Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant. Cocaine addiction, also referred to as cocaine use disorder, is a compulsive use of the drug regardless of potential physical, emotional, financial, or even criminal consequences. Thankfully, there are treatment options available for you or someone you know who is struggling with cocaine addiction.
Seek professional help
Nobody knows better than a professional. After you admit you have a problem and want to overcome your addiction, seeking professional help from a doctor, licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, mental health worker, or counselor is a major step on the road to recovery. They will be able to assess your situation and potentially suggest other treatment options if necessary.
"Outpatient therapy can help the individual address the underlying problems to their addiction in a personalized way," says Dr. Nikki Winchester, a clinical psychologist at Cincinnati Center for DBT. "The benefits are that the person can continue to live their life at home, work, and have opportunities to try the solutions suggested in therapy in their real-world context."
Residential treatment program
If outpatient therapy and treatment isn't enough, a residential treatment program will not only give you support of your peers and counselors at your fingertips, but also remove you from any potential triggering situations that would typically cause you to use cocaine.
"A residential program will allow you to leave your daily life so you can explore the reasons behind your addiction more closely, get out of unhealthy habits, and be more accountable for staying sober," says Dr. Natalie Feinblatt, a licensed psychologist who specializes in addiction and trauma.
Whether utilized in-person or online, peer support groups including Cocaine Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous can provide a safe, comfortable setting for you to share your thoughts, feelings and actions with others who are going through the same thing and can relate.
"Outpatient groups help individuals understand they are not alone in their addiction and it can be helpful to see how other people are successfully dealing with their addiction," Dr. Winchester says. "Just like individual therapy, the person can continue to live at home, work, and try solutions in their lives."
To date, there are no FDA-approved medication treatments to treat cocaine use disorder or cocaine addiction. Medications including certain antidepressants or stimulants may be prescribed to help treat cravings, withdrawal symptoms or even counteract the pleasurable feelings of cocaine usage.
"In general, medications offer limited success rate without accompanying psychosocial treatments, such as cognitive behavior therapy with a trained substance use counselor or treatment program," says Dr. Pavan Madan, a board-certified and licensed psychiatrist.