According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cocaine treatment strategies need to include assessment of the neurobiological, social, and medical aspects of the patient's drug use. Many times this includes multiple drugs of abuse.
Additionally, those who are addicted to multiple drugs also often have other co-occurring mental health issues which also must be addressed in treatment.
Pharmacological ApproachesThere are currently no medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat cocaine addiction, although aggressive research is being conducted to find and test new medications that can help cocaine addicts.
Some of the medications currently being tested are those that are FDA approved for other conditions or diseases. Some that are showing promise for cocaine treatment include vigabatrin, modafinil, tiagabine, disulfiram, and topiramate.
New medications are being researched that block the effects of cocaine on various areas of the brain to help prevent relapse in patients who have already quit using the drug. This includes a "cocaine vaccine" that has shown "great promise," the NIDA says.
Behavioral InterventionsThere are several behavioral treatments that are being used in residential and outpatient settings to treat cocaine addictions. Currently, they are the only approved and evidence-based treatments available for cocaine and crack cocaine abusers.
Some of these behavioral treatments include:
- Motivation incentives (contingency management)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Therapeutic communities (residential programs)
- Support groups (such as Cocaine Anonymous)
Has cocaine become a problem for you? Take the Cocaine Screening Quiz
Do you think you may need treatment for drug abuse? Take the Drug Abuse Treatment Screening Quiz to find out.
Back to: Cocaine FAQ
National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Cocaine: Abuse and Addiction." Research Report Series Updated September 2010