How to Treat Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine is a powerful drug that creates a strong psychological addiction in users. Long-term addiction can lead to serious health complications, mostly involving cardiovascular bodily structures. Tolerance can rise with continued use, leading to the frightening possibility of a fatal overdose. Things You'll Need: 1. Physician 2. Addiction treatment specialist 3. Behavioral therapist Understand the brain mechanism that produces cocaine dependence. Cocaine causes the brain to release large amounts of pleasure-producing biochemicals, followed shortly by a crash. During the crash phase, the pleasant biochemicals produced by the brain disappear, causing the user to take more of the drug to achieve the desired effect. Long-term cocaine use can "burn out" the receptors that produce these biochemicals, causing users to feel as though the drug is the only way to feel pleasure. Visit a physician to discuss the cocaine user's condition. The doctor will be able to recommend the best means by which to treat the addict's specific case. Remember that the treatment of cocaine abuse is necessarily subjective, because the nature of the addiction is primarily psychological. Know that there is no single drug therapy that has been proven effective in helping cocaine users treat their addiction. However, GVG, a drug usually used to treat epilepsy, has shown some promise. There are also several vaccines that block cocaine's action on the brain that are already available or in the advanced stages of clinical trial. These may be of great value to cocaine addicts. Enroll the addict in a recovery program, such as Cocaine Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. 12-step programs don't work for everyone, though. Take alternatives, such as the SMART recovery program, into consideration. Be aware that experts estimate that at least 50 percent of cocaine addicts also suffer from an underlying mental condition that exacerbated their substance abuse. In order for such an addict to recover without relapsing, the underlying condition will also have to be treated. Behavioral or psychological therapy is highly recommended. Begin treatment by opting for the method that is the least intrusive on the addict. If that fails, try more aggressive means of intervention until the user manages to kick their habit.