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How to treat cocaine addiction

How do people become addicted to cocaine?

There is no one answer. In fact, there are many factors that contribute to drug abuse, from biology to environmental cues. However, cocaine addictive qualities make it one of the most highly addictive substances out there.  In fact, cocaine affects the brain by increasing the amount of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and movement, produced in the body.  Once you’re hooked on cocaine, it’s hard to stop.

So how do you treat cocaine addiction? And where can you find cocaine addiction help?  We explore here, and invite your questions about cocaine and addiction at the end.

Am I addicted to cocaine?

People addicted to cocaine exhibit changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgement, decision making, learning and memory and behavioral control. To determine a pattern of addiction, watch for initial changes in behavior and appearance. Other signs that you or someone you know may be addicted to cocaine include:

  • Drastic weight loss because cocaine decreases appetite in most users.
  • Many cocaine addicts will begin to isolate themselves from family and friends, using all of their time to find and use cocaine.
  • Missing work or the inability to hold down at job.
  • People on cocaine will often appear restless, agitated, depressed or nervous, especially if they are in between highs.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • Serious addicts will often engage in illegal activity like theft, prostitution and at times homicide to obtain cocaine.

Treating cocaine addiction

While there are currently no FDA approved medications used to treat cocaine addiction, it has been concluded that a combination of behavioral and pharmaceutical treatments may ultimately prove the most effective.

1. Medications for cocaine addiction treatment: Because there is no medication used to treat cocaine addiction, medication designed for other addictions are being administered and have produced some positive results in clinical studies. Disulfiram, for example, which is used to treat alcoholism has proven to be the most effective against cocaine addiction.

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2. Behavioral treatments for cocaine addiction:

Behavioural treatments are currently the most successful route for treating cocaine addiction. Two popular psychotherapy modalities include:

Motivational incentives (MI) – By using a prize/reward based system, MI’s have proven successful in helping cocaine addicts to achieve initial abstinence while motivating them to remain in treatment. The trade off? Drug-free urine samples are rewarded with things like gym memberships, movie passes and dinner gift cards.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – Used primarily to prevent possible relapse, CBT helps cocaine addicts to stay off of the drug and other substances. CBT helps patients by teaching them to recognize, avoid and cope with situations that would have led them to use in the past.

Treatment for cocaine addiction

If you or a loved one is suffering with cocaine addiction, it is not a struggle that needs to be faced alone. There are many options available and many people willing to devote their time and expertise to helping those suffering from this horrible addiction. You can seek treatment for cocaine addiction from the following professionals:

Cocaine addiction treatment centers or detox clinics

Ranging from 1 to 12 month stays and staffed with addiction professionals, these centers are designed specifically to help those struggling with addiction and are equip with all of the tools necessary to promote success. Detox clinics provide medical staff and physicians who monitor and supervise cocaine withdrawal 24 hours a day on an inpatient basis.

Clinical psychologist or psychiatrist

These mental health professionals specialize in cocaine addiction treatment. Because many addictions are rooted in past problems like childhood trauma or depression, a mental health professional can help patients deal with these issues as well as cocaine withdrawal symptoms. Seeking the expertise of a trained professional can increase your chances of recovery.

Cocaine addiction support groups

Overcoming addiction is a serious task and does not need to be achieved alone. Join a cocaine support group to keep on track and to find a sense of “community”.

Your physician

Speak with your physician if you have been taking cocaine and want to get clean. Not only can you physician educate you on the harmful effects of cocaine abuse, but they can often point you in the direction of a clinic or a mental health professional.

How to treat cocaine addiction questions

With dedication and personalized treatment, cocaine addiction can be successful managed so that you can life a productive life. If you have any more questions iabout cocaine addiction treatment, leave a detailed message below. We try our best to answer each query quickly.

Reference Sources: Drug Facts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction
NIDA: Cocaine: Abuse and Addiction: What treatments are effective for cocaine abusers?
NIDA: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cocaine and Psychiatric Symptoms

Photo credit: NIDA

Leave a Reply

2 Responses to “How to treat cocaine addiction
10:29 pm August 25th, 2015

I’ve been seven mos. cocaine free. Within the last week I have had two dreams about trying to obtain or smoke crack. Now these dream cravings are a reality. I really thought I was done with crack. I quit cold turkey in January w no side effects. Now its coming back to haunt me. Why?

11:40 am August 27th, 2015

Hi Lisa. Cravings come and go, but you should stay calm. I’d suggest you join a support therapy group in your area. Talking it through with people who are experiencing the same or have been in your shoes can be encouraging and motivating to stay on the clear path. Part of addiction recovery is learning how to avoid triggers and deal with cravings.

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