Cocaine is a highly addictive illicit substance, and cocaine rehab is the best way out of addiction and the route to sobriety.

What is Cocaine?

Characterised as a Class A controlled substance in the United Kingdom, cocaine is a highly addictive illicit substance, and abuse can lead to cocaine addiction.

Cocaine is a powerful and addictive stimulant drug that is derived from the leaves of coca plants, commonly found in northern and western parts of South America. Chemically, it is known as benzoylmethylecgonine and is classified as a tropane alkaloid. It is often found in a white, crystalline form known as powder cocaine.

At its core, cocaine acts as a central nervous system stimulant. Its chemical structure allows it to interfere with the normal communication processes in the brain, particularly in relation to neurotransmitters like dopamine. This interference creates a build-up of the neurotransmitters, which results in the heightened stimulation and euphoria associated with the drug.

Cocaine also has a history of medical use, where it was once used as a local anaesthetic, particularly in eye, throat, and nose surgeries. However, this is no longer the case in the UK due to the potential risks and dangers.


Why is Cocaine Addictive?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that directly impacts the brain’s reward pathway. It generates an intense sense of euphoria, power, confidence and energy, making it an attractive substance for many. Unfortunately, the use of this substance is also often glamorised, which contributes to its normalisation.

The consequence of the fleeting high associated with cocaine is a detrimental and long-lasting impact on both physical and mental health.

Frequent cocaine use can lead to addiction, a chronic and debilitating disease that alters the brain’s structure and function. The substance essentially takes over the brain’s reward system, creating a compulsive and uncontrollable need for the drug. Cocaine addiction commonly impacts not just the individual’s health but also their relationships, their work or studies, and ultimately, their quality of life.

Cocaine use also blocks the reuptake of dopamine, meaning that you must continue to take cocaine in order to experience normal feelings of happiness and contentment. You also build up a tolerance to cocaine. This means you must take ever more significant quantities of cocaine in order to experience the desired effects.


Cocaine Addiction in the UK

Over recent years, the United Kingdom has witnessed a rise in the use of cocaine, driven by increased normalisation and accessibility of this potent substance. This has led to an exponential increase in cocaine-related addictions and health problems that have spread throughout many communities from all walks of life.

Statistics show that the number of deaths directly linked to cocaine use has been on a steady incline over the last two decades in the UK. This data represents real people – from sons and daughters to parents and friends who fall victim to the grip of this dangerous substance.

Cocaine is universally recognised as one of the most dangerous and misused drugs, and its destructive impact extends far beyond physical health. The mental and emotional toll can be equally devastating, ripping apart relationships, causing financial hardship, and inflicting deep psychological wounds that can take many years to heal fully.


The Dangers Associated With Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction is a multifaceted issue with harsh consequences, drastically affecting individuals’ psychological and physical health. As the dependency on this powerful stimulant intensifies, individuals who are using cocaine frequently show signs of substantial alterations in their personalities and behaviour.

One of the significant transformations includes the onset of mental health disorders. For example, users often experience heightened levels of paranoia, marked by an excessive, often irrational fear and distrust. 

The intense presence of anxiety, which can look like persistent worry and restlessness, can also become more apparent as time goes on. 

A particularly severe mental health complication of chronic cocaine use is paranoid psychosis. In this condition, it’s common for people to lose their sense of reality, which can cause them to spiral into a state where their perceptions are grossly misaligned with the world around them. 

Auditory hallucinations, a distinctive symptom, can be exceptionally distressing to experience. This may mean individuals start to hear voices or noises that do not exist, further complicating their state of mental health, often leading them to lose the ability to trust themselves or those around them.

From a physical perspective, the substance is harshly toxic and can lead to severe health complications. For instance, cocaine can cause skin necrosis, leading to tissue death, potentially developing into a lethal infection known as gangrene. This risk is even higher if cocaine is ingested orally, as it can damage bowel tissues, giving rise to potentially fatal ulcers.

In addition, the use of cocaine is also known to place significant strain on the cardiovascular system. It can provoke heart diseases, even causing the heart to enlarge and potentially lead to strokes or cardiac arrests. 

