Cocaine Rehab Explained
Cocaine and Drug Rehab
Cocaine has been used and abused in the UK for well over a century, and it is firmly established as one of the most widely consumed – and even desirable – substances of abuse in the country. However, despite its ongoing associations with glitz and glamour, cocaine is an extremely damaging and potentially very dangerous drug, and the reality of cocaine addiction and the depths to which cocaine addicts can plunge are a world away from its “bright lights, big city” reputation. Hundreds of thousands of Britons are feared to have problems with cocaine abuse, and tens of thousands are currently in treatment – which, thankfully, is now an increasingly sophisticated field offering hope to those hundreds of thousands of Britons, who might otherwise see no light at all at the end of an increasingly dark and desperate tunnel.
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Where to Get Help for Cocaine Addiction/Substance Abuse
One silver lining to Britain’s increasing obsession with cocaine – the UK is now the “cocaine capital” of Europe, with over one in 10 Brits trying the drug at some point in their lives – has been the growth in the number of high-quality facilities and organisations now operating throughout the country offering cocaine addiction treatment to addicts from all demographics and walks of life. Indeed, if you have a cocaine addiction and are looking for help, the treatment landscape can at first be somewhat intimidating as a result of the sheer scale of the choice available.
However, the process can be made much easier with the help of professionals: speak with your GP and/or an addiction specialist about your condition and what you hope to achieve, and they can help you learn about what treatment options you may be able to take advantage of.
Importance of treating cocaine addiction & when to seek treatment
Cocaine abuse can kill, and even if you survive it it can cause permanent damage to your physical and mental health – and to your life circumstances and prospects. As a result, the sooner you can overcome your cocaine addiction, the better – and this means reaching out for professional help as soon as you are able.
If you find yourself wanting to stop taking cocaine, but are unable to do so; and/or if you or anyone close to you have already begun to experience any negative consequences for health or quality of life as a result of your cocaine use, it is vital that you seek help immediately. However, there is no “wrong time” to get help overcoming your cocaine addiction; if you are concerned in any way that you may have a cocaine problem, speak with your doctor and/or an addiction professional as soon as you can.
Understanding cocaine addiction treatment and rehab options
There are many different ways to approach the treatment of addiction, including cocaine addiction, and many different facilities and organisations providing treatment. However, not every approach, nor every treatment organisation, may be appropriate for you. The nature of your treatment and where, how and by whom it is provided – and many other issues – will depend on various factors such as the state of your health, the duration and severity of your addiction, where in the country you live, and others.
With all that in mind, however, and the importance of making the right choice notwithstanding, he most important thing is that you do get treated at all: whether your treatment is provided by a private organisation, the NHS, or one of the several charities which operate in this field. If you do not get into treatment for your cocaine addiction, it could prove deadly.
- NHS Options
- Private Rehab
- Residential Care
Private rehab vs free treatment options for cocaine addiction
There are several different organisations – including, obviously, the National Health Service – which offer free cocaine addiction treatment in the UK. Sadly, for many addicts the long waiting times and limited places associated with free treatment prove calamitous, and many people prefer to get into treatment as soon as possible, which often means going down the private route. As with any form of private healthcare, private addiction treatment does come at a cost – though some people have this cost covered by health insurance, and others are able to take advantage of credit and easy payment terms offered by some rehabs.
Executive/luxury rehab programmes for cocaine addiction
For some people, standard rehab treatment – though it may be of a very high quality – does not necessarily reflect the standard of living to which they are accustomed; if you are a high net worth individual you may wish to consider attending luxury rehab, in which treatment is provided in facilities of a standard similar to that offered by high-end hotels, for maximum comfort and minimum stress. Meanwhile, if you are an executive in a senior role and do not wish to take time away from the office – though at the same time are aware that you need help urgently – you may contemplate enrolling in an executive rehab programme offering facilities like videoconferencing rooms and high-speed secure internet in order to cause minimal disruption to your role and career.
What Happens in Cocaine Rehab
There is no one universally applicable “roadmap” to addiction treatment, rehab and recovery: everyone’s experience is unique. Nevertheless, various commonalities may be identified between treatment programmes and facilities, and a rough guide may be given to what to expect when entering into treatment in rehab.
