The vast majority of people that seek treatment for the abuse of cocaine tend to smoke crack and are most like abusers of more than one drug. Efforts have been greatly stimulated regarding the development of treatment for cocaine addiction due to its abuse being so widespread. Drug addiction is a disease that is extremely complex involves an abundances of issues that revolve around familial, environmental and social problems that are coupled with biological changes within a person’s brain. Due to this, the treatment regimen must be comprehensive with strategies that will offer an assessment of the addict’s medical, neurological and social aspects as they pertain to the addiction. Individuals that tend to abuse more than one substance have been found to also suffer from mental disorders that are co-occurring and will require additional interventions that are pharmaceutical and behavioral in nature.
Currently, there are no medications that have been approved that were designed for the direct treatment of cocaine abuse. There are several entities that are diligently at work attempting to develop such a medication. Presently on the ,market are medications (modafinil, vigabatrin, topiramate, tiagabine and disulfiram) that were intended for use to combat or manage other diseases that have shown promise regarding the reduction of cocaine usage via controlled clinical trials. One of the drugs, disulfiram (which is used to the treatment of alcoholism), has been able to display the cocaine abuse reduction results with the most consistency.
Recently obtained knowledge that indicates how cocaine is able to change the brain has caused researchers to being testing compounds that are to take care of the adaptations of the brain that have become induced via cocaine. The brain adaptations tend to cause disruption to the balance that is between inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission.
There is also a cocaine vaccine that is said to be under development that is focused upon preventing the entry of cocaine into the brain. Various medical treatments are being developed in order to address the increasing amount of acute cocaine overdose emergencies annually.
Whether within an outpatient or residential treatment setting, various behavioral treatments have proven to be quite effective regarding cocaine addiction. Many healthcare professionals acknowledge that behavioral treatments are often the singular effective and available options in order to combat stimulant addictions; but may also agree that the integration of pharmaceutical treatments into behavioral ones will [eventually] prove to be the very most effective.
Motivational incentives (MI) or contingency management is showing a great deal of promise within the realm of cocaine addiction treatment. This form of intervention, there is a prized-based or voucher systems that offer rewards to patients that successfully abstain from drug use. Patients must submit to urine tests, which return void of narcotics, and are rewarded with either chips or points that can be redeemed for prizes. The prizes tend to be centered around the theme of healthy living, such as: movies tickets, dinner vouchers, and gym memberships. This treatment form has proven to be not only effective but also practical, because habits are being altered subtlety via prizes and goals.
For the prevention of relapse, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has proven to be an effective approach. The approach is targeted on assisting cocaine addicts with abstaining from its use as well as the prevention of a relapse into cocaine or any other illicit drug form. CBT helps patients recognize, avoid and cope.
- RECOGNIZE the situations that they are most prone to use cocaine
- AVOID the recognized situations when it is appropriate
- COPE in a more appropriate manner with their range of problematic behaviors and problems that are associated with the abuse of drugs
What is most notable regarding this form of treatment is that it has a wide range of compatibly as it pertains to additional treatments that patients may receive.
Therapeutic Communities (TCs)
Also referred to as residential programs, TCs require either a stay of 6-12 months and use the entire “community” within the treatment as active components. The communities often include onsite services that are not only supportive (providing vocational rehabilitation) but also focus of reintegration success for the individual.
Community Based Recovery Groups
These groups use a 12 step program that is helpful to those attempting to sustain from the use of cocaine. Group participants tend to benefit from the supportive fellowship that is offered as well as the understanding that is gained from fellow sufferers of the disease.