Last updated on July 4th, 2019 at 02:25 pm
Are you or a loved one suffering from cocaine addiction? Whether you have just gone cold turkey, are planning to quit cocaine, or you have tried in the past and failed, you have already taken the brave first step.
Detoxing from cocaine may sound difficult, but it is possible. Not only that, but it is easier to quit cocaine than it is to stop using many other addictive drugs.
So don’t give up, and read on to find out what you can expect during the detox process.
What Causes Cocaine Withdrawal?
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that directly affects the brain. Within moments from using cocaine, the drug will give an intense sense of euphoria to the user. This euphoria comes with feelings of increased focus and energy.
Cocaine comes in two forms: powdered cocaine and crack cocaine. Crack is a more refined form of cocaine that is both more potent and more addictive.
Snorting cocaine powder will give you a high in a few minutes. Smoking or injecting crack will produce a high almost instantly. Cocaine highs rarely last for more than a couple of hours, which drives the addict to binge-type behaviors.
As an addictive drug, the more you use cocaine, the higher the dose you need to achieve the same “high”. This brings many health risks and results in changes in the addict’s daily habits.
Cocaine abuse has the following mental and psychological side-effects:
- Mood swings
- Violent outbursts
- Appetite loss
In addition to the above, cocaine abuse causes the following physical side-effects:
- Lung damage, nose damage, or vein damage (depending on the method of use)
- Dilated pupils
- High blood pressure
- High body temperature
- High heart rate
In extreme cases, cocaine abuse can lead to death from stroke or heart attack.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
Cocaine is a fast-acting drug, and symptoms of withdrawal may appear hours after the last use. Heavy cocaine users will even experience withdrawal even if some cocaine is still in their blood.
As your body metabolizes cocaine and removes it from your blood, you may experience a crash. The first symptom of cocaine withdrawal is a strong craving for more cocaine during a crash.
The most notable mental and psychological symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:
- Intense cravings for cocaine
- Lack of pleasure
- Increased appetite
- Violent outbursts
- Bad dreams
In the most extreme cases, the psychological symptoms of cocaine include suicidal tendencies. If that is the case for you or a loved one, seek help immediately.
There are very few physical symptoms associated with cocaine withdrawal. These include:
- Lower body temperature
- General physical discomfort
You may notice that there are many similarities between the symptoms of withdrawal and the side-effects from cocaine abuse.
Duration of Cocaine Withdrawal
Most of the physical symptoms of withdrawal go away in a few days. However, psychological symptoms like depression and cocaine cravings can persist for months.
During withdrawal, you are at no immediate physical risk. While your body is detoxing, your biggest threat will be to relapse.
Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline
Quitting cocaine can be a difficult task. The first week is the most crucial. During that time, cravings peak and withdrawal symptoms are more pronounced. While physical symptoms gradually go away in a matter of weeks, mental symptoms can last for months.
Supervised detox treatment offers addicts the best chance to manage the symptoms of withdrawal.
If the problem is severe, doctors may recommend an inpatient program. These are live-in treatment programs where the patient receives medication to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. Inpatient programs also offer psychological counseling and constant monitoring by health experts.
Detoxing Off Cocaine On Your Own
For less severe cases of cocaine addiction, behavioral therapy is often enough. This may include cognitive behavioral therapy or community-based therapy.
Treatments like 12-step programs and motivational incentive programs give rewards and motivation to recovering addicts. These are inexpensive and available in most cities throughout the US.
Medical Detox for Cocaine
Your path to sobriety might require you to take certain medications to combat the side-effects of cocaine addiction. These treatments focus on making the transition easier and should always be combined with behavioral therapy.
How Medical Detox Works and What to Expect
Medical detox aims to reduce or eliminate the side-effects of drug withdrawal. This makes it easier for addicts to commit to a detox plan.
Medications Available for Cocaine Detox
Note that there are no government-approved medicines to treat cocaine addiction, but there are several remedies to counter the symptoms. These include:
- Modafinil, a drug used to treat narcolepsy and other sleep-related disorders
- Disulfiram, a drug used to treat other addictions, including alcohol addiction
- Buprenorphine, a powerful drug used to treat opioid addiction
- Lorcaserin, a drug that activates serotonin receptors in the brain
Final Thoughts: A Life Free from Addiction
Dealing with cocaine withdrawal can be a painful experience for you or your loved one. Deciding to make a change can be a difficult challenge, but you don’t have to face it alone.
Here at Addiction Treatment Services, we help families as they guide their loved ones out of addiction. Don’t just wait for the problem to get worse. We are here to help you make the change today.
If you or a loved one are suffering from cocaine addiction, please feel free to contact us with any questions about the addiction as well as possible treatment options. We are here to help you!