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Cocaine & Crack Cocaine Addiction Rehab Treatment

More and more families in the UK are facing the harsh reality of having a family member struggling with cocaine addiction. According to the Office for National Statistics, cocaine use and overdose fatalities are on the rise, as it has been for the last ten consecutive years. With the exception of alcohol and tobacco, cocaine is the second most-used drug in England and Wales, with only cannabis being more common.

Beating cocaine addiction can be a difficult challenge to take on alone. Its highly addictive nature makes it easier to relapse or fall back into old patterns of behaviour. Getting professional assistance from reputable and experienced addiction specialists can not only literally save a life, but also years of heartache, depression, and thousands of pounds. Getting professional help is also associated with a much higher success rate for long term reehabilitation.

Gladstones Clinic has been helping people from all walks of life overcome their cocaine and crack cocaine addictions for more than 20 years. We’ve got a proven track record of effectively helping people overcome their addictions for good using a holistic and integrative approach.

Understanding cocaine and crack cocaine abuse

Just like with any other addiction, the best possible start to any successful rehabilitation is education. Cocaine addiction overlaps with other forms of substance abuse in a lot of ways; however, it also has its own unique characteristics and specific associated problems.

What sets cocaine addiction apart from other substance abuse?

  1. Extremely rapid onset of addiction: Cocaine is exceptionally effective at triggering a rush of dopamine, causing the user to experience a sense of euphoria, heightened arousal, and feelings of confidence and power. These feelings are self-reinforcing, causing the user to seek it out again, often after only one use. While other substances such as alcohol or cannabis might take repeated use over an extended period of time to become habit-forming, cocaine’s powerful and immediate effects can cause full-on addictive behaviour much faster.
  2. Short duration of effects: Cocaine’s effects are not as long-lived as those of a lot of other habit-forming substances. such as LSD or even Cannabis. The ‘cocaine high’ typically lasts for 15-30 minutes, after which the user might take more to maintain their high. This means that a lot of cocaine users might use it multiple times a day, increasing their odds of becoming fully addicted or overdosing in the worst-case scenario.
  3. Social and cultural factors: Cocaine (but not crack cocaine) is often portrayed as a glamorous, fun, or harmless drug in media. This creates a distorted image of the harm it might cause and further adds to peer pressure to use cocaine in certain settings, such as parties and clubs.
  4. Psychological effects: Cocaine deprivation after use can cause intense feelings of paranoia, anxiety, poor concentration, and even aggression. The mind that has become adjusted to increased dopamine brought on by cocaine might struggle to cope in its absence, as normal levels of dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters suddenly feel inadequate.
  5. Financial effects: Cocaine is one of the more expensive substances that are commonly abused. This becomes a serious problem for families of the severely addicted who might spend family money or resources maintaining their habit. It’s not uncommon to hear about cocaine-addicted people putting their families under severe financial pressure, or even stealing from them, to support their habit.
  6. Dangers of cocaethylene: Many cocaine and/or crack cocaine users also drink alcohol. When alcohol and cocaine are consumed together, it creates a compound in the liver called cocaethylene. This substance has a longer half-life than cocaine, meaning it stays in the body for longer, increases the duration and intensity of the high, and can contribute to an overdose. It’s also associated with an increase in risk for cardiovascular problems, heart attacks, and strokes.

What’s the difference between cocaine and crack cocaine?

Both cocaine and crack cocaine are made from the leaves of the coca plant, have a similar chemical makeup, and have similar effects on the user. The main differences are in the form in which it is bought and consumed, as well as the more harmful health problems caused by the way that crack cocaine is consumed.

Crack cocaine is mixed with filler materials such as baking soda during manufacturing. It’s then heated to create a rock-like substance that is heated and smoked in a pipe. The ‘crack’ in crack cocaine is derived from the crackling sound the rock makes in the pipe. Crack cocaine particles are absorbed into the body much faster than snorted cocaine, increasing the intensity of the rush; however, this makes the effects even more short-lived. Additionally, the user also inhales the filler-material vapours deep into their lungs, causing long-term respiratory damage.

Because crack cocaine is cheaper to manufacture than cocaine, it’s significantly cheaper than pure cocaine. Unfortunately, the cheaper price combined with the more intense high makes it even more addictive and appealing to someone looking for their next fix, regardless of the increased health risks.

Symptoms of cocaine abuse

The signs that someone is abusing cocaine can take on many shapes and forms, depending on how well the person is trying to hide their addiction, the level of their addiction, and exactly what form of cocaine they are addicted to or abusing. Broadly speaking, these are some of the telltale signs that someone might have a cocaine addiction.

