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Relapse Prevention for Cocaine

This topic necessitates a substantial preface because what we are about to emphasize regarding cocaine relapse prevention, would have otherwise inevitably be met with skepticism according to our experience.

The preface to the topic will be longer than the topic because readers have justifiable trust issues around what they read, even when it involves this very lifesaving topic of cocaine relapse prevention.

Why don’t we readily trust what we read, especially when it appears at face-value to be no big deal? Because writers have been somehow permitted to spout their own opinions without substantiating them with a fact or two.

Also, many readers are vigilant and wary regarding what they read because web content is often tainted and pitched by special interest groups and entities. A vital truth is often not known or hidden behind an entities agenda.

Unfortunately, some actual vital truths are tossed out along with the bulk of what is recycled biasedly-edited propaganda.

The following lengthy preface, a lifesaving topic in itself, is a prerequisite to you believing the briefer point, which is relapse prevention for cocaine.

Let’s begin the preface to the point by taking some trips down memory lane.

Who Do You Trust Regarding Cigarette Addiction?

Full page Life Magazine tobacco advertisements boasted “9 out of 10 Doctors Recommend Lucky Strikes” in the mid-1900s, now they don’t. It was no wonder that in 1992 at least one addiction psychiatry chairman at a top university stated that the disease concept of nicotine dependence was “controversial.” The disease concept of nicotine dependence is not at all controversial now.

It’s no wonder we have trust issues regarding what we read.

Who Do You Trust Regarding Eggs and Heart Disease?

By 1972, egg yolk was assumed to be a major cause of heart disease because egg yolk contains one of the highest, if not, the highest concentration of cholesterol/gram of food. Decades later, health and lifestyle gurus and entities gave the okay to eat egg yolks, then not, then maybe, then two a day is okay. What … does anyone know what they are talking about regarding my life expectance?

Evidently longevity experts and entities can say whatever they wish in order to advance their agenda because to date, there is not a single study that measured endogenous cholesterol before and after eating, let’s say, 2 hardboiled eggs, three times during the day, along with no-cholesterol and no-sugar containing green sides.

“No-sugar,” means no fructose, glucose, flour or starch, because sugar turns into triglycerides and 1/5 of triglycerides becomes low density lipoprotein (VLDL), one of the two heart-haters. VLDL and LDL are two forms of “bad” cholesterol. So that is why cholesterol absorption or kinetic studies of the future must pay close attention to procedural design.
No joke, serious as a heart attack, there are no studies that measure the cholesterol absorption dynamics of cholesterol or carbohydrate containing foods. If you find a single study that says, for example, that 374 mg of egg-cholesterol (2 large eggs) translated into an xx mg/dL rise in LDL within 24 hours, please let us know.

Only one single case study (multi-subject studies are needed by numerous different research teams) did measure several types of cholesterol containing foods before and after egg consumption and found that 2 egg did not increase LDL or VLDL at all, zero, in the subject studied. The study also reported that boiled fish resulted in the highest LDL blood level, followed by chicken, corned beef, beef steak, turkey bacon, lamb, cheese and eggs, in that order.

A single case study is essentially meaningless. It does, however, highlight, the fact that absorption studies have never been done, while lifestyle and health gurus and entities continue to confidently spout the opinions regarding health and longevity.
The truth is, no one really knows for certain, one way or another, which foods cause disease, which prevent it and which are on the fence.

It’s no wonder we have trust issues regarding what we read.


By 1983 Xanax was marketed as a new non-addictive antidepressant. By 1984, drug and alcohol rehabs were getting calls like this: I started taking one a day and it helped. Then I took two a day to feel better. Then three. Now it takes six for me to feel better. Am I addicted to this non-addictive medicine?

Here is another related tale. A journalist, Mr. A, was admitted for alcohol dependence. He became the subject of a case report that validated what the above caller suspected. Here is how it went down:

It was somewhat unusual for Mr. A to show lingering alcohol withdrawal symptoms after 72 hours of medication assisted detoxification, the usual end of visible alcohol withdrawal. Regardless, Mr. A was able to focus in group, individual therapy and self-help meetings, well enough to begin to get the recovery skills necessary to be happy without drinking alcohol for life.

Then, on day 21 after alcohol detox began, while playing pool in the rehab’s day room, Mr. A had a grand mal seizure on top of the pool table. His rehab doctor immediately suspected that Mr. A was addicted to more than just alcohol. The day after Mr. A told his doctor that he didn’t mention that he was taking Xanax during the admission and evaluation process due to a number of factors, including because he had read it was not habit forming.
As you might suspect, grand mal seizures typically occur on day 21 in people who stop Xanax on their own without medication assistance, just as alcohol does during day 3, and opioids essentially never.

Today we know that Xanax is one of the most addictive benzodiazepines of all. Some Xanax and opioid addicts state it was harder kicking the Xannies.

Xanax can actually help what was previously called an “anxious depression” just like the original package insert said. It mainly works just like alcohol by increasing gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), along with increasing dopamine and changing others, to reduce fear, worry, obsessive thoughts and uncertainty. But its potential cross addictive and lethal cost makes Xanax unacceptable seeking the serenity that recovery offers.

It’s no wonder we have trust issues regarding what we read.

The aforementioned preface strongly suggests that today’s “truth” may turn out to be tomorrow’s dupe, and we know it.

