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Addicted to cocaine. Causing problem in nose. What should I do to get off?

Answered by
Dr. Preeti Parakh

Addiction Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 1486 Questions

Posted on Tue, 10 Dec 2013 in Drug Abuse
Question: Hi Doc, I've got to get some help to get off cocaine and have no idea where to start or who to go to first. I don't even know how I got this way. Seems like I just dabbled with cocaine when hanging out with "certain friends" then in a flash here I am, over a year later and I've always got it and always doing it, like its automated. It's causing serious problems in my nose and other unhealthy ways too I'm sure. What should I do? Where/Who should I go to w/o being judged, ridiculed ? I desperately need help and directions on getting there (to the right pro that first time). What/how/where do I get started?? I just uploaded a couple pictures where you can see the big hole in my septum. I've got to get this fixed too. What credentials should I seek when looking for an MD to help me with this problem??
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Psychiatrist and ENT surgeon. Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome to Healthcare Magic! I can understand how cocaine went from being an occasional fix to a daily necessity without your realizing that things were going out of control. Cocaine has a very high dependence potential, similar to that of amphetamines and there are people who have got hooked after doing it just for one time. I have seen the snaps of the perforation in the septum of your nose. In early stages, perforations can heal without surgery. In other cases, there are two common options, surgical repair or the use of a nasal septal button, which just closes the opening. The best doctor for this would be an ENT surgeon, whose area of interest is nasal surgery. If you are active in online chat forums like bluelight etc, you can also anonymously start a thread asking if anyone has got this problem treated in your city/area and if so, they would let you know the name of the doctor and whether they were satisfied with the treatment. This will help you get first hand information about the doctors in your area who may suit you best. Before you treat your nasal septum perforation, you need to take care of the factor that is causing the perforation. Otherwise there will be no point in treating it. You have accepted that cocaine has become a problem and are willing to do something about it. This is appreciable and now what needs to be done is to seek help. Craving for cocaine is very strong and it will be better that you consult a psychiatrist, preferably one who specializes in addiction medicine, to help you overcome the habit. Quitting cocaine is difficult but not impossible. Till you get to see a psychiatrist, make small efforts like trying to cut down on the amount of cocaine you take. Avoid the company of friends who also indulge in it. Avoid having free time and try to keep as busy as possible. Prefer to spend all free time in the company of family members. If possible, avoid keeping cash with you that can be used to buy the drug. Do not fear being judged or ridiculed. Everybody makes mistakes and you also made one. You are brave enough to accept your mistake and think of rectifying it and that should be commended. Stop feeling ashamed of yourself. Drug abuse is bad but there are many other actions that are worse. At least you have harmed only yourself and not others. There is no need to feel excessively guilty. Hope this helps you. Please feel free to ask if you need any clarifications. Best wishes. Dr Preeti Parakh MD Psychiatry
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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