Cocaine Addiction Treatment and Rehab Programs
Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that people use recreationally for its energy-enhancing and euphoric effects.1
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies cocaine as a Schedule II substance meaning that it has a high potential for abuse and using it can lead to severe physical or psychological dependence.2 According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 1.4 million people aged 12 or older had a cocaine use disorder in the past year.3
If you or a loved one are struggling, you should know that cocaine addiction treatment is available and can help you regain control of your life. This page will help you learn more about:
- Cocaine addiction treatment levels of care.
- Behavioral therapies for cocaine addiction.
- How to find a treatment program.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment Levels of Care
Cocaine addiction treatment can take place in different settings, including detox, inpatient, and outpatient rehab facilities, and can vary in approach, duration, and intensity.4
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), effective treatment is individualized and considers a person’s cocaine use and any medical, psychological, social, legal, and vocational issues they may have.4 This includes co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety and depression. It also includes additional substance use disorders, as people who use cocaine also often use it in combination with other substances, such as alcohol or heroin.1
Treatment length can vary from days to weeks to months, or longer. However, according to NIDA, adequate treatment stays are associated with better outcomes. Research suggests that many patients benefit from treatment stays of 3 months or longer.4
While not always necessary, detoxification is an important first step in the recovery process for some patients struggling with cocaine addiction. Detox is a set of interventions that help manage acute intoxication and withdrawal.5 This help patients stay as comfortable and safe as possible during withdrawal and can minimize the harm caused by cocaine and other substance use.5 Medical detox centers can provide around-the-clock monitoring and support and offer treatment for potential complications, should they arise.5
People who use or are addicted to cocaine often use the drug in binges followed by a period of withdrawal.5 Withdrawal from stimulants may include various symptoms, such as:5
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Increased appetite.
- Drug cravings.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), cocaine withdrawal is often considered “mild” and typically does not require aggressive detox treatment.5 However, patients may benefit from detox as there is a risk of profound dysphoria. Dysphoria is a potentially life-threatening danger of stimulant withdrawal that involves a state of dissatisfaction and low mood, which can lead to suicidal behavior and ideation.5
Although detox can be an important first stage in recovery, it is not a substitute for more comprehensive rehabilitation, as it does not address the behaviors that contributed to a patient’s addiction.4 Following detox, patients are encouraged to enter ongoing cocaine use disorder treatment, which can help them achieve long-term recovery.4
Inpatient Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Inpatient cocaine addiction rehab provides 24-hour intensive, structured care including housing and medical attention, which can be especially beneficial for patients who:6, 7
- Have severe addictions.
- Have co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or another substance use disorder (SUD).
- Do not have safe housing.
- Do not have a supportive network at home.
Treatment length varies depending on a person’s specific needs. This can include shorter-term stays of 1 week or 1 month, longer stays in acute or hospital-based settings, as well as longer residential rehab that can last a couple of months or more.6, 7 Typically, inpatient cocaine abuse treatment involves a combination of behavioral therapies and participation in mutual support groups.1
Outpatient Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Outpatient cocaine rehab differs from inpatient rehab in that patients continue to live at home and receive treatment at an outpatient facility on a regular schedule.
Outpatient rehabs can vary widely in duration and intensity. For example, some may only offer drug education while others, such as partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) or intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), may be similar in structure and the level of support provided at inpatient rehab programs.7 Some programs may require daily attendance, while others may require attendance just once or twice a week.7 Treatment may last different lengths depending on a patient’s needs but can last anywhere from a few weeks or months to 1 year or more.7
Patients who may benefit from outpatient treatment include those who:7
- Have completed an inpatient program and are stepping down to less intense treatment.
- Have less severe addictions.
- Have access to reliable transportation.
- Have a stable and supportive home environment.
Continuing care (sometimes referred to as aftercare or follow-up care) is both a process of post-treatment monitoring and a form of treatment that provides support during recovery after a patient completes a formal treatment program.7 It can also help patients get back into treatment if they experience a return to substance use.7
Aftercare can consist of different elements, such as:7
- Group and individual counseling.
- Family therapy.
- 12-step and other mutual support groups, such as Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or SMART recovery.
- Living in a sober living home.
- Participating in an alumni program offered by your rehab.
Aftercare generally lasts at least a year, but many people participate in mutual support groups for the rest of their lives.7
Cocaine Addiction Therapies
No FDA-approved medications have been approved for the treatment of cocaine use disorder.1 Cocaine treatment often involves specific behavioral therapies and other interventions, such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Patients receive education about avoiding and managing cravings and learn relapse prevention techniques.1
- Group counseling. Patients participate in different therapies along with other patients in recovery and discuss feelings, experiences, and problems.7
- Individual counseling. Patients work through addiction-related issues with a counselor in private sessions that may focus on finding the motivation to quit cocaine use and learning skills to remain abstinent.7
- Motivational interviewing. Patients work on building internal motivation to make positive life changes.6
- Contingency management. Patients receive incentives, such as vouchers to exchange for tangible goods, when they achieve target goals, such as negative drug screens.1
- Mutual support groups. Patients participate in different support groups, such as 12-step groups like Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or non-12-step groups like SMART recovery. Patients may benefit from the support and experiences of others in recovery.1
Finding a Cocaine Rehab
If you or a loved one needs help with cocaine addiction, treatment is available. Every program is different, and it’s important to take time to research and consider the options that are best suited to your needs. You may wish to consider different factors, such as location, levels of care provided, amenities, specialty programs, and whether your insurance is in-network.
You can start the process by talking to your doctor or a qualified mental health practitioner to discuss your situation and ask for referrals to treatment. You can also use online tools like the SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator or our rehabs directory to search for a treatment center based on specific criteria.
American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of evidence-based addiction treatment with AAC rehabs across the nation. If you’d like to learn more about your treatment options, please contact one of our caring admissions navigators today at .
Frequently Asked Questions