It’s no wonder we have trust issues regarding what we read.

Because We Care

At Royal Life Centers we hope to earn your trust by having you read this and our other posted information, knowing we have carefully researched and vetted the information we provide before presenting it to you.
We are critical about the research we use to give you the recovery sensitive scoop you need because we care about you and yours living a long and happy life.

With that in mind, make no mistake, the single best and most important cocaine relapse prevention tool or tactic is avoid all audio, visual, tactile or gustatotial (taste) cues associated with cocaine.

Relapse Prevention for Cocaine

Relapse prevention for cocaine centers around anticipating and avoiding audio, visual, tactile and oral-pharyngeal experiences that relate to cocaine use.
Remember, before we gave people the painfully lengthy preface, like the one above, to this monumentally important cocaine prevention tip, we heard or latter heard confessions that:

  1. You must be kidding, right?
  2. Stop it!
  3. Seriously?
  4. I can look at it and not do it bro!?
  5. Is that what I came here to learn?
  6. And you’re supposed to be some kind of expert?
  7. I’m around it all the time. It doesn’t want to make me use.
  8. That’s ridiculous.
  9. What do you want me to do … leave the move just because they’re doing coke?
  10. We’re just messing around snorting sugar here by the rehab coffee machine … what are going to do … discharge us?
  11. You know … you were right … I thought I could see it and not use and now I’m back in residential treatment again.
  12. I took it away from my sponsee and wound up using it, went on a long run and almost died, again. It’s really humbling being back in treatment.
  13. I replace the word “cocaine” with “stimulant” when I tell my story.
  14. I rapidly move onto another thought when I think about cocaine.
  15. I leave the room when people start talking about cocaine.

Again, please remember the long preface, and trust when we say that environmental cues reminiscent of cocaine are potentially powerful, magnetic and alluring triggers to relapse.
Make no mistake. The most seductive drug of all is cocaine. Cocaine addicts need to surrender to the “heroic” test of being around it or looking at a picture of it, and not using, then saying: See, that noise is BS.

It’s taken addiction researchers decades to put data to this empirical vital finding (Lopez).

First Citing of How Powerful Environmental Cues Can Be

Cocaine was thought to only be psychologically addictive prior to 1984. After all, Sigmund Freud often prescribed it to his patients and, along with enormous amount of nicotine stimulant (he had mouth cancer), used cocaine stimulant to write textbooks about, among many things, oral fixation.

Circa 1984, it was evident, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that cocaine was beyond addictive.
But it was believed that cocaine addicts could at least see a picture of cocaine and not experience overwhelming cravings to use cocaine, just like a boozer viewing a picture of a bottle of beer.

Like many great discoveries, it happened by mistake. Here is how it happened back in 1984:
A residential alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation unit, within a larger multi-unit facility, admitted its first wave of cocaine addicts and treated them alongside the alcohol and benzodiazepine addicts, because the facilities heroin and other specialty units could not accommodate them.

One day, a large group of alcohol, benzodiazepine, and cocaine addicts viewed a movie about all drugs to teach that using drugs other than your drug of choice can get you a new addiction and/or get you back to your drug of choice.

The alcoholics watched footage of alcohol and they did not feel like running to the bar.
Benzo people saw many of their favs on the screen, but did not have the urge to use benzos.
The moment cocaine footage appeared, all the cocaine addicts experienced intense feelings of having just snorted cocaine, including a feeling of nausea and impending vomiting. Many suddenly stood up in the darkened room and rapidly headed off to one of several bathrooms near the large group room/movie viewing room.

The movie was stopped and later edited to remove any and all references of cocaine. A comprehensive investigation ensued, and each cocaine addict was evaluated regarding their associated thoughts, feelings and physical symptoms.

The “cocaine” portion of the “cross addiction” and “cross tolerance” part of the program was presented live and later recorded as a movie referring to “cocaine” as “it” or anything but “cocaine”, “crack” or “blow.”

They learn that:

  1. It has the most powerful cue to use than any other drug
  2. Don’t try and test it; testing it is not a sign of strength or that the notion is not true
  3. It brings a whole new meaning to “avoid people, places and things” and does not minimize the absolute need for alcoholics and other drug addicts to do the same
  4. Cocaine related environmental triggers often are more compelling than the opioid addict going into opioid withdrawal while driving through an old coping-area, even after being clean for 1 year.
  5. Viewing pictures or discussing cocaine can trigger real psychological and physical changes.
  6. Upon viewing or discussing cocaine, recovering cocaine addicts have:
  • perceived the numbing post nasal drip that accompanies intranasal use;
  • nausea
  • need to vomit
  • withdrawal symptoms
  • symptoms associated with use
  • desire to use
  • craving to use
  • compelling craving to use
  • magnetic craving to use
  • obsessive craving to use

The bulk of recovery treatment design is geared for all drug and behavioral addictions. We then specifically tailor it to the individual and their drug(s) of choice.
The above is a centerpiece of ad-on therapies and education when cocaine use is a factor.

Reach Out

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse problem, please reach out to our addiction specialists for guidance and support, at (877)-RECOVERY or (888) 559-5109. Our addiction specialists make themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.


López AJ, Medial habenula cholinergic signaling regulates cocaine-associated relapse-like behavior. Addict Biol. 2019 May;24(3):403-413.

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