Cocaine: get help

Want to stop using cocaine? Find out about the different kinds of help available.

How is cocaine addiction treated?

Treatment for dependency on cocaine, either powder cocaine or crack cocaine, can take many different forms. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Some people choose to quit completely, while others find a more gradual approach works best for them.

Unlike treatment for heroin, there are no medicines that can substitute for powder cocaine, crack cocaine and other stimulants.

However, you may be offered medication to help with related symptoms, such as sleep problems.

Will I have to go to residential rehab?

You will normally stay at home while being treated for cocaine addiction, possibly attending a structured daily programme run by your local drug and alcohol service.

A residential rehabilitation programme is usually only recommended if your situation is particularly severe or complicated.

Some people manage to give up cocaine on their own. But evidence shows that for many a combination of specialist drugs counselling and social support gives the best results.  

Specialist drugs counselling can help with any psychological problems linked to your addiction. This will usually be a talking therapy with a therapist or counsellor who specialises in working with drug-dependent people. It may include referral for more specialised support.

Social support could mean help with finding suitable accommodation, developing a network of non-using friends, or re-engaging with work or education.

You should be able to access treatment within one to two weeks. How long it takes you to recover will depend on your particular situation.

Does treatment for cocaine addiction work?

Most people who undergo treatment for cocaine dependency have good results. Seven in 10 people who have treatment for a powder cocaine problem either stop using or significantly reduce their use within six months.

You can refer yourself directly to a drug treatment programme or ask your GP to refer you.

See more information on accessing drugs treatment services.  

Other help for cocaine addiction

Some people find mutual help groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous, helpful. These are based on the same 12-step programme 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 also have an addiction to these or any other substances, you should be offered specialised help with this too.

Page last reviewed: 09/10/2014

Next review due: 30/04/2017


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