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Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options: Everything You Need to Know.

Cocaine belongs to the class of stimulants. Cocaine is addictive because it triggers the brain and releases dopamine, a hormone that is responsible for pleasure. It comes as a white powder and can be snorted, injected, or even smoked. Because it instigates the euphoric feelings all over the body, it is easy to become addicted to the drug. To overcome cocaine addiction, it is important to seek professional help because it is a highly potent illicit drug. If you or your loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction, you have treatment options that will help you beat this addiction. Keep reading to learn cocaine addiction treatment options and how they work.

Identifying Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant, which is why it takes little attempts to get hooked on it. Know the signs of cocaine addiction to help your loved ones. Because it is a fatal drug, it has long-term effects that are detrimental for a person’s mental as well as physical wellbeing.

Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction can cause a range of physical and behavioral symptoms, including:

Physical symptoms:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Increased body temperature
  • Nausea and abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Insomnia

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Increased talkativeness and excitability
  • Paranoia and agitation
  • Euphoria
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Neglect of personal responsibilities
  • Financial problems
  • Relationship difficulties

Long-term use of cocaine can lead to more serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, and seizure. Additionally, it can lead to behavioral changes such as increased aggression, mood swings, and irritability.

Cocaine Addiction: Fighting this Powerful Stimulant

While cocaine may seem like an invincible behemoth, fortunately, it is not. It is treatable through certain regimens. Unlike opioids, for cocaine and crack, there are not FDA-approved medications. However, there are other effective treatments that can be implemented over someone with a coke or crack addiction. A residential rehab where a patient is surrounded by counselors is very healthy for them. 

Therapeutic Interventions for Cocaine

Therapies are offered at various kinds of rehabs, including inpatient and outpatient addiction centers. Anyone who suffers from cocaine addiction can opt for therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, contingency management. 

Contingency Management

Contingency management (CM) is a type of behavioral therapy used in the treatment of addiction, including cocaine addiction. The approach is based on the principle of operant conditioning, which suggests that behavior can be modified by manipulating consequences. In CM, positive consequences such as rewards or incentives are offered to encourage individuals to engage in desired behaviors, such as remaining drug-free.

CM typically involves the use of a voucher-based system, where individuals earn vouchers for positive behaviors (such as passing drug tests) that can be redeemed for tangible items, such as movie tickets or gift certificates. The goal of CM is to increase motivation and reinforce positive behaviors, helping individuals to maintain their recovery and resist the urge to use drugs.

Studies have shown that CM can be an effective component of addiction treatment, especially when used in combination with other therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. However, as with any therapy, the effectiveness of CM can vary depending on the individual and their unique circumstances.

Cognitive-behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is focused on helping individuals recognize and change negative patterns of thought and behavior related to drug use. Your therapist will help you analyze and rationalize your feelings. You can deconstruct them with the help of your therapist and then see them try to eliminate the negative influence that they have over you. Therefore, CBT allows you to replace the berating thoughts with realistic and helpful ones. 

While CBT tries to analyze an individual’s thought patterns, it is not only limited to identification. In fact, a therapist will come up with certain strategies to overcome them. Usually, a CBT will follow the steps:

  • Recognizing harmful patterns
  • Learning new skills
  • Setting new milestones
  • Developing problem-solving skills
  • Keeping a track of your progress

Some of the other therapies include:

Motivational interviewing (MI)

Motivational interviewing is a counseling approach used to help individuals with addiction change their behavior by exploring and resolving their ambivalence. In the case of cocaine addiction, a motivational interviewing approach might include:

  • Building rapport and establishing a non-judgmental relationship with the individual.
  • Helping the individual to recognize the negative consequences of their cocaine use, such as health problems or relationship difficulties.
  • Asking open-ended questions and actively listening to the individual’s responses to help them identify their own motivations for change.
  • Reflecting back the individual’s own words and thoughts to help them see their situation in a new light.
  • Offering support and encouragement as the individual works to overcome their addiction.
  • Celebrating the individual’s successes and progress along the way, and helping them to stay focused on their goals.

Remember that motivational interviewing is not a one-time intervention, but rather a process that involves ongoing conversations and support over time. It is a client-centered approach to help individuals increase their motivation to change their drug use behavior.