Because of this, many cocaine-related deaths are due to cardiac complications. The threat is also not limited to chronic users – even a first-time user can experience a cocaine-induced cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.

With that being said, chronic cocaine users, in particular, still stand at a high risk of enduring catastrophic health events, such as heart attacks or strokes. The repetitive use of cocaine strains the body’s vital systems over time, making such severe outcomes a sad reality for many individuals suffering from this addiction.

Signs You May Require Cocaine Rehab

Identifying a potential cocaine addiction in its early stages can be challenging, as it often starts subtly before evolving into a full-blown dependency. However, several physical, psychological, and behavioural signs may indicate a cocaine addiction.

Physically, a person may find themselves experiencing frequent nosebleeds and a loss of smell, difficulty swallowing, or rapid weight loss. There might also be signs of insomnia, increased heart rate, dilated pupils, and tremors or muscle twitches. A constant need to use cocaine to feel ‘normal’ or to get through the day can be taken as a strong indication of addiction.

From a psychological perspective, common signs may include feeling paranoid, restless, irritable, or periods of extreme euphoria followed by depression. Mood swings and an inability to focus or maintain concentration can also be a sign. Additionally, if a person seems to prioritise cocaine use over personal or professional responsibilities, this may indicate an addiction has developed.

Behavioural signs often include secretive behaviour, withdrawal from social activities, and financial issues due to the cost of maintaining the habit.


Crack Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is typically described as a fine, white powder. Crack cocaine, on the other hand, is a form of crystallised cocaine that typically appears as small rocks or crystals with white or off-white colouring.

Crack cocaine is usually taken by smoking. The name ‘crack cocaine’ comes from the crackling sound it makes when heated. Smoking crack cocaine allows the drug to reach the brain quicker than powder cocaine. This results in a more intense but shorter-lasting high, which often leads users to take the drug repeatedly in a short period of time. This can significantly increase the risk of addiction.

Both forms of cocaine are highly addictive. However, because the high from crack cocaine is more immediate and intense, it is often considered to be more addictive than powder cocaine.

The signs of crack cocaine addiction are similar to those of powder cocaine addiction but may be more severe due to the drug’s potency. Physical signs may include a persistent cough and respiratory distress, burns or blisters on the lips or fingers from smoking the substance, an overall decline in physical appearance, and personal hygiene in some cases.

Psychological symptoms may include intense paranoia, hallucinations, and violent behaviour. Social isolation, erratic behaviour, and a disregard for the harmful consequences of drug use are common behavioural signs. As the addiction worsens, users often lose interest in activities or relationships they once enjoyed, focusing solely on obtaining and using crack cocaine.

At Ocean Recovery, we also provide specialised, comprehensive treatment programmes for those who are struggling with crack cocaine addiction. Find more information on rehabilitation for crack cocaine.


When to Seek Help

Recognising when to seek help is incredibly important for cocaine addiction. But, the truth is there’s no ‘right time’ or ‘correct level of addiction’ that justifies seeking help. Simply put, if cocaine use is causing harmful effects on your health, relationships, work, or overall quality of life, it may be time to consider seeking support.

If you or someone you care about is showing any of the signs mentioned above, we can help. Remember, it’s never too early or too late to ask for support, and numerous treatments and support systems are available.

Cocaine rehab is not just about stopping drug use. It’s also about rebuilding your life and relationships and learning to live without substance dependency. Proper treatment makes recovery possible, and individuals can look forward to a healthier, happier life, free from the grips of addiction.


Treatment Options for Cocaine Addiction

The first thing to remember is that there are many effective treatment options and resources to help those who are struggling. For cocaine addiction, this can be accessed via inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Find more detail about each treatment option below.

Outpatient Cocaine Rehab Treatment

Outpatient cocaine treatment is when an individual actively seeks treatment and support for their addiction without staying at a rehabilitation facility. This can include attending appointments with medical professionals and seeking comprehensive therapy from addiction specialists. 

All support that is accessed on an outpatient basis is strictly confidential, with the sole purpose of providing safe, effective and non-judgemental treatment for the individual seeking help. There are also free cocaine addiction treatment avenues that individuals can explore, which may see them being able to seek support with the financial aspects covered by dedicated charities or the NHS.

