June 16, 2023

Cocaine Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, & Treatment

Man looks out window to represent getting drunk alone

Cocaine withdrawal is a common experience for individuals who develop dependence on this substance. Dependence occurs when prolonged cocaine use leads to a reliance on the drug for normal functioning.

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Today, you will learn:

  • Quitting cocaine: how long does cocaine withdrawal last?
  • What are cocaine withdrawals?
  • What are the signs of cocaine withdrawal?
  • What are the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal?
  • What is the cocaine withdrawal timeline?
  • How to connect with cocaine withdrawal treatment in Southern California.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Although stimulant withdrawal typically lacks severe physical symptoms and immediate medical complications, certain individuals may be prone to experiencing a debilitating dysphoria characterized by depression and overwhelming negative thoughts and feelings. This intense dysphoric phase may be associated with suicidal thoughts and may increase the likelihood of relapse on cocaine.

While many withdrawal symptoms of cocaine tend to subside within a few days of discontinuing stimulant use, some individuals may endure a more prolonged withdrawal, experiencing troublesome symptoms for weeks. Protracted withdrawal is characterized by the persistence of withdrawal signs and symptoms that are substance-specific and extend beyond the expected timeframe.

The severity of withdrawal symptoms may vary significantly among individuals and is influenced by factors such as age, overall health, duration and quantity of cocaine use, route of administration – crack cocaine withdrawals may be more intense – and concurrent substance use.

Withdrawal symptoms can be so intense that individuals may be driven to use cocaine again solely to alleviate the discomfort of coke withdrawal. Common cocaine withdrawals symptoms include:

  • Cocaine cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Increased appetite
  • Slowed thoughts or movements
  • Poor concentration
  • Paranoia
A man sits on a couch with his hand on his face to represent symptoms of cocaine withdrawal.

Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

Detoxing from cocaine occurs as follows:

Days 1 to 3

Intense cravings for cocaine, fatigue, increased appetite, and restlessness may be experienced. These cravings can be strong and contribute to the difficulty of the withdrawal process.

Days 3 to 7

Anxiety, irritability, and depression often peak during this period. Heightened levels of anxiety and restlessness, accompanied by irritability and mood swings, may be prevalent. Depressive symptoms, such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and lack of motivation, can also be pronounced during this time.

Sleep pattern changes, such as increased sleeping or hypersomnia, may occur. Some individuals may find themselves sleeping more than usual, experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, or having difficulty staying awake.

Days 7 to 14

Physical symptoms, including slowed thoughts and movements, may manifest and persist. Cocaine withdrawal can lead to cognitive and physical slowing, making it challenging for individuals to think clearly, concentrate, and carry out daily tasks.

Day 14 to Day 60

Poor concentration and cognitive difficulties may be experienced. Individuals may struggle with memory, attention span, decision-making, and problem-solving during this time. These cognitive challenges can significantly impact daily functioning and may require time and support to improve.

Paranoia and mood disturbances may gradually improve over time but can persist. Heightened levels of suspicion, paranoia, and irrational thoughts may be present during withdrawal. Mood swings, including feelings of anger, frustration, and emotional instability, may also be experienced.

The cocaine withdrawal timeline can vary for each individual and not everyone will experience all cocaine withdrawal stages. Factors such as the duration and intensity of cocaine use, overall health, and individual differences can influence the duration and severity of withdrawal symptoms. Seeking professional assistance and support during this time can greatly contribute to a successful recovery journey.

Cocaine Withdrawal FAQs

How long does cocaine withdrawal last?

The duration of cocaine withdrawal can vary, but it typically lasts for a few days to a couple of weeks.

What are cocaine withdrawals?

Cocaine withdrawals are a set of symptoms that occur when a person stops using cocaine after prolonged use. These symptoms can include fatigue, depression, anxiety, cravings, and increased appetite.

Are crack cocaine withdrawals the same as cocaine withdrawals?

Withdrawal symptoms from crack cocaine are generally similar to those of powdered cocaine. However, crack cocaine withdrawals may be more intense due to the faster and more intense high produced by crack cocaine.

Is quitting cocaine difficult?

Quitting cocaine can be challenging due to the addictive nature of the drug and the withdrawal symptoms that may arise. However, with proper support and treatment, recovery is possible.

Treatment for Cocaine Withdrawals

Although withdrawal from stimulants is not always severe, it can still pose challenges for individuals seeking recovery. Effective management of cocaine withdrawal can be achieved through professionally-managed detox interventions.

Medically supervised detox allows individuals to safely eliminate stimulants from their system while receiving monitoring and support from healthcare professionals. Although there are no medications currently approved to treat cocaine withdrawal, some medications may be beneficial during detox for managing withdrawal symptoms like insomnia.

Exercise, rest, and a healthy diet are often utilized to address withdrawal symptoms. For individuals experiencing severe and persistent depression during withdrawal, antidepressant medications and psychotherapy may be beneficial. Given the intense drug cravings during cocaine withdrawal, the risk of relapse is high. Behavioral therapeutic interventions like CBT, contingency management, and relapse management techniques can help tackle these challenges.

Detox alone is not a comprehensive rehabilitation program but rather an initial step in the treatment of substance use disorder. Detox prepares individuals for a subsequent level of care that focuses on addressing all aspects of stimulant use disorder.

A group of people celebrate on a hillside at sunset to represent drug and alcohol rehab in southern California at Gratitude Lodge.

Get Treatment for Cocaine Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

At Gratitude Lodge in Southern California, we specialize in helping individuals overcome cocaine addiction and address associated mental health conditions. Our pet-friendly rehab centers in Newport Beach and Long Beach, CA, are designed to facilitate comprehensive recovery for the mind, body, and soul.

With our supervised medical detox program, we offer a safe and seamless pathway for detoxification, ensuring your system is cleansed of addictive substances. Following detox, you can seamlessly transition into one of our specialized treatment programs for cocaine addiction:

Our treatment programs incorporate a range of evidence-based interventions, including:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapies

To support your journey from active cocaine addiction to ongoing recovery, place your trust in Gratitude Lodge. Contact our admissions team at 888-861-1658 to take the first step towards a healthier and drug-free life.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Russe MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

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