Cocaine is often thought of as a drug for society’s elite. Many popular movies have shown scenes of businessmen in expensive suits snorting cocaine through one-hundred dollar bills. Top-quality crack cocaine can sell close to $600 per gram. A 2007 study revealed that 72% of cocaine users also abused one or more other substances as well. This suggests that cocaine users are willing to pay larger amounts and go to greater lengths to gain access to cocaine and other drugs.
Overcoming a cocaine addiction can be one of the tougher drugs to recover from. Cocaine is commonly listed as the third most addictive drug, with heroin and methamphetamines ranking in at numbers one and two respectively.
Treatment plans for cocaine addiction often focus on a multi-directional plan of attack to free the patient from this substance. A pharmaceutical and behavioral approach are used in tandem to win over the mind and body of a patient from the grips of cocaine.
At this time, the FDA has yet to approve an official medication that can treat those addicted to cocaine. Clinical trials are underway for several drugs that are used to treat various diseases, with several trial patients showing improvements from these tests. Doctors are also testing new medications that can prevent relapse in the future by blocking cocaine from stimulating the brain, rendering the act of abusing cocaine useless.
Another highly effective route that is widely used are treatments to address the behavior and mental state of a cocaine patient. Cocaine is a stimulant that affects a patient’s brain, and having a medical professional trained in behavioral therapy is often the most viable treatment for those seeking sobriety.
To “simulate” the same brain reward that is received from using cocaine, therapists are using motivation incentives to similarly reward patients for not using the drug. As patients progress through the program, they earn points to cash out into real-world rewards that will encourage better lifestyle choices. When a patient passes their designated drug-test cocaine-free, they gain more points to use as they please. With their points they can choose rewards such as gift cards, free dinner reservations, sports tickets, concerts, gym memberships, and more. This motivation incentives system allows the brain to release natural chemicals for when the patient does good. You will easily notice this affect in animals, such as giving a dog a treat after it obeys your command and watching the joyous response you are met with.
A crucial step for patients looking to soon complete their rehab program is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Because cocaine is so highly addictive, it is important for a recovery addict to recognize and understand situations that could lead them back into drug abuse. Knowledge truly is power in these situations, and giving a new sober patient this power is life-changing. By recognizing events that will lead them back into cocaine use, patients are able to stop relapse before it has a chance to happen.
As with any rehab program, having a support system from other addicts and medical staff plays an important role in recovery. These community-type recovery activities vary in length depending on the program. These can include inpatient rehab centers and 12 step programs, or extended-stay halfway houses that cater especially to cocaine and other heavy drug addictions.
You and your loved ones have many options to overcome the addiction of cocaine, and it is important to remember that you’re never alone.
Tell us in the comments about your own addiction recovery story, and leave some positive words for someone who may be struggling with what you have already overcome!