of anger, depression and anxiety, which will in turn trigger subsequent use of the drug.

Physical Issues

Along with the psychological issues around the use of cocaine, there are very serious health risks associated with this drug. As the age of the addicted person goes up and their overall health and quality of diet decreases, these physical risks become more significant. People using and abusing cocaine can experience extremely elevated heart rate and blood pressure, seizures, heart attacks, convulsions, insomnia and respiratory failure. These can cause all further distress to the individual and create stress, which triggers the desired to use again.

Recovery from cocaine addiction is possible without the need for in-patient treatment. By working with a psychotherapist or counsellor experienced in addiction recovery people can continue to work and live at home, while receiving the assistance they need to create a new healthy lifestyle and end their dependency.

Contact us by email or call us on 07809 668193 to find out more, and to arrange contact with one of our addiction specialists.

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