Treatment of problem cocaine use: a review of the literature

Series type: Literature reviews


Previously perceived as a drug for the wealthy, cocaine use has become more prevalent in Europe in the last decade. Problem use of the drug has likewise experienced a strong surge, and this has put strain on providers of drug treatment. Increasingly, practitioners need to provide evidence-based treatment services to a heterogeneous population of problem cocaine users. In order to inform the general public and professionals, the EMCDDA has published a comprehensive review of the literature on treatment of problem cocaine use. In accessible language, the review aims to summarise a variety of topics related to cocaine treatment: current issues in the treatment of cocaine dependence; pharmacological and psychosocial treatment; harm reduction; inpatient treatment and aftercare. It also explores a number of innovative European and global responses to cocaine treatment. In addition to a traditional review of the literature, the review includes original information provided by a network of European researchers and practitioners, as well as other key opinion leaders and clinicians working in the field of treatment of cocaine dependence. It thus serves as a snapshot of the state of the art in health responses to cocaine use. March 2009: A review of the literature published since this literature review was first completed is now available: Treatment of problem cocaine use — a short update.

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Table of contents

  • History and epidemiological characteristics of cocaine use
  • Current issues in the treatment of problem cocaine use
  • Pharmacological treatment
  • Psychosocial treatment
  • Harm reduction
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Aftercare
  • Conclusion

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