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How To Get Off Cocaine

Cocaine addiction and drug abuse can be devastating; they can cause you to feel lost, helpless, and out of control. Acknowledging the problem takes a lot of strength, so well done for getting this far. Once you have admitted that you need help, you can begin the recovery journey and tackle your substance addiction.

While cocaine is not the most physically challenging drug to get off, it can be challenging psychologically. Some psychological symptoms can be severe, making it essential to undergo detox and cocaine withdrawal under medical guidance. Detox can be completed at an inpatient treatment facility or at an outpatient treatment center, where medical professionals can guide you through overcoming drug use.

In addition to seeking treatment, healthy lifestyle choices, behavioral therapy, and community-based recovery groups are all recommended for those recovering from substance abuse.

Addiction treatment can help you to combat substance abuse and pave the way for a healthy, fulfilled life free from the ties of cocaine dependence.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is an illicit stimulant drug that works by increasing activity in the central nervous system, which causes users to feel alert, highly energized, and experience euphoric sensations. The feelings of happiness and pleasure that arise upon using cocaine are due to the release of dopamine, which is triggered into production when cocaine is taken. These feelings contribute to cocaine’s addictive qualities.

Although many cocaine users use cocaine in its white, powdery form by snorting it or rubbing it on their gums, some people who participate in cocaine drug abuse use crack cocaine or crack, as it is otherwise known. Crack cocaine is rock-like in appearance and is generally administered by intravenous injection or via smoking it.

What Are the Effects of Cocaine Addiction and Abuse?

Cocaine is a fast-acting drug, meaning it gets to work quickly after entering your system. Usually, a cocaine high peaks after 15 to 30 minutes, while a crack cocaine high typically peaks after two to five minutes.

The duration and intensity of the high depend on several factors, such as the way it is administered, the purity of the substance, whether it is taken alongside other drugs, and the amount consumed.

Cocaine addiction can severely affect both the body and the brain. For example, cocaine elevates blood pressure and damages the cardiovascular system, putting a significant strain on the heart. As a result, cocaine addiction can put users at an increased risk of cardiac arrest, seizures, and stroke.

In addition to the physical effects of cocaine use, some mental health issues linked to cocaine abuse include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms?

When it comes to getting off cocaine, medical detox is needed. However, cocaine impacts the reward system in the brain, making it harder for some people to quit the drug altogether.

When detoxing from cocaine, withdrawal symptoms will arise as the body tries to readjust to functioning without the drug. Some cocaine withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable. Sadly, this is why many people will binge cocaine or continue using to avoid withdrawal. However, this is dangerous and can lead to a cocaine overdose.

Upon commencing a medical detox, withdrawal symptoms tend to be physical and psychological. Some of the psychological withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Unpleasant dreams or nightmares
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Suicidal thoughts

Although these withdrawal symptoms are commonly experienced, the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms depend on various factors, including:

  • The amount of cocaine taken
  • The duration of cocaine abuse
  • Polysubstance dependence
  • Your mental health
  • Your physical health

What Is the Cocaine Withdrawal Process?

To cease your physical cocaine dependency and start treatment, you will, as touched on above, need to go through cocaine detox. Detox involves ridding the body of toxic substances that accompany drug abuse.

Cocaine detox can be completed as part of an outpatient program at an outpatient treatment center or via an inpatient treatment center where round-the-clock care and medical supervision are available.

Although it is possible for some people to detox via an outpatient center or at home under medical guidance, inpatient rehab centers are usually recommended. This is because treatment is available at all times at an inpatient treatment facility.

Inpatient detox is recommended if you:

  • suffer from co-occurring mental illnesses.
  • have attempted withdrawal previously but failed.
  • are suffering from severe cocaine addiction.
  • are experiencing severe depression or intense cocaine withdrawal symptoms.

If you are worried about the detox process, plenty of support is available. Contacting a treatment center, such as our own, will ensure that you have the information and treatment you need to get off of cocaine.

The Withdrawal Timeline

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms generally ease after around seven to 10 days, but cocaine cravings can continue for a while after this.

