Can hypnotherapy help with cocaine addiction?

In the last few years it seems like cocaine is everywhere, availability has risen, prices have dropped and with this a once occasional-party-drug has become a weekly or daily part of life for many people. A cocaine addiction can develop without you even noticing until it becomes a threat to a relationship, your job or physical health.

Can hypnotherapy help with cocaine addiction?

Evidence exists for the success of hypnotherapy with people experiencing a cocaine dependency (Page & Handley 1993, Potter 2004).  From these studies we know the two most important factors in creating success come from the patient, these are:

1)    Motivation – the patient needs a clear idea of how they will benefit.

2)    Compliance with therapy –Turning up to sessions, doing exercises between sessions etc. (Potter 2004)

So as long as you are willing to put the effort in and have a good reason there is no reason why you should not overcome your cocaine addiction.


How does hypnotherapy help overcome a cocaine addiction?

There are a number of different elements:

Motivation enhancement – existent motivations can be made clearer and more real through hypnotic suggestion and imagery. In addition, longer term goal directed living is encouraged.

Systematic desensitisation – a technique of mental graded exposure with hypnotic relaxation which reduces the desire created by ‘triggers’ for use and past experience. (Kraft 1991).

Cognitive reappraisal and reframing – A combination of traditional hypnotic suggestions approaches to help adopt new though patterns and to change the relationship to thoughts. (Carroll 1998)

Psychodynamic approaches –  The therapist may look at past experiences and related problems such as post traumatic stress (PTSD) social anxiety disorder and depression (Orman 1991).

Self-hypnosis – exercises in self-hypnosis are used to enhance the therapy and prevent relapse (Pekala et al 2004).


Considering overcoming a cocaine addiction?

What do I need to do next?

If you are serious about overcoming a cocaine addiction, you need to:

1)    Identify why you are giving it up?

2)    Decided to commit to whatever you have to; attending sessions, practicing self-hypnosis.

3)    Identify a hypnotherapist with past experience in working with cocaine addiction.


cocaine addiction

The author

Matt Krouwel is a hypnotherapists in Birmingham with over 16 years experience working with habits, addictions, dependencies.




Carroll, K. M. (1998). Therapy Manuals for Drug Addiction, Manual 1: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach: Treating Cocaine Addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Kraft, T. (1991). Reframing of an addiction via hypnotherapy: a case presentation. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 34(1), 69-69.

Orman, D. J. (1991). Refraining of an addiction via hypnotherapy: A case presentation. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 33(4), 263-271.

Page, R. A., & Handley, G. W. (1993). The use of hypnosis in cocaine addiction. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 36(2), 120-123.

Pekala, R. J., Maurer, R., Kumar, V. K., Elliott, N. C., Masten, E., Moon, E., & Salinger, M. (2004). Self-hypnosis relapse prevention training with chronic drug/alcohol users: Effects on self-esteem, affect, and relapse. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 46(4), 281-297.

Potter, G. (2004). Intensive therapy: utilizing hypnosis in the treatment of substance abuse disorders. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 47(1), 21-28.