As stated by the NIDA, “The widespread abuse of cocaine has stimulated extensive efforts to develop treatment programs” for abusers of the drug. For years, cocaine was viewed as likely to cause a less intense addiction syndrome than some other drugs; we now understand that to be untrue. For someone who is beginning to recognize cocaine addiction signs in either themselves or a loved one, there are specific steps to take in order to solve the issue safely and effectively.
Step One: Admit There is a Problem
Many people see this as the first step to recovery, and it is an important one. According to CESAR, “Cocaine is a highly addictive substance, and users can quickly develop a tolerance to the drug, needing more of the substance to achieve the desired effects.” When you begin to notice your cocaine use has become compulsive, you are abusing the drug more often each time, and you are beginning to experience severe withdrawal symptoms whenever you are unable to take the drug, you need to admit that you are addicted. Then you can truly take steps in order to heal.
Step Two: Attend a Rehab Program
There are many different kinds of rehab programs for cocaine, including those which involve 24-hour care and those which take place in outpatient centers, allowing patients to go home each night. Your need for a certain program will be based on the severity of your addiction as well as any other important factors of your life which may be affected by your treatment.
As for the care you will receive in these facilities, “many behavioral treatments for cocaine addiction have proven to be effective in both residential and outpatient settings” (NIDA). There are, as yet, no FDA-approved medications to treat cocaine addiction; however, patients who are going through withdrawal from the drug may receive medication if it helps to minimize their symptoms. Some individuals choose to attend detox first while others will go through withdrawal during their addiction treatment.
Step Three: Explore the Issue of Co-occurring Disorders
According to the NLM, “At least half of all people addicted to cocaine also have a mental disorder (particularly depression and attention-deficit disorder).” The presence of one of these disorders means that it is likely affecting or being affected by your cocaine abuse. That means you will need to be treated for any co-occurring disorders in order to make a successful recovery. If only your cocaine abuse is treated, you will be likely to return to it in order to cope with your untreated mental disorder.
Step Four: Transition into Aftercare
Many people skip the step of aftercare when they finish their rehab program, but this can be an extremely important part of your recovery. Whether you choose to attend a support group for cocaine addicts, stay in a sober living home, or transition from inpatient to outpatient care, you will want to make sure that you follow up your treatment in some way with another beneficial program. This will help ensure that you continue your recovery after your treatment ends.