What Type of Motivational Intervention Should Be Used for Cocaine Addiction?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the majority of individuals in recovery from cocaine addiction are likely to use several other drugs in addiction, which can make this particular type of addiction difficult to treat. Addiction in general is a complex disease, and can affect many aspects of life. A number of approaches have been used to treat cocaine addiction in the past – while there is no specific medication used to treat cocaine addiction in particular, disulfiram has been shown to be quite promising. In addition to medication, behavioral therapy, such as contingency management, has been shown to be effective by providing motivational incentives such as movie tickets or vouchers for rewarding good behavior in recovery.

A 2016 study conducted by researchers from the UK, the Netherlands, and the United States argues against contingency management – stating that while this type of intervention tends to improve overall responses towards a person’s recovery goal, it tends to cause individuals to become insensitive to the consequences of their actions. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of contingency management:


  • Prize incentives promote good behavior
  • Many studies have shown its effectiveness
  • Psychological issues such as depression and hostility have been shown to be reduced with this type of intervention
  • Research has shown that some individuals are able to stay abstinent in recovery longer with contingency management


  • Literature and expert opinions are somewhat divided
  • A number of variables may need to be explored with each person’s behavior, which can become quite complex for healthcare professionals
  • Based on more reactive rather than proactive response

Ultimately, it’s up to a treatment center’s goals and objectives as to whether or not contingency management fits or not. Contingency management can certainly be an incredibly effective intervention, especially when used correctly and with the right person. If you or a loved one are currently struggling with cocaine addiction, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about options to best suit your needs. Recovery is possible.

Learning to be is part of the process of trauma recovery. Stop the cycle of merry-go-round treatment and find the solution you’re looking for in trauma treatment. Through effective residential treatment, Khiron House helps you find the path you need toward health and wellness in recovery. For information, call us today. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours). USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).