a businessman with signs of high-functioning cocaine

Do you Know Mark? Signs of a High-functioning Cocaine Addict

Mark uses cocaine every weekend with his friends. He has a high-pressure job as an investment banker. He works hard. He plays hard. And if you ask him if he has a cocaine addiction, his response would be “Don’t I deserve to relax with my friends after a hard week at work?”

What Mark doesn’t want to admit is how many coffees he needs on Monday morning to recover from his weekend of drug indulgence. How terribly depressed he feels by Tuesday. And how he’s calling his dealer by Thursday to get a fresh supply of cocaine so that he can do it all again by the time Friday comes around.

He hides this side of his life from his family and loved ones. All they see is a guy doing very well at work who likes to enjoy his time off. 

The truth is, Mark is a high-functioning cocaine addict who risks losing the things he loves if he doesn’t get help.

How can you tell if your loved one is a high-functioning cocaine addict?

a banker in the crisis meeting with his colleagues

When we think of drug addicts we often think of people who are homeless, jobless, and will do anything to get their next fix. But if your loved one is managing to live a relatively ‘normal’ life – going to work each day and meeting other commitments – it can be very difficult to know how serious their substance abuse is.

A high-functioning cocaine addict is someone with a cocaine use disorder who is able to meet most of the responsibilities of their daily lives.

● Signs of a cocaine addict

  • A large proportion of time is spent sourcing, using or recovering from cocaine
  • Strong cravings for cocaine
  • Cocaine gets in the way of responsibilities at work and home
  • Unable to stop using even if you want to
  • Using more cocaine and for longer than intended
  • Needing to increase the amount you use in order to feel the same high
  • Feeling down and blue when you are not using cocaine

● Signs of a high-functioning cocaine addict

  • Has friends who use cocaine regularly
  • Asks to borrow money or goes into debt to support cocaine habit
  • Uses excuses to rationalise drug taking such as only using cocaine on weekends not every day; doing well at work so there must not be a problem; the right to relax with friends
  • Shows signs of being high on cocaine such as intense alertness and energy, rapid speech and euphoria
  • Working long hours and not sleeping enough

Why high-functioning cocaine addicts won’t admit they need help

Cocaine is a drug that can boost an individual’s confidence and self-esteem. It can increase energy levels and make someone feel that they can work harder and do longer hours. This can result in achieving positive results in the workplace – and even promotions.

There can be a sense of feeling invincible for many cocaine addicts because no matter how much cocaine they take, they seem to keep doing well at work and being the life of the party on the weekends. If they feel pressure due to a deadline or large work project, they can just get high and power-through to achieve results.

But, overtime, the more pressure they feel, the more likely they are to keep using cocaine as a way of ‘staying afloat’ and meeting their increased work demands. This creates an unhealthy cycle of highs and lows that can quickly spiral out of control.

Consequences of long-term cocaine use

a man is feeling depressed and anxious as a result of using cocaine

Many cocaine users can function on a daily basis for months, even years, while using cocaine on a regular basis. Unfortunately there are negative consequences – both physical and mental – that will eventually catch up with them. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, even short-term cocaine use can increase a person’s risk of developing anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia.

Long-term health issues:

  • Seizures
  • Memory loss
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Inflammation of the nose that leads to chronic nosebleeds
  • Strokes
  • Chest pains
  • Weight loss
  • Aortic rupture

Cocaine withdrawal: Why medical supervision is important

Cocaine withdrawal is not as physically intense as withdrawal from other illicit drugs such as heroin, but coming off the drug after long-term use still poses risks and challenges. Most of the withdrawal symptoms relating to cocaine are psychological and include:

  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Nightmares
  • Panic attacks

If you are a cocaine user who also has an underlying mental health condition such as anxiety or depression, you are at an increased risk of experiencing the above symptoms during detox. 

It is therefore best that you detox under the trained-eye of a medical team with experience in handling psychological conditions; and who are licensed to prescribe any medication required to ease your withdrawal symptoms. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms usually start to ease after seven days.

What is the most effective way to treat cocaine addiction?

The 24/7 medical support and detox onsite service at The Dawn Rehab

If you have tried to stop using cocaine, you’ll know how difficult it can be. Taking a break for a few months is possible but inevitably you will turn to cocaine again when you face a hardship or when it’s time to ‘party’. The only effective way to address your cocaine addiction is to get to the core of it. You need to find out the reasons behind your cocaine use and then address those reasons, after detoxing. This is best done in a drug rehab facility, where you will have the support of medical staff as you detox, as well as the emotional support from psychotherapists. 

➤ Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

One of the most tried and tested treatments for addiction is CBT, which is a form of therapy that involves talking through troubling areas of your life with a trained psychotherapist. CBT helps you create new ways of thinking about situations and gives you better coping mechanisms to deal with stress, cravings and personal challenges.

At The Dawn drug rehab Thailand, we understand that for cocaine rehab to be successful, it’s not just about offering a place to detox but also working through the issues surrounding your addiction which is why we use CBT and several other highly-effective evidence-based therapies to help you work through all aspects of your life while you are in our drug rehab in Thailand’s laid-back northern capital of Chiang Mai. 

➤ 24-hour medical support and onsite detox

Due to the risk of psychological symptoms and psychosis during withdrawal, it’s important you don’t try to quit at home without consulting a medical professional. If you are suffering from mental health issues such as depression, the best place to detox is a rehab centre equipped to treat dual-diagnosis.

At The Dawn drug rehab center Thailand, you will have 24-hour medical care onsite to monitor your symptoms as well as support from experienced addiction psychotherapists who can help you work through any negative emotions that come up as your body goes through withdrawals. Our aim is to make you feel as safe and supported as possible as your body and mind recover. 

➤ Relapse Prevention and Aftercare Support

The temptation to join your friends and get high on cocaine when you return home from rehab will be real. Relapse is a big challenge for addicts after discharge, as they are no longer in a supervised environment. Pressures from work, the negative influence of friends and relationship issues are all things that need to be managed, which is why The Dawn offers a comprehensive relapse prevention and aftercare support program as part of cocaine rehab in Thailand

If you want to get help for yourself or for your loved one, please call us today to arrange a free and confidential consultation with one of our team.