Medications to treat cocaine addiction are not available, although researchers are working to identify and test new options. The most promising experimental medication is selegiline, which still needs an appropriate method of administration. Disulfiram, a medication that has been used to treat alcoholism, has been shown to be effective in treating cocaine abuse in clinical trials. Antidepressants are usually prescribed to deal with mood changes that come with cocaine withdrawal. Medical treatments are also being developed to deal with cocaine overdose.
Treatments such as cognitive-behavioral coping skills have been shown to be effective in addressing cocaine addiction but are a short-term approach that focuses on the learning processes. Behavioral treatment attempts to help patients recognize, avoid, and cope with situations in which they are most likely to use cocaine.
According to the Treatment Episode Data Set, cocaine was the third most common illicit drug responsible for treatment admissions in 2000, accounting for 13.6% of all drug treatment admissions. There were 158,524 total admissions for smoked cocaine, accounting for 9.9% of all drug treatment admissions (73% of all cocaine admissions), and 59,787 total admissions for nonsmoked cocaine, accounting for 3.7% of all drug treatment admissions.
Those admitted for smoking crack cocaine were predominantly black (59%), followed by whites (32%) and Hispanics (6.3%). Approximately 42% of those admitted for smoking crack were female. Of all individuals admitted for smoking crack, most (59%) did not use the drug until age 21 or older and 41% reported daily use.
Those admitted for nonsmoked cocaine were predominantly white males (29%), followed by black males (23%), white females (18%), and black females (12%). More than 40% of those admitted for nonsmoked cocaine reported first using the drug by the age of 18. The more common form of nonsmoked cocaine ingestion was by inhalation (70%), followed by injection (15%).
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