When you stop cocaine use, withdrawal symptoms may begin within 24 hours of your last use of the drug. Sometimes treatment for cocaine withdrawal syndrome involves medical detox.
This is because people who use cocaine may experience negative psychological symptoms and uncomfortable physical symptoms while withdrawing from cocaine abuse. Symptoms can last for several months but they decrease in severity over time.
Common Symptoms Experienced During Cocaine Withdrawal
The most common symptoms you may experience when withdrawing from cocaine are psychological in nature.
Cocaine addiction does create a physical dependence on the drug, unlike substance use disorders involving alcohol or opioids.
Instead, cocaine abuse is deeply psychological, so the negative symptoms of withdrawal are more like symptoms related to depression than physical illness.
From the onset of cocaine withdrawal, people may experience severe depression. This is, in part, the result of having been high with the confidence and sense of vitality from cocaine substance abuse.
This period of depression can also bring back unresolved mental health issues, things that probably led the person to cocaine addiction in the first place.
Depression can actually be as life-threatening as physical side effects, because it can lead the person in cocaine withdrawal to have suicidal thoughts.
As time goes on, the depression may change into mood swings and lessen into a long period of feeling down. This period is also known as the cocaine comedown.
Cocaine withdrawal can result in intense cravings for the drug. Cravings usually start about a week into the withdrawal process.
The high intensity of cravings may continue for the next two-and-a-half months. After that period, they tend to lessen in intensity but may also continue on and off for the next six months.
The feeling of physical discomfort is usually at its most intense during the first two to three months of the withdrawal process.
Physical symptoms of discomfort can include:
- extreme fatigue
- general discomfort
The fatigue is contrasted with restlessness, which can lead to irritability. This combination causes some people to use opioids or alcohol to force themselves to sleep.
Other Withdrawal Symptoms
There are other withdrawal symptoms as well.
People who are withdrawing from the effects of cocaine drug use can expect to feel:
- paranoid and suspicious of others
- increased appetite
- vivid nightmares or unpleasant dreams
- difficulty staying focused
The Length Of Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
Cocaine withdrawal (sometimes called withdrawal syndrome), starts about a day after the last use of the drug and typically comes in three stages.
The three stages of cocaine withdrawal include:
The crash is the shortest stage but is the period during which you feel the worst of the depression. It lasts for about a week.
For the next 10 weeks after that, you will experience withdrawal symptoms of fatigue, depression, cravings, paranoia, anxiety, and other symptoms.
When that period is over, you typically begin a long period of generally low mood together with moments of cocaine cravings. This period can last up to about six months.
How To Treat The Symptoms Of Cocaine Withdrawal
Because cocaine does not create physical dependence, there are no medication-assisted treatments (MAT) for cocaine substance abuse.
If you are experiencing cocaine withdrawal, you can try taking vitamin supplements. When experiencing cocaine drug addiction, people often neglect eating regular, healthy meals.
Vitamin supplements can help replace some nutrients and minerals that can ease some of the physical discomfort or depression.
Such supplements to help with cocaine detox include:
- vitamin D
- vitamin B12
- omega 3 fatty acids
Treatment Programs For Cocaine Abuse
Treatment centers that have treatment plans for cocaine abuse focus on evidence-based, drug-free treatment to uncover and resolve the underlying mental health issues of cocaine abuse.
Such treatments can include contingency management (CM) or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), as well as cocaine detox programs
Find Cocaine Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
At Bedrock Recovery Center, we understand the difficulty of withdrawing from cocaine and the psychological strain that puts you under.
Whether through an inpatient or outpatient setting, our Massachusetts-based rehab center can help you overcome cocaine cravings and quit the drug.
Call our helpline today and let us guide you to the best treatment options for yourself or a loved one.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information — Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310652/#part4.s18
- National Institute of Drug Abuse — Cocaine DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine
- National Institute of Drug Abuse — Cocaine Research Report: How is Cocaine Treated? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-treatments-are-effective-cocaine-abusers
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Cocaine Withdrawal https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000947.htm