First isolated in 1855, cocaine has since had a long history of socially acceptable, medicinal, and recreational use. However, starting in the 1980s the amount of cocaine entering the country rose to epidemic levels, and simultaneously the number of people requesting treatment for cocaine abuse and addiction increased. Unfortunately, cocaine addiction has long been considered one of the most difficult substances of abuse to successfully treat in the long term, rivaled only by long-term heroin and methamphetamine abuse.
The difficulty of treatment and the increase in need for treatment is thought to be caused by increased social acceptance of cocaine use coupled with the recent popularization of a more effective delivery system. Normally cocaine is injected or snorted, but the more efficient route involves smoking the chemically basic form of cocaine (crack). The high is more immediate and more intense than even injection, and the forthcoming increase in intensity and frequency leads to a stronger and less treatable dependency on the drug.
However, research data has shown that combination behavioral and psychological therapy increases positive treatment outcomes and long-term abstinence regardless of intensity of dependency; no level of cocaine addiction is hopeless or untreatable. Currently, several forms of medical treatment exist and are in trial phase for cocaine addiction, including vaccines and several therapeutic drugs.
However, the most widely used and accepted methods of long-term treatment are behavioral: group therapy, twelve-step structured program, or intensive psychotherapy. Because of the extreme pathological behaviors associated with chronic cocaine use, many cocaine users first receive help through an intervention by family and friends. To increase the efficacy of these long-term solutions, recovering users then attend a detoxification program and finally a 28 day, 60 day, or 90 day treatment program. Often, users will continue after treatment in a structured-living environment such as a sober-living house. These programs help individuals to change their behaviors, identify using triggers, and live a life without cocaine.
If you think you or someone you know may have a problem with cocaine, we encourage you to call use as soon as possible. Our staff, doctors, and counselors work to help because they care about our clients- please call today.