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Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

People are struggling with many different substances all over the country. Every single substance can require varying treatment methods to best handle it. For instance, a medicated approach may be required, or a certain therapy may be recommended. Cocaine is one substance that can take a varied approach to treatment for cocaine addiction.

Cocaine Detox

As with many substances, the first step that an individual will often take in the beginning of treatment is detox. When a person has been using a substance for an extended period of time, their body can grow accustomed to it being present. It can reach a point where the body becomes expectant of it. When the person ceases to use their substance of choice, the body can react to this through various pains and ailments, officially known as withdrawal. This aspect of addiction needs to be addressed for the person to actually be able to concentrate or benefit from further treatment. Depending on the substance, the detox process will often involve a medication to help wean the person down and ease withdrawal. Unfortunately, cocaine does not have an approved medication designed to treat it. But, there have been studies that have had some success with medications that may be used in the future. For instance, disulfiram, which is used to treat alcoholism has seemed to display promise. There is also a vaccine in the works that could help to prevent relapse.

Behavioral Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Once detox is completed, then comes the most important factor in cocaine addiction treatment – behavioral therapy. Behavioral intervention has been shown to be the most successful approach to treating addictions of many types, including treatment for cocaine addiction. Though, there is also the factor of the combined success of medication and behavioral approaches.

Separated into basic categories, there are two types of treatment that a person can attend:

  • Outpatient Programs – Outpatient treatment is when a person remains in their normal environment while they attend treatment. They will have scheduled appointments when they will go into the facility to receive treatment. The frequency of these visits can vary, as they could be daily, weekly, or several times a week. This is often determined by the schedule of the facility, as well as the particular case of the person.
  • Inpatient Programs – Inpatient is what most people think of when they hear rehab. It is when the individual actually goes to live at a facility, typically for around 30 days or more. This approach tends to be more successful than outpatient for several reasons. One of the largest factors is the environment that inpatient provides for the person, as it is much safer and conducive to treatment and recovery. This environment allows the person to fully dedicate themselves to their treatment, rather than be distracted by external factors. A person’s normal environment can contain substances, temptation, and triggers, all of which can be risky early in sobriety.

Types of Treatments for Cocaine Addiction

There have been several different types of treatment and modalities that have displayed success in treatment for cocaine addiction.

These types include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This is a therapy that has shown great benefit in cocaine addiction treatment. It focuses on the development of critical skills to avoid relapse, as well as identifying risky situations in which they are more likely to use. It also works to help the person learn how to avoid these situations, and cope with problems connected to addiction and drug abuse. This therapy can also be combined with other modalities, which can provide mutual benefit. There has also been work on a computerized CBT program called CBT4CBT, which has shown benefit in increasing abstinence rates.
  • Contingency Management (CM) – This type of therapy focuses on a reward or motivational system. Through the use of urine tests, those who prove that they are continuing their abstinence can receive tokens or vouchers that they can exchange for positive items or services. This could include things like gym memberships, or dinner. While this can sound like bribery to many people, it has actually shown to be quite applicable and successful in promoting abstinence.

The best treatment for a person comes down to their individual case of addiction. There is no one size fits all type of treatment or program, and it is important for the person to receive treatment that will be suitable for their particular case. There can be a multitude of factors that need to be addressed outside of the core addiction. A person can benefit from vocational, family, or career education along with their addiction treatment. Helping to improve these factors in the person’s life goes a long way in helping them to maintain their sobriety.

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