How to Detox from Cocaine

Withdrawals, Symptoms and Effects

How to Detox from Cocaine

Cocaine abuse is a global issue, and it shows no signs of disappearing any time soon. Recent research from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime revealed worldwide cocaine production reached “absolute record highs” in 2017. Comparatively, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports cocaine use is prevalent in the United States, and millions of individuals use the drug regularly.

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that raises the brain’s dopamine levels. This results in a euphoric effect, resulting in happiness and high energy levels.

The aforementioned effects of cocaine use are limited. They often lead to serious side effects as well.

If a person constantly uses cocaine, an addiction may develop. This may result in prolonged use of excess amounts of cocaine – something that impacts a person’s behaviors, mood, and social relationships. It may also put a person’s health in danger.

For those who are struggling with cocaine addiction, help is available. By enrolling in a detox program, an individual can address the root cause of his or her cocaine addiction and take steps to enjoy an addiction-free life.

How Do People Abuse Cocaine?

Cocaine is generally snorted through the nose or rubbed into the gums. In some instances, cocaine may also be dissolved into a liquid and injected directly into the bloodstream. Cocaine addicts may even use a combination of methods to maximize their high, too.

In addition to cocaine, crack cocaine is sometimes used. Crack cocaine involves the use of rock crystals that are heated. Then, the heated crystals emit vapors that an individual breathes into his or her lungs.

A cocaine binge may also occur. At this point, an individual takes multiple hits of cocaine in a short period of time. This individual may continue to consume cocaine at high doses in an effort to maintain an extended high.

What Is the Link Between Cocaine, HIV, and Hepatitis?

Cocaine users are more prone than others to HIV infections. Cocaine hinders immune cell function; at the same time, it accelerates the reproduction of HIV. Research also shows that people who use cocaine and are infected with HIV may be more susceptible to hepatitis C and other life-threatening viruses.

How to Tell If Someone Is Abusing Cocaine

Common cocaine abuse traits include:

  • Constantly focusing on using as much cocaine as possible, as frequently as possible
  • Ongoing concern about quitting cocaine
  • Failure to quit cocaine on one or more occasions
  • Spending lots of time trying to obtain cocaine
  • Neglecting daily responsibilities at home, work, or school
  • Ignoring activities that an individual previously enjoyed
  • Building a tolerance; this leads a person to consume greater amounts of cocaine than ever before each time he or she uses the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms any time an individual goes without cocaine for even a short period of time
  • Continuing to use cocaine – despite knowing and understanding the consequences associated with cocaine use
  • Inability to stop taking cocaine, regardless of whether the drug makes an individual feel sick

If an individual displays three or more of the aforementioned cocaine abuse traits, now may be a great time to pursue a detox treatment program.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Use?

Cocaine use signs and symptoms include:

  • Abscesses
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Criminal behavior
  • Cellulitis
  • Increased energy levels
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Dysphoria
  • Euphoria
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Insomnia
  • Increased nosebleeds and/or sniffling
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Pain
  • Panic attacks
  • Psychosis

If you spot any of the aforementioned symptoms or signs in a friend, family member, or colleague, seek medical support. That way, you may be able to help an individual treat his or her cocaine addiction. 

What Are the Risks and Effects of Cocaine Abuse?

Cocaine use affects a person’s physical and mental well-being. If a person regularly consumes cocaine, the physical and mental damage associated with prolonged drug use may be permanent. In some instances, extended cocaine use can even be fatal.

The long-term effects of cocaine abuse include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • HIV infection
  • Heart attack
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Hepatitis B and/or C infection
  • Hypertension
  • Memory loss
  • Mood disorders
  • Nasal collapse
  • Organ failure
  • Respiratory illness
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Extreme weight loss

Cocaine addiction is a serious problem, and failure to address the issue may lead to death. With plenty of support, however, an individual struggling with cocaine addiction can find a treatment plan to address his or her addictive behaviors.

How Is a Cocaine Overdose Treated?

A person who takes too much cocaine at once risks an overdose. In certain instances, a person may mix cocaine with other drugs, increasing the risk of an overdose. Meanwhile, an overdose may occur intentionally or unintentionally, and the results of an overdose are sometimes fatal.

To date, no medications are available to reverse the effects of a cocaine overdose. If a person takes too much cocaine at once, he or she requires immediate medical attention.

Failure to treat a cocaine overdose may lead to a stroke, seizure, or heart attack. Emergency room doctors may attempt to restore a cocaine overdose victim’s blood flow to the heart. They may also work diligently to stop a cocaine overdose victim’s seizure and/or regain oxygen-rich blood to the affected side of the brain after a stroke.

