Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms + Timeline

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Cocaine withdrawal occurs when someone who regularly uses cocaine abruptly stops or cuts down their usage. Because cocaine is an addictive drug, repeated cocaine use can cause psychological and physical dependence, leading to substance use disorder. 

While cocaine withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, the cocaine withdrawal timeline depends on multiple factors and can often come with uncomfortable side effects. This page will highlight the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal, cocaine withdrawal timeline, and benefits of seeking medically-assisted cocaine detox.

If you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine addiction, Music City Detox provides cocaine withdrawal management for those suffering from stimulant disorders. Call us now at (615) 695-1009.

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Physical Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

While physical cocaine withdrawal symptoms are typically non life-threatening, they can be extremely uncomfortable and emotionally taxing. Acute cocaine withdrawal symptoms can include:

 

Psychological Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Psychological Withdrawal symptoms can include:

It’s important to understand that not every person will experience these withdrawal symptoms, and some may experience different withdrawal symptoms depending on their health history, psychological state, and use of the drug. 

What is Cocaine Withdrawal Like?

Because cocaine withdrawal increases dopamine in the brain, a cease in the use of cocaine depletes the dopamine, which can lead to depressed feelings, and uncomfortable psychological symptoms. The cocaine detox process often includes the following:

  • Crash: The initial phase of cocaine withdrawal experiences what some call a “crash,” or depletion of dopamine in the brain. Some may find themselves anxious, irritable and have a state of dissatisfaction or dysphoria (a feeling of general unhappiness).

  • Withdrawal: In the second phase of cocaine withdrawal, individuals may experience increased cravings for cocaine, lethargy, and tiredness. During this phase, relapse can be common due to the psychological and physical cravings. 

  • Extinction: Once the initial withdrawal phase has subsided, individuals can begin to understand their triggers and learn new coping skills to combat them and prevent relapse. 

Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

The length of cocaine withdrawal for a someone can last from a few days to a few months. In the midst of withdrawal, the process can seem extremely overwhelming. Detox is often the first step in recovery from cocaine and attending a medically-supervised detox can provide the best chances of recovery and prevent relapse. In general, the cocaine withdrawal timeline is as follows: 

  • 1 to 3 Hours: Because of cocaine’s short half-life, withdrawal symptoms can begin within the first few hours after the last use. Most often, individuals experience fatigue and lethargy.
  • 3 Hours to 72 Hours: During this time, withdrawal symptoms peak with acute withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, cravings, nightmares, or insomnia.
  • 72 Hours to 7 Days: During this time, individuals may experience mood swings along with irritability and anxiety.
  • One to Two Weeks: After the initial acute withdrawal phase, those that are going through cocaine withdrawal may start to feel better. However, this is the most crucial time to enter into residential treatment to learn how to cope with stressors and triggers due to persistent cravings that can persist. 

Factors That Influence Cocaine Withdrawal

Several factors can significantly influence the experience and severity of cocaine withdrawal. Understanding these factors is important as they can affect both the cocaine withdrawal timeline and the approach to treatment. 

  • Duration and Intensity of Use:
    • Long-Term vs. Short-Term Use: Individuals who have used cocaine for a longer period typically experience more intense withdrawal symptoms.
    • Amount of Use: The quantity of cocaine used  and the frequency of use can impact the severity of withdrawal. Higher doses and more frequent use generally lead to more severe withdrawal symptoms.

  1. Method of Use:

    • Different methods of cocaine use (snorting, smoking, injecting) can affect how quickly the drug reaches the brain and how intensely it affects the user, thus impacting the withdrawal process. For example, smoking or injecting cocaine produces a more intense high and may lead to a more rapid development of dependence compared to snorting.

  2. Individual Physiology and Genetics:

    • Factors like metabolism, overall health, genetic makeup, and even age can influence how an individual’s body processes cocaine and experiences withdrawal.

  3. Psychological Factors:

    • Mental health plays a significant role in withdrawal. Pre-existing mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder can exacerbate withdrawal symptoms.
    • The psychological dependence on cocaine, often related to the reasons for use (like coping with stress or trauma), can also influence the severity of withdrawal.

  4. Physical Health:

    • General health and the presence of any co-occurring medical conditions can affect the withdrawal process. Poor physical health may exacerbate withdrawal symptoms and prolong the recovery process.

  5. Environmental Factors:

    • The individual’s environment can play a crucial role in the withdrawal process. Stressful or unsupportive environments can exacerbate withdrawal symptoms and make the process more difficult.
    • Access to a supportive network, such as family, friends, or support groups, can greatly aid in managing withdrawal symptoms.

Can Medication Help With Cocaine Withdrawal?

While there are currently no FDA-approved medications to treat cocaine withdrawal, there are studies about the use of modafinil and amantadine for their benefits to manage withdrawal. 

However, in a medically-assisted detox program, medical staff may administer medications to help alleviate any uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Cocaine Withdrawal Tips

Coping with cocaine withdrawal can be challenging, but there are several strategies and tips that can help ease the process and increase the chances of a successful recovery.

  • Seek Professional Help
  • Stay Hydrated and Eat Nutritiously 
  • Create A Supportive Environment Around You
  • Join A Support Group
  • Engage in Physical Activity
  • Avoid Triggers
  • Consider a Residential or Outpatient Treatment Program Once You Detox Has Been Completed
  • Get Enough Sleep
  • Be Patient and Kind to Yourself

Get Help with Cocaine Withdrawal Today

You have the power to change your life. By seeking help, you’re taking a brave and crucial step towards a new beginning. Don’t let addiction define your future. Reach out for help today and start your journey towards a life free from the chains of cocaine addiction. At Music City Detox, we can help you. Call us now at 615-695-1009.

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