Cocaine rehabilitation: How long?

How long does it take to overcome cocaine addiction? Rehabs last a MIN 28 days — MAX 3-12 months. Review duration of length and how to choose a treatment that’s right for you. Details and descriptions of the best treatment options here.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Juan Goecke, M.D.
Reviewed by: Dr. Juan Goecke, M.D.

ARTICLE OVERVIEW: Rehab programs for treating cocaine addiction vary in length form 30 to 90 days and more. Addiction experts consider early recovery as a fragile and crustal period of patient’s healing road. In order to avoid relapse, a longer stay is usually recommended. Find answers on what treatment length is right for you and what to expect here.


Why Rehab?

Cocaine can take over your life. The constant battle of trying to stay in control is exhausting.

Where can you find more coke?
How much more money do you need?
How can you manage the crash?

A structured cocaine recovery program will help you break the chains that hold you to addiction. So, when you’re ready to get better…what does treatment look like?
More here on how long cocaine addiction treatment lasts. We’ll review the length of short term vs. long term recovery programs and give you some insider information about the process of recovery itself. Then, we invite your questions in the comments section at the end. We love feedback from our readers! In fact, we try to respond to all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Types of Rehab

Currently there are two available types of rehab in the U.S: inpatient and outpatient rehab.

Inpatient rehab offers constant medical care and supervision of their patients, as well as a living accommodations. These types of programs may last from 1 to 6 months, and even more. The most common services include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Recovery health education
  • Community support.

Outpatient rehab provides similar services, but there is no constant medical care since their patients don’t live there. They come and go for a few hours, several days per week. The suitable patients for this type of rehab are those with supportive environment, and a mild level of addiction.

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What to Expect

Many cocaine rehabilitation programs are very similar in regards to the different treatment methods offered and the different stages of treatment you will go through. The following cocaine rehabilitation timeline will typically be encountered in most treatment programs.

STAGE 1. Intake screening and assessment

An initial drug and mental health screening and assessment will be conducted upon entering a cocaine rehabilitation program. This stage of treatment will typically take a few hours and is used to determine the extent of a person’s cocaine addiction and create an individualized treatment plan. You can expect:

  • A physical exam
  • A full medical and family history
  • Interview questions based on standard addiction assessments
  • Drug testing

STAGE 2. Medical detox

Cocaine withdrawal is often a very unpleasant experience, with symptoms such as intense drug cravings, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. To help ensure a safer detox, cocaine users are often referred to medical detox facilities, where they will be monitored by medical and mental health professionals.

STAGE 3. Medications

People with moderate to severe addiction may be prescribed medications during detox – or any other time during rehabilitation – to help treat their cocaine addictions. Some approved medications that are used to treat cocaine addictions include gabapentin, vigabatrin, and baclofen.

STAGE 4. Psychological treatments

Individual behavior therapy, group therapy, education sessions, and family counseling are common psychological treatments used during cocaine rehabilitation. These treatments are typically used to treat both addictions and any underlying, co-occurring mental health disorders that may exacerbate a person’s cocaine use.

STAGE 5. Aftercare

After you’ve completed a cocaine rehabilitation program, they will typically be referred to an addiction aftercare program. Addiction aftercare programs are designed to help you maintain their abstinence and usually require them to attend daily or weekly outpatient therapy and group support sessions. Sober living or recovery coaching may also be recommended as part of your post-rehab care.

STAGE 6. Supportive services

Any person who completes a cocaine rehabilitation program will typically have access to numerous supportive services, which aim to help you get back on their feet and maintain their drug-free lifestyles. Some supportive services for people in recovery include vocational assistance, housing assistance, and even financial assistance.

Average Length

Cocaine increases the production of certain chemicals in the brain and causes extreme euphoria and heightened alertness. Like many other amphetamines, cocaine is highly addictive, and rehabilitation programs are often needed in order to overcome cocaine addictions.

One question is likely to pop into the head of any person considering cocaine rehabilitation: “How long does it take?” Unfortunately, this isn’t usually an easy question to answer, as everyone’s needs and situations are different. Addiction specialists will typically create individual cocaine rehabilitation treatment plans, of varying lengths, based on your individual situations. However, common factors influence the length of time you need to stay in treatment. These main factors include:

  • How long you’ve been using cocaine.
  • How much cocaine you use at what frequency.
  • Your level of physical dependence.
  • Your medical history and general health.

The overall average time spent in rehab can range from one month to 12 months. A typical short-term residential cocaine rehabilitation program is usually 28 days;  These types of programs require you to reside in a treatment facility during their rehabilitation. Their days are usually filled with individual therapy sessions, group therapy meetings, and education settings.

Why stress the importance of an inpatient stay?

Residential rehabilitation is preferred over outpatient programs for a few reasons. These types of programs allow you to reside in a safe drug-free environment during treatment. By removing yourself from your previous contacts, you can also remove temptations to use drugs. Plus, you can focus entirely on recovery. Inpatient cocaine rehabilitation programs also provide more intensive treatment, which is more effective when treating addiction as well as any co-occurring mental health disorders.


When it comes to cocaine rehabilitation, the duration of different programs will vary. Some programs are designed to provide long-term care, while others are meant to be shorter in length. The type of program a person needs will typically depend on factors such as how strong their addiction is and how long they have been cocaine users. Some common types of cocaine rehabilitation programs and durations for each include:

Inpatient cocaine rehabilitation: 30-90 days

A typical short-term cocaine rehabilitation program will take roughly a month to complete. These types of programs are designed for individuals with mild to moderate cocaine addictions and require a 30 to 90 day stay in a rehab facility.