Even a small amount of cocaine can cause significant harm. If a person is concerned that his or her cocaine use may lead to an overdose, medical help is available. By working with cocaine addiction treatment professionals, an individual can receive expert guidance as he or she addresses an ongoing pattern of cocaine abuse.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Cocaine users may struggle with psychological dependence – something that makes it exceedingly difficult to overcome prolonged cocaine use. Once a person becomes dependent on cocaine, he or she likely will experience withdrawal symptoms. The severity of these symptoms varies, but they typically linger for one to three weeks following last use of cocaine.

Common cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anger
  • Cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Treating cocaine withdrawal symptoms without professional help is virtually impossible. By seeking professional assistance, an individual can move one step closer to recovering from his or her cocaine addiction.

Cocaine Detox Timeline

The acute phase of cocaine withdrawal generally lasts up to three weeks. Initially, it takes a minimum of 72 hours for cocaine to leave a person’s body after last use. Urine tests will show cocaine is present in a person’s body during this 72-hour period. In some instances, cocaine can be detected in a person’s body up to 12 weeks following last use.

The amount of time it takes cocaine to exit a person’s system varies based on how frequently he or she uses the drug, as well as the amount of cocaine an individual consumes. For instance, a person who is engaged in heavy, frequent cocaine abuse is more prone to severe withdrawal symptoms than someone who uses cocaine once.

Typically, the cocaine detox timeline includes the following stages:

Days 1 to 3: The “Crash”

A person will come down – hard – in the first few days following cocaine use. The “crash” period usually lasts up to 72 hours, and at this time, an individual may experience feelings of remorse and hopelessness. Additionally, an individual may feel tired and ill, and it may be tough for him or her to fall asleep. In certain instances, an individual may feel hungry, confused, and irritable as well.

Days 4 to 7: The Struggle

Cocaine cravings often dominate the struggle portion of the detox period. Extreme cravings may persist for up to four days following last use of cocaine. At this time, the body is worn out, and an individual may require extended rest to recover. Also, an individual needs to stay hydrated and eat regularly to reenergize the body.

Other symptoms of cocaine withdrawal that an individual may experience during the struggle period include:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Dysphoria
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia

Week 1 to 2 Post-Use: The “Honeymoon”

Within about a week of last use of cocaine, an individual starts to feel better. But it is important to note that this individual has not fully recovered from his or her cocaine use at this time. And if an individual is not careful, he or she may be susceptible to a cocaine relapse. 

Following week one of cocaine withdrawal, various symptoms may occur. These symptoms include depression, agitation, and vivid, unpleasant dreams.

Week 3 Onward: The Long Haul

Once an individual reaches at least three weeks from his or her last use of cocaine, the risk of a relapse decreases. This individual may still experience anger, cravings, and other post-use side effects. But with a healthy diet, sufficient rest, and regular exercise, an individual is better equipped than ever before to minimize the risk of a relapse.

Understanding the stages of a typical cocaine withdrawal timeline is crucial. When someone begins to detox from cocaine, the side effects can be severe, and they may escalate quickly. Fortunately, if this individual understands how to prepare for cocaine withdrawal, he or she can maintain a positive outlook – regardless of what happens during this period.

Support from addiction treatment professionals often plays a key role in the success of cocaine withdrawal, too. Addiction treatment professionals offer expert insights into cocaine withdrawal that an individual may struggle to obtain elsewhere. They also monitor a cocaine addict’s progress throughout a withdrawal timeline and ensure this individual can safely and effectively recover from his or her addiction.

How Is Cocaine Addiction and Withdrawal Treated?

There is no instant solution to treat cocaine addiction and withdrawal, and a cocaine addict may require one or more of the following treatments:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy, which encourages cocaine addicts to change their thought patterns and develop new behaviors
  • Contingency management, which involves the use of rewards for cocaine addicts who stay sober for a set amount of time
  • Therapeutic communities, which enable cocaine addicts to work together and learn from one another to treat their addictions
  • Community recovery groups, which allow cocaine addicts to work with community members

Cocaine addiction and withdrawal treatment research is ongoing. There is currently no government-approved medication to address cocaine addiction and withdrawal. But with new studies into cocaine addiction and withdrawal symptoms, revolutionary cocaine treatments may be developed in the foreseeable future.

Finding a Cocaine Treatment Program

Cocaine withdrawal and recovery are major challenges. With a cocaine treatment program that provides comprehensive support at each stage of the withdrawal timeline, an individual can simultaneously curb his or her cocaine cravings and address the mental health symptoms associated with cocaine abuse.

At Clear Sky Recovery, our team of medical professionals is dedicated to patient success. We use a holistic approach to help individuals detox cocaine. We also provide a safe, comfortable setting where patients can focus on recovery. To learn more about ibogaine therapy for cocaine detox, please contact us today at 305.901.5371.

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