Cocaine Rehab

Can I Quit Cocaine Without Rehab?

It is possible to quit cocaine without admitting to rehab. However, it is likely that the period of abstinence achieved during this try could be short-lived [1].

A person who quits cocaine without rehab and strong support may relapse quicker, with a higher relapse rate than a person who tries to quit with professional help.

There are several reasons that count as advantages when a person attempts cocaine recovery with professional help.

These advantages are:

  • There’s a structure to follow – in a rehab clinic, schedules are maintained with and sequence of things planned out for each day stay.
  • 24-7 Support – supervision during cocaine withdrawal provides emotional as well as medical support (if needed)
  • There’s no access to cocaine or other substances that can hamper the recovery process, including cigarettes and alcohol.
  • Therapy options are available, so if one method does not work, there are back-up plans
  • Focus can be on self-improvement and self-care – this is especially true if, outside the treatment, the person’s energy is largely spent attending to the needs of others
  • New associations and friendships are made to replace relationships that encourage the use of cocaine
  • A cocaine rehab centre provides balanced nutrition often taken for granted as a factor in recovery
  • Mental/emotional Recovery toolkit
  • Good-quality amenities/surroundings encourage relaxation and healing
  • Increased availability of holistic healing practices such as massage, animal-assisted therapy, reflexology, and acupuncture

Aside from the benefits, private rehab protects from harms associated with solo quitting from cocaine.

Such health risks pertain to:

  • Physical health risks – breathing and heart problems
  • Mental/emotional health risks – emotional turmoil, adjustment, and psychological withdrawal

In addition, in terms of psychosocial problems, there might be difficulty socialising or re-establishing relationships once the choice to stop using cocaine is made.

With therapeutic help and other types of resources available in a private rehab, whole-person recovery is addressed; it is not just a matter of abstinence from cocaine.

Is There Treatment For Cocaine And Alcohol?

There is treatment available for individuals who are simultaneously struggling with cocaine and alcohol addiction.

With co-occurring problems such as this, experts approach the matter as “a complicated case” versus a “simple case” of addiction. This is due to the fact that there is multiple substance misuse on-going.

In complicated cases, inpatient rehab is recommended [2].

Evidence-based practice shows that in co-occurring substance misuse/abuse or dependency, sufferers likely to have: [3]

  • A higher chance of staying addicted to alcohol, because alcohol heightens the effects of a cocaine high
  • Toxicity due to cocaethylene, a chemical produced in the liver when cocaine and ethanol are both present in the blood
  • Seizure risk
  • Liver damage risk
  • Compromised immune system (weak resistance to disease)
  • Stroke and heart-related problems
  • Higher stress level, which ramps us nervousness, fearfulness and anxiety
  • Impulsive behaviour that can lead to accidents, especially overdose

Inpatient residential rehab treatment safeguards a person’s overall health, ensuring that professional assistance is available in critical times.

Inpatient treatment also removes the possibility of access to alcohol and cocaine during the detox period, so that the new perspective (living without substances) is possible.

In contrast, outpatient treatment, although less intrusive and more affordable can be not as effective as inpatient treatment. This is especially true if there are co-occurring addictions (alcohol + cocaine).

In terms of specific psychotherapeutic approaches, two methods are widely used in cocaine addiction recovery.

These are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and 12 Step Facilitation.

Compared to other forms of supportive psychotherapy, these two are deemed more effective [4].

Removing cocaine from the body safely.

Will Cocaine Rehab Work?

Yes. Cocaine rehab will likely work if the following conditions are met: [1]

  • Evidence-based practices such as 12 Step Facilitation and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are utilised
  • There is social support (from family and friends), in such a matter that is consistent, firm, and empathic
  • Cocaine addiction is approached as a health concern with a strong behavioural component. This means that when there is a relapse, it is not treated as a failure, but as a temporary learning phase.
  • There is personal commitment and readiness to change, even if feelings about recovery fluctuate (at times, a person can feel de-motivated about the process).

Because objective measures about the effectiveness of cocaine addiction treatment are not as clear-cut as laboratory results to measure other illnesses (such as heart disease or diabetes), there is a lack of quantitative data about rehab success rates.

However, there are qualitative (descriptions and case studies) that indicate the effectiveness of cocaine rehab as gathered by authoritative sources [2].

Individuals who improve and change continue to do so after rehab if they consistently work on the aftercare plan.

Since cocaine and/or substance use problems are largely determined by persons and situations surrounding the concerned individual, follow-through after rehab is recommended.

As preventive measures, attending regular meetings in support groups and getting in touch with addiction counsellors from time-to-time are also encouraged.

Research shows that open communication with sponsors and being active in mutual support groups counteract the possibility of relapse in cocaine addiction [5] [6].