This can be an effective treatment route for those who cannot put life on hold, even if it’s for a short while. For this reason, those who have work commitments or dependents often choose to undergo cocaine treatment on an outpatient basis. 

Outpatient treatment could also be a viable option to consider if you’re currently experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms and perceive a less intensive route as the key to overcoming your addiction. However, if you are suffering from severe cocaine addiction, undergoing detoxification as an inpatient is recommended. This is because the withdrawal symptoms associated with cocaine can often feel quite intense, especially from a psychological standpoint. 

While outpatient care is a widely used approach to treat cocaine addiction, its effectiveness is subjective and often influenced by personal circumstances. It is a less intensive approach and requires immense willpower due to the fact that, as an outpatient, individuals will still be exposed to continued accessibility along with their triggers by remaining in the same environment.

Inpatient Cocaine Rehab Treatment

Inpatient cocaine rehab treatment can be defined as when an individual seeks treatment in a residential setting, where they will stay at a facility for a set duration. 

Choosing this route provides immediate access to a team of experienced professionals who meticulously design and implement a comprehensive treatment plan, vigilantly monitor your progress, and strive towards ensuring your recovery journey is as smooth as possible.

The danger with cocaine use lies in its potential to become normalised, making it readily available even as you seek help. This accessibility makes opting for an inpatient cocaine rehab programme appealing, as it physically prevents you from the triggers and temptations that might challenge your recovery.

Inpatient treatment is entirely confidential, providing a safe space for those to recover in a non-judgemental environment. These settings typically offer expert care, ensuring withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings are promptly and effectively managed.

Individuals will also likely undergo a medically supervised detox period at the start of their journey, providing them with the necessary safety and support before progressing into therapy.

While any form of treatment symbolises a positive stride in combating cocaine abuse, it’s essential not to feel disheartened if your initial steps don’t lead you straight to an inpatient programme. Inpatient treatment programmes are also not commonly offered through public health organisations, so there will be a financial aspect to consider when seeking treatment.


How Long Does Cocaine Rehabilitation Last?

The good news is cocaine rehab treatment can last for however long the individual requires. However, there are expected timelines followed by typical treatment programmes. 

To thoroughly detox and manage cocaine withdrawal symptoms effectively, this stage typically lasts for 7 to 10 days.

Complete treatment programmes are typically followed for 14 or 28 days, but individuals are able to stay at a cocaine rehab clinic for upwards of 8 weeks. In some cases, if the cocaine addiction is particularly severe, treatment can be for even more extended periods, but this will ultimately depend on the individual, their relationship with drug addiction and their unique circumstances.


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The Treatment Process at a Cocaine Rehab Centre

Oftentimes, not knowing what to expect with cocaine addiction treatment can prevent individuals who need help from seeking the support they need to achieve recovery. Below, you’ll find an overview of the treatment process for cocaine addiction.

Please note that the information provided below is a generalised overview, as addiction treatment for cocaine addiction often requires a personalised approach, tailored to the unique needs of the individual.

Step One – The Admissions Process

The first step on your journey to recovery begins with coming to terms with the fact that there may be a problem and reaching out for help. 

At Ocean Recovery, our admissions process is simple and straightforward. You can contact us directly, or a loved one or healthcare professional can contact us on your behalf. 

Our dedicated team of medical professionals and addiction specialists will gather information through a confidential assessment to understand your relationship and experience with cocaine addiction, along with your unique needs. Based on this assessment, a comprehensive, personalised treatment programme will be created.


Step Two – The Withdrawal and Detoxification Process

Next, individuals will start their time at a rehabilitation clinic undergoing cocaine detox. This stage is not exclusive to cocaine addiction treatment, as most individuals who come to rehab for drug abuse will require detox.

The cocaine withdrawal process is a tough but essential step in overcoming cocaine addiction. This period is often characterised by psychological symptoms due to the strong psychological hold of the drug. Physical symptoms are usually less severe compared to other substances, but may still be present during this time.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms often begin with a ‘crash’ phase, where the individual experiences fatigue, increased appetite, and depression.

