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Private detox treatment - The challenge of treating cocaine addiction

Published 05/03/2009

It's no wonder the UK's cocaine problem is spiraling out of control. Last month, the Home Office admitted that that the street price of the drug has fallen by nearly half in the last 10 years, making a 'line' of the drug cheaper, in many cases, than a glass of wine or pint of beer.

It's not just cheaper - it's more widely available, too. According to a recent report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, young people in the UK are more likely to take cocaine than those in any other country in Europe, and even sections of the affluent middle-classes see it as a "dinner party drug", taking it well into their 30s and 40s.

But anyone who downplays the dangers of cocaine is playing an extremely risky game, says Sue Allchurch, research director at Linwood Group. "Addiction to cocaine can develop very quickly and can be extremely difficult to overcome, and demand for help with it has never been higher," she says. "I see countless people in treatment who thought that a line or two of coke at the weekend was no big deal, and who have ended up desperate and miserable as a result of using it."

Because cocaine is so addictive, it's vital that anyone in this position seeks professional help rather than attempt to battle the problem alone. For a start, a private cocaine detox treatment, in a residential setting away from access to the drug, offers the best chance of getting started on the road to recovery, says Allchurch. And because cocaine addicts in withdrawal frequently exhibit aggressive or suicidal behaviours during this period, "constant monitoring and medical assistance" is vital, she adds.

But detox is just the start. For the best chance at lasting sobriety, those in recovery from cocaine addiction must learn how to manage their cravings and explore what has caused them to take the drug in the first place, whether that's depression, stress or simply a need to "fit in" with other cocaine users in their social circle. They must also find new ways of dealing with the depression that often follows withdrawal from cocaine, as this is a major cause of relapse.

"People addicted to cocaine suffer terribly and so do their friends and families. It's time we took cocaine addiction seriously and made access to private substance abuse detox treatment more accessible, to reflect the growing abuse of this drug and its impact on society," says Sue Allchurch.

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