Facts About Cocaine Dependency

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug. It temporarily increases levels of dopamine in the brain and produces intense euphoria. This high is so short-lived (only a few minutes to an hour) that it causes intense cravings for more of the drug, encouraging repeated use.

One of the other symptoms cocaine causes, which is another reason it is so highly addictive, is a huge crash when the user starts to come-down. Once the drug’s effects wear off, users will experience a deep depression. Cocaine is mainly a psychological addiction, however, some people can experience physical withdrawal symptoms from the drug.

How Is Cocaine Dependency Treated?

Medication for Treating Cocaine Addiction

According to the National Institute of Health:


Cocaine dependence continues to be a significant public health problem in the United States. Although some cocaine-dependent patients will respond well to drug counseling, for many, standard psychosocial treatment is inadequate. Therefore, the development of effective medication for the treatment of cocaine dependence is a research priority. However, despite many years of research, no medication has emerged as consistently effective for the treatment of cocaine dependence. Progress in the understanding of the neurobiology of cocaine dependence has led to the discovery of several promising medications that have already shown encouraging results in controlled clinical trials. (NIH)

Is Cocaine Addiction Treatable?

Cocaine dependency is a hard addiction to treat. Treatment usually involves detox and therapy in a 30-day inpatient rehab program. While in inpatient treatment, individuals will typically go through mental health counseling, support groups, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, 12-step meetings, relapse prevention, aftercare treatment, and art or equine therapy.

Popular Treatment Programs for Cocaine Abuse

Potential Drugs to Help with Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Although there aren’t any FDA-approved medications out to treat cocaine dependency, there are some medications that have shown promising results. Propranolol, which is a blood pressure medication, has been shown as effective in treating the anxiety that comes with cocaine withdrawal. Also, three GABAergic medications have been shown effective in preventing relapse with cocaine by reducing cravings or blocking the euphoria that cocaine produces.

These medications include baclofen, tiagabine, and topiramate. Disulfiram, which is already used for alcohol dependence, is another medication that has shown promising results. This medication causes extremely high cocaine and dopamine levels when cocaine is ingested which leads to debilitating anxiety. Modafinil, a medication currently used to treat narcolepsy, is yet another medication that has shown promising results in people with cocaine dependence. It may be effective for relapse prevention by several mechanisms of action. One last promising relapse prevention therapy for cocaine dependency is a vaccine. This vaccine stimulates the production of cocaine-specific antibodies that bind to cocaine molecules and prevent them from crossing the blood-brain barrier.

Cocaine dependency is difficult to recover from and treat, but it can successfully be done. With therapy and the promising medications being tested, there is hope. Inpatient rehab is the best course of treatment, but an intensive outpatient program or regular outpatient program along with 12-step meetings can also be effective with a strong desire for recovery. 

How Is Cocaine Dependency Treated?

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

If you or someone you love has a cocaine addiction, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Our specialists have years of experience helping individuals with cocaine addictions.

Cocaine addiction is a tough drug to beat, but you can achieve freedom from this addiction. We offer professional support and guidance and are here to help you get on the road to long-lasting recovery. We are happy to assist you or a loved one on the road to lasting sobriety and recovery from cocaine addiction.