News Flash

Are you addicted to cocaine?

  • Do you keep trying to cut down on how much you are using but keep failing?
  • Do other people express concerns about your use and your behaviour when using?
  • Do you feel depressed, anxious or paranoid as a result of your use?
  • Do you really want to stop?

Cocaine is a strong but short acting stimulant drug.  It tends to make users feel more alert and energetic.  Users report that they feel very confident and physically strong and feel that they have great mental capacity.  Common physical effects include dry mouth, sweating, loss of appetite and increased heart and pulse rate.  Users can become very anxious.  The effects from snorting cocaine start gradually but only last for up to 30 minutes without the repeating dose.

Large doses or quickly repeated doses over a period of hours can lead to extremes of anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations.  These effects usually disappear as the drug is eliminated from the body. Excessive doses can cause death from respiratory or heart failure although this is rare.

How does a person become addicted to cocaine?

The effects of the drug are instant, very pleasurable and short lived.  Cocaine creates an intense but brief euphoria and makes users feel highly energetic.  It induces feelings of well-being, confidence and power mixed with restlessness and anxiety.  As the drug wears off the positive aspects diminish and can turn into deep depression, loss of energy and the need to sleep for long periods.

Addiction can develop very quickly and can be extremely difficult to overcome.  Research has shown that animals will work incredibly hard e.g.  press a button over 10.000 times for one dose, choose cocaine over food and water and will even continue to take in spite of the behaviour being punished.  Addicts behave in a similar way.  Addicts will do many things they might not normally do in order to obtain the drug and continue to take it even when it hurts their relationships with loved ones and their job or school performance.

Other problems that can occur from cocaine addiction.  Cocaine can cause depression and anxiety.  Ceasing its use can be very difficult because the subsequent depression can be debilitating causing the addict to relapse in an attempt to deal with the depression.  Prolonged use can result in numerous mental health problems including paranoia, delusions and psychotic episodes including hallucinations.

Call free on 0800 915 1560(or if you are calling from a mobile phone or from overseas, call 01226 298910) for professional, confidential advice on those vital first steps on the road to recovery. Alternatively you can complete the form here on the web site, to be found at the foot of each page.

Drink Poll
Drink Poll

Drinking too much - safer drinking tips for party goers.

As Don Shenker, the chief executive of Alcohol Concern was recently quoted in the national media*: "We'll all enjoy a festive drink over the coming weeks, but there is no longer any doubt that far too many people are drinking at dangerous levels."  Although the festive season is meant to be about celebration and enjoying time together, there are many that are drinking too much over the holiday period.  In fact the Department of Health is so concerned about this trend, that they have announced a mobile phone application that can be downloaded that acts as an alcohol tracker.  (see iTunes or visit NHS for more information).

Although this innovative new tool allows drinkers to input how much they are consuming and view graphs of whether they are sticking to recommended units, there is still an element of discipline and pre-planning required to do this.  So, how can you enjoy the festive season, but not put yourself at risk?  A spokesperson from  Linwood Park gives you some hints:

Know your limit - First of all, it is important to know ‘how much is too much'.  Government guidelines for safe drinking suggest that 21 units for a man and 14 units per week for a woman are safe.  This works out at 2-3 units of alcohol per day for a woman and 3-4 units for a man.

Size matters! - Remember that the measurement of a unit of drink is suggested as being half a pint of beer, a glass of wine or a pub measure of spirits.  If you are celebrating at home it is worth keeping in mind that measures will be vastly different to those in a pub and watch out for those specialty beers and spirits that will be more units per glass.

Advanced planning - Before you go out for a celebration, think how much you plan to drink and stick to it.  Also, if you think that no food is going to be served there, eat first.  Drinking on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster.  Finally, think about how you will be getting home and don't leave it to chance, have taxi numbers in your phone or pocket to ensure the night doesn't end badly.

Social drinking - Round-buying is the ticket to disaster.  Either choose to skip rounds or buy your own, so you don't ‘drink to keep-up'.  Also keep an eye on the number of times a drink is topped-up.  Just because you haven't had to go to the bar for a refill, doesn't mean you aren't consuming way over the legal limit.

Pace yourself - Pace is key to a night you will want to remember, not forget!  Alternate alcohol and soft drinks, or dilute alcoholic drinks to ensure you don't overdo it.  Remember the darker the drink the worse the hangover, so go for spritzers or shandy rather than red wine or whisky.

Dance the night away - Rather than placing all of the focus on drinking, why not make sure that there is something else planned for the evening of festivities, such as dancing, bowling, a pub quiz/games Etc.  This will help take the focus off of the alcohol and ensure that the night's fun revolves around more than just getting drunk.

Whether you are planning to party out and about, or at home this festive season, remember that you can be in control of your drinking.  By thinking ahead and planning your evening you can ensure that not only will you have a night that you remember, but one that your body doesn't regret for days afterwards.

If the thought of regulating your drinking seems unthinkable, or you are finding that the need to celebrate the festive season doesn't end on January 1st and you think that you are drinking too much, why not check out Linwood Park's Traffic Light Drinking system to see if you need to get some professional advice on taking control of the drink, before it takes control of you?

If you would like to find out more about drinking too much or need help with yours or a loved one's drinking, then why not call Linwood Park's confidential helpline on: Freephone 0800 066 4173 (or if you are calling from a mobile phone or from overseas, call +44 1226 698 054) to find out how to get help sooner rather than later? Alternatively you can complete the form here on the web site, to be found at the foot of each page.

*The Guardian, Saturday 12 Dec 2009 ‘MP's back alcohol price control to curb drinking'.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 19 April 2011 09:13)