  1. Physical signs and symptoms: Physical signs and symptoms are usually easier to spot than psychological or behavioural symptoms. These include track marks or puncture wounds from injecting cocaine, nosebleeds or runny noses in an otherwise healthy person, or burns on the lips and fingers caused by crack cocaine pipes. Physical symptoms could include heavily dilated pupils, a racing heart, increased blood pressure and body temperature, persistent insomnia, and gradual weight loss and disinterest in eating.
  2. Psychological symptoms: Some of the psychological symptoms commonly experienced include agitation and irritability, mood swings, anxiety and paranoia, and in severe cases, hallucinations.
  3. Behavioural symptoms: These symptoms typically show themselves after a period of abuse. Be on the lookout for increased risk-taking behaviour, impulsivity, unusual aggression, and increasingly anti-social behaviour in general.

It’s important to note here that a lot of these symptoms could be caused by a wide range of factors, many of which have nothing to do with any sort of substance abuse. If, however, a loved one is starting to present these behavioural or psychological symptoms, it could be an indicator that something is wrong. Approaching them in a caring and understanding way could potentially mean the world, especially if they’re willing to open up to you.

Long-term health risks of cocaine abuse

As discussed earlier, cocaine is often portrayed as harmless or fun to experiment with in media. This couldn’t be further from the truth, especially when it comes to long-term addiction.

Long-term Cocaine abuse can lead to a host of physical (neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory) consequences, including; seizures, stroke, coma, incontinence, and convulsions; heart diseases like high blood pressure, heart attacks, altered heart rhythms, and chest pain; and chronic lung diseases like bronchitis and even ruptured or collapsed lungs, weight loss and malnutrition brought on by lack of appetite.

It would also be unwise to ignore the patterns of risky behaviours which often go hand in hand with Cocaine dependency, like an increase in general risk-taking, ranging from gambling to practising unsafe sex. In this regard, there is also an increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis. 

Left untreated or ignored, cocaine dependency can be lethal. As mentioned earlier in this article, cocaine-related deaths are on the rise in the UK, correlating directly with its increased use. While many of the fatalities are a direct result of overdosing, the rest are the result of long-term abuse that is left untreated and allowed to spiral out of control.

The cocaine detox process

The detox process for any sort of abused substance is never fun to go through. It involves removing all traces of a substance from a person’s body, to the point where it isn’t directly interfering with the body’s normal physiological functions. Depending on the type of substance that is being detoxed, as well as the severity of the addiction, people usually experience symptoms ranging from mild discomfort, irritability, and insomnia; to severe anxiety, depression, and paranoia;  and in extreme cases, severe physical pain, hallucinations, psychosis, and delirium.

These symptoms can be unbearable, especially when the substance being detoxed has such a dramatic and pronounced effect on brain chemistry. Many addicts are known to give up on their therapy at this early stage simply because of the fear and pain involved. To help ease this painful process, rehab clinics might prescribe and administer controlled doses of psychotic drugs that suppress feelings of mental anguish. This significantly improves the odds of making it through arguably the most difficult part of getting clean and resuming a normal life.

Gladstones Clinic cocaine addiction treatment

Gladstones Clinic can turn addiction into hope! For over 20 years, our addiction specialists have been using the most up-to-date therapy models to help people rid themselves of all types of addiction with great success. We follow holistic, evidence-based guidelines for therapy and treatment to make sure that our clients get the best possible chance of kicking their addiction.

Our addiction experts come from a range of fields that offer insights into the exact –often complicated and intertwined– causes of addiction, as well as the best treatment paths and schedules. From psychologists specialising in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to physicians specialising in the biochemical workings of addiction, our team of addiction experts can help people kick the cocaine habit for good, with a much higher long-term success rate than you could expect from home-treatment options.

Our cocaine rehab program is centred around a minimum 4-week stay in one of our residential facilities, accompanied by a range of primary treatment methods. The process includes a pre-admission assessment, supervised detoxification, therapy at different levels, and aftercare to prevent relapse.

Pre-admission assessment

Our clients’ safety is paramount at Gladstones Clinic. As such, all of our residential care commences after a pre-admission assessment of vital signs and a detailed blood and drug screening test. This allows us to safely and confidently prescribe psychotic drugs that will ease the detoxification process. A GP and a consultant psychiatrist are on standby to assist with individual needs or provide immediate relief if the patient is in severe emotional or physical distress.

The pre-admission assessment also includes a psychiatric evaluation of the client’s unique situation and dependency levels. This allows us to develop more personalised and effective treatment strategies while steering clear of ‘off the shelf’ treatments.

