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Thread: Seemingly unable to stop using cocaine

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    Seemingly unable to stop using cocaine 
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    Bluelighter Vastness's Avatar
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    I really, really want to stop using cocaine but I seem to be struggling with this. I feel a need to get these thoughts off my chest and hopefully this is a good place to do so.

    To clarify - I don't use cocaine to the kind of extremes that I know some people do. Even when I was using it the most it was probably never more than twice a month (always with alcohol), but the negative impact on my mental and possible physical well-being has increased to the point that I just can't ignore it anymore.

    So last night I had 7 pints with a friend (UK pints, ~5%, ~200ml of actual alcohol over about 4 or 5 hours), then split a gram over the next 4 or 5 hours (combined with 2 more drinks, ~50ml more alcohol). I went into the night thinking right there's no way I'm gonna get any cocaine tonight, but several drinks later and somehow that's just the way it went.

    The amounts we used might not be considered excessive to many, we split a gram, and it was some untested street shit so probably was like ~50% purity and probably not even a gram, maybe like 0.7, as is the norm with most shady street dealers. Maybe cut with caffeine, amphetamine or fuck knows what. I try to have a policy NEVER to use street drugs, which works pretty well with most drugs except this one. So anyway, probably I imbibed like ~200mg of ACTUAL cocaine, up to ~400mg if my purity weight/estimates are off because really when you're drunk who knows, plus whatever active or inactive shit it was cut with...

    So I guess not a huge amount, relatively speaking - but the point is that I don't want to use cocaine, EVER, AT ALL... or not for at least ONE YEAR (I'm not generally a fan of absolute, lifelong commitments because who knows where my life will go but I think a year at a time is a good starting point). For a start I'm spending today just lying in bed eating pizza instead of actually working on some shit which I do need to get done, I've taken 40mg of Valium just to take the edge off and am feeling more physically relaxed but there is a deeper psychological edge which remains. I used to use Phenibut for this edge and I think it was far more effective but I'm taking a hiatus from Phenibut because it's another substance with which I feel I was just beginning to dance around the precipice of overuse and potential dependence.

    But besides that I feel like I have pretty good control with most other substances - I want drugs to remain a part of my life, I think many of them have inherent value, and I have just started to try to get more involved in actual activism to raise awareness of the critical importance of changing global attitudes towards (currently illegal) psychoactive substances. However I think as long as I am unable to stick to my commitments to myself not to use such a purely hedonistic, objectively toxic and damaging substance as cocaine is, my passion about this topic is perhaps little more than self denial, a hedonistic polydrug addiction dressed up in intellectual rationalisations.

    Obviously alcohol also is a damaging and toxic substance with little inherent value but I don't feel at the moment like I have a strong enough personality to not drink in certain social settings... I would like to quit this drug eventually too, but, one issue at a time...

    I guess the path forward is pretty clear on the whole, and I said as much to my friend yesterday when I left that for me this has to be the last time and I am just not going to hang out with him for a while in situations where cocaine might be involved. Perhaps I should also look for some new friends, throw myself into exercise, positive hobbies, and not beat myself up too much about this minor "relapse" (my last usage before this was maybe the end of June), and as I say, just keep moving forward... but thanks in advance to anyone who took the time to read this and I guess I'm just hoping for some input or to hear from someone in a similar position.

    I was hesitant to post this because I feel generally that my problems with my cocaine use are in some ways not ENOUGH of a problem to even qualify as a problem... but, it definitely feels like a problem to me.
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    #2
    One good thing is that your use isn't very frequent so it may be easier for you to stop using cocaine than for some people who are heavy users. That said, I'm also sensitive to cocaine and it can really through off my stability during the comedown. I actually haven't done it for years but when I used to use it occasionally I would suffer.

    If you associate it with alcohol you could maybe try avoiding drinking for a while until you break that association. They can hand in hand often and alcohol can lower your resolve to stay away from it.

    I wouldn't minimize it if it feels like a problem to you, but I'd also avoid beating yourself up because guilt need not be involved in this. Accepting your 'relapse' may be helpful instead of getting upset with yourself.

    You seem quite intelligent from your posts I suspect you'll be able to figure this out and keep things under control. Remember you're not a heavy user so you can consider yourself lucky in that regard.
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    Bluelighter psy997's Avatar
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    Eh. It seems like you're doing a lot of meaning making around your cocaine use that isn't necessarily true.

    Humans are incredibly intelligent creatures. We are absolutely brilliant at getting our needs met, and will find ways to do so that confound even the most brilliant of us. Most behaviors occur or don't occur because of a need, or needs. What need is cocaine filling in your life right now? What are you getting from those experiences that you are not getting otherwise?

