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Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is also addictive. Historically, people would chew coca leaves and experience the stimulant effect. However, in 2024, it’s much more purified – cocaine hydrochloride is taken from the plant. Cocaine was used frequently in the early 1900s as little was known about its addictive effects and dangerous health effects. It was even used in Coca-Cola, and as a local anaesthetic to prevent pain.

After cannabis/ marijuana, cocaine is the second most commonly used illegal drug. Cocaine can take different forms. One of the most common forms of cocaine is a fine white power – which is the result of purifying and drying raw cocaine hydrochloride.

However, cocaine can often be cut along the supply chain with other substances such as flour, vitamins, and cornstarch. People will either administer cocaine intranasally (snorting), orally, intravenously (injecting), or by inhalation. Oral use involves rubbing the cocaine onto their gums, whereas intravenous use involves dissolving the cocaine in water before injecting it.

Frequent cocaine use can lead to you developing cocaine dependence, and ultimately a cocaine addiction. This is something that we can help with at our many Help4Addiction treatment centres. Read on to learn more about cocaine addiction, cocaine rehab, and how we can help you.

What is a Cocaine Addiction?

Addiction is characterised by the lack of control over taking or using something (e.g cocaine), to the extent that it can cause physical or mental harm. Cocaine addiction (as well as other substance addictions) can negatively affect work life and relationships, as well as causing serious psychological and physical effects.

There are several risk factors for cocaine addiction – whether it be genetic factors or environmental factors. For example, spending time with other people that have addictions can increase the risk. Life events such as poverty, stress, and unemployment can also increase the risk of addiction.

Unlike heroin and other opioids, cocaine is a stimulant that makes cocaine users feel temporarily alert and energised by affecting the brain’s neural pathways. This can leave you feeling energised, alert, chatty, and often euphoric. However, cocaine addiction can occur quickly, even after just a few uses.

With most addictions, including cocaine addictions, there is the physical addiction and the psychological addiction. Cocaine abuse can often lead to dependence, meaning that you’ll feel the need to take more and more to feel the same effect. Dependence, cocaine drug abuse and cocaine addiction can lead to you experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you haven’t used it in a while. See the ‘Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms’ section to learn more about cocaine withdrawal symptoms and cocaine detoxification.

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Cocaine Addiction Symptoms

Cocaine use causes a release of dopamine in your brain, alerting your brain’s reward system. This allows neurotransmitters to build, stimulating your nerve cells which ultimately causes euphoric feelings. Although cocaine addiction can be difficult to spot at first, there are certain signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction – whether it be behavioural symptoms, physical symptoms, or psychological symptoms.

However, if you are struggling to stop, lower, or control your cocaine use, you need to take more cocaine to feel the same effect, or the thoughts of cocaine appear to be taking over, then you’re sure to benefit from cocaine rehab at one of our quality drug addiction treatment centres – and we recommend that you seek treatment for your cocaine addiction.

Some key signs of cocaine addiction may include:

Frequent cocaine usage can alter your brain’s chemistry, making it difficult to sleep, think, and causing memory issues. It can also put you more at risk for stomach, lung, and heart issues, as well as many other long-term effects.

Long-Term Effects Of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that can have devastating long-term effects on physical and mental health.

The long-term effects of cocaine addiction can vary depending on factors such as the frequency and duration of use, method of administration, and individual health factors.
One of the most significant long-term effects of cocaine addiction is damage to the cardiovascular system, including an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.

Cocaine use can cause narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow and oxygen to the heart and other organs.

Cocaine addiction can also cause a range of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, and psychosis. Chronic cocaine use can damage the brain’s reward system, making it more difficult for individuals to experience pleasure from normal activities and leading to a cycle of addiction and dependence.

Long-term cocaine use can also lead to physical problems such as respiratory issues, seizures, and gastrointestinal problems. Additionally, cocaine addiction can have significant social and interpersonal consequences, including strained relationships, financial problems, and legal issues.

Treating the long-term effects of cocaine addiction requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both physical and mental health issues. This may include medication-assisted treatment, therapy and counselling, and support groups.

It’s important for individuals struggling with cocaine addiction to seek treatment as early as possible to minimise the risk of long-term health problems and improve their chances of a successful recovery.

Signs You Need Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Cocaine addiction can be difficult to recognize, and it can be challenging for individuals struggling with addiction to admit they have a problem and seek help.

However, recognizing the signs of cocaine addiction and seeking treatment early can improve the chances of a successful recovery. Here are some signs that you or someone you know may need cocaine addiction treatment:

Inability to stop using cocaine: If you or someone you know has tried to quit using cocaine but has been unsuccessful, this could be a sign of addiction.

Tolerance: Over time, the body can develop a tolerance to cocaine, meaning that individuals need to use more of the drug to achieve the same effects.

Withdrawal symptoms: When individuals stop using cocaine, they can experience a range of withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue, depression, anxiety, and intense cravings.

Neglecting responsibilities: Cocaine addiction can lead individuals to prioritise drug use over responsibilities such as work, school, or family obligations.

Financial problems: Cocaine addiction can be expensive, and individuals may experience financial problems as a result of their drug use.

Health problems: Long-term cocaine use can cause a range of physical and mental health problems, including cardiovascular problems, respiratory issues, and mental health disorders.

