Learn more about the Cocaine withdrawal timeline, so you know what to expect.
Do you know someone that is using cocaine recreationally? Cocaine is a naturally-occurring powerful stimulant drug that is highly addictive, and long-term use of the drug can create havoc on a person’s mental and physical health. If you have a friend who is abusing cocaine, or is already addicted to it, he should seek professional help at a drug treatment center. The medical team at the rehab center can give your friend a medically supervised detox to get him off the drug. Your friend may want to familiarize himself with the detox process and the cocaine withdrawal timeline, so he knows what to expect once he is in rehab.
Cocaine is known on the street as toot, flake, C, snow, and coke, and can be smoked, snorted, or injected. This powerful drug can create attitude and personality changes in a cocaine addict, and cause all types of dangerous health problems. Some of the adverse symptoms of cocaine addiction include:
- Increased heart rate and body temperature
- Violent mood swings, paranoia, panic, anxiety, irritability, restlessness
- Heart problems, stroke, seizures
- Nervous system impairment
- Constricted blood vessels, respiratory problems
- Digestive problems
- Coma and death
Immediate medical attention should be given to anyone who is experiencing any adverse symptoms from using cocaine. The drug is sometimes used by people with mental health disorders as a way of self-medicating. The use of cocaine with mental health issues will often exacerbate both the addiction and mental health problem, and both issues must be treated together at the rehab center.
Cocaine floods the brain with dopamine and blocks its re-uptake back into the nerve cells. This flooding of dopamine causes feelings of euphoria and well-being, and long-term use of the drug may impair the brain’s ability to naturally regulate dopamine and other neuro-transmitters. Continued abuse of the drug can create a tolerance to build up in the body, and the user will have to take more cocaine to achieve the same euphoric effects as before. This type of behavior can very easily lead to addiction to the drug.
Cocaine Withdrawal Signs
Withdrawal from cocaine can produce many difficult symptoms depending on how severe the addiction is to the drug. The most effective and safest way to get off of cocaine is to have a medical detox at a drug treatment center. Your friend will be monitored throughout the detox process and will be kept safe and as comfortable as possible. Medications can be given to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
Cocaine withdrawal signs will usually begin within 24 hours after the last dose of the drug was taken. Symptoms usually peak around day 2, and then will begin to lessen in intensity. Cravings for the drug can continue after week 2 and up to 3 months after the last dose, and the patient can have bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts. This is because the brain is still in the process of regulating dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels. After 6 months, the patient can still experience mild drug cravings. He may still feel depressed, but this problem will lessen as the brain continues to heal its natural regulation of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:
- Anxiety, depression, anger, paranoia, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts
- Insomnia, strange dreams and fatigue
- Impaired speech and motor function
- Increased appetite
Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Cocaine addiction treatment should include:
- A medically supervised detox
- Pharmacological approaches
- Individual and group counseling and therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Contingency management therapy
- Relapse prevention strategies
- Support group meetings
Other cocaine addiction treatment can include family therapy, parenting, marriage counseling, improving coping and life skills, faith-based initiatives and much more. If your friend has a serious cocaine addiction problem, he may consider a Therapeutic Community where he can live drug-free for six months to one year. The community focuses on preparing the patient for re-integration into society and may also address vocational goals and offer other services.
Now that you know the cocaine withdrawal timeline, you can help. The longer your friend remains in a comprehensive recovery program, the more equipped he will be to live a drug-free, productive life.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.