If there is somebody in your family or among your friends who displays symptoms of addiction to cocaine, you must now decide what you are going to do about it. Often, the necessary first step is an intervention. In the Gospel, Jesus instructs us that, if we see your brother engaged in sinful behavior, then you should speak to them alone. If this doesn’t work, then bring somebody with you who also recognizes that the person has a problem. If that doesn’t work, then bring the matter before the community. While Jesus focuses here on challenging a sinner, these steps can also be applied to a victim of cocaine addiction.
First, speak to them personally and encourage them to enter into recovery. If they won’t listen to you, bring along somebody else who also sees the problem. If they won’t listen to the two of you, then gather together friends and members of their family and challenge them to enter into recovery. This intervention may also need to involve consequence, informing the addict that they must change or they will lose the support of their family and friends.
When the addict agrees to enter into recovery, the next step will be determining how that recovery will progress. Some form of inpatient treatment may be needed, such as in a hospital or treatment center. It may be necessary for them to reside in the treatment center continually, or they may only need to spend part of each day there. In even less severe cases, outpatient treatment in which the recovering addict attends a certain number of treatment sessions each week may be sufficient. Individual or group therapy may be all that is needed. In the case of individual therapy, common models are Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Self-help groups such as Narcotics Anonymous or Smart Recovery are enough for some recovering addicts. The help of a professional may be needed to determine how intense the treatment needs to be.
Once formal treatment is concluded, whether it involved inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment, ongoing maintenance is important. Self-help groups generally encourage continued participation in an ongoing manner. This ongoing treatment is important in helping the recovering addict to maintain their recovery for the rest of their life. There may be a temptation to believe that you have beaten the problem, that you are ‘cured’. Don’t give in to that kind of thinking. Even if you no longer suffer from cravings, the problems that initially led to your decision to abuse cocaine may still be present. You have used cocaine to cope with those problems once, you may run the risk of doing so again unless you remain vigilant.