As one of the most addictive and readily available recreational drugs in existence, cocaine produces feelings of extreme euphoria and increased energy by acting on the dopamine releasers of the central nervous system.
Although long-term use results in the body developing increasing tolerance and requiring larger and more frequent doses, withdrawal after quitting cocaine cold turkey does not produce as severe physical withdrawal symptoms as alcohol and other recreational drugs.1
What Is Cocaine Withdrawal?
Cocaine withdrawal begins when the drug no longer triggers a rise in dopamine levels. It can start as soon as half an hour after the last dose, and onset time depends heavily on the frequency, quantity, and how long the drug was used.2
The first symptoms are usually due to a crash, during which the euphoric high wears off, and you suddenly feel an intense craving to use cocaine again.
The psychological effects of cocaine withdrawal are far more intense than the physical, which the user may not exhibit at all.
What Are the Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal?
Cocaine withdrawal symptoms, although not as life-threatening as those of other addictive narcotics, are very uncomfortable and challenging to overcome. Due to the severe nature of the psychological symptoms, withdrawal from cocaine presents a unique set of risks.
The effects of cocaine withdrawal include:
- Mood swings
- Impaired concentration
- Reduced libido
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Powerful cravings to use again
These symptoms may last from anywhere between seven days and six months. Although the acute effects may eventually fade, the damage to your mental health could last for years and may require long-term treatment to remedy.
The most significant risk during cocaine withdrawal stems from the extreme depression it causes due to the sudden drop in your body’s dopamine levels. Accompanied by other withdrawal symptoms, this may produce suicidal thoughts and tendencies that are incredibly difficult to manage.3
Why Is a Supervised Cocaine Detox the Best Option?
Due to the powerful effects cocaine withdrawal has on your mental health, detoxing from cocaine alone is not advised, especially if you have ever relapsed during a previous attempt or have any record of mental health issues.
Centers for cocaine rehab specialize in dealing with the complex treatment and supervision requirements of those going through withdrawal. Detoxing may take between one and ten weeks, during which all access to the drug is eliminated.
Although there are no FDA-approved medications for reversing dependency on cocaine,4 treatment to counteract the symptoms during detox include the following cocaine withdrawal drugs:
- Clonidine – Prevents withdrawal-induced high blood pressure
- Gabapentin – Treats and prevents restless leg syndrome and possible seizures
- Trazodone – A mild sleep-inducing drug to counteract insomnia
- Seroquel and Vigabatrin – Both help reduce the intensity of cocaine cravings
- Propranolol – Treats severe psychological symptoms like insomnia and anxiety
- Baclofen – An anti-craving medication that helps reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms
Recovery from cocaine addiction is a lifelong process, and finding the right balance of support groups and personal therapy may go a long way to help ease the transition.
If you are suffering from cocaine withdrawal, our team can get you the help you need. Call our hotline today.