Long-term cocaine rehabilitation: 90 days+

People with severe cocaine addictions, including those who have used cocaine for several years, will typically need long-term cocaine rehabilitation. These programs offer more intensive treatment lasting anywhere from three months to a year or more.

Outpatient cocaine rehabilitation: Up to a year or more

Those with mild addictions, such as occasional users, may be able to find success in an outpatient cocaine rehabilitation program. Unlike inpatient rehab programs, these types of programs don’t require a lengthy stay in a residential facility. Instead, you’ll commute to a treatment facility a few times each week to attend treatment sessions. Average treatment episodes last from 10-16 weeks, but some people truly benefit from longer term care of a year to two.

Medications that Help

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that currently there are no FDA approved medications used in the treatment of cocaine addiction, but a combination of behavioral and pharmaceutical treatments have been successful in treating this addiction.

Many medications that are designed for treatment of other addictions have been used in treating cocaine addictions, and have brought effective results in clinical studies. For instance, disulfiram, which is used in treating alcoholism has been also effective in treating cocaine addiction.


Over 14,000 addiction rehab facilities offer medical detox, counseling, and services to people who are diagnosed with substance use disorders. This means many facilities huge range in prices. The average costs range from about $100 per week, or about $7,000 per treatment episode. However, the general rule is that inpatient rehabs are more expensive than the outpatient ones. Some of the most common average costs include:

Medical detox. The cost for this service ranges between $6-12K.
Psychotherapy. The cost for this service varies between almost free to $150 per hour.
Outpatient rehab. This rehab can cost from $50-$135 per day. 3-month long program can cons anywhere between $3,000-6,000.
Inpatient rehab. This program can cost from $235-700 per day.

The final cost depends from the services you get such as length of stay, doctor’s visits, medications used, etc.

If you like to learn more about the cost of addiction treatment check out these helpful articles:

Do I Need Rehab?

Cocaine has a huge addictive potential, so if you are using it, the chance that you addicted to it are enormous.

To make sure whether you have a cocaine problem, check out the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) that lists 11 criteria for diagnosing addictive behavior:

1. Take the drug in larger amounts or longer than intended.
2. Want to cut down/stop using drug but fail to succeed.
3. Spend a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the use.
4. Experience cravings and an uncontrollable need to use the drug.
5. Fail to perform normally at work, home, or at school due to drug use.
6. Continue to use, even when it causes problems in relationships with family, friends, and partners.
7. Give up important social, occupational or recreational activities because of use.
8. Use the drug again and again, despite being aware of harmful risks and side effects.
9. Continue to use despite the risk of developing health problems or worsen physical or physiological condition.
10. Need more drug to get the desired effect (tolerance).
11. Experience withdrawal symptoms which can be relieved by taking higher dose (dependence).

If you have few of these criteria, maybe it’s time to consult with an addiction specialist to confirm your substance use disorder and its severity. The medical professionals who diagnose and treat addiction include:

  • Licensed clinical social workers.
  • Medical doctors.
  • Psychologists and addiction counselors.
  • Psychiatrists.
  • Rehab clinics.

What Type to Choose

Choosing the right treatment program length is essential when facing cocaine rehabilitation. Short-term vs long-term treatment options are available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Short -Term: Short-term programs are generally considered to be those that last less than three months. While these programs require a much shorter time commitment, they may be less effective than long-term options, especially for individuals with severe addictions. Cocaine provokes serious cravings which can last for months after last use. So, it’s important to have a strong aftercare plan that includes community support networks if you’re considering a 30-90 day program. Short-term cocaine rehab programs, however, may be effective for individuals with mild addiction or occasional cocaine users.

Long-Term: Although they require a heftier time commitment, long-term cocaine rehabilitation programs can be much more effective than short-term options. These types of programs are best for individuals with moderate to severe cocaine addictions and those who use cocaine regularly. They often combine residential living with community reinforcement models that provide you with “step-down” levels of care of time. As you progress through the program, you’re given more responsibilities and less supervision.


Do you think that you have a cocaine problem? Don’t wait, seek help ASAP!

Overdose deaths due to cocaine use are common…

According to that National Survey on Drug Use and Health of 2016 there are about 67,000 people aged 12 or older in 2016 had a cocaine use disorder in the past year. The numbers are divided into age categories like this:

  • 29,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17.
  • 215,000 young adults aged 18 to 25.
  • 623,000 adults aged 26 or older.

Moreover, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health  found out that the rates of cocaine overdose were higher in 2014 than the previous six years. In fact, there were 5,415 deaths due to cocaine overdose. Every year cocaine holds the second or the third place among drugs involved in overdose deaths. Additionally, the 2016 National Vital Statistics Report showed that 1,210 overdose deaths were caused by mixing cocaine with alcohol

Do you still think you are alone? No you are not! Get help to avoid becoming a statistic.

Time For Your Questions

Are you or one of your loved ones struggling with a cocaine addiction? Are you ready for a change, but not sure where to start? Well, we’re here to help. If you still have questions or concerns about cocaine rehabilitation time or addiction treatment in general, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Reference Sources: NIH: Addiction Reasearch
NIH: Treatment approaches for drug addiction
NIH: Cocaine: What treatments are effective cocaine abusers
Medicine Plus: Cocaine Withdrawal
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
Medical Reviewers
Dr. Goecke is a medical doctor and general surgeon with personal experience of...

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a licensed medical professional.

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