Whether you have never tried cocaine, want to quit cocaine or recently stopped using cocaine, avoiding using cocaine is an important part of your life. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, approximately 906,000 people try cocaine for the first time every year. That is about 2,500 new users per day. However, there are ways to prevent yourself from becoming part of this statistic.
Understand the short-term effects of cocaine. One of the best ways to stay away from cocaine is to understand the effects that cocaine has on the body. Though cocaine may provide the short-lived high feeling, it also comes with some serious side effects. Cocaine acts as a stimulant to the nervous system. This can cause the constriction of blood vessels raising your blood pressure significantly, as well as irritability, insomnia and extreme anxiety.
Understand the long-term effects of cocaine. The short-term effects can have consequences on your health, but it is the long-term effects of cocaine that cause the most danger. After extended use, cocaine can cause heart disease, heart attack, stroke, lung trauma, chest pain, overdose and death. Snorting cocaine can cause infections and severe trauma to the nasal cavity. Injecting cocaine can put you at a heightened risk for diseases such as HIV/AIDS and can cause skin abscesses at the injection sites.
Choose your friends wisely. One of the best ways to avoid cocaine use is to make smart decisions when it comes to whom you choose to spend your time with. Even if you feel you are strong enough to say no, spending extended periods of time around people who use cocaine substantially increases your chances that you will end up trying cocaine yourself.
Avoid situations where you know cocaine will be involved. Avoiding parties, get-togethers and events where you know cocaine will be in use is also a way to avoid cocaine use. Even if you did not know that cocaine would be present, it is better to leave a place immediately than to stay and risk getting involved.
Avoid relapse triggers. If you have used cocaine in the past, one of the best ways to avoid future cocaine use is to avoid triggers that remind you of using. This may include people, places you used to buy drugs, places you used to use drugs and any other situations in which you will be reminded of your past drug use.