Cocaine Abuse

Dr. David Trappler

Psychiatrist & Jungian Analyst

Cocaine has become a ubiquitously used drug amongst the higher earning strata of our population.  It starts off being used for recreational purposes, to enhance energy, social chatter and intimacy, but eventually develops into a serious problem for all regular users.

Its frequent use is unsustainable, resulting in devastating financial problems and irreparable damage to all relationships. It also causes interruption in the ability to cope properly at work, although "promising" the opposite. It ultimately results in serious mood and energy swings besides the economic problems that are inevitable.

Ironically, the darkness it brings out of your "soul" can make innocent, naive people, who have led "over-protected" lives, get in touch with their dark side or "shadow,"

This can only be used constructively, once one is off the substance of course, and the user has commenced  treatment aimed at integrating this material into a previously idealised or "devilish" self.

However, its lure is so strong, that it is more than likely to have taken possession of your life, before one is able to stop. By then, there are many broken pieces in ones life, that require earnest and dedicated effort at reparation.

However, it is a drug that one can stop using by making a firm decision to do so, without even requiring hospital admission. One has to put an immediate halt to the whole theatrics of ordering it, lying to family and friends, drinking alcohol with “friends” who use it and then of course ordering the cocaine to achieve sobriety when one becomes too tipsy.

The whole system of Narcotics Anonymous is not necessary for most cocaine users. It is a highly addictive drug, but losing control of its use, does not necessarily mean you are an “addict”. For successful abstinence however, you will usually need some assistance with medication and of course, psychotherapy.

Psychological understanding regarding the underlying issues that led to the excessive usage and resulting aberrant behaviour, and the social sequelae resulting from its use, is essential for proper recovery.

You also have to find your "soul" again, which is not the "immortal soul" of theology, but "soul" used as a metaphor for regaining a capacity for "inwardness" or "interiority". Cocaine will have blocked that aspect of your life completely.

More Notes of Interest
Alcohol Abuse
What one tries to achieve with patients who drink too much, is to encourage them to have a more conscious relationship with alcohol. I have great respect for the 12-step programme, but one needs to refrain from a “one size fits all” approach when dealing with the complex issue of people’s relationship with alcohol.
Bipolar Mood Disorders
We all have moods that affect our functioning to some extent. When fluctuating moods or changes in psychic energy become a regular part of our lives to the extent that they interfere with our quality of life, or impair our social or occupational functioning, it may then be that we are on the spectrum of a “bipolar mood disorder.”