Drug & Alcohol Rehab London & UK | Free, Impartial, Expert Addiction Rehab & Treatment Advice
Which Rehab Logo

Free 0800 170 7000
London Local 020 7965 7365
Birmingham Local 0121 277 4441
[email protected]

Cocaine addiction: what is it and how can I treat it?

A man with a cocaine addiction snorting lines of coke with a rolled up paper note - Which Rehab


One of the most well-known stimulants in the world, cocaine is a powerful but short-lived drug. Unfortunately, as it makes immediate changes to your neural pathways, it’s known to be highly addictive and can trigger addiction in many people after even only one use.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about cocaine addiction and how to get help if you need it.



Cocaine addiction FAQs

What is cocaine?

The drug, commonly referred to as coke, is extracted from coca leaves, and was originally developed as a painkiller. People are most familiar with the powdered substance, however, other forms of cocaine include freebase cocaine and crack cocaine. All cause increased energy, alertness, mood and confidence, and decreased appetite and inhibitions. 

The most popular method of use is snorting, with the powder absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. It can also be ingested or rubbed into the gums, with its effects lasting between 30 minutes to two hours.

What is cocaine addiction?

Cocaine addiction describes a chronic relapse disorder whereby the user compulsively uses cocaine despite the negative side effects of doing so. Cocaine addiction is extremely dangerous and can have long-term physical and psychological consequences. It can be treated through an abstinence-based programme focussed on identifying and overcoming the underlying causes of addiction.

If you think you’re struggling with cocaine addiction, or know someone who is, get in touch with our experienced team. We’ll help you get the help you need, be that detox, rehab, counselling, or a combination of all three.

Call today

How does cocaine affect you?

A man with a cocaine addiction with cocaine at nose feeling high at rave party, lying back on a sofa - Which Rehab


Cocaine reacts with the body’s central nervous system, producing intense feelings of euphoria and increased energy. After a dose, users also experience decreased appetite, increased alertness, and boosted confidence.

Overconfidence influences people to be more social and talkative and may prompt them to take risks they normally wouldn’t. 

Cocaine also increases the heart rate and blood pressure, as well as body temperature, causing symptoms of anxiety and paranoia. A person on cocaine will also have dilated pupils.

However, most street-sold cocaine is cut with other ingredients, which may cause other effects on the human body.

What are the negative consequences of cocaine use?

Use of any drug will have side effects and potentially negative results. Long-term cocaine use has greater consequences than occasional use, but that doesn’t make the drug any less dangerous.

Flu-like symptoms

After a binge, a person may feel flu-like symptoms, which can be exacerbated by the additive levamisole, present in most street-sold cocaine.

Nasal damage

Snorting cocaine, or almost any other drug, is likely to cause damage to the nasal cavity. Because cocaine is slightly acidic, over time, repeated insufflation will eat away at the cartilage, which can result in a deviated septum – a hole in the nose.

Heart damage

Prolonged cocaine and crack cocaine use can cause permanent heart damage. Elevated blood pressure and heart rate puts the user at higher risk for a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. 

Loss of drive for life

Anhedonia, or loss of pleasure from everyday activities/hobbies, can happen to any user of a stimulant drug, especially if their habit is long-term.

Additional risks from injecting cocaine

People who inject cocaine are at a greater risk for addiction, as well as collapsed veins, or being infected with a disease such as hepatitis or HIV, especially if using unclean needles.

Social consequences of cocaine use

Aside from health, addiction can have many negative social consequences. It is an expensive drug and funding a coke habit often leads to financial problems.

Addiction, whether to cocaine or another drug, is a chronic mental disease, and ultimately, abstinence is the best avenue to remain in recovery. If you want to stop taking cocaine but don’t feel you can do it alone, call us now for a free advice and support on how to access drug rehab.

Can you become addicted to cocaine?

Cocaine is considered highly addictive, more psychologically than physically. Delivery methods can affect the drugs addictiveness, as the faster the drug hits the body, the more addictive it is likely to be.

Cocaine is so addictive that addiction is possible even after only one use. It’s easy to get hooked on the stimulating effects the drug produces. It is also easy to overdose, as many recreational users tend to binge on the drug by repeatedly doing lines throughout the night.

How is cocaine addiction treated?

A close up of a man's body sitting on a grey Scandinavian sofa in a cocaine addiction therapy session with his hands clasped and elbows on knees - Which Rehab


Because cocaine is more psychologically than physiologically addictive, its addiction is treated with intensive psychological therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and counselling.

There is rarely any need for substitute drugs or drug detox. While some medicines are being explored as potential additions to treatment, there is currently no absolute solution.

There are numerous approaches to treating cocaine addiction and dependence in addition to inpatient rehab. Twelve-step groups, such as Cocaine Anonymous, can be found all over the UK. These support groups have helped many people overcome cocaine addiction and maintain sobriety.

How can Which Rehab help?

At Which Rehab, our job is to offer you free advice and guidance about drug addiction, treatment options and support groups near you. Whether you’re a loved one seeking treatment for someone you care about, or you’re concerned about the severity of your own addiction. Our team will take the time to understand your needs and find a treatment plan suited to you, whether that’s local drug counselling or inpatient drug rehab.