This is followed by the “withdrawal” phase, marked by irritability, poor concentration, cravings, and agitation. The intensity and duration of withdrawal symptoms vary based on factors such as frequency of use, dosage, and individual health condition. Medical supervision is recommended during detox, to manage withdrawal symptoms effectively and minimise the risk of relapse.

At Ocean Recovery, our experienced medical professionals oversee the entire cocaine detox process. They can administer medication as needed to manage withdrawal symptoms, making this difficult phase as comfortable as possible. Detox prepares your body and mind for the next crucial step in your recovery journey – therapy.


Step Two – Comprehensive Cocaine Addiction Treatment and Therapy

After detox, individuals can start working through their comprehensive, personalised treatment programmes, which can include various therapeutic interventions.

Typically speaking, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and group therapy are known to be particularly effective for cocaine rehab. These therapies aim to help you understand the underlying causes of your addiction and develop new coping strategies.

CBT effectively works through treating cocaine addiction, as it helps identify and challenge unhelpful thought patterns that lead to drug use, which is where effective coping strategies can be developed. Group therapy provides that much-needed supportive environment where individuals can openly talk about their experiences and learn from others who are also working towards recovery, all within a safe and private environment.

Holistic therapy approaches are also often used in cocaine rehab, known to promote the healing of the person as a whole.

This can include engaging in therapy sessions that target the physical and mental wellbeing of the individual, usually through activities such as art and music therapy, yoga, meditation and motivational interviewing sessions, which is a counselling approach that helps with helping individuals to find their motivation for recovery, often referred to as their “why”.


Step Three – Relapse Prevention and Aftercare Programmes

After inpatient cocaine rehab treatment comes to an end, a personalised aftercare programme will be provided.

Leaving the clinic and facing the outside world again can often make people feel very nervous and unsettled, which is why aftercare programmes are so important, especially in the context of relapse prevention.

Aftercare, also known as secondary programmes, provides continued and ongoing support for those who have been through an inpatient cocaine rehab treatment programme. This ensures that individuals are fully supported as they transition back to everyday life, equipped with the skills and resources to maintain their sobriety.

Remember, each step on this journey is just as important as the other, and at Ocean Recovery, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. We provide free aftercare programmes for every individual who undergoes a cocaine rehab programme at our clinic, which lasts for a full year.


Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programmes for Cocaine Addiction

With cocaine addiction treatment, it’s not uncommon for those seeking support to have often a dual diagnosis identified during admissions. This is because cocaine often has a significant psychological impact, meaning that it is possible for a mental health condition also to be present and require treatment.

In most cases, seeking professional support at a cocaine addiction rehab is the most effective route for overcoming addiction and managing any co-existing mental health condition. 

Dual diagnosis treatment programmes are specifically designed for individuals who struggle with cocaine addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, with plans developed on a case-by-case basis. These might include conditions such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.

This integrated approach recognises that both conditions are interlinked and should be treated simultaneously for successful recovery.

As we mentioned earlier, cocaine addiction treatment therapies may involve cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) sessions, motivational interviewing, and other techniques. However, if a dual diagnosis is identified, individuals may also participate in dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), which is a more intensive form of CBT. This combined approach to cocaine addiction treatment aims to address the root causes of addiction, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and improve overall mental health.

Dual diagnosis programmes may also offer support services such as housing assistance, job training, and social skills development, as these areas can often be impacted by addiction and mental health disorders.

Find Addiction Support Groups Near You

Even after cocaine rehab programmes come to an end, overcoming cocaine addiction is a significant journey, and you don’t have to walk that path alone.

In fact, support from individuals who’ve experienced (or are experiencing) similar challenges is often instrumental and comforting, aiding recovery. Cocaine addiction can be incredibly isolating, and this is where support groups are found to be particularly useful.

Support groups offer a safe space for sharing experiences, expressing emotions, and gaining coping strategies. They are widely accessible across the UK, and many are entirely free of charge.

The three main support groups for individuals struggling with cocaine addiction and other substance abuse issues are Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and for those who are also struggling with their alcohol consumption, Alcoholics Anonymous.

