Cocaine is a potent stimulant drug that is derived from the leaves of the coca plant, which is native to South America. Cocaine is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse but can be administered by a doctor for legitimate medical uses, such as for local anesthesia.
While cocaine has some medicinal uses, it is rarely prescribed because of its high potential for addiction. Most people who abuse cocaine are buying illicit forms of it on the street. Cocaine addiction can lead to an array of health consequences, making it vital that you seek professional help.
If you or a loved one are addicted to cocaine, suddenly stopping the use of the substance will lead to withdrawal symptoms. The cocaine withdrawal timeline may vary depending on how long you’ve been addicted and other factors, but a detox center can help you stay comfortable throughout the process.
The Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal
Cocaine withdrawal occurs because you are removing a substance from your body that your brain has begun to rely on to function properly. The first stage of cocaine withdrawal is known as a “crash,” which occurs immediately after the effects wear off and cocaine starts to leave your system. A cocaine crash can cause you to feel depressed, and lethargic, and make you experience uncontrollable urges to use more of the substance.
After you experience the cocaine crash, your withdrawal symptoms will begin to set in. These symptoms may include:
- Agitation or irritability
- Feelings of discomfort
- Increased appetite
- Vivid nightmares
- Slowed activity
- Cravings for cocaine
While cocaine withdrawal symptoms are not usually life-threatening, dealing with them on your own can become dangerous. The symptoms often cause people to relapse on cocaine to feel better. If you abuse the same amount of cocaine as you did when you had a tolerance, you could experience a fatal overdose.
You should always seek medical detox treatment rather than attempting to overcome cocaine withdrawal at home.
Factors that Affect the Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline
The withdrawal process can be different for everyone. The duration and severity of your withdrawal symptoms often depend on a variety of personal factors. For example, someone who abused cocaine for several years might experience symptoms longer than a person who was addicted to the substance for a few months.
With that being said, the factors that affect the cocaine withdrawal timeline include:
- How long you have been taking the drug
- The rate of your metabolism
- Your age
- Whether you abuse other substances
- The way you abused cocaine (i.e. snorting, smoking, or injecting)
- Your overall health
Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline
While the timeline for cocaine withdrawal can vary from person to person, there is a general amount of time that symptoms typically occur. Most people experience three stages of cocaine withdrawal, with the second being the timeframe where symptoms are the most severe.
Sometime around 24 hours after your last dose of cocaine, you will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Typically, the initial symptoms are similar to a cocaine crash. You might experience extreme tiredness, feelings of depression, an inability to feel pleasure, and urges to abuse cocaine.
4 to 7 Days
Between the 4th and 7th day of withdrawal, your symptoms will begin to peak. This means they will be at their most severe.
It is common to experience the following symptoms during peak cocaine withdrawal:
- Anxiety or paranoia
- Increased appetite
- Irritability or aggression
- Fatigue and lack of motivation
- Uncontrollable cravings to use cocaine
1 to 2 Weeks
Sometime between one to two weeks, your withdrawal symptoms will begin to lessen in severity. It is possible for your physical symptoms to completely subside, however, your psychological symptoms might worsen in severity.
Symptoms during this stage of cocaine withdrawal may include:
- Cravings for cocaine
While some people experience psychological symptoms for up to 10 weeks after they stop using cocaine, most will experience relief sometime between 2 to 3 weeks.
How is Cocaine Withdrawal Treated in Detox?
When you arrive at a cocaine detox facility, you will undergo an initial assessment. This is done to determine your specific needs and create a treatment plan for you. During detox, you will be monitored for physical and mental health safety on a 24/7 basis.
There are medications doctors may prescribe that can help lessen the severity of your symptoms. For example, people often deal with extreme anxiety and depression during cocaine withdrawal which can be treated using anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications.
Once you have successfully overcome withdrawal, you will transition into an inpatient treatment center, outpatient rehab, or a combination of the two, to receive further treatment.
Find a Cocaine Detox and Treatment Center Today
If you or a loved one suffer from cocaine addiction, it’s time to seek professional help. At Arise Treatment Center, our cocaine detox center in Vista, California can help you break free from your addiction by supporting you throughout the withdrawal process and helping you transition into a comprehensive treatment program.
To learn more about our top-rated cocaine rehab program in Southern California, contact Arise Treatment Center today.
- The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA): What is Cocaine, Retrieved June 2023 From https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-cocaine
- Medline Plus: Cocaine Withdrawal, Retrieved June 2023 From https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000947.htm