Although Colorado and many other states are in the midst of an opioid crisis, drugs like cocaine are becoming an increasing concern as well. Cocaine can be a difficult drug to stop using, primarily due to the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that can occur.
Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can begin quickly after a person stops taking the drug, and they can be difficult to manage without help. The following provides an overview of cocaine withdrawal symptoms and how long they last, as well as information about approaches you can use to safely detox from cocaine.
When someone takes cocaine, the drug creates a sense of euphoria or a “high.” This occurs because the drug releases an unnatural amount of the feel-good chemical dopamine. This may feel pleasurable at the moment, but the body can start to depend on these higher-than-normal dopamine levels, leading to withdrawal symptoms when a person stops taking the drug. Withdrawal can include both physical and psychological symptoms.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
Right after using cocaine, a person might start to experience what seems like a crash, especially if they used a lot of cocaine during a short period of time. During a crash from a cocaine binge, a person may experience depression, exhaustion and excessive sleep. They may also have cravings for more cocaine as soon as the crash is over.
Withdrawal is different from a crash, and it occurs when a person has become dependent on cocaine to function normally. When someone ends cocaine use after developing dependence, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. Cocaine withdrawal signs and symptoms can include the following:
- Sleeping more than usual
- Increased appetite
- Aching muscles
Strong cravings are also possible during withdrawal, and they can persist even after a person has completely detoxed from cocaine.
Cocaine Withdrawal Stages
Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. Although the specific symptoms and their duration will vary from one person to another, the cocaine withdrawal timeline typically follows certain patterns:
- Within the first few hours of the last cocaine dose: The person may start to “crash,” and withdrawal symptoms may begin.
- Within the first week after stopping cocaine: Withdrawal symptoms peak, and cravings begin.
- Within the first one to two weeks after stopping cocaine: Symptoms start to improve. People who have used cocaine for years may continue to experience lingering withdrawal symptoms for weeks.
- Within the first month after stopping cocaine: Symptoms like emotional changes will begin to improve, but impulse control may still be a problem.
- Within the first one to two months after stopping cocaine: Lethargy, anxiety, sleep problems and strong cravings may persist.
The cocaine withdrawal timeline can vary depending on several factors, including:
- How long a person used cocaine, and how much they used
- Whether the person has co-occurring mental health disorders
- Whether the person has previously tried to stop using cocaine and has relapsed
- If the person takes other substances in addition to cocaine
Cocaine Detox Home Remedies
Little information exists about home remedies for cocaine detox. However, one study showed that using a scopolamine patch may help improve the anxiety associated with cocaine withdrawal. Scopolamine is a prescription medication often prescribed for motion sickness. Other treatments, such as acupuncture, may be effective for easing cocaine withdrawal symptoms. However, further studies are needed.
Because there are few home remedies for cocaine withdrawal symptoms, seeking assistance from a medical detox center may be the best way to avoid uncomfortable symptoms or ensure they’re treated quickly.
Cocaine Detox in Colorado
Detox from cocaine can be physically and psychologically difficult, but a professional cocaine detox treatment center can make the process easier and more comfortable.
The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake offers a full continuum of addiction treatment services to help you end cocaine use. Our accredited detox facility offers around-the-clock medical care to help cleanse your system of cocaine and treat any withdrawal symptoms that may arise. Following detox, many clients transition to inpatient, outpatient and aftercare treatment programs that help promote lifelong recovery. In addition to treatment approaches like therapy, counseling and peer support meetings, we also offer services like yoga, massage therapy and art therapy.
If you’re looking to safely detox from cocaine, The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake offers an intensive program that specializes in this area. Whether you’re from Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs or anywhere else in the nation, our Colorado facility can serve you. If you’d prefer a treatment center closer to home, we also have several facilities located throughout the country.
If you or someone you love is ready to address a cocaine addiction, The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about cocaine addiction treatment programs that can work well for you.
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U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. “Drugs of Abuse.” April 2020. Accessed December 23, 2021.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What are the long-term effects of cocaine use?” May 2016. Accessed December 23, 2021.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Protracted Withdrawal.” July 2010. Accessed December 23, 2021.
PsychDB. “Stimulant Withdrawal.” March 29, 2021. Accessed December 23, 2021.
Gambelunghe, Cristiana; Bacci, Mauro; Aroni, Kyriaki; et al. “Cocaine Addiction Treatment and Home Rem[…]ne Transdermal Patch.” Substance Use & Misuse, August 2013. Accessed December 23, 2021.
D’Alberto, Attilio. “Auricular acupuncture in the treatment o[…]ction of sham points.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, December 2004. Accessed December 23, 2021.
Drugs.com. “Scopolamine.” May 13, 2021. Accessed December 23, 2021.
The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.