Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Francine Mends, MD on August 5, 2020
Your doctors can treat cocaine addiction in a variety of ways.
There are no 2 treatment plans that work for all people with cocaine addiction. Your care team will work with you to choose the treatment plan that’s best for you.
Most treatment programs for cocaine addiction use evidence-based behavioral therapy to treat the condition. Some programs use medication to manage symptoms in long-term withdrawal. A few programs also offer alternative treatments such as wilderness therapy or equine therapy.
Some options for cocaine addiction treatment include:
Most treatment centers will ask you to detox from cocaine before starting treatment. They may provide the detox as part of your stay, or they may refer you to another facility to complete detox.
Detoxing under the care of medical providers can help keep you comfortable, and most importantly, reduce the risk of relapse.
The support that you receive in detox may include:
- Supervision and support from a care team that provides 24/7 monitoring.
- Medications for pain, anxiety and other cocaine-related problems.
- Treatment for cocaine-related health problems.
Inpatient treatment is the most intensive option. It’s a good choice for people with SUD who need extra support and structure while they recover.
During inpatient treatment, you live at the treatment center 24/7 while your day is full of therapies, groups and activities.
You’ll also have all day and night access to medical professionals and medical care. They may provide medication to manage your symptoms if you’re having long-term cocaine withdrawal.
A typical inpatient treatment stay lasts at least 30 days, but inpatient works even better when you stay for at least 90 days. Most inpatient programs take place in hospitals or mental health facilities.
Residential treatment is a step down from inpatient in terms of structure, but not in terms of care. A residential program tends to be more homelike without sacrificing the benefits of treatment.
You’ll live at the treatment center, but instead of having your days filled with activities and therapies, you’ll have some scheduled time and some free time.
Expect activities like dinner, 1:1 therapy, and group therapy to be scheduled, but you’ll have more freedom in your room and in the residential house during the rest of your hours.
If you have some stability under your belt, residential could be a good alternative to inpatient.
Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) combine the best of both inpatient and outpatient programs.
Not everyone who needs intensive care has the ability to go to inpatient treatment. If you have children at home or another reason to stay home during treatment, PHP can help you recover from cocaine addiction.
PHP programs require that you attend for at least 5 hours daily, 5 days weekly. The program lasts between 2 and 4 weeks in most cases, but extended programs exist if you need more time.
You can live at home during PHP, but the time commitment means you may have to go on hiatus at work. You’ll spend most of your daytime hours in treatment programming and return home at night.
Intensive outpatient or IOP programs are similar to PHP but less time-consuming.
These programs have the strict structure of an inpatient program, but you’ll live at home and attend treatment for several hours, a few times weekly. You’ll spend that time in classes, workshops, group meetings, and other activities to help further your recovery.
The biggest difference between IOP and PHP is the time commitment.
Depending on the facility, you may go to IOP for up to 30 hours a week or as few as 9. The minimum stay for an IOP is 3 hours daily, 3 days weekly for 2 months or longer.
Many people with cocaine addiction think treatment is out of their reach due to work or childcare, but IOP can help you manage and balance your responsibilities. Many people can work part-time while in IOP.
Outpatient treatment is an option for people who need to balance home life with treatment. If you can’t stop working to go to treatment, then outpatient is an option for you.
This type of treatment is very flexible compared to other programs. You’ll live at home and attend appointments on your own time. Those appointments might include:
- Check-ins on your recovery progress
- Drug testing
- Group or individual therapy
Does Treatment for Cocaine Addiction Work?
Getting treatment for cocaine addiction is more effective than trying to address it on your own.
Treatment centers use evidence-based treatments for stimulant use disorder, which means treatments that have been proven to work. These include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which teaches you to recognize the relationships between your thoughts and your behaviors (including cocaine use).
- Contingency management, a therapy program that incentivizes staying off cocaine by rewarding you (with gift cards, money, or other tokens) for negative drug testing.
- Dialectical behavior therapy, which teaches you mindfulness in order to tolerate everyday stress without needing to turn to cocaine as a coping mechanism.
These are just a few of the effective treatments available for cocaine addiction. An experienced care team can help you choose the treatment plan right for you. Cocaine addiction does not have to be the rest of your life.
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