Drugs like meth and cocaine fall under the category of stimulants and they work by altering a person’s brain chemistry and often their physical appearance over time. Stimulants are particularly addictive due to their potent effect on brain function and users can quickly lose control over their need to use. What starts as a desire to increase energy levels and boost confidence, becomes a damaging compulsion that can be life-threatening.

Although there is much in the media on the scale of America’s substance abuse problem, there is less information available on how to overcome stimulant addiction. Elevate Addiction Services is a specialist provider of addiction treatment for all illegal stimulant drugs including:

  • Cocaine in powder or crystal (crack) form
  • Methamphetamine (including crystal meth)
  • MDMA or Ecstasy

Stimulant Abuse Stats and Facts

To get some idea of the scale of stimulant abuse, let’s take a closer look at the stats:

  • Cocaine overdose deaths were in decline up until 2012 when numbers started to rise, with 5,000 fatal overdoses occurring between 2012 and 2014.
  • In 2015, almost 1 million Americans over the age of 12 used cocaine for the first time, according to SAMHSA.
  • Emergency department visits as a consequence of methamphetamine abuse spiraled from around 68,000 in 2007 to almost 103,000 four years later in 2011. An estimated 16% of those emergencies resulted in individuals being admitted to the hospital.

And more locally, here are the stats on stimulant abuse for California:

  • Around 6% of Californians between the ages of 18 and 25 reported using cocaine in the past 12 months according to a 2014-2015 survey by SAMHSA.
  • In 2013, more than 7,600 people were admitted into a cocaine rehab center.
  • More than 46,000 people attended a treatment center for amphetamine abuse (including methamphetamine), making it the most commonly cited drug for treatment in California.
  • In terms of emergency department visits for stimulant abuse, in San Francisco alone the numbers are as follows:
    • Methamphetamine-related emergencies were recorded from 1,700 to 4,300 every year from 2004 through to 2011.
    • Cocaine-related emergency visits ranged from 3,100 to 7,000 over the same period.
    • Emergencies resulting from MDMA abuse ranged from 188 to 399.

How Meth and Cocaine Addiction Is Treated at Elevate

It is always important for someone with substance abuse disorder to understand that they can overcome their addiction and live a fulfilling life in sobriety. The Elevate approach to treating stimulant addiction comprises the following steps:

  • Detoxification
  • Physical Healing
  • Emotional Healing

Once these three areas have been focused on in a cocaine rehabilitation center, a patient will leave the cocaine rehab center and enter into an aftercare program, which is the unofficial fourth step of treatment.

Because everyone has an individual experience of addiction, there is no one treatment plan to fit all. Just as it is important to identify the treatment methods most appropriate for each patient in care, it is also essential that they progress through an individual program at their own pace.

Where to Start

When someone has taken the momentous step towards getting help for stimulant use disorder they will initially enter into a phase of intensive evaluation and assessment. This enables physicians and therapists to establish the root cause of a patient’s illness and also whether there is any co-occurring mental health condition requiring dual-diagnosis treatment.

An assessment also allows patients to better understand their illness and what drives their compulsion to drink. These individual therapy sessions are often the first opportunity a person has to really unburden themselves of the pain they are experiencing, particularly if they have become isolated from loved ones as a result of addiction.

Cocaine and Meth Detoxification

After evaluating a patient’s personal addiction history, they quickly go on to the detoxification stage. With drugs as potent as stimulants, it is always advisable to detox under medical supervision as withdrawal symptoms can be severe and sometimes life-threatening.

Having qualified professionals on hand to administer medical treatment should withdrawal symptoms become uncomfortable during detox from cocaine or meth; makes the process much safer.

Elevate believes that a natural rehab process from drugs such as crack or crystal meth should take around 90 days, which is much longer than other programs. This is mainly because of the destructive nature of mind-altering drugs like stimulants and the fact that undoing the damage takes time. By completing detox as slowly and naturally as possible and without resorting to using medications that are just as potent as those abused, a more sustainable recovery is possible.

Cocaine Rehabilitation: Emotional and Physical Healing Begins

Once a patient has been detoxed from stimulants and their influence removed from their bodies, they are ready for cocaine rehabilitation. This is the stage in a cocaine rehabilitation center that focuses on strengthening someone’s mind, body and spirit, preparing them for the significant changes they need to make to achieve sobriety.

Addiction leaves its scars on a person’s entire being, which is why holistic therapies have been shown to be so successful in its treatment. By addressing a patient’s physical and emotional needs at the same time through a range of holistic therapies, they are better prepared for any challenges they may face in recovery. Holistic treatments used in cocaine rehab centers include mindfulness practices like yoga, nutritional awareness education, art, and music or body rejuvenation therapies.

Another aspect of cocaine rehabilitation that is proven effective in achieving sustainable recovery is evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. During individual CBT sessions, patients are guided to explore their innermost feelings about the world around them, their place in it and how the future looks to them. CBT takes addiction patients on a journey of discovery that allows them to alter the negative thoughts and behaviors that drive their compulsion to use.

By creating an environment of significant personal change through CBT sessions, a patient is able to make more positive choices in recovery. For this reason, CBT generally forms a big part of aftercare when leaving our cocaine rehabilitation centers.


When someone leaves rehab, they are not “cured” of addiction. They are likely to need continued support from professionals as they go through the transition from rehab to their return home. An aftercare program is really designed to help patients continue to make positive progress at home with full support to prevent relapse.

Aftercare is invaluable in equipping someone in recovery with the tools they need to help them respond in real-life situations or circumstances that would ordinarily result in them using. Aftercare provides people with access to real-time support via a support network of therapists and others in recovery from addiction.

Some people are able to adjust quickly to sobriety and with full support from their family and friends but others may need people to lean on for longer. For that reason, as with all stages of stimulant addiction treatment, someone in recovery will remain in aftercare for as long as they need to.