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cocaine withdrawal symptoms

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, and Treatment

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug, and so many people fall dependent on this popular drug. When attempting to quit or stop using this drug, most users will experience cocaine withdrawal symptoms that can be life-threatening. Understanding the severity of these symptoms and the importance of having medical attention is key to surviving cocaine addiction

Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that nearly 15% of adults in the U.S. have used cocaine at least once during their lifetime.  Most people will experience a rebound effect after stopping cocaine use. Withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on each individual. The abuse and strength are critical elements in determining how mild or severe someone’s symptoms are.

Symptoms can also be different for those with co-occurring substance abuse disorders. People who abuse cocaine might also use alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs to extend their high and experience enhanced feelings.

However, in most cases, most people will experience or more of these withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Cocaine Cravings
  • Drastic mood changes
  • Fatigue and discomfort
  • Sleep problems and unpleasant dreams
  • Increased appetite and cravings
  • Physical slowing
  • Agitation
  • Suicidal thoughts

Of course, these withdrawal signs and symptoms will combine with those from other substances. When this happens, people will often experience highly uncomfortable symptoms that can be life-threatening or dangerous. 

Cocaine is a potent stimulant, but still, it causes a myriad of psychological symptoms when people struggle with a withdrawal syndrome. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we offer 24-hour detox with medical professionals to ensure your safety, followed y treatment, and aftercare planning. If you’re battling a substance use disorder with cocaine or other drugs, please reach out to one of our admission specialists at 866-308-2090 to get the help you need today.

Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

Everyone’s withdrawal from the cocaine timeline is different. It all depends on the length of use of cocaine, the amounts consumed, and other things like co-occurring substance abuse. However, because cocaine is a short-lived drug, most people experience a “crash” after their last dose almost immediately. 

Phase 1

The infamous “crash” can appear even within a few hours after someone’s last dose. For people that don’t use cocaine so often, it might take a few days. Most symptoms of withdrawal during this phase include irritability, exhaustion, increased appetite, and anxiety. 

Phase 2

The second phase is when the entire withdrawal process begins. Sometimes withdrawal symptoms can last up to 10 weeks. People struggle with persistent anxiety and irritability, lethargy, intermittent sleep problems, intense cravings, poor concentration, and depression. 

Phase 3

Also known as “extinction,” in this cocaine withdrawal phase, people often experience dysphoria and occasional cravings. This last phase can last up to 28 weeks and sometimes longer. Long-term cocaine addicts might struggle with post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) for up to six months to a year. 

Cocaine Withdrawal Treatment Plan

The first step to help someone struggling with cocaine withdrawal symptoms is to follow a detox protocol. Quitting cold turkey and by themselves can be life-threatening. A medical facility with supervision can help monitor and control symptoms like cocaine cravings and anxiety.

Medical Detox

Cocaine detox often involved tapering down from the drug. In this case, a physician will manage the symptoms and do whatever they can to prevent these “crashing” episodes. 

Because cocaine withdrawal leads to cravings, there is a chance people will go back and use higher doses or that their bodies will react differently to a new amount. When this occurs, they’re at risk of a potentially fatal overdose. This is why a medically supervised detox is vital for recovery. 

Medications for Cocaine Withdrawal

Unlike opioids, there are no FDA-approved medications to treat cocaine withdrawal. However, some promising advances are happening to help cocaine users during the withdrawal process.

So far, medications to treat depression and anxiety could be helpful for people undergoing cocaine withdrawal, as they could stabilize the mood swings and psychological effects. They could be beneficial for people who experience withdrawal symptoms that last over seven days. Of course, medical supervision and discretion should be considered before recommending these medications. 

Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options

Unfortunately, cocaine detox is rarely enough to help someone achieve long-lasting recovery. Most people need to seek help from treatment facilities to find the proper treatment. Depending on the severity of their addiction, a specialist might recommend either an inpatient or outpatient setting. Other modalities will include individual counseling and support groups to encourage recovery. 

The most common treatment programs for cocaine abuse include:

Inpatient Programs: These offer a temptation-free environment that’s designed to help people in recovery. In this case, people check into a living drug rehab facility, and they attend meetings and therapy sessions while remaining in a supervised environment. Inpatient programs with a dual diagnosis approach can also help address mental health disorders, reduce the risk of suicide during withdrawal, and help people effectively manage their cravings for cocaine.

Intensive Outpatient Programs: For those with a mild cocaine addiction, an outpatient rehab program might be an option. In this case, they have a more flexible program that allows them to maintain their daily schedule and responsibilities like attending school, work, or caring for their family. 

Aftercare Programs: Addiction isn’t one thing people can shove under the rug. The remnants of addiction often stay with them for the rest of their life. To help users find happiness and purpose in their lives, aftercare programs offer relapse prevention classes, life skills, and other essential tools for a successful life after treatment. 

Seek Substance Abuse Treatment

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, don’t wait any longer. Countless treatment options can help them conquer their addiction and manage any withdrawal symptoms. Remember, quitting potent drugs like cocaine alone can be life-threatening. It’s essential to have the support and supervision of drug addiction specialists by your side. 

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our cocaine addiction treatment center offers customized treatment plans for those struggling with substance use disorders. We look at each program on a case-by-case basis to cater to your needs to get better and walk towards recovery. From detoxification programs to group meetings and more, everyone in our team is committed to helping you win the struggle with addiction. 

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