Legal problems: Individuals struggling with cocaine addiction may engage in illegal activities to obtain the drug, such as stealing or selling drugs, which can lead to legal problems.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these signs, it’s essential to seek professional help for cocaine addiction.

Treatment options may include medication-assisted treatment, therapy and counselling, and support groups. Seeking help early can improve the chances of a successful recovery and minimise the risk of long-term health problems.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Cocaine Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

Cocaine addiction is often accompanied by mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

When an individual experiences both addiction and a mental health disorder, it is referred to as a dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis treatment is necessary for successful recovery since treating only the addiction without addressing the underlying mental health condition can increase the risk of relapse.

Dual-diagnosis treatment for cocaine addiction and mental health disorders typically involves a combination of medication-assisted treatment and therapy.

The primary goal is to address both conditions simultaneously through an integrated treatment approach. This may include individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and medication management.

Individual therapy can help individuals identify and address the root causes of their addiction and mental health disorder. Group therapy provides a supportive environment where individuals can connect with others who are going through similar experiences.

Family therapy can help repair and improve relationships damaged by addiction and mental illness. Medication management can help manage symptoms of mental health disorders and support individuals during the recovery process.

Dual diagnosis treatment is a comprehensive approach that takes into account both the addiction and the mental health disorder to help individuals achieve long-term recovery. It’s important to seek professional help if you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction and a mental health disorder to receive an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan.

Aftercare and Relapse Prevention Strategies in Cocaine Rehab

Aftercare and relapse prevention strategies are crucial components of cocaine rehab that help individuals maintain their sobriety and prevent relapse.

After completing a cocaine addiction treatment program, individuals need ongoing support, resources, and education to continue to grow and thrive in their recovery journey. Aftercare may include continuing therapy or participating in support groups such as Cocaine Anonymous or SMART Recovery.

These groups provide a supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences, connect with others in recovery, and receive encouragement and guidance.
Relapse prevention strategies involve identifying triggers and developing coping mechanisms to manage them.

This may include stress management techniques such as exercise or meditation, avoiding high-risk situations, and developing healthy habits such as a balanced diet and regular sleep schedule.

It’s important to have a relapse prevention plan in place that includes strategies for handling triggers and avoiding relapse. With the right support and resources, individuals can successfully navigate the challenges of recovery and build a fulfilling, sober life.

Overcoming Shame and Stigma in Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Overcoming shame and stigma is a crucial component of cocaine addiction treatment. Shame and stigma can be significant barriers to seeking and receiving treatment, as they can make individuals feel isolated, judged, and unsupported. One of the first steps in overcoming shame and stigma is to acknowledge that addiction is a disease and not a moral failing.

It’s important to recognize that seeking help for cocaine addiction is a brave and necessary step towards recovery and a healthier life.

Cocaine addiction treatment programs should be designed to create a safe and supportive environment that encourages individuals to open up about their experiences and feelings. This may include therapy, support groups, and peer-to-peer counselling.

Education and awareness campaigns can also help reduce the stigma around cocaine addiction and help individuals understand that addiction is a chronic, treatable illness that affects people from all walks of life.

By creating a supportive and non-judgmental environment, individuals can begin to heal from the shame and stigma associated with cocaine addiction and focus on their recovery journey.

Cocaine Drug Addiction Treatment

At Help4Addiction, we have a variety of cocaine addiction rehab treatment centres across England and Wales, so you’re sure to find an effective local cocaine addiction treatment with us. Our cocaine rehab programmes include detox, drug rehab, and effective aftercare. We also offer alcohol rehab to help you break alcohol addiction.

Treating cocaine addiction often involves outpatient treatment, although you may benefit from inpatient treatment instead (residential treatment). It can be difficult to break the cocaine dependency, which is why our addiction specialists will consider your mental health and any mental health issues you may be experiencing.

Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms

The first stage of cocaine addiction treatment is detoxing from the drug. It’s the stage at which the toxins leave your body – and it can be a long and difficult process. However, the process is sure to be more streamlined with the help of a Help4Addiction addiction professional.

You may choose to begin treatment for cocaine addiction with medical supervision – especially if it’s a long-term or particularly strong addiction. This means that you’ll have 24/7 medical assistance, which can be helpful when you’re experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Detoxification is the stage before you complete cocaine addiction rehab and recovery. When going through detoxification, it’s recommended to have medical supervision. This is to monitor the withdrawal symptoms, as they can sometimes be rough and even dangerous.

Some typical cocaine withdrawal symptoms may include:

You may experience intense cravings for cocaine when you begin detoxing, but this should become more bearable with time. However, depression and cravings may last for months after stopping heavy or long-term cocaine use. If this is the case, you may be offered residential rehabilitation.


When you have successfully completed the cocaine detoxification process, our addiction specialists will focus on cocaine rehab. This involves helping you to prevent further issues and building your strength and confidence.

Addiction therapy is an integral part of our cocaine addiction treatment programme. Many recovering cocaine addicts benefit from CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). This can help you deal with mental health issues associated with addiction. This can help you identify your triggers and the reasons you have substance abuse issues.


Our goal at Help4Addiction is to prevent relapse, which is why we don’t just wave goodbye after you leave our cocaine rehab programme. Addiction recovery can be tough, so you may choose to undergo outpatient therapy – many recovering addicts will opt for further therapy and join group therapy sessions or support groups.

Contact us today to find out the different treatment options we offer you. As well as treating cocaine addiction and crack cocaine addiction, we can also help with other addictions.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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