Crack cocaine is one of the most difficult drugs to get off of. The impact has on the brain and a person’s mental health is devastating. Crack cocaine is a stimulant. Stimulants affect the central nervous system by increasing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain and body.
When a person takes a hit of crack, the brain releases an abnormal amount of dopamine. This produces an intense euphoria and pleasure; energy, alertness, mood, and attention increase. Unfortunately, the high only lasts a short time, so that causes a person to have terrible cravings and want more and more. This cycle often leads a person to develop an addiction that lasts for years.
Once the individual decides they’ve had enough and starts the detox process, the mental and emotional toll it takes on the person is debilitating. The withdrawal symptoms and cravings are part of what makes the recovery process from crack cocaine so difficult.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is defined as a process of taking care of yourself by engaging in behaviors that promote health and well-being and managing any illnesses you may have when they occur. Regardless of whether you are a healthy individual or have any type of illness, self-care is necessary. Self-care includes daily care such as choosing what to eat, taking care of your dental needs, getting exercise, and enough sleep.
Socrates in ancient Greece founded Self-care. However, self-care has been around since the beginning of time and is the primary form of healthcare globally.
Practicing Self-Care in Crack Recovery
Taking good care of yourself physically and mentally and practicing good self-care is an extremely important part of the recovery from crack cocaine or any other substance. Especially since the detox process can take a huge toll on you.
The National Institute of Mental Health “Caring for Your Mental Health” states:
Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact. Self-care looks different for everyone, and it is important to find what you need and enjoy. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. In addition, although self-care is not a cure for mental illnesses, understanding what causes or triggers your mild symptoms and what coping techniques work for you can help manage your mental health. (NIMH)
A big part of the self-care process is making sure your medical needs are tended to. This means going to the doctor regularly if needed and seeing a mental healthcare provider to address any mental health disorders you may have. Self-care also includes taking any medications that you are prescribed and attending regular sessions with your counselor and therapist.
Why Is Self-Care In Crack Recovery So Important?
Self-care can be difficult for some people because addiction makes you so selfish; it is a selfish and self-centered disease. For this reason, a lot of addicts don’t believe they are worth caring for. Indulging in yourself in recovery is not selfish, and not taking good care of yourself is a common factor for relapse. This can also be the very thing that led some people to develop their addiction. Spend time on yourself. You are important, and your recovery depends on it.
Here are some good self-care activities that can also help to boost dopamine in the brain:
- Eating healthy
- Get good sleep
- Listen to music
- Engage with your pet
- Develop healthy relationships
- Spend time with friends and family
- Take a drive
- Take a Vacation
- Spend time outside
- Get a massage
- Avoid stress
- Practice mindfulness
- Do some yoga
- Take a break from all electronics
- Keep a journal
- Set healthy boundaries
- Spend time with yourself
Caring for and learning to love yourself are essential parts of getting sober and staying sober. Without self-care, your recovery will suffer, and it will be nearly impossible to refrain from relapse.
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