How2Quit : Cocaine

If you have a serious addiction to cocaine or amphetamines, we recommend that you get professional treatment as an inpatient, or at the very least, outpatient treatment where you will get help from people who understand addiction. In a treatment setting you will get education about your addiction and addiction-specific counselling.

Once you have quit completely (at this stage there is no such thing as occasional use), you need to change your friends and your circumstances. Some people join Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and meet other people committed to staying clean. As they say in CA, you need new playgrounds and playmates. You need to make a break from the kind of situations where you’ll be offered a ‘line’.

Use the following guidelines alongside our How to Quit Action Plan in Part 4 of the How To Quit book.

Please note all page and chapter references in this article are from How to Quit.

  1. Start by taking the Basic Supplements a week before you quit.
  2. Follow our How to Quit Diet. You will have neglected your health and your diet, since these drugs are powerful appetite suppressants. Your health now needs attention, so it’s time to have a crash course in healthy eating. This will quickly make you feel better and stronger.
  3. The chances are if you use cocaine or crack, you smoke cigarettes, another dopamine-elevating stimulant and, ultimately, this is important to quit too. But, for now, at the very least, do not increase the amount you smoke and, ideally, keep it below ten a day. For the same reasons, you’re probably a coffee drinker. Similarly, don’t increase your caffeine intake and ideally keep to a maximum of two cups a day. After 30 days, work towards stopping coffee (Chapter 19) and then cigarettes when you are ready (Chapter 21).
  4. Take 20–25g of oral vitamin C in divided doses (or up to ‘bowel tolerance’: the point where you get loose bowels) as a powder in water diluted one-third with juice. Take this for a week until you are through the worst of your withdrawal symptoms.
  5. Take the Stimulant Prescription (see pg 403)  , which provides tyrosine, adaptogenic herbs and B vitamins, including pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), needed for the adrenal glands. Also take NADH, which is similar to a B vitamin, to help correct reward deficiency and get your natural dopamine going.
  6. If you feel extremely tired and low, and are overeating, take extra L-tyrosine as well as extra vitamin B6 and magnesium. Tyrosine is usually available in 500mg capsules. Take up to three (1,500mg) twice a day on an empty stomach. Do not exceed this amount. Excessive consumption of tyrosine may occasionally cause symptoms of over-stimulation: shakiness, rapid heartbeat, irritability or insomnia. In this case, reduce the tyrosine by half, and avoid taking it during the late afternoon or in the evening. The Stimulant Prescription (see pg 403)  contains 2g a day of tyrosine.
  7. If you are unable to relax or sleep, take the Sleep Prescription (see pg 397). If you can get it, take 1,000mg of GABA on an empty stomach in the evening to help you relax.

Using IV

If you are able to access it, IV nutrient therapy makes the biggest and quickest difference. Withdrawal and abstinence symptoms go away rapidly, often after the first two or three IV sessions. You may also be willing and able to quit all stimulants. Once you have completed the IV therapy, follow the recommendations above. IV therapy is discussed in Chapter 30. To find treatment centres offering nutrient IV therapy click here.

The most important keys for you to follow are:

  • Rebalance Your Brain with Amino Acids (Chapter 7) – you are experiencing neurotransmitter deficiency and this chapter helps you understand your symptoms and why specific amino acids can help you recover quickly.
  • How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep (Chapter 13) – sleep is a great healer and the chances are you will be chronically sleep-deficient having burned the candle at both ends. In this chapter you’ll learn how to sleep well.
  • Balance Your Blood Sugar to Gain Energy and Reduce Cravings (Chapter 11) – energy comes from a stable blood sugar level and, feeling tired, you might find yourself craving sweet foods and drinks. This is just using sugar as a fix. Instead, find out how to up your energy naturally.
  • Raise Your Methyl IQ with Vitamins and Minerals (Chapter 9) – check your homocysteine level and supplement the key methyl nutrients (B6, B12, folic acid, TMG and zinc) to improve your ‘methyl IQ’, which helps make neurotransmitters.
  • Rebuild Your Brain with Essential Fats (Chapter 10) – the chances are your diet has been deficient, so guaranteeing a daily intake of the brain’s essential fats will help you recover your natural energy and concentration.
  • Generate Vital Energy: The Chi Factor (Chapter 17) – by learning how to do this you’ll find a natural, clean energy that is much more centering than stimulants.

What to expect 30 days later

It takes, on average, about 30 days to recover and normalise your brain’s chemistry, and blood sugar balance. Of course, this depends greatly on your previous level and length of abuse and whether you are still using caffeine or cigarettes. If you’ve been using a variety of addictive substances for years, our advice would be to stick to this kind of recovery programme for at least 90 days.

Otherwise, provided your Scale of Abstinence Symptoms Severity score has dropped by two-thirds (see Chart Your Progress on page 26), stop the Stimulant Prescription (see pg 403)  and extra tyrosine, tryptophan and GABA as needed, but keep taking the Basic Supplements. If you still feel tired, add 1g of tyrosine.

More information on buying the book How to Quit Without Feeling S**T.

The advice given here is not a substitute for the advice of your doctor or another suitably qualified person. For any serious addiction it is vital that you do have professional support. The recommendations given here help to ensure you are optimally nourished after stopping an addictive substance which may have had a negative influence on your nutritional status.