Community reinforcement approach (CRA)

A comprehensive behavioral treatment program that incorporates CM and other behavioral therapies.

It’s important to note that therapy is most effective when combined with a supportive aftercare program and ongoing support from friends and family. Each person’s experience with addiction and recovery is unique, so the most effective therapy plan may vary. 

Medication

While there is no standard FDA-approved medication for cocaine, despite ongoing research, there are some antidepressants that can be implemented in a patient’s regimen to improve their health. Medications can play a vital role in overcoming cocaine addiction by reducing cravings, improving mood, and helping to prevent relapse. The medications that are used off-label for this purpose include:

Disulfiram

Disulfiram is a medication used to treat alcohol addiction, which has also been shown to reduce cocaine use in some individuals.

Baclofen

Baclofen is a muscle relaxant that has been found to reduce cravings and cocaine use in some individuals.

Modafinil

Modafinil is a medication used to treat sleep disorders, which has been shown to reduce the urge to use cocaine and improve impulse control in some individuals.

Medication should always be used in conjunction with behavioral therapies and support from friends and family for maximum effectiveness. Additionally, not all individuals will respond to medication, and the safety and effectiveness of some medications for the treatment of cocaine addiction have not been thoroughly studied. It’s important to consult with a doctor or addiction specialist to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs. 

Aftercare for Cocaine Addiction

Once a person has undergone treatment for cocaine, aftercare is a crucial component of the process. It refers to the ongoing support and resources that individuals receive after completing formal treatment, in order to maintain their sobriety and prevent relapse. There are some common forms of aftercare that you can opt for:

Support groups

12-step programs (e.g. Cocaine Anonymous) that provide a community of individuals in recovery who can offer support, encouragement, and accountability, can be joined to sustain recovery.

Outpatient therapy

While many people undergo treatments at inpatient or residential rehabs, they can minimize the risk of relapsing by joining outpatient therapy programs as aftercare. The ongoing individual or group therapies address the psychological and emotional aspects of addiction and maintain recovery progress.

Sober living environments

Sober homes or other forms of structured living arrangements that provide a drug-free, supportive environment for individuals in early recovery.

Healthy lifestyle changes

Engaging in physical exercise, healthy eating, and other activities that support overall well-being and recovery.

It’s important to note that aftercare should be tailored to the individual’s unique needs and circumstances. A combination of aftercare resources can provide the best support for long-term recovery. Additionally, it’s crucial for individuals in recovery to have a strong support network of friends, family, and loved ones who can provide emotional support and encouragement throughout the recovery process.

How to Help Someone with Cocaine Addiction

If you realize that someone close to you is suffering from cocaine addiction, you should offer them endless support. There is nothing better than urging them to undergo professional medical expertise. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process. It does not mean that overnight your loved one will forsake cocaine. In fact, there will be difficult times where they may feel anxious or depressed and in such instances, your support will prove to be the best for them. 

While it may become difficult for you to understand their situation, listening to them and making them feel heard is very effective. Remember that if a patient encounters any trigger, they may regress back. Therefore, try to keep them away from triggers. Other than that, you must take care of yourself when looking after someone with cocaine addiction. 

Conclusion on Treating Cocaine Addictions

In conclusion, treating cocaine addiction is a complex and challenging process that requires a multi-faceted approach. Medications, behavioral therapies, and support from friends and family can all play a role in helping individuals overcome their addiction. It’s important to find an evidence-based treatment program that is tailored to the specific needs of the individual, as no single approach will be effective for everyone. Furthermore, it’s essential to have a strong support system and to be committed to making lifestyle changes in order to achieve lasting recovery from cocaine addiction. With the right resources and determination, it is possible to overcome this addiction and build a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Find a mental health professional that treats drug addiction here

Jordyn Mastrodomenico LPC, LCADC CTP
Author: Jordyn Mastrodomenico LPC, LCADC CTP

Jordyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) and Certified Trauma Professional (CTP). She holds a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling, from Caldwell University, Jordyn has extensive experience in Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient settings and is skilled at guiding clients through the recovery process in individual and group therapy sessions.

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