Upon completion of the pre-admission assessment, our guests are taken to their rooms to get comfortable and settle into their new home.


As mentioned earlier, cocaine detox can be a painful and uncomfortable affair. Our in-house specialist nurse prescriber might prescribe a pharmaceutical detox to reduce the patient’s discomfort, ease emotional- and mental distress, and reduce insomnia. The most acute withdrawal symptom during cocaine detox usually lasts anywhere from 2 or 3 days, up to a week. This depends on a range of factors; however, our staff will be right there to ensure that our clients come out on the other side as painlessly as possible.


After the worst of the detox symptoms are over, therapy can begin. Gladstones takes a multi-pronged approach to therapy, as there simply isn’t one type of therapy that will work to help someone beat their addiction. Different therapies play different parts in recovery, so drawing the benefits from a range of therapeutic methods is invaluable for long-term addiction recovery. In broad terms, we categorise our therapy as primary or secondary treatment.

Primary Treatment

Primary rehabilitation treatment programs lay the groundwork for successful long-term substance abuse rehab. Primary therapy encompasses a range of intensive rehabilitation steps taken at our residential facility. The goals of primary treatment are, among others, to discover the roots of addiction, develop coping mechanisms to deal with triggers and cravings, learn new positive behaviours and habits, and start healing damaged relationships. Some of the methods applied in primary treatment include, but aren’t limited to, one-on-one counselling sessions led by a trained addiction counsellor, cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT), and Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). 

During this time, our clients also have access to other rehabilitation practitioners who facilitate and complement primary therapy. These include personal therapists, nutritional consultants (an often overlooked part of the recovery process is adequate nutrition), yoga and meditation teachers, reflexologists, and other medical staff and trainers who act as teachers and mentors.

Clients who have successfully completed the minimum 4 weeks of primary treatment walk away with a greater understanding of their addictions, how to manage them over the long term, as well as a reliable support network for continuous support and motivation for the second phase of treatment.

Secondary Treatment

Secondary treatment starts while still in our residential facilities and is designed to help people readjust to a new life after leaving. It involves a range of therapies and activities specifically designed to ease reintegrating into society with new and healthy interests, habits, and support networks.

Cocaine abuse can become so overwhelming, that during periods of heavy abuse, people completely lose their interests in life and living. From our experience over the last 20 years, we’ve seen that reintroducing healthy challenges such as sports, music, college courses, volunteer work, or group tasks during secondary therapy gives people something to look forward to, work towards, and challenge themselves with after returning home.

Secondary treatment often involves group therapy where our clients build strong bonds with others on the road to recovery. This leads to support and motivational networks of great value. Where needed and applicable, Gladstones Clinic also facilitates family therapy to help put broken homes back together.

Relapse Prevention

Preventing relapse back into old habits and patterns of behaviour is a critically important part of any successful rehabilitation programme. A single poor decision when you’re feeling anxious, fearful, or in pain could trigger a whole cycle of relapse, causing nothing but hurt and heartache in the process.

Our aftercare programme remains free and open to all our former clients for life. Every Saturday, any former clients may attend our group therapy sessions if they’re feeling vulnerable, are in need, or simply want someone to talk to who’ll understand their situation. For those unable to make it in person, we host online aftercare sessions on Tuesday evenings.

Why choose Gladstones Clinic for cocaine or crack cocaine rehab?

Gladstones Clinic has 20 years of experience helping people from all walks of life, struggling with the widest range of addictions, get access to professional substance abuse rehabilitation services. We’ve managed to secure our position as one of the premier residential rehab clinics in the UK, with state-of-the-art facilities in 3 locations around the country, and our proven and evidence-based therapies and programmes have a long-term success rate far beyond what can be expected from home-based treatment options.

Visit our Why Gladstones page to learn more about our philosophy, approaches, and other benefits of choosing Gladstones as your rehabilitation services provider.

Taking the next step

If you’re interested in learning more about Gladstones Clinic, our cocaine and crack cocaine rehabilitation programme, or would like to talk to a counsellor about getting help for yourself or someone else, please contact us via our free phone number at 0808 258 2350, by email at, or message us directly through our site.

Seeking help in overcoming addiction is a big, brave step! Gladstones hopes you’ll take this all-important first step with us, as we set off on a life-long journey.

I took this directly from the Gladstones site with minimal editing. I won’t charge for this section. It’s clear and well-written and doesn’t need a rewrite.

Further Resources

National Institute on Drug Abuse   Cocaine Anonymous   Addictions&

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