Cocaine rehab admission process
Addicts entering rehab are often at a very low point in their lives, and any stressful or challenging situations can cause extreme distress. As a result, rehabs typically strive to make their admissions processes as hassle-free as possible, with staff taking on as much of the bureaucratic burden as they can. Typically, when you get in touch with a treatment organisation they will give you a brief interview over the phone to get basic details regarding the state of your health and the severity of your addiction before suggesting a specific clinic most appropriate for you and your requirements. At this point, private rehabs will usually ask for a deposit from you, upon receipt of which your place in treatment will be confirmed and you will be able to set off for the clinic (in some cases transport will be provided for you).
Cocaine addiction assessment
Of course, you cannot simply walk into a clinic and immediately begin treatment: first, you need to undergo a thorough assessment which will give doctors a full understanding of your physical and mental condition, and of how severe your cocaine addiction is. Doctors will analyse the results of this assessment and will subsequently draw up a comprehensive addiction treatment plan which will be the foundation of your treatment going forward.
It is imperative that you are absolutely honest with doctors during your assessment, regarding both your addiction and any other relevant details. Omitting or manipulating information at this point could complicate your treatment very substantially, and could even endanger your health.
Acceptance of the problem
There are many truisms associated with addiction and its treatment, and one of the most important is that no treatment is likely to be successful unless an addict genuinely wants to change – and admitting that you have a problem is a key aspect of this. Doctors will need to see that you are ready and willing to acknowledge that you have a problem with cocaine and ask for help in combating it; if you are unable to take that step you are unlikely to be able to devote yourself appropriately to treatment.
Medically assisted/controlled detoxification
Following your assessment, the first phase of treatment proper is usually detoxification (detox): a period of abstinence during which time your system is cleansed of all substances of abuse including cocaine. Detox is necessary because if you are still in the grip of cocaine dependence – or even continuing to take cocaine – you will not be able to focus sufficiently upon the rest of your treatment.
You may develop withdrawal symptoms shortly after commencing your detox period; although cocaine dependence is not a physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms can nevertheless be extremely distressing, and doctors will be on hand 24/7 throughout detox withdrawal for your safety. Doctors may also prescribe certain medication in order to alleviate some of the worst effects of withdrawal syndrome (in which case your treatment will be known as medically assisted detoxification).
The next phase of treatment after detox is sometimes known as rehabilitation (though this term – along with its abbreviation “rehab” – is also used to describe residential addiction treatment as a whole). At the heart of this phase lies therapy, which addresses the underlying causes of your cocaine addiction as well as preparing you for life outside the clinic. As well as regular therapy sessions, during this phase of your treatment you will also be given tailored dietary and fitness plans – working on the basis of “healthy body, healthy mind” – and depending upon the specific clinic you are attending you will have access to various other facilities designed to help your healing process.
At the end of your stay at the clinic, you will have achieved abstinence and will have been given a great variety of tools and techniques to help you maintain it in the outside world. However, you should not grow complacent and think that your recovery is now complete: on the contrary, it is a long-term process (indeed, many recovering addicts find it helpful to think of it as a lifelong one) requiring constant dedication. To help you avoid the pitfalls which may lie in your way during your recovery, good rehabs usually offer up to a year’s free aftercare at the end of a full cocaine addiction treatment programme.
What is an Inpatient Rehab Programme?
Most people’s concepts of “rehab” are based on inpatient – or residential – addiction treatment, with clients residing on site in a treatment facility for stays typically lasting between one and three months. Treatment is provided in a tranquil, pleasant, friendly, substance-free and confidential setting, where clients can feel safe in the knowledge that doctors are on-site 24/7, and can benefit from the presence of other clients in treatment, who understand the nature of addiction and can provide much-needed support, advice and companionship.
What is Outpatient Rehab?
Although getting help for your cocaine addiction is imperative, you may feel unable to take the necessary time out from your daily life, and away from your family and work, which a stay in residential rehab would entail. If this is the case, you may benefit from outpatient rehab. Outpatient cocaine addiction treatment requires you to attend the clinic for some appointments such as therapy and prescriptions, but enables you to carry out other elements of the addiction treatment plan (for example, fitness training) independently. Outpatient treatment programmes are typically significantly less expensive than inpatient options, though treatment usually lasts longer than the one to three months of a typical inpatient plan.
However, outpatient treatment can be problematic as it does not remove you entirely from the daily environments in which you have succumbed to cocaine abuse and addiction, and it may not be an appropriate option for you.
