Cocaine: The experience of using and quitting

41lk1WqLs4L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX342_SY445_CR,0,0,342,445_SH20_OU02_What does scientific research tell us about people overcoming substance use problems? I have previously described the study with US veterans who stopped using heroin after they returned from Vietnam, showing that the common belief that heroin is highly addictive cannot be generalised to all situations.

A variety of other scientific studies have been conducted with people who have recovered from addiction to other substances and we look at another of these studies in this chapter.   

Dan Waldorf and colleagues conducted the most comprehensive ethnographic study of heavy cocaine users in the mid-1980s in northern California. 

They interviewed 267 current and former heavy users of cocaine, a sample that did not include people in treatment programmes or in prison. Most of the respondents were “solidly working- or middle-class, fairly well-educated, and steadily employed.”

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‘Sue: A Personal Story’ by Sue Murphy

2007_0118walpole0076“I was, what you were once described as in the 70s, ‘a problem child’. So to me, looking back, it was inevitable I ended up an addict.

My first love was LSD after postnatal depression. Not an excuse, just how it was. LSD was the only thing that made me feel alive. Until ecstasy. Wow, good days and they were until all the garbage arrived.

Skip many years, many tablets, many lines later and I found heroin. Or should I say it found me? It kept me enslaved for 15 years along with crack.

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Sapphire’s Recovery Story: ‘It should all be about the person’

Shows the importance of person-centered treatment. Things went well when Sapphire was intimately involved in decisions about her treatment, but poorly when professionals took sole control.

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