The half-life of cocaine is relatively short, meaning that cocaine withdrawal symptoms can develop in as little as 90 minutes after the final dose. The withdrawal process can generally be broken down as follows:

  • One to three hours after last using cocaine will see symptoms such as irritability, exhaustion, anxiety, and an increased appetite arise.
  • Intense cocaine cravings often surface during the first week of cocaine withdrawal, as does insomnia, fatigue, vivid nightmares, anxiety, and depression.
  • Cocaine withdrawal symptoms often persist into the fourth week of cocaine withdrawal. During this time, you may feel emotionally unstable, agitated, and lack concentration.
  • Although anxiety and cravings may persist, cocaine withdrawal symptoms start to decrease five to 10 weeks after withdrawal starts.

What Addiction Treatment Options Are Available?

At present, there aren’t any Food and Drug Administration¬†(FDA) approved medications to treat cocaine withdrawal specifically. However, promising medications point toward the possibility of pharmacological treatment. In addition, certain anxiety medications exist, as do medications that block the pleasure response, which can help ease the withdrawal process.

With regards to treatment options for cocaine addiction, upon completing detox, you may be offered a range of treatments such as therapy and support groups. However, these treatments depend on whether you attend an inpatient or outpatient rehab. Should you attend our rehab for treatment, we will offer you a personalized treatment program that is individually tailored to your needs, ensuring that your physical and mental health requirements are taken into account.

Intense cravings make cocaine a hard drug to quit, especially as they can reappear a month after quitting. However, we can help you learn how to handle these as best possible and beat your cocaine use for good.

Treatment facilities, such as our own, generally offer therapy sessions, support groups (such as Narcotics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous), and behavioral therapy. Rehab also includes education surrounding relapse prevention and planning for aftercare.

Meanwhile, long-term cocaine addiction treatment focuses on emotional support to continue tackling the psychological addiction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is recommended for cocaine addiction recovery.


If you have developed an addiction to cocaine, getting off the drug may feel like an impossible task. But with our help, overcoming an addiction is entirely achievable. The process can be intense, but luckily the withdrawal timeline is relatively short for most people.

However, to make a long-term recovery, a medically supervised detox is in your best interest. Likewise, treatment options such as inpatient or outpatient detox followed by rehab treatment programs will help you tackle your cocaine use and treat cocaine addiction safely and with guidance.

To find out more about our addiction treatment, please get in touch with us today. In doing so, our medical professionals can explain our addiction treatment, what a medical detox involves, and discuss our rehab facilities with you. We can also offer any mental health support that you may need.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Cocaine is a widely abused, illegal drug. Highly addictive, cocaine can severely impact a person’s physical and mental health.

When cocaine is abused, it often leads to addiction. Though a medical illness, addiction is treatable. Fortunately, many addiction treatment centers in the US focus on cocaine addiction. Drug abuse treatment programs and detox help break the chemical dependency and treat the psychological symptoms of drug abuse.

Behavioral interventions, therapy, support from family members, support groups, and lifestyle changes can help you break free from substance abuse and overcome cocaine addiction.

Find out more about cocaine addiction treatment and rehab here, or contact us today to discuss the impact of your cocaine abuse and uncover how we can support you at our rehab center.

What Is Cocaine?

A stimulant drug, cocaine can cause you to feel alert and energized. Cocaine also increases attention and offers a sense of euphoria. Although healthcare providers occasionally use it as an anesthetic, cocaine is potent and addictive and is therefore illegal.

Cocaine is derived from the coca plant, which is native to South America. Sadly, the cocaine trade accounts for tremendous levels of violence, gangs, and murder in South America, particularly in Mexico and Colombia.

Like other drugs, cocaine can be found in various forms. However, it is most commonly sold as a fine, white powder and is generally snorted. It can also be rubbed on gums, dissolved in water and injected, or smoked.

What Are the Effects of Cocaine?

Cocaine affects the central nervous system by speeding it up. It also works by flooding the brain with dopamine. As dopamine is associated with pleasure and forms part of the brain’s reward system, the effects of cocaine make the drug addictive.

Once taken, the effects of cocaine can include:

  • High levels of confidence
  • Alertness
  • Anxiety
  • Excitement
  • Talkativeness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Increased blood pressure

Cocaine is a very dangerous drug because it can cause long-term consequences for those who use it. It can have a host of unpleasant and destructive physical and mental health effects, some of which can be long-lasting.

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms Associated With Cocaine Addiction?

Over time, a tolerance to cocaine will develop, which will likely cause you to take higher doses of cocaine to take advantage of its desired effects. Due to cocaine increasing dopamine production, you will eventually find that you rely on the drug to feel ‘normal’ because the brain starts to produce less dopamine naturally.

