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Cocaine Abuse (cont.)


Follow-up should be as planned in the emergency department or as discussed when discharged from the hospital. Because any addiction involves the entire family, treatment options should be reviewed with the individual's family, and loved ones should be included in any treatment plan if at all possible. It may consist of follow-ups with a drug counselor for therapy, as well as treatment by a psychiatrist, family doctor, internist, infectious-disease specialist, obstetrician, general surgeon, and/or heart surgeon.

Since there is little medication treatment for cocaine addiction, rehabilitation, also referred to as "rehab," generally involves mental-health and social (psychosocial) approaches. Those approaches often focus of establishing a good working relationship with the cocaine addict, motivating him or her, enhancing strengths, and helping the person develop strategies for recovery, including abstaining from drug use and reducing their cravings.

Prevention of Cocaine Abuse

Prevention should start early in the preadolescent years for all children but particularly for those who are at risk. This would include children in families with a history of any addiction such as alcoholism and drug use. However simplistic the concept, teaching youngsters to say "no" to using tobacco products, alcohol, and drugs is an excellent prevention tool. If we can keep the children and our future generations from the gateway drugs of nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana, then we may be able to prevent the escalation to harder drugs such as cocaine and therefore protect people from the long-term effects of drug use.

Prognosis of Cocaine Abuse

The prognosis for minor complications of cocaine use is good if further drug use can be stopped completely. This will be a significant challenge to the addicted person and will likely require professional and support group interaction. The majority of cocaine abusers who come to the hospital for medical care will usually do well medically and are often sent home. They may be seen or referred to chemical-dependency counselors for follow-up as outpatients or inpatients.

Medically reviewed by Marina Katz, MD; American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology


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United States. National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). "NIDA research report series: Cocaine." National Institutes of Health Publication #10-4166. Sept. 2010.

United States. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.

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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/3/2015

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