Cocaine Addiction Recap
Cocaine is an illegal stimulant that comes from the coca plant in South America. Powdered cocaine is usually consumed by snorting, but users can also take it orally or intravenously.
Side effects of cocaine use can include:
- High blood pressure
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle twitches
- Hepatitis C or HIV (via IV use)
- Rapid heart rate
- Higher body temperature
- Heart attack or stroke
- Development of cocaine use disorder
- Depression and anxiety
Cocaine is highly addictive, but many different rehab programs are available to help cocaine users quit their addiction for good.
Cocaine Detox and Withdrawal
Regardless of which type of cocaine addiction treatment center you choose, detoxification is the first step in your recovery. Detox and withdrawal symptoms happen due to your body eliminating any remaining cocaine from your system and working to rebalance its natural chemicals.
Cocaine causes the brain to produce large amounts of dopamine, so when detoxing from cocaine, the brain will be working to adjust to the sudden lack of dopamine. This adjustment period can lead to cocaine withdrawal.
Former cocaine users report intense cravings during withdrawal, particularly in the first week. The intense cravings that happen during withdrawal can lead to relapse and, as a result, a cocaine overdose. Recovering individuals may also experience life-threatening mental health shifts, causing major depression and suicidal thoughts.
Additional cocaine withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Extreme paranoia
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Increased appetite
- Mood swings
Cocaine withdrawal is not dangerous, but many side effects can lead to life-threatening secondary consequences. Seeking medical intervention during cocaine detox is strongly recommended.
Overcoming Cocaine Addiction Through Rehab
Any use of cocaine is considered abuse since cocaine is illegal. Thankfully, several types of drug rehab centers are available to treat cocaine abuse and addiction.
Inpatient treatment is a residential treatment program where the recovering cocaine addict can live for a minimum of 30 days. During their stay at the inpatient rehab center, the patient will undergo supervised detoxification followed by daily therapies. Therapy will come in both group and individual counseling sessions.
Depending on the type of inpatient program chosen, there may also be additional healthy activities available for residents of an inpatient program, such as yoga or horseback riding.
Most people think the only option available is an inpatient or residential setting when it comes to drug rehab. However, plenty of outpatient cocaine rehab can be just as effective in providing support and addiction recovery.
The Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) option is a more intensive outpatient program. Patients who sign up for partial hospitalization will visit a facility during the day for 4-8 hours (depending on the individual treatment plan) to receive daytime therapy and care.
On the other hand, an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) provides similar therapies as a PHP but with a much lower time commitment. Individuals enrolled in an Intensive Outpatient Program will visit a facility for roughly 10+ hours per week.
An IOP program is an excellent cocaine addiction rehab for someone with a less severe addiction. Other IOP participants may enroll after completing a residential rehab program to ease back into daily life.
Is Medication Used During Cocaine Rehab?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there are currently no approved medications for cocaine use disorder. For any stimulant drug abuse, the primary form of treatment happens through different therapies.
Medical professionals are still researching types of medication that could potentially be used in the future to aid in recovery from stimulant drug addiction.
Therapy for Cocaine Addiction Recovery
Behavioral health is a significant component in cocaine addiction recovery. Any rehab center you choose will offer a variety of individual and group therapy sessions.
Since no medication can assist with relapse prevention, focusing on one’s mental health issues becomes a major component in successfully abstaining from cocaine.
The following are some common forms of therapy used during cocaine addiction treatment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is psychotherapy commonly used to treat substance use disorders, including cocaine addiction. CBT helps treat drug addiction because it allows the individual to figure out what unhealthy mental patterns could have contributed to self-medicating through drugs or alcohol.
In addition, CBT allows patients to work through those negative thought patterns and re-shape them into better habits and healthier coping mechanisms for the future to keep them from falling back into drug use.
Contingency management is another highly effective therapy for helping recovering cocaine addicts remain sober. Patients have the opportunity to earn chips or vouchers during their contingency management treatment and can save up these vouchers to trade for healthy rewards.
Patients might receive vouchers for clean drug tests, participation in group therapy, or other healthy milestones. Over time, patients can earn prizes that will increase in value. The prizes—from free meals to gym memberships—are intended to help support the enjoyment of a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
12-Step Programs for Cocaine Recovery
Many people have heard of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), but there is a specific group for recovering cocaine addicts.
Cocaine Anonymous is a 12-step program that helps recovering addicts continue on the road to remaining sober while providing them with a safe, supportive space to work through their 12 steps.
Continuing Recovery After Rehab
For recovering addicts that benefit from the support and structure of fellow sober peers, a sober living facility can be a great option after rehab. Sober living programs are drug and alcohol-free communities that require clean drug tests from all residents.
Every sober living house will have its own rules and varying levels of oversight (i.e., some sober homes have a live-in counselor or sponsor). It’s essential to check in ahead of time to see what the sober living community offers nearest you.
Aftercare describes different programs or habits a recovering cocaine addict can get involved with to help support a healthier, drug-free life. Patients who complete rehab often will continue participating in 12-step programs, and others may keep going to individual counseling, including the highly-successful phone counseling option.
Some of the most common rehab aftercare options include:
- Individual counseling
- Family therapy
- Support groups (online or in-person)
- Health and fitness programs
- Volunteering in addiction recovery
- Continuing 12-step programs
Find a Cocaine Rehab Program Near You
If you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one’s drug abuse, you can speak with a medical professional to get advice about taking your life back from cocaine addiction. If you’re not ready to talk to someone, the SAMHSA program locator allows you to search for the rehab programs nearby anonymously.