Cocaine addiction: get help
If cocaine is damaging your relationships, work, money situation or health you can get help to stop on the NHS.
You don't have to be taking cocaine, or crack cocaine, every day to be addicted to it. One sign of addiction is that you have tried to cut down or stop but can't.
There are effective treatments available to help you stop.
Treatment for cocaine: where to start
You can go and see your doctor, who can refer you for treatment.
Or, if you prefer, you can refer yourself directly to your local drug treatment service.
At your first appointment you will be asked lots of questions about your health and drug use. This is so a tailored treatment plan can be put together for you.
You'll be given a key worker who will support you throughout your treatment plan.
Which treatments work for cocaine addiction?
Treatments that are known to be effective for cocaine addiction include:
- Talking therapies – therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) help you to understand your addiction and to change your thoughts and behaviour. This will either be as part of a group or one to one with a specialist drugs counsellor or therapist.
- Couples therapy – you may be offered this if you have a partner who does not use cocaine
- Incentives – you may be offered rewards, such as vouchers, for sticking with your treatment and for staying off cocaine when it finishes.
Unlike treatment for heroin, there are no medicines that work as substitutes for powder cocaine, crack cocaine and other stimulants.
However, you may be offered medication to help with related symptoms, such as sleep problems.
If you're addicted to alcohol as well as cocaine, you may be prescribed Antabuse (disulfiram).
Other help for cocaine addiction
Some people find mutual support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous, helpful. These are based on the same 12-step principles as Alcoholics Anonymous.
SMART Recovery is an alternative science-based programme that helps people recover from addictions.
Some cocaine users also have problems with alcohol or cannabis.
If you're also addicted to these or any other substances, you should be offered specialised help with this too.
Where will I have my treatment?
You will normally stay living at home while being treated for cocaine addiction.
Residential rehab is usually only recommended if your situation is particularly severe or complicated.
Does treatment for cocaine addiction work?
Most people who undergo treatment for cocaine dependency have good results.
In one study 61% of people having treatment for a powder cocaine addiction had stopped using within six months.