Cocaine withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person and can last from a few days to a few weeks. Knowing this, it’s recommended that you seek professional help with cocaine withdrawal before, during, and after detox. Keep reading to learn how long cocaine withdrawal lasts and its effects on your body.
What Exactly is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a stimulant drug derived from coca leaves. The name comes from the Spanish word coca, which means “cocoa” in English. Cocaine is one of the oldest drugs in the world and one of the most commonly used illegal substances today.
Dangers of Cocaine Use
Over 1 million emergency room visits related to cocaine abuse were reported in 2020 alone, with 19,447 fatalities. In addition to being highly addictive, cocaine has been linked to heart problems, strokes, seizures, and death.
Other dangers of cocaine use include:
- Increases in blood pressure and pulse rate
- Affects your breathing and can lead to pneumonia
- Severe damage to your heart
- Increase of risk of stroke, seizures, and heart attacks
- Damage to your liver
What Is Cocaine Withdrawal?
Cocaine withdrawal occurs when a person who has used a lot of cocaine in the past cuts down or quits taking the drug. While not as physically intense as heroin or methadone withdrawals. However, it comes with its own set of unique challenges.
The first stage is often referred to as “craving.” Craving refers to the strong urge that many people experience to use cocaine again. This feeling can be extremely uncomfortable, even overwhelming.
During the second stage of cocaine withdrawal, the brain starts to heal itself. As your brain heals, cravings begin to subside.
The third stage of cocaine withdrawal occurs as people feel “clean,” or as if they have their lives back. During this third stage of cocaine withdrawal, most people feel better than ever. They no longer crave cocaine and their bodies start to repair themselves.
While some people feel these effects for only a couple of days, others feel the effects of cocaine withdrawal for months.
Keep in mind, symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can occur after “cutting back” on cocaine use. You don’t have to be completely off the drug to experience the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal.
What are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Cocaine?
Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia, and increased appetite. These symptoms usually start within 24 hours of stopping cocaine use, but they can last anywhere from one day to several weeks. If you’ve used cocaine recently, talk to your doctor right away so they can monitor your progress and provide any necessary treatment.
Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal usually start within two hours after last using cocaine and peak at around 24 hours. They typically resolve within 48 hours.
Other Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal
If you’ve been abusing cocaine for an extended period of time, you might also experience:
- Depression. When you stop taking cocaine, your body goes into shock. Your brain doesn’t know how to function without cocaine anymore. This leads to feelings of sadness and despair that are often signs of depression.
- Anxiety. After you quit using cocaine, your brain will try to make sense of what happened. This process takes time. During this time, your brain makes connections between past experiences and current situations. This can result in panic attacks.
- Irritability. A lot of times when people stop using cocaine, they become irritable. Their moods change drastically. For instance, they may get angry easily, snap at people, or lose their temper.
- Restlessness. Some people who stop using cocaine feel restless. They want to move constantly. This feeling often lasts for up to three days.
- Insomnia. People who have been using cocaine for a long period of time tend to sleep less than usual.
- Sweating. Cocaine users often sweat heavily while they’re awake. This is because cocaine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system.
- Nausea. Nausea is another symptom that occurs during the first few days of cocaine withdrawal. It is caused by the sudden drop in dopamine levels. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate emotions and bodily functions.
- Vomiting. Cocaine users sometimes vomit during cocaine withdrawal. The reason for this is unknown. However, some experts believe that it could be due to dehydration.
- Diarrhea. Diarrhea is another symptom that occurs when someone stops using cocaine. This is because cocaine increases the secretion of water in the intestines.
- Abdominal Pain. Abdominal pain is one of the most common symptoms experienced during cocaine withdrawal. It’s believed this is caused by inflammation of the stomach lining.
How Long Does Withdrawal Last?
The average length of withdrawal between using cocaine and quitting is three months. This is because the body has to adjust to the absence of the drug. It takes time for the brain to stop producing dopamine, which is why people who quit “cold turkey” often experience some symptoms of withdrawal.
Typically, withdrawal symptoms go away on their own in a matter of months. However, if you continue to abuse cocaine, you could develop serious health issues such as cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), hypertension, and kidney failure.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately. He or she can l help you get through the worst part of cocaine withdrawal. You’ll need to take it slowly if you want to overcome this substance use disorder.
Safely Detox From Cocaine in Philadelphia, PA
The first step in treating drug addiction is detoxification. This process involves removing all traces of the substance from the body. It helps prevent relapse by clearing out any physical or psychological cravings. Wave Treatment Centers offer a variety of treatments in a comfortable, peaceful environment. To safely detox from cocaine in Philadelphia, PA, give us a call or fill out our contact form today.