Some rehabs offer day programmes, in which treatment is provided at the clinic during the day (depending on the programme, for anywhere between one and seven days a week) and then clients return home or to other accommodation at night. These programmes can be particularly appealing for addicts who live close to the clinic and for whom travel to and from treatment is therefore not a problem; for those who have certain obligations – such as a young baby at home – which make staying away overnight challenging; for those who have solid support networks which they can rely on if they experience any difficulties, such as intense cravings, whilst away from the clinic; and for addicts who have gone through residential treatment but may desire additional support at times during their recoveries.
On the other hand, day programmes are not usually considered appropriate for anyone who does not have a robust support network; who suffers from any co-occurring health problems which tend to complicate treatment; or who lives more than, say, an hour away from the facility.
Intensive outpatient programmes
Intensive outpatient programmes have been developed to reflect the many different demands of modern life. Intensive outpatient care typically comprises five or even more therapy sessions (usually lasting significantly longer than sessions in standard outpatient programmes: between three to five hours) each week, with checkups, prescriptions and some other elements of a treatment plan also provided on-site; the client is then able to lead a comparatively normal life for the rest of the week including potentially working (assuming that their employer is able to accommodate them in terms of structuring work around treatment).
Intensive outpatient programmes are usually completed much more quickly than standard outpatient treatment, which can be extremely appealing for many addicts. However, as with any outpatient treatment the risk of relapse is comparatively high, and participants in such programmes are usually required to undergo frequent drug screening to check that they are remaining compliant in terms of abstinence from substance abuse.
Once an addict has completed an addiction treatment plan, and has left the facility, they often require supplemental care in the form of further therapy and counselling, and potentially pharmaceutical support. Ongoing care – or aftercare – plans usually involve attending the clinic for scheduled appointments (whose frequency decreases over time as recovery becomes more solid, and some of which may be carried out over the phone, by email etc) as well as outlining commitments to attend counselling and support group meetings.
Good rehabs will provide free aftercare for up to a year after you complete treatment and leave the clinic; some may also make their facilities available to you at times of crisis (for example, if you feel you need help urgently to avoid relapse). Many addicts choose to take advantage of their aftercare plans even if they do not feel in particular need of urgent help, simply because they have come to find elements such as therapy and counselling beneficial; indeed, many people in recovery continue to engage in therapy long after they cease to struggle with temptation because of the many other psychological benefits which therapy can provide.
How is Medication Used to Treat Addiction?
Medication can and does play several important roles in the treatment of addiction; however, it is important to bear in mind that at the present time there is no complete pharmaceutical “cure” for addiction (though a great deal of research is underway in this area), and mainstream treatment still has therapy at its core. Rather than aiming to cure addiction by itself, medication is typically used to reduce the severity and frequency of cravings, cut down dosages, disincentivise substance use and abuse, and as a safer and more legal replacement for more problematic and dangerous substances of abuse. In rehab, medication is also frequently prescribed to lessen the impact of withdrawal syndrome, and can of course be given on an emergency basis if a client’s health is endangered.
Medications used in addiction treatment & rehab
Various different medications have been approved in the UK for the treatment of addiction. Do note, however, that not every medication is relevant for every type of addiction (for example, you would not be prescribed an opioid replacement drug such as methadone to treat your cocaine addiction), and that doctors may not consider it necessary to prescribe medication in every case of addiction: you should not enter into treatment expecting to be given medication, and if you are not it does not mean that your treatment is any less likely to be successful, simply that your doctors do not deem it necessary at that time.
Some medication interacts very dangerously with other drugs including certain substances of abuse, while some people – especially those who suffer from certain co-occurring disorders – may not be able to take every type of medication safely. As a result, it is crucial that you do not attempt to self-medicate at any time: only ever take any medication which has been prescribed to you specifically by your doctor. Failure to take this advice could cost you your life.
- Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
- Buprenorphine (Buprenex)
- Disulfiram (Antabuse)
- Acamprosate (Campral)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
- Modafinil (Provigil)
- Desipramine (Norpramin)
- Mirtazapine (Remeron)
- Bupropion (Buproban)
- Gabapentin (Fanatrex)
- Vigabatrin (Sabril)
- Baclofen (Kemstro)
- Topiramate (Topamax)
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Psychotherapy for Cocaine Addiction Treatment
All addiction treatment, including the treatment of cocaine addiction, as therapy at its heart. As a component of your addiction treatment plan, therapy reveals and tackles the behaviour and thinking which have led you into substance abuse and eventually into cocaine addiction, and aims to give you healthier ways of looking at the world and yourself which you can take with you when you leave the clinic and which will form the psychological foundation of your recovery.
