Key takeaways:

  • Like all addictions, the first step to overcoming a cocaine use disorder is to admit there is a problem. Once a user has identified that they have a substance use issue they can begin the road to recovery
  • Presently, there are no medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat cocaine addiction, though researchers are exploring a variety of drugs that may be used off-label
  • An outpatient cocaine addiction treatment program may offer group and/or individual counseling and skills groups for people in recovery. Depending on the program, participants may be expected to attend groups once a week or multiple days a week

Cocaine is one of the most addictive illegal substances available in the United States, with thousands suffering from addiction. People struggling to overcome a cocaine addiction have a variety of options for treatment, including outpatient programs, inpatient rehab, and even self-help groups like Cocaine Anonymous (CA).

Cocaine addiction treatment

Like all addictions, the first step to overcoming a cocaine use disorder is to admit there is a problem. Once a user has identified that they have a substance use issue they can begin the road to recovery. There are many options for people looking for cocaine addiction treatment including medication, individual and group therapy, recovery groups, and even inpatient treatment at a cocaine addiction rehab center or residential treatment facility. 

No one treatment is more effective than another, but people should always consider their individual needs when selecting a treatment program. Any treatment can greatly increase the chances of full recovery for people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

When considering treatment for cocaine addiction, it is recommended to seek an evaluation of the level of substance abuse from an addiction professional so the best type of support can be recommended. A licensed mental health or addiction counselor can diagnose cocaine use disorder and also provide information about appropriate treatment options.

Get help during covid-19

Get help during Covid-19

At Recovered, we recognize the impact COVID-19 has had and the continued challenges it poses to getting advice and treatment for substance use disorders. SAMHSA has a wealth of information and resources to assist providers, individuals, communities, and states during this difficult time and is ready to help in any way possible.

Speak to SAMSHA

Pharmacological treatment

Presently, there are no medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat cocaine addiction, though researchers are exploring a variety of drugs that may be used off-label. Past research has primarily focused on dopamine, but scientists have also found that cocaine use induces changes in the brain related to other neurotransmitters-including serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), norepinephrine, and glutamate. Some doctors prescribe medications like SSRIs or SNRIs that can increase the levels of these brain chemicals during the recovery process.

Types of addiction care professionals

Many health professionals can play a role in treatment. Below is a list of providers and the type of care they may offer.

Primary Care Provider

Credentials - M.D., D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), additionally you may see a Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant

Treatment type - Medications, brief behavioral treatment, referral to a specialist

Psychiatrist

Credentials - M.D., D.O.

Treatment type - Can prescribe psychiatric medications

Psychologist

Credentials - Ph.D., Psy.D., M.A.

Treatment type - Can provide counseling, diagnosis, and testing

Social Worker

Credentials - M.S.W. (Master of Social Work), L.C.S.W. (Licensed Clinical Social Worker)

Treatment type - Can provide individual or group treatment or case management

Drug Counselor

Credentials - Varies, but some examples include MAC (Master Addiction Counselor) or LCAS (Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist)

Treatment type - Can provide a combination of individual and group treatment

Inpatient rehab for cocaine addiction

Inpatient treatment and rehab centers are one way to address addiction. They offer onsite professional assistance as well as a structured supportive setting. Most inpatient rehab programs last between 30 and 90 days but may be longer or shorter depending on the person's needs. The facilities can provide patients with the skills and tools to maintain sobriety and recover fully from cocaine use disorder

There are a variety of different kinds of inpatient cocaine rehab, with some facilities offering specialized types of treatment. Generally, inpatient rehab includes individual and/or group and family counseling sessions, recovery skills groups, and meetings with a doctor or psychiatrist. In addition, some inpatient rehab programs may offer one or more of the following:

  • Mental health counseling

  • Equine therapy

  • Art therapy

  • Holistic treatment

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy

  • Dialectical behavioral therapy

  • Support groups

  • 12-step or alternative programs

  • Relapse prevention education

  • Aftercare planning

Outpatient treatment for cocaine addiction

Outpatient treatment is another rehab option that does not involve a residential stay in a treatment facility. An outpatient cocaine addiction treatment program may offer group and/or individual counseling and skills groups for people in recovery. Depending on the program, participants may be expected to attend groups once a week or multiple days a week. Many programs also have mandatory drug screening protocols.

Outpatient programs may not be suitable for those with more severe addictions or who are in need of crisis intervention. For this reason, it is always advised that you speak to a medical/addiction professional before selecting which treatment option is right for you or your loved one.

Types of outpatient treatment for addiction

There are several different types of addiction treatment available at the outpatient level of care. Below are some of the more commonly offered outpatient addiction treatments. [6]

Intensive Outpatient Addiction Treatment

This program normally involves group and individual addiction treatment provided several days per week on an on-site office or facility location. People in intensive outpatient programs often attend these groups for several months, learning skills to improve their ability to cope and establish their sobriety.

Outpatient Counseling

Outpatient counseling may involve meeting with a licensed counselor one or more times per week in an office setting. Depending on the type of counselor you choose, you may be able to attend individual sessions, group sessions, or sessions with a family member or partner. 

Different counselors use different types of therapy. Some of the more common options for addiction include:[7]

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that helps people change their thinking patterns and behavioral responses

  • Motivational interviewing (MI) is a type of coaching that helps to enhance motivation for sobriety and hold people accountable for making positive life changes

  • Contingency management is a therapy protocol that rewards people in recovery for clean drug screens, often in the form of financial compensation

Additional cocaine addiction treatment and support

In addition to these popular methods of combating cocaine addiction, there is a range of therapies and treatment programs that can help people in recovery. [6]

Therapeutic communities & sober living environments

Therapeutic communities and sober living programs are long-term treatment programs that often include housing options for people in recovery. In these environments, residents are encouraged to make positive changes in their lives and are held accountable to certain community rules.  

Support groups

Support groups are another option for people in recovery and involve peer-led meetings for people recovering from an addiction. Examples include Cocaine Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and SMART recovery. These programs help people rebuild a supportive community of other people who are clean and sober.

Teletherapy and online counseling

Online and telephone forms of counseling have become increasingly popular, especially in the wake of COVID. While not applicable for everyone, online counseling offers a flexible option to access professional help to cope with cocaine use disorder from the comfort of home.

Get help with cocaine addiction today

Thousands of Americans are struggling with cocaine addiction and only a handful of those get the help they need to quit. Those who do get help from dedicated cocaine treatment centers and rehab are able to face the hardships of withdrawal and detox in a safe location, as well as being given the tools to cope with long-term recovery. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with a cocaine addiction then contact a treatment center today to get the advice you need to take the next step. Cocaine is an incredibly harmful drug to the mind, body, and wellbeing but recovery from addiction is possible with the right help and support.