Cocaine is a stimulant drug made from the coca plant. Although it has been used medicinally for its anesthetic effects, many people abuse the drug. Some people snort cocaine powder through their nose or rub it into their gums, while others dissolve it and inject it into their bloodstream with a needle. Cocaine is the second most trafficked drug in the United States and is known to cause many problems in the lives of users, including cocaine withdrawal symptoms.
Is Cocaine Addictive?
Cocaine is powerfully addictive and has a significant impact on the brain. Addiction involves changes to the structure of the brain’s reward system, leading to compulsive use of intoxicating substances.
When cocaine is used, it increases levels of dopamine in the brain, which is a natural chemical messenger that helps control the nervous system and plays a role in how a person feels pleasure. During the normal communication process, a neuron releases dopamine into a gap between two neurons, called a synapse. Then a transporter removes the dopamine from the synapse to be recycled for use later.
When cocaine is used, this normal communication process is interfered with. Cocaine binds to the dopamine transporter, preventing dopamine from being removed from the synapse, thus causing dopamine to accumulate and creating a sense of euphoria.
When a person develops a physical addiction to cocaine, they are likely to experience cocaine withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it.
What are the Signs of Cocaine Withdrawal?
There are several cocaine withdrawal symptoms a person may experience during cocaine detox. While these may differ from person to person, here are a few that are likely to occur:
- Slowed thinking
- Difficulty concentrating
- Temporary impotence
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of energy
- Vivid dreams and nightmares
- Anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure)
- Nerve pain
- Muscle aches
- Increased appetite
- Mood swings
- Cravings for cocaine
- Suicidal thoughts and actions
How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Last?
Intense cocaine withdrawal symptoms will usually last for 7 to 10 days. However, it can take months before the symptoms go away completely.
The timeline is typically divided into three phases as follows:
Phase One (The Crash Phase): This phase can kick in as soon as 90 minutes after last using the drug. Symptoms will be most severe during this period. It can last for a few hours or a few days.
Phase Two (The Craving Phase): The craving phase can last 1 to 10 weeks. During this time, the individual will experience intense cravings for cocaine. This may cause them to have difficulty concentrating. It will also make them lethargic and irritable.
Phase Three (The Extinction Phase): This final stage of withdrawal can last 30 weeks or more. The person may still feel cravings for the drug, but they won’t be as severe as they were before. They may be stronger depending on the person’s environment. For example, if they see someone using, the cravings will increase.
Different people experience withdrawal differently. The intensity of the symptoms and the amount of time they take to get through withdrawal will depend on the following factors:
- How long they used
- How much of the drug they used
- Whether they used other drugs along with cocaine
- If they are dealing with environmental factors making stress worse
- If they are dealing with a co-occurring disorder that’s making them want to use
How My Recovery Source Can Help
Withdrawal from cocaine is not easy. It’s important to find a reliable recovery facility to help you make it through.
It can be difficult to find the facility that’s right for you. You need to find one that offers a pleasant environment, the type of treatment you need, and a well-trained, compassionate staff. It can take hours of research to come up with the perfect solution, or you can save yourself time by contacting My Recovery Source first.
My Recovery Source is the number one destination for rehab facility referrals. We will find the center best suited to you regardless of your location, background, and personal and financial situation. We can find you or a loved one the help you need. Overcoming a cocaine addiction is not easy. When it’s time to get help, contact My Recovery Source first. We will give you the guidance you need on your path to wellness.