When treating addiction, body and mind need to be treated together: only addressing the physical component of addiction through detox will not address the psychological issues underlying it, whilst providing therapy alone without taking the addict through detox will not remove the immediate pressures of dependence and frequent intoxication. Tackling one element and not the other will make relapse much more likely in the long term, even after a long period of abstinence.
In psychotherapy, “coping“ is the conscious investment of effort into solving personal and interpersonal problems, in order to reduce, overcome or tolerate conflict and stress. Coping-focused psychotherapy methodologies – such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) aim to give clients better coping mechanisms with which to tackle problematic situations and issues (especially, of course, those which typically act as triggers for substance abuse) than they have hitherto been able to deploy.
Coping strategies are usually developed as we mature into adulthood, but some people turn to substance abuse as a coping strategy, with obvious implications. Establishing more effective and less damaging coping strategies is crucial for any addict seeking to resume a healthy life free of substance abuse.
Social skills/interpersonal/growth psychotherapy
Inadequate social skills are a major driver of substance abuse and addiction. People with such inadequate skills typically find it hard to develop, and especially to sustain, important relationships including romantic ones, and to advance successfully on a professional level. The challenges which can result from these difficulties often drive people into a variety of damaging behaviours, often including substance abuse; if addiction then develops from substance abuse, further social and interpersonal challenges can result as addicts become increasingly isolated and withdraw from – or even lose touch with altogether – loved ones and friends.
Interpersonal, or growth, psychotherapy seeks to improve clients’ social skills to enable them to build and maintain healthier and more fulfilling relationships, and to become more adept at negotiating a professional landscape. Such therapy can also have a reinforcing effect on treatment generally as clients learn how to articulate their emotions and thoughts more fluently, typically making therapy both easier and more effective.
In a nutshell, exploratory psychotherapy – sometimes known as “psychodynamic psychotherapy” – explores how the past affects the present: it seeks to investigate how past events and experiences have contributed to a client’s current psychological state, with an obvious focus in addiction treatment on how such experiences have driven substance abuse and the subsequent development of addiction.
Because the exploration of potentially traumatic past events can be extremely difficult, and often distressing, for clients, therapists work very carefully with those clients to carry out the necessary investigations sensitively and thoughtfully; because of this exploratory psychotherapy can often feel like a rather slow process, but it is work which can be hugely beneficial and worth the time invested in, with highly positive and frequently permanent effects on self-esteem, self-awareness and mood regulation. Many clients continue to engage in exploratory psychotherapy long after they conclude formal addiction treatment.
Types of psychotherapy used in cocaine addiction treatment
Over the last few decades an impressive array of different therapeutic methodologies and models have been developed for use in addiction treatment. However, understandably any given clinic can only provide a limited selection of these methodologies. If you have had previous experience of therapy, for any reason whether or not linked with substance abuse and addiction, and you are keen to engage in a particular form of therapy, you may want to look for clinics which offer that therapy: speak with an addiction specialist about which facilities provide the therapy model/s in question, and about similar methodologies if you are unable to find the specific one you seek at any clinics which would otherwise be appropriate for you.
Everyone responds differently to different types of therapy, and not all therapy models will suit you. If you wish to try out a few different forms of therapy before settling on the approach which is best for you, some clinics will allow a degree of flexibility in terms of trying out different methodologies; others however are more prescriptive in their offerings, and you may wish to investigate this area when doing your research.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
- Art therapy
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Dialectical behavioural therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Family therapy
- Fitness therapy
- Group therapy
- Holistic therapy
- Individual therapy
- Music therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
The Recovery Process
If you have been suffering from a cocaine addiction, but have gone through treatment successfully, it is understandable that you may feel that you have beaten your addiction and that it is now behind. Be careful not to fall into complacency: it is always best to think of recovery as a long-term process which is by no means complete simply because you have completed treatment. Outside the clinic, a great many pitfalls may lie ahead of you, and if you do not stay strong and focused, and dedicated to your recovery, you may end up relapsing even a long time after you have finished treatment.