    My advice would be not to beat yourself up about this seeming inability to stop using cocaine - because frankly, twice a month and a gram split isn't often nor much at all - of course you're not able to stop, it's filling a need! Instead of beating yourself up, figure out the role it's playing, and how to find something else that's healthier and more sustainable to fill that need.
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    Bluelighter Vastness's Avatar
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    Thanks for your responses both of you. And yeah, again, I realise my use was not THAT high... I think it's mainly the feeling afterwards, that makes me feel I should not do it, it's probably the most toxic feeling drug I've done, when the good effects are gone, that feeling of intense, intense anxiety, racing heartbeat, just as if I've poisoned myself... I like to be healthy and cocaine is just not. Definitely avoiding alcohol is a good idea though.

    As far as the need it is fulfilling... well, I can probably put my finger on that pretty easily, it makes me more confident, sociable, it's easier to be completely open with and connect with people. I don't feel I have a major difficulty doing this anyway, but my life for the past few years has definitely been skewed towards work, exercise, and solitary activities. When I was seeing a psychiatrist a while back she encouraged me to draw a pie chart of my life and the slice of the pie devoted to social connection was disproportionately small. So cocaine is probably a way amplify the intensity of certain experiences of social connection to make up for the lack of it the rest of the time. I found your post very insightful psy997... I will be thinking more about what you've said and suggested.
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    Bluelighter psy997's Avatar
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    Fuck yea, Vastness, fuck yea.

    So you're having feelings of poisoning yourself afterwards, and do not like that at all. That's a really good reason not to use. And, it seems like upping the intensity and thus getting the arousal you're desiring out of sociality is the reason to use. Or one of them. That's pretty clear, too.

    This seems like a big step in moving forward. If you know why you're using, then you can begin to fulfill that need in other places.

    I'll be here if you want to explore more
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    #6
    Shadowmeister
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    I can totally relate to difficulty around stimulants, though for me it's not cocaine, it's more serotonergic/rolly things. I tend to do propylhexedrine every 1-2 weeks (it's been a lot more often at times), because every time I go to the store, there it is. I will find myself saying I won't do it, and then doing it once I see it. Also alcohol is a factor, I tend to break more promises to myself when I get drunk.

    Not sure what to say except you're not alone. Fortunately you don't have a serious habit, that's good. It's important to note how you feel about these things. You're clearly uncomfortable about your rate of use, so keep that in mind and if you see it getting worse or you keep getting more uncomfortable, do something about it. However, also know that you're probably not doing yourself or your life much harm at this rate.
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    #7
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    To be blunt, you may have to curb your drinking to really get control of your cocaine habit. People do drugs for a variety of reasons, and rarely is there only one reason serving as motivation. With things like alcohol and cocaine, social pressures are usually a big factor. Not necessarily peer pressure, but the desire to be more socialable, outgoing, fun, etc. can all play a role. "I'm funnier when I am on coke" or whatever the line of thinking may be, it's a social activity and just hanging out with the friends you used to do it with can affect thinking. But more than likely, alcohol is going to have a bigger and far more drastic effect on your thought process. People drink to lower their inhibitions but there is no way of controlling which ones you are lowering.

    It sounds like you are still relatively in control. I think most wish they would have stopped there, similar to how you are wanting to stop or limit yourself. You can choose to do drugs or not, but you cant choose how they affect your mind and body.
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    Bluelighter Vastness's Avatar
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    ^^ Thanks for your responses also, both of you - yeah, definitely alcohol doesn't help. That said, after the immediate feelings of guilt of breaking some sort of agreement with myself, and also reading through this thread, I did feel a lot more OK about it - compared to my past usage I did use a lot less, and took steps to ensure I would be able to use less at the beginning - ie, just pick up a small amount rather than loads - I used to kind of have the attitude that you never want to find yourself running out of drugs, but of course with some drugs that's more of a danger than the opposite!

    I also wondered if my motivation to stop using and feelings of guilt was more a product of fear of judgement from certain people in my life, or even parts of society at large, than a genuine feeling in myself that I was doing much wrong. I don't think this is the case entirely, and even if it is, I think this is an instance where a LITTLE social pressure is not really a bad thing - but I guess what I mean is I realised that being too hard on yourself doesn't do much good, I managed about 4 or 5 months without and only the tiniest slip, even if I don't make it to another year, maybe I can make it 6 months this time and that would still be progress.


    Quote Originally Posted by psy997
    Fuck yea, Vastness, fuck yea.

    So you're having feelings of poisoning yourself afterwards, and do not like that at all. That's a really good reason not to use. And, it seems like upping the intensity and thus getting the arousal you're desiring out of sociality is the reason to use. Or one of them. That's pretty clear, too.

    This seems like a big step in moving forward. If you know why you're using, then you can begin to fulfill that need in other places.

    I'll be here if you want to explore more
    Thanks psy, again that is appreciated. As far as fulfilling that need in other places I am notoriously bad at following the kind of advice I would give to others and that I know is for the better in the long run for my own happiness, but, again, gotta just keep trying and keep moving forward. If you don't mind me asking, have you gone through anything similar yourself, either with substance use or something else in your life? Just curious as you seem to have a relatively clear and rational take on it and wondering if that's from direct experience, or just, well, sensible thinking.
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