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Cocaine Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation

The recreational use of cocaine may develop into an addiction before the user even realizes it.  Cocaine is one of the most addictive substances and it is widely being used in United States as a party drug. Despite the serious dangers associated with cocaine use, it continues to be popular among recreational users. It is a brain stimulant drug that speeds up the activities of the brain making the user feel euphoric, energetic and happy. Cocaine is categorized as schedule II drug by FDA which means it may have therapeutic uses when prescribed by a doctor but it also have high potential to develop abuse and addiction.

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Cocaine is sold in the form of white powder that can be consumed in a number of ways such as snorting it, smoking it and injecting it. Multiple street names are given to the drug such as snow, coke, C, blow etc.

Table of Contents:

  • 1.Treatment Options for Cocaine Addiction:
  • 2.Treatment of Co-occurring Conditions
  • 3.Prevention of Relapse

Treatment Options for Cocaine Addiction:

In 2013, 6% of all the patients admitted in rehabilitation centers suffered from cocaine abuse and addiction. Doctors and medical science widely recognize the fact that addiction is an illness that alters the structure of the brain so the treatment of any addiction is a must to enable the addict live a normal life again. A number of treatment options are available for cocaine addiction being offered in different rehabilitation centers.

    • Detoxification:
      Detoxification is the first step towards recovery no matter the drug. During this process, the body removes harmful chemicals built up due to the years of abuse of drug. Detoxification can be extremely unpleasant and painful experience. A number of withdrawal symptoms kick in. physical and psychological agony experienced by the patient during detoxification is the main reason why most of the patients relapse. They prefer to go back to taking the drug than to endure the pain. It is highly recommended to go through detoxification in a specially designed detoxification center. Detox at home can be really dangerous also the patient does not get much needed medical attention at all the times.
    • Partial hospitalization Rehabilitation Programs:
      Partial hospitalization rehabilitation program requires the patient to live in the rehabilitation center during the treatment process. The duration for which patient has to live in varies depending upon the condition and progress of the patient. During the treatment process, the patient is constantly supervised by the staff of rehabilitation center and medical care is provided when needed. Partial hospitalization rehabilitation program is highly recommended for the addicts with severe addiction and deteriorated health. Other patients and staff of the center also play a major role in the process of rehabilitation. The success rate for patients availing an Partial hospitalization treatment program is very high. Also the chances of relapse decrease to a great deal. Choosing a good rehabilitation center for Partial hospitalization treatment holds a significant importance.
    • Outpatient Rehabilitation Programs:
      Outpatient rehabilitation program offers all the facilities of an Partial hospitalization treatment program except for living in. This plan is suitable for the patients who cannot afford to live in a rehabilitation center for a number of reasons. The advantage of this type of treatment plan is that patient can live in his home with his family while getting treated at the same time and the disadvantage is that since patient is not supervised 24/7, there is a greater chance of relapse. Success rate is also low. Patient is likely to go back to drugs in a stressful real life situation. Patient may also have to visit rehabilitation center from time to time depending upon the situation.
    • Therapy and Counseling:
      Therapy and counseling holds utmost importance in the process of recovery. From helping the patient talk to his loved ones about his situation to keeping him from a relapse, therapy holds a significant place. Therapy sessions are an important part of both Partial hospitalization and outpatient rehabilitation programs. The patient takes a number of sessions that help him start over. There are usually three types of therapies provided in a treatment plan:

      • Individual Therapy:
        It involves a patient and his therapist. The therapist helps the patient on a number of issues. The patient is taught how to stay strong and start over. Techniques are taught on how to avoid cravings and deal with withdrawal symptoms. At times, the treatment seems so hard that the patient thinks of dropping out. Therapy helps in these times of despair.
      • Group Therapy:
        Group therapy involves a number of patients. They talk to each other and the therapist. They talk about their motivations, struggles and success stories. It can be very encouraging to realize that you are not alone in this battle, there are many people like you and there are people who have won this battle.
    • Aftercare programs:
      Aftercare programs have a significant role in helping the patient live a happy and successful life. A number of self help and other support groups can be joined where recovered patients meet each other and help each other stay positive.

Treatment of Co-occurring Conditions:

Co-occurring conditions or double diagnosis is referred to a situation where a patient is diagnosed with another health condition apart from drug addiction. It is usually a mental illness. It is common for drug addicts to have a past. Most of them went through some emotional trauma that led them to drug addiction. It is important to diagnose and treat such underlying conditions. The recovery from addiction is not possible without the treatment of mental illness. Conditions like depression, anxiety etc can make a patient resort to the drugs in stressful situations. Diagnosing such conditions and treating them as well as treating drug addiction is an important part of any good rehabilitation plan. Before going for a rehabilitation center, such aspects should be kept in mind. Professional and well trained staff that knows how to do their job is the key part of any rehabilitation center.

Medications Used to Treat Cocaine Addiction:

Currently, there are no medications approved by FDA to be used for the treatment of cocaine addiction. Researchers are still working on this subject. However, a number of OTC drugs can be used to ease the symptoms of withdrawal and detoxification. For example antidepressants to manage depression, anti-anxiety drugs to deal with anxiety, sleep aids to help the patient sleep and painkillers to relieve pain.

Prevention of Relapse:

A number of measures can be taken to prevent relapse after recovery. There always exists a chance of relapse so it is important to be careful in this regard. Following measures can help to decrease the chance of relapsing:

  • Continuing therapy and counseling can be immensely helpful. At times, the persisting withdrawal symptoms and urges get out of control and the patient thinks of taking the drug again. Seeking therapy can help the patient in these times of distress.
  • Keeping healthy company can also be helpful. Good friends can help the patient maintain healthy habits and shun from negative ones.
  • Exercise and yoga can help the patient stay optimistic and positive. Also, it can be a great way to relieve stress.
  • Taking medications if there are any prescribed by the doctor. The use of medications should not be discontinued without the consent of the doctor.

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