This results in withdrawal symptoms developing when the drug is no longer in your system. Some people will often binge cocaine to delay these unpleasant side effects, which can be fatal and lead to overdose.

Although the withdrawal symptoms you experience may differ from those that other people experience, some common symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Paranoia
  • Nightmares
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Suicidal thoughts

What Is the Timeline for Cocaine Withdrawal?

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms typically begin within a few hours after quitting the drug. However, the severity depends on how often cocaine has been abused and the amount taken.

Typically, within the first one to three hours of cocaine withdrawal, symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite

During the first week of quitting cocaine, it is also common to experience intense cocaine cravings. Insomnia and fatigue may also arise, as might vivid nightmares, depression, and mood swings.

Two to four weeks after beginning to withdraw from cocaine, the symptoms experienced in week one persist. Emotional stability, concentration, and irritability are additionally typical during this stage. However, symptoms will decrease between the fifth and tenth week, although anxiety and drug cravings may still happen.

Unfortunately, if you attempt to stop using cocaine alone or decide to go cold turkey, the risk of severe depression and suicidal thoughts increases.

While cocaine can be challenging to quit, it is entirely possible to overcome a cocaine addiction with the correct support and guidance.

What Can Impact the Timeline of Cocaine Withdrawal?

The intensity of cocaine withdrawal symptoms will depend on a number of different factors. These include:

  • Quantity of cocaine used
  • Length of drug abuse and cocaine addiction
  • Dependence on other drugs
  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Environmental factors

What Cocaine Addiction Treatment Services Are Available?

The first stage of cocaine addiction treatment is accepting that you need help, so well done for getting this far. If you are struggling with cocaine addiction, the next stage is attending a rehab center, such as our own, for substance abuse treatment. A substance abuse assessment will help you decide on a treatment program that is best for you. However, treatment typically commences with detox.

Residential and outpatient settings are effective in helping to begin substance abuse treatment and safely rid cocaine from the system. Inpatient treatment is recommended for those who have tried to detox previously but have relapsed or have a severe addiction.

After detox, treatment continues at an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab center. An addiction treatment center will have rehab programs designed to tackle the psychological addiction and support you through this time.

Residential treatment programs provide 24-hour support and supervision from the guidance of a clinical professional. This immersive, caring environment provides the best chance for a successful recovery.

If you opt for outpatient rehab, the treatments will be similar to those offered at inpatient rehab centers. However, you will not have access to around-the-clock care, making you more vulnerable to social and environmental triggers and relapse. However, outpatient rehab is a great option for many people who seek treatment. After all, it will allow you to continue your life and routine, maintain privacy, and get support from loved ones at home.

Regardless of whether you attend inpatient or outpatient treatment, centers for cocaine abuse are generally similar. A treatment program at an addiction treatment center may offer:

  • Mental health services, such as counseling or therapy
  • 12-step programs
  • Support groups
  • Education for preventing relapse
  • Planning for aftercare

Individual and group therapy are important in addressing the underlying reason for cocaine dependence. Not only will therapy help you understand the root cause of your cocaine addiction, but it will encourage you to talk about your cocaine use, which can be very helpful.

If you have co-occurring disorders, it is important to also treat the mental illness that is present to prevent your substance use disorder from returning.

Often, some people withdrawing from drugs require medication to help them progress through detox. In terms of medications, there are currently no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medicines that treat cocaine withdrawal. However, some anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications can be used to ease symptoms. Make sure to consult your doctor or healthcare professional about safe medication options.

Continuing Treatment for Drug Abuse

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be extremely helpful in terms of ongoing treatment. Behavioral therapies work by retraining the brain and helping you learn and identify unhealthy thought patterns, which often lead to cocaine use.

Support Groups

After addiction treatment, it is important to continue to work on your behavioral health. One way to do this is to join a support group such as Cocaine Anonymous (CA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

These therapeutic communities can help keep you on track by enabling you to feel connected and supported by others who also suffer from cocaine addiction.

To Conclude

Cocaine addiction can be frightening, but treatment facilities and help from professionals can help you tackle substance use disorder.

Treatment for cocaine involves withdrawing from the drug and completing inpatient or outpatient rehab, where you will learn healthy coping mechanisms and how to reduce the chance of relapse.

If you would like to know more about cocaine addiction treatment and rehab, please contact us today. In doing so, we can talk you through your treatment options and inform you of our medical services.

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