Cocaine Anonymous (CA)

Cocaine Anonymous is a fellowship that shares their experiences, strength, and hope to overcome their common problems and help others recover from cocaine addiction. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using cocaine and all other mind-altering substances.

Visit their website here to locate a meeting near you. Online meetings are also available if you are unable to attend in person.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

Narcotics Anonymous is a community-based association with over 70,000 weekly meetings in over 144 countries. NA’s approach is broad in its outlook, which means it’s helpful to people with all types of substance abuse problems, including cocaine.

NA has numerous meetings across the UK, and finding one near you is simple. Information about meeting locations and times can typically be found on the NA website. If online meetings are more suitable for you, those are also readily available.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

While Cocaine Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are beneficial for individuals primarily struggling with drug addiction, those who are also struggling with alcohol addiction can find targeted support through Alcoholics Anonymous. 

To find an AA meeting close to you in the UK, visit the AA website. Remember, an AA membership has no fees, and you have the ability to attend as many meetings as you like. There are also online support group options available, which run throughout the day, every day. 

Our Rehab Facilities

At Ocean Recovery, we are extremely proud of our state-of-the-art facility. We provide residents with the most relaxing stay possible and they can enjoy our modern establishment.

Ocean Recovery Facilities include:

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Medically Assisted Detoxification

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Talk to Us Today

Now that you understand the different kinds of treatment for cocaine addiction that is out there, it is time to get onto the path of a healthy life and start the rehab process.

At Ocean Recovery, our team can help you decide what your best option is when it comes to cocaine rehab treatment. We can build a tailored treatment plan that is made for your specific needs, helping you to achieve lasting recovery. Call us today on 03301 596 494 or fill out one of our contact forms to find out how our treatment for cocaine addiction can restore a better and healthier you.

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Take a look inside and explore our modern yet cosy drug and alcohol rehab facilities.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the right rehab treatment provider can be a life-changing decision; here are some of the most common questions we are asked pre-admission.

What Is The Difference Between Cocaine Rehab And A Detox? 

Detoxification is only a part of the cocaine rehab process. The goal of rehab is to become clean and drug-free, and detox is the first step towards a better life. During detox, you remove all drugs out of your body by abstaining from it.

Does Outpatient Cocaine Rehab Work? 

We advise strongly against full-outpatient rehab in the case of heavy cocaine addiction. Often addicts need to be taken into protection against their own good. Addiction often alters your ability to make the right decisions, and if you have an urge to use cocaine – it’ll be hard to say no without the right guidance.

How Long Does Cocaine Rehab Take?

We offer inpatient rehab services for from 7 to 28 days – and in some cases even longer, but after care could take up to year. From regular visiting for therapy sessions, to reiki and other holistic therapies: we offer a complete package.

Why Is Cocaine So Addictive?

Cocaine increases dopamine levels in the body which is chemical in the brain which stimulates happiness and wellbeing. After consistent use of the drug your body starts to get become reliant on the increased dopamine levels that cocaine produces. This causes a chemical imbalance that can only be restored after taking the drug meaning that while you are not taking the drug your body will view your dopamine levels as low which can affect your wellbeing and happiness and will most likely lead to a feeling of depression which will only subside after taking cocaine.

Are There Any Support Groups I Can Attend After Leaving The Centre?

Yes, although we do not offer support groups as part of our aftercare packages, there are still plenty of options out there. The most popular support groups for Cocaine users is Narcotics and Cocaine Anonymous meeting groups which are held all over the UK.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: December 22, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

Dr Adel Ghaly

    Dr Adel Ghaly - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed: December 20, 2023

    MB BCh, Psychological Medicine (Substance Misuse Psychiatry) from 2002

    Dr Adel Ghaly is a registered Doctor who is a specialist psychiatrist. Dr Ghaly gained an MB BCh in 1982 from Assiut University and has since become a substance misuse specialist and psychiatrist. After gaining his qualification in Psychological Medicine (Substance Misuse Psychiatry) in 2002, Dr Ghaly has worked in hospitals and as a specialist trainer recognised by the GMC.