Elements of recovery
Although everyone’s experience of recovery is different, of course there are certain similarities between any two recovery journeys, and both inside the clinic and back in the outside world (especially, for example, during support group meetings) you may find yourself comparing your journey with that of a fellow recovering addict. You can learn a lot from the experiences of others – but everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and you should be careful not to compare yourself to any great extent with anyone else: focus on your own progress, and aim to benefit from the experiences of your fellows without judging yourself against them.
It can be useful to try to break the recovery process down into a number of different components, each of which you can work on separately (with some therapy methodologies being particularly appropriate for some components of recovery).
- Developing hope
- Secure base
- Sense of self
- Supportive relationships
- Social inclusion
- Coping skills
- Giving meaning
How Long are Cocaine Rehab Programmes?
How long you will need to remain in treatment for your cocaine addiction will depend on a great many different factors, including (but not limited to) your physical and mental condition, the kind of treatment you receive, and the severity and longevity of your addiction. A typical stay in private rehab will last between one and three months, although some rehabs offer shorter and more intensive programmes (as short as a fortnight or even a week in some cases) while some enable significantly longer stays if required.
You must be prepared to be flexible in terms of the duration of your treatment. Although you may begin treatment with a certain timeframe in mind, it may be that you move through treatment faster than expected – for instance if you respond especially well to therapy; on the other hand, it may become obvious that your condition is more complicated than originally thought, and doctors may recommend that you stay in rehab for longer than your treatment plan originally prescribed.
You should also bear in mind that even after completing a full treatment programme you may want ongoing support (such as counselling). You should not see this as a failure of your treatment; it is simply that your recovery needs shoring up.
What does Cocaine Rehab Cost in the UK?
It is difficult to talk meaningfully about the costs of private cocaine addiction treatment in the UK in anything other than very general terms, since treatment costs vary so significantly from one clinic to another, and even within the same clinic from one treatment programme to the next. How much your treatment costs will depend upon the nature of the treatment itself, how long you stay in the facility, any specialist care you may require, the standard of rehab you attend and many other factors.
As a ballpark figure, standard residential cocaine rehab in the UK costs anywhere between £4,000 and £15,000 a month; however, because pricing varies so substantially between clinics you should make sure you get specific costs from any clinic you are considering attending before starting to make your decision about whether you can afford private treatment.
Speak with an addiction specialist about costs, how you may be able to pay for treatment (including via health insurance), and any more affordable options which might be suitable for you.
Cocaine Addiction Recovery and Aftercare
Quality clinics offer up to a year’s free aftercare, and although it can sometimes be difficult to return to the clinic once you have completed treatment (many people do not wish to be confronted by things which remind them of their recent travails) you should take advantage as much as possible of your aftercare programme: your recovery will be made much easier by such support.
Recovery and community
Addicts who have access to strong support groups are much more likely to sustain a successful recovery. Although most people think of friends and family when it comes to support networks, it is important to realise that there is now a very significant community of recovering addicts throughout the UK (a silver lining to the country’s current substance abuse epidemic) which you can tap into to help with your recovery. Fellow recovering addicts can offer support, advice and fellowship – and in turn you too can offer such things to other recovering addicts, which can be highly beneficial to you in terms of boosting self-esteem and expanding your support network, among other benefits.
Numerous support groups provide help, advice and companionship to recovering addicts, the most famous which is relevant to cocaine addicts being Narcotics Anonymous (NA). NA and other groups provide meetings – usually on a weekly basis – throughout the country; attendance at these meetings is usually free, with the only criterion for attendance being a commitment to living a life free of substance abuse. For more information on support groups active in your area, speak with an addiction specialist.
NA operates the 12-step methodology initially developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Although not every addict is comfortable with 12-step programmes (certain steps may not be compatible with some personal beliefs) it is important to recognise that they have saved countless lives around the world. Speak with an addiction specialist to learn more about the 12-step model.
Ready to Start Rehab?
It is no hyperbole to say that your cocaine addiction could kill you – and even if it does not, it is almost inevitably going to cause irreparable damage to your life and to the things you hold dear. To avoid such damage, it is imperative that you get help, your addiction – and the sooner you can ask for that help, the sooner you can get it.
Take control of your life – get started on the road to recovery
If you have reached a point at which you are able to accept that you have a problem with cocaine and ask for help in overcoming it, do not delay any further: pick up the phone and speak with your GP and/or an addiction specialist about your condition and the treatment options you may be able to benefit from. That call could be your first step towards taking back control of your life – so don’t allow cocaine to do you any more damage: make the call today and set out on the road to recovery.
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