Cocaine Withdrawal: What To Expect

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People with moderate to severe cocaine addiction may experience withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly stop using the drug. Symptoms of withdrawal may be psychological or physical in nature.

Cocaine Withdrawal

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that increases dopamine levels in the brain and produces a burst of energy and feelings of euphoria.

When a person stops using cocaine, they may start to feel uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that range from mild to severe, depending on a number of factors.

Treatment options for withdrawal from cocaine addiction may include IV fluids to restore hydration and nutrition levels, stabilization of blood pressure and heart rates, and more.

What Cocaine Withdrawal Feels Like

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include more mental and emotional effects than physical symptoms. The process of withdrawal begins to unfold quickly after stopping cocaine use.

Phases of cocaine withdrawal include:

  • crash — These symptoms begin quickly and may include feeling irritable, anxious, tired, and dysphoric (unhappy or dissatisfied).
  • withdrawal — During withdrawal, people may have strong cocaine cravings, lethargy, poor concentration, and an increased risk of relapse
  • post-acute withdrawal symptoms — This phase is characterized by occasional, intense cravings for cocaine and increased coping skills to deal with the triggers of addiction.

Common Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Other symptoms of cocaine comedown include mood swings, agitation, suicidal thoughts, fatigue, increased appetite, and vivid dreams.

It’s important to seek the help of a health care provider if your physical symptoms include abnormal heart rate or trouble breathing, as these could be life-threatening.

How To Treat A Cocaine Hangover

A cocaine hangover is caused by disruptions in the sympathetic nervous system that result in increased blood pressure, sweating, increased body temperature, and dizziness.

While there is some overlap between symptoms of hangover and withdrawal, they are not the same thing.

Cocaine hangover usually occurs after binging the substance and abruptly ceasing use. The symptoms of cocaine hangovers are shorter in duration and less severe than withdrawal.

Read more about cocaine hangovers.

Factors That Influence Cocaine Withdrawal Syndrome

Below are some of the factors that may contribute to the severity of cocaine withdrawal symptoms.

Contributing factors include:

  • period of time since the last use of cocaine
  • how long cocaine has been abused
  • type of cocaine used
  • method of abuse
  • age
  • sex
  • weight
  • co-occurring mental health disorders

The severity of cocaine withdrawal will differ among different people. For this reason, it’s important to seek the help of a medical professional before attempting cocaine detox cold turkey.

How To Treat Cocaine Withdrawal

There are several ways to treat the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal, both in a clinical setting and at home.

At-Home Cocaine Withdrawal Treatment

Some of the most common at-home remedies for cocaine withdrawal include plentiful rest, hydration, and access to nutritious food.

It is also recommended that people attempting to withdraw from cocaine at home have somebody in the vicinity to monitor their situation, and contact emergency personnel if necessary.

Cocaine Withdrawal Treatment In A Medical Setting

In a hospital or clinical setting, cocaine withdrawal treatment may include IV fluids to maintain hydration and medications to treat any severe depression or anxiety from withdrawal.

Due to the way cocaine use affects the heart, medical staff will also monitor cardiac activity to ensure heart attack or other life-threatening emergencies can be addressed promptly.

Cocaine is often mixed with other substances such as other stimulant drugs, or the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

For this reason, it is recommended to always seek a medical detox program just in case your withdrawal symptoms are worsened by polysubstance abuse.

How Long Will Cocaine Withdrawal Last?

The time it takes for the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal to pass will vary on a case-by-case basis.

Typically, the first phase of cocaine withdrawal lasts one to three days. The second phase can take up to four weeks to fully resolve, depending on the person.

Once the most acute symptoms of withdrawal have passed, the residual cravings and mood swings may last for additional weeks or even months.

Post-Withdrawal Treatment Programs For Cocaine Addiction

One of the most effective ways to avoid the most uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms of withdrawal is attending an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment center.

Behavioral health treatment services for cocaine use disorder may include:

  • medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • counseling
  • group therapy
  • medical detox programs
  • dual diagnosis treatment
  • support groups for people with opioid addiction
  • mental health services
  • residential treatment
  • partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • aftercare services
  • relapse prevention

Find A Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facility Today

Call our helpline today for more information about substance abuse treatment and detox centers in your area.

Our team can answer your or your loved one’s questions about cocaine abuse and help you find a rehab facility that works for you.

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