Home > EMCDDA review of literature on cocaine treatments.

Lyons, Suzi (2008) EMCDDA review of literature on cocaine treatments. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 25, Spring 2008 , p. 18.

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Problem cocaine use is now the third most common reason for presenting for drug treatment in Europe. In light of this, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has published a summary of research into the treatment of cocaine dependency from a European perspective.1 The main conclusions are highlighted here.

 Psychosocial therapy is the mainstay of treatment for problem cocaine use but, despite lack of evidence, pharmacological treatment is also often used. However, there are some promising new pharmacological treatments such as topiramate (an anti-epileptic) and vaccination.
Psychosocial treatments, such as contingency management, have shown promising results in American studies. Residential treatment has shown no greater benefit than outpatient treatment. In general, the success rate of treatment for cocaine use is considered much lower than that for opioid dependence.
Polysubstance use is now a serious issue and appears to negatively affect treatment outcomes. Linked to this, there is evidence that crack cocaine users require different treatment to cocaine powder users. Therefore, specific treatment strategies, including harm reduction measures, need to be developed for these groups. Also highlighted was the need for intra-European studies to examine differences in crack cocaine use at local and national levels.
The majority of studies come from the US and, although these are useful, there is a need to conduct further research on treatments for cocaine users in a European context. (Suzi Lyons) 1. EMCDDA (2007) Treatment of problem cocaine use: a review of the literature. Lisbon: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Item Type:Article
Issue Title:Issue 25, Spring 2008
Page Range:p. 18
Publisher:Health Research Board
Volume:Issue 25, Spring 2008
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Subjects:B Substances > Cocaine
HJ Treatment method > Substance disorder treatment method
VA Geographic area > Europe

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