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Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Editor Dan Schimmel, LCSW, CAP
Created On
Updated On

Cocaine has had a large presence in our society since the 70s and 80s. Each year men and women turn to treatment centers for help overcoming cocaine addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2013, 60% of individuals who seek treatment for cocaine use smoke crack and are likely to be polydrug users, meaning they use more than one substance.

Treating Cocaine Addiction

Addiction to cocaine is rather complex. It causes major changes in the brain and has damaging effects on the individual’s social, familial and professional life, as well as the individual’s environment. Treatment for cocaine addiction addresses this broad context, along with co-occurring disorders that requires additional behavioral and pharmaceutical therapies.

Behavioral Therapies

In both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, behavioral therapies can show great benefits in the treatment of cocaine addiction.

The primary behavioral therapy used in the treatment of cocaine addiction is contingency management (CM), this is also known as motivational incentives. This is a prize-based system which rewards the individual for abstaining from cocaine and other drugs. With each clean urine-test, the individual earns points that can be used toward items which encourage healthy living.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown to be an effective behavioral therapy to prevent relapse by helping patients to develop critical skills that support long-term abstinence. This helps the individual to identify situations that could lead to cocaine use and develop the tools needed to cope with them more effectively.

Pharmaceutical Therapies

According to the FDA there are no medications used specifically to treat cocaine addiction. However there are some that lessen withdrawal and cravings, helping to restore the brain to its proper function.

Therapeutic Communities

Therapeutic communities (TC) are a drug free residence where individuals in recovery offer support to one another. Many TC offer a 6 to 12 month stay for each individual, offering them the guidance and time needed to build a strong foundation in their recovery, helping to keep them accountable to their sobriety. TC help individuals to re-integration back into society without fear of temptation and relapse.

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