Overcoming cocaine addiction isn't easy, but there are many resources available. Some resources are easier to access than others, but with some patience and perseverance you, can find help for yourself or someone you care about. Begin by consulting a physician. No one undergoing withdrawal from any addiction should do so without close medical supervision because withdrawal symptoms can and often do become life threatening.
Inpatient treatment is the safest and most helpful treatment option for addicts in advanced stages of cocaine addiction, although it can be more difficult to obtain than other resources. The advantages of inpatient treatment include:
- Medically-supervised detox is available.
- Inpatient treatment decreases or eliminates the addict's actual access to cocaine and improves his chances of maintaining early sobriety.
- The addict is able to focus completely on the recovery process without worrying about logistics such as housing and food.
- The addict has the chance to build community and learn how to socialize without using cocaine.
- The addict is kept away from the people, places and things he most associates with cocaine; this can help support early sobriety.
If the addict has health insurance, there is usually a toll-free number on the back of his health insurance card that he can call to connect with inpatient drug treatment that is covered by his insurance. He may need to talk to an intake coordinator or utilization review manager on the phone. He should not downplay his cocaine use or its effect on his life when he talks with them. His insurance company has to be convinced that he has a real problem before they will be willing to pay for treatment.
If the addict is employed, he may be able to get help through his company's employee assistance program. These programs provide direct access to care and treatment of drug, alcohol and mental health problems. He should be sure to ask about the confidentiality policy before using these services.
Even if an addict isn't employed or doesn't have health insurance, he may still be able to get treatment by accessing local government or privately funded inpatient facilities. Some treatment centers will ask for a down payment for treatment and then make arrangements for the balance to be paid in installments.
Structured Outpatient Help in Overcoming Cocaine Addiction
If inpatient treatment is not a viable option, an addict may be able to get clean and sober with structured outpatient treatment. These programs are often called "day programs," although they are sometimes available in the late afternoon and evening. In an outpatient program, addicts participate in treatment for a certain number of hours each day and return home to sleep. Most often, these programs are scheduled on weekdays.
Outpatient programs, even very structured ones, don't work for everyone. However, they do have certain advantages:
- An addict can be in treatment while still holding down a job.
- An addict can maintain relationships with family and friends; this can make outpatient treatment a preferred option for addicts with young children.
- An addict can develop real-world sobriety; that is, sobriety in the context of his current life.
Since addicts are active in their normal environment during outpatient treatment, they unfortunately still have the same physical access to cocaine that they had before. Most outpatient treatment facilities do require regular drug testing as a condition of participation. Finding outpatient treatment is done in the same way as finding inpatient treatment programs.
Although it may seem like a contradiction in terms, some people are able to design their own recovery program, stay home and find support in their community for sobriety. If this is the addict's choice, make sure the recovery plan contains at least the following elements:
- An initial consultation with the addict's physician to assess the addict's health, depth of addiction and whether this type of recovery plan is safe and feasible.
- Support in the form of 12 Step or Rational Recovery meetings
- Accountability, such as having to submit a clean urine test to a family member every week
- Strict avoidance of the people, places and things that the addict associates with cocaine use, even if this means drastically changing his daily habits
The addict may want to ask someone else to handle his money for a while until he gets some clean time under his belt. Additionally, an addict may find himself rationalizing certain types of substance abuse in the absence of the strict accountability required by a treatment center's staff. He will have a better chance of recovery if he maintains strict sobriety. For example, he shouldn't fool himself by thinking that his life will be okay if he just drinks alcohol and doesn't use cocaine. Whether or not alcohol is his actual drug of choice, there is evidence that most people who begin using alcohol and cocaine together will not confine their substance use to alcohol if they continue to drink.
Fight for Sobriety
It can be difficult for an addict to find resources that help him break away from a cocaine addiction, but if that person really wants his life to change, the effort will pay off. The addict must be convinced that a sober life is worth the work it requires. The key to overcoming cocaine addiction is to get help from experienced, medical professionals.