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What Treatments Help in Crack Cocaine Rehab

Cocaine addiction is one of the most prevalent addictions in today’s society. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse nearly 13% of all inpatient drug treatment patients are addicted to some form of cocaine. Crack cocaine rehab accounts for most of these admissions. In this epidemic of addiction, it is important to understand the treatment options available. Not all treatment methods work for all people so a tailored approach works best. By evaluating all of the options, you can make the best choice as to which treatment or combination of treatments will work for you.

Inpatient versus Outpatient

Inpatient treatment is a residential program where the clients live at a treatment facility. This allows them access to 24-hour care and counseling and denies them access to their triggers and the drugs they crave. This allows them to receive intensive treatment when they require it. It also helps some addicts to be around others in their same situation. Seeing others go through it is a therapy in itself.

Out patient is a nonresidential program where the client visits daily, weekly, or monthly to receive treatment from a variety of care practitioners. This allows them to continue their lives, their employment, and their freedom while receiving comprehensive drug treatment.

All of these treatments are available on both an impatient and an outpatient basis. It is up to the individual whether inpatient or outpatient works best for them. Each person with a counselor or doctor should evaluate their needs and decide on either inpatient or outpatient treatment. An addict with a variety of triggers in their living environment will probably prefer inpatient at least at the beginning to avoid relapse. An addict with a job and family may choose outpatient to maintain their life without taking time away from other responsibilities.

Pharmacological treatments

crack cocaine rehab

Rehab for crack cocaine can be in- or outpatient.

Although there are no proven pharmacological methods, several medicines may help. According to the Western Journal of Medicine, dopamine agonists help with the cravings although not as thoroughly as medications work with other addictions. Most treatments consist of identifying and treating symptoms along with underlying disorders. These symptoms are relatively simple to treat with psychoactive medications such as antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and others used to treat Parkinson’s disease. The blood pressure spikes and panic are treated with anti-anxiety medication as well as normal blood pressure medications.

Unfortunately, as with many other conditions and drug addictions, there is no magic pill for crack cocaine addicts. Although effective for the initial detox, there are no long term pharmacological solutions. As with many other disorders crack addiction may be managed with the use of medication but to truly treat it, doctors and clients need to consider other methods combined with medication for successful results.


Many counselors and doctors utilize behavioral therapies to achieve results with crack addicts. These therapies consist of:

  • Changing behaviors – By relearning how to function without the drug an addict can avoid relapse. Doctors do this with counseling sessions that identify the behaviors that start or allow the drug use and finding ways to change it.
  • Identifying triggers – By identifying the things that trigger drug use such as people, situations, and objects and removing them, the hope is to prevent relapse on a more common base level.
  • Breaking ties – although some people may be triggers, there are some that encourage drug use. Counselors help clients learn to move the people who encourage drug use, out of their lives in a constructive manner.

Another therapy approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a counselor works on teaching the addict how to avoid drug use. The idea is to identify the learning processes that started the drug abuse and using those to stop it. This requires intensive therapy and repeated counseling sessions.

Behavioral therapies when combined with other methods, have the highest success rate among crack addicts. It is important to understand that each person is different and finding an approach that works takes time.


One school of thought says motivating an individual through a system of rewards might be helpful in treating addiction. The idea is that the client receives a reward for having a negative drug test or for remaining off crack for a given period. The rewards are sometimes monetary in the form of gift certificates, movie tickets, or coupons. They are also sometimes less tangible such as recognition, privileges, or nonmonetary rewards.

Although this is not a wide spread system, it has been growing in popularity, particularly with younger addicts. It seems a simplistic treatment but some doctors find that it works when combined with other methods of treatment.


Never underestimate the power of peer support when it comes to changing behaviors such as addiction. The community approach is a long-standing one. The success of numerous 12-step programs attests to the power of community. Most 12-step programs start with the belief that the addict needs to surrender to a higher power and then continues along this line with a goal of complete abstinence and repentance. In this type of treatment, the community supports the addict and the addict becomes part of the community. They rely on each other to provide the strength to kick the crack addiction.

None of these approaches work with all addicts. Most often, the combined therapies help an addict detox and stay away from the addicting substance. Doctors combine these treatments in a variety of ways to suit each individuals needs. Community therapy, motivational rewards, behavioral therapy, and medication all come together to help the addict recover.

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