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How is Cocaine Addiction Treated?
There are currently no medications that have been approved for the treatment of cocaine addiction. Researchers are pursuing the development of drugs that may counter the changes that cocaine makes in the brain or that may prevent a cocaine addict from relapsing after completing treatment. Drugs used to treat other conditions, such as alcoholism, have shown promise in treating cocaine addiction, too, but it is still unclear how these drugs work in relation to cocaine dependency.
Until drug-based therapies are developed, the best course of treatment for cocaine addiction is behavioral or group-based therapies.
- Contingency Management Therapy (CM). Also called motivational therapy, this type of therapeutic approach rewards patients for successfully abstaining from cocaine use. This approach is especially effective as an initial treatment to encourage the user to begin the process of beating the addiction.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on developing skills in recognizing problem behavior and creating strategies for dealing with problematic situations when they arise. CBT is most effective at preventing relapses once the patient has begun to abstain from cocaine use.
- Therapeutic Communities. This treatment approach requires the patient to live in a drug-free environment with other patients who are undergoing treatment. In these communities, the patient gets support from the other members of the community who are in a similar situation. They also get support in developing behaviors that will help them succeed after they leave treatment.
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