If Someone You Know Has a Problem With Cocaine

By Drew W. Edwards, M.S., and Mark S. Gold, M.D.
6 Feb 2001

What to do:

  • Do not wait for them to reach bottom, because their bottom may be jail, serious injury or death.
  • Remember that addiction to cocaine is a bad disease that happens to good people, bad people and everyone in-between.

Ask yourself: Of all the time, energy and tears I have invested in trying to make them stop, what has been successful? If the answer is "nothing," you are in good company. Anger, tears and empty threats have never cured one single disease. If all the efforts you have made to help the addict have failed and made you miserable in the process, then doing nothing would be just as successful, and perhaps your time would be more productively spent on the people for whom you can make a difference. Here are some additional suggestions:

  • Stop enabling the problem by making excuses or "doing for" the addict. Your time is best spent in the solution, not the problem. When an addict has to face the consequences of his or her actions directly, they are more interested in seeking help.

  • Never bluff. Be willing to follow through on any threats or promises you make. Be sure to communicate these conditions clearly and calmly.

  • Don't go it alone. Ask for help. Let trusted friends, family or clergy in on the secret. Tell them you want their help.

  • Contact your EAP counselor through your workplace or an addiction professional in your community and ask for help.

  • Discuss doing an intervention if your addict won't willingly seek help.

  • Decide how much longer you are willing to put up with the pain, fear and frustration caused by addiction. That's exactly how long it will continue. Attend Al-a-non or Nar-a-non. These are programs for those who care about an addict.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Oct 2013
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

The time is always right to do what is right.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.