Types of Cocaine Addiction Treatment
The effects of a cocaine addiction on a person’s life can be devastating. Cocaine exerts a tremendous toll on the brain to the point where users experience a steady decline in their overall physical and psychological well-being.
In 2007, an estimated 13 percent of all drug treatment admissions involved some form of cocaine addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. For many people, cocaine addiction treatment offers the only means of breaking the drug’s hold over their lives.
Cocaine addiction treatment programs provide the types of physical and mental supports a person needs to overcome the drug’s effects. Through ongoing psychosocial treatment, medication therapies and community-based treatment services, recovering addicts can develop the tools needed to live a drug-free life.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment Needs
Cocaine gradually alters chemical processes in the brain creating a state of chemical imbalance over time. The brain uses neurotransmitter chemicals as communication messengers to send vital information to its various regions. When chemical imbalances develop, communications break down causing any number of bodily processes to malfunction.
Brain chemical imbalances also create the ideal breeding ground for psychological disorders to develop. By the time addicts enter cocaine addiction treatment, many have developed one or more psychological disorders.
With chronic cocaine use, brain processes reach a point where they can’t function without the drug’s effects. As a result, any attempt to stop using is met with uncomfortable withdrawal effects and drug cravings.
Ongoing cocaine use alters the brain’s reward system, which plays a major role in forming a person’s priorities and motivations. Psychosocial treatments work towards helping recovering addicts replace addiction-based behaviors with a healthy mindset and needed coping strategies.
Cocaine addiction treatment programs employ a number of psychosocial approaches throughout the recovery process. Treatments commonly used include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Contingency management
- Cognitive-behavior therapy
Both behavioral therapy and contingency management approaches work on redirecting a person’s behaviors and motivations using positive and negative reinforcements. The cognitive-behavior therapy approach helps recovering addicts work through the underlying thought patterns and beliefs systems that drive addiction behaviors.
Community-Based Treatment Options
For most people in recovery, cocaine addiction treatment doesn’t end upon completion of any one program. Community-based treatment options enable recovering addicts to stay engaged in the treatment process, which can make all the difference in the world.
Cocaine addiction treatment approaches are used extensively within community-based treatment models. Twelve-step programs and therapeutic community residential programs provide those in recovery with a much needed social support network. In effect, social support networks pick up where formal treatment programs leave off in terms of providing structure, support and guidance throughout the recovery process.
While the initial detox treatment stage may seem like the most difficult part of recovery, addicts often still struggle with drug cravings and withdrawal effects long after they stop using. Cocaine addiction treatment programs administer medication therapies in cases where a person’s brain processes have undergone considerable damage from long-term cocaine use.
According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, medications commonly used include:
- Haloperidol – to help reduce the severity of withdrawal
- Desipramine – to help alleviate symptoms of depression
- Baclofen – to help reduce drug cravings
While addiction treatment may not be an addict’s first choice for getting well, it nonetheless offers the best chance of a successful, long-term recovery.