Relapse prevention is a key component in cocaine addiction treatment approaches because the more instances of relapse, the higher the health complications become.

What Happens In Cocaine Rehab?

The three main events in drug rehab are detox, therapeutic care, and cocaine rehab aftercare.

The negative associations with rehab are large because of the mind-set that persons who go to rehab are seriously ill.

In essence, admitting to rehab is the start of a new way of living, where the emphasis should be a return to a normal, balanced way of living.

To facilitate the return to this state of equilibrium, the whole person needs to be addressed.

The first step to restoring balance would be to remove the toxins via detox. Professionally assisted detox gives access to care 24/7, with contingencies for emergency situations.

Cocaine is stored in the body, its effects can last for quite some time, and without a detox programme that addresses withdrawal symptoms strategically, a person is apt to feel worse for wear.

In Abbeycare, the second phase, therapeutic care is handled as a personalised programme. A dedicated case manager works closely with the client to know what specific aspects of cocaine recovery need the most attention.

For therapeutic care, the approaches that appear to work best are 12 Step Facilitation and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy [1].

The last major event, aftercare, pertains to a detailed programme to equip clients with techniques to stay sober long-term.

Inevitably, life would bring about challenges. Staying sober is especially taxing for those who are still adjusting to new ways of handling stress.

Identification of triggers, helpful numbers to call, and a sponsor are details that usually appear in an aftercare plan.

More so, a capable rehab clinic would assert the crucial aspect of having concrete plans covering day-to-day matters.

As part of cocaine recovery, aftercare supports rehab clients socially and emotionally, with a future-oriented outlook.

Where Can I Get Cocaine Rehab For Free?

The NHS provides cocaine rehab for free, but the outpatient option is more available than inpatient care.

Outpatient care entails the following: [2]

  • Being able to leave the facility to attend to personal matters
  • Access to health care professionals on a case-to-case basis
  • Emotional and psychological support via psychotherapy/ group meetings

For outpatients, attending mutual support group meeting is commonplace. These meetings are run by:

  • SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training)
  • Save Our Selves
  • Women for Sobriety (WFS)
  • Addaction
  • Cocaine Anonymous

Mutual support group meetings are helpful in encouraging recovery efforts after rehab, but attending meetings is not the same as therapy for cocaine dependence/substance abuse.

Both outpatient and inpatient rehab incorporate therapeutic care and counselling into their treatment designs.

In short, participating in mutual support groups lowers the odds of relapse form cocaine recovery treatment, but they should not be the sole source of cocaine addiction recovery [5].

As an intensive form of rehab, inpatient care helps stop relapse by enabling the client to be skilled in: [5]

  • Distinguishing the difference between thoughts about using versus mental relapse
  • Normalising thoughts of using, which are normal thoughts that enter the mind about using cocaine again, although these thoughts will not be acted out in reality
  • Recognising signs of mental relapse, where an individual begins to think of schemes when it is permissible to use again
  • Halting plans for relapse opportunities (going to places where there will be little to no access to sponsors/accountability partners/counsellors)
  • Stopping the rationalisation of switching cocaine for another addictive substance (such as cigarettes, food, or behavioural addictions)
  • Training to pinpoint situations where emotional triggers are present and may be overwhelming

Although available in outpatient care, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in residential care can be better in revealing fears feed the addiction.

These irrational fears are deep-seated, and may only surface after extended, consistent sessions with an addictions expert.

These fears are typified as: [5]

  • Fear of not being good enough
  • Fear of failure in life
  • Fear of feeling like a fraud/fake
  • Fear of not knowing how to function without cocaine

Lastly, the steady, protective environment of cocaine rehab residential rehab can be the determining factor in cases where cocaine addiction is serious and needs particular care [7].



  1.   National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). How is cocaine addiction treated? Retrieved from:
  2.   NHS. (2017). Cocaine addiction: get help. Retrieved from:
  3.   Dasgupta, A. (2017). Cocaethylene. Alcohol, Drugs, Genes and the Clinical Laboratory. Retrieved from:
  4.   Melemis, S. (2015). Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. Yale J Biol Med., 88(3), 325–332. Retrieved from:
  5.   Melemis, S. (2015). Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. Yale J Biol Med., 88(3), 325–332. Retrieved from:
  6.   Public Health England. (2015). Improving mutual aid engagement. Retrieved from:
  7.   NHS. (2017). Drug addiction: getting help. Retrieved from:
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About the author

Melany Heger

Registered Psychologist and Freelance Writer, Jinjin Melany passionately writes about mental health issues, addiction, eating disorders and parenting since 2015. Read more about Melany on LinkedIn. Content reviewed by Laura Morris (Clinical Lead).