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Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Updated on July 1, 2009

Not a new drug of abuse but Cocaine - in use for more than 5000 years - is now considered the caviar of recreational drugs.

In fact, Cocaine is presently the most abused drugs in America, dispelling the myth that that cocaine is not addictive because it lacks the physical withdrawal symptoms seen in alcohol or heroin addiction.

If anything, Cocaine has indeed powerful psychological addictive properties that it's classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a very high potential for abuse and addiction.

The path to cocaine addiction usually begin with occasional use only at parties as stimulant drug. Over time, dependence of the drug develops and a person's ability to choose not to take the drug gradually erodes.

And cocaine addiction becomes compulsive and addictive because of the ensuing pleasurable experiences with varying degrees of euphoria; increased energy, excitement, and sociability.

Eventually only one thing counts - getting more.

Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine Addiction

Ovecoming Cocaine Addiction

Currently, there are no specific medications that helps against cocaine addiction.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), is working on identifying and testing of drugs for the treatment of cocaine addiction.

Several new substances are being investigated to evaluate the safety and efficacy in fighting cocaine addiction. Topiramate modafanil and two marketed drugs, have shown some promising results as potential cocaine treatment agents. However, the results are elusive.

They don't work on all patients. In addition, baclofen, a GABA agonist, showed promising results in a subgroup of cocaine addicts with heavy usage patterns.

Mood swings are known physiological changes that occur during early abstinence from cocaine, and some antidepressant drugs have shown some benefit. Not only the problems with the applied treatment of cocaine addiction have to be treated.

Every year there are many overdose deaths due to cocaine that result. Therefore, treatments are in the process of preparing to assist in major emergencies of an overdose of cocaine.

For Those Addicted to Cocaine,

Methods of behavioral treatments have proven effective or at least beneficial in overcoming cocaine addiction. Behavioral interventions include both residential or hospital inpatient and outpatient approaches.

For most, it appears that behavioral therapy is often the only effective treatment for many drugs, including cocaine addiction.

This is because there is still no drug that works in the treatment of addictions, we actually treat the abstinence symptoms. There seem that when both treatments, medicating and behavioral, are combined, the result might be the most effective way to treat an addiction.

Disulfiram, a medication used to treat alcoholism, when combined with behavioral treatment has been clinically proven to be most effective in reducing cocaine use in patients and addicts.

For a drug treatment to be successful, treatment must be specific for each patient. For example, if a patient has difficulty keeping a job, a part of the rehabilitation needs for professional help, or vocational rehabilitation.

Behaviorial Therapy for Cocaine Addiction

A common method of behavioral therapy is known to produce positive results in many cocaine addicts is a reward program that encourages positive behavior as part of treatment for cocaine addiction.

An example of these programs are given points or a voucher for a patient who has been abstinence from cocaine, or is moving ahead with their rehabilitation.

These points or vouchers could be redeemed for prizes, like going to a movie or dinner. Such positive rewards encourage healthy behavior, rather than the harm they were accustomed to.


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