How to Detox from Cocaine

Withdrawals, Symptoms and Effects

How to Detox from Cocaine

Statistics from the United Nations state that in 2012 about 17 million people around the world used cocaine. There are about 1.5 million users in the United States alone. Cocaine is a powerful stimulant, a drug that raises dopamine levels in the brain. This means that in the short term it can produce a euphoric effect, with upbeat moods, happiness, and high energy.

Unfortunately, these effects are fleeting and quickly give way to the serious side effects of cocaine. Anyone cocaine user is nearly certain to have become mentally or physically addicted to the drug, if not both. They have also probably negatively affected most aspects of their own lives, not to mention the lives of those close to them. Detox and treatment are essential to these cocaine users, as soon as they realize they want to live, and be sure that their next high isn’t their last move.

If you or someone you love can see more than three of these cocaine abuse traits, it’s time to consider detoxing from cocaine:

  • You focus on using cocaine a lot, every day
  • You think about quitting cocaine a lot
  • You have tried and failed to quit cocaine
  • You consume more cocaine than you intend to
  • You spend lots of time using cocaine or trying to get it
  • You neglect responsibilities at home, school, or work to use cocaine
  • You give up activities you used to love to take cocaine
  • You notice tolerance, that you need more cocaine to get the same effect
  • You experience cocaine withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit
  • You use cocaine even though it’s illegal, risky, dangerous, or even life-threatening, like when you’re driving, or working on a hazardous job, or sure to be caught
  • You notice that using cocaine is making you sick but you don’t stop

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Use?

If you think someone you care about could be using cocaine, be aware of signs and symptoms you should be looking for:

  • Abscesses (from injection)
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Cellulitis
  • Changes in appetite, usually less hunger
  • Criminal behavior
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Dysphoria
  • Euphoria
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased attentiveness and energy
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased sociability at times
  • Insomnia, even for days at a time
  • Intranasal effects, such as nosebleeds or sniffling
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Manic behavior
  • Marked weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Noticeable changes in behavior, especially hostility, intense anger, or paranoia
  • Pain
  • Panic attack
  • Psychosis
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Schizophrenia-like behaviors

Being able to spot these symptoms and signs can ensure you’re ready to help someone with cocaine abuse.

What are the Risks and Effects of Cocaine Abuse?

Abusing cocaine is extremely dangerous to your physical and mental health. The longer you abuse cocaine, the more you are risking severe and even life-threatening consequences. Some of the more serious and potentially long-term effects of cocaine abuse include:

  • Altered sleep patterns, sleep disturbance that is permanent
  • Attention impairment
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Heart attack
  • HIV infection
  • Hepatitis B infection
  • Hepatitis C infection
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Impaired memory
  • Loss of grey matter in the brain, shrinking brain size
  • Memory loss
  • Mood disorders
  • Neurovascular complications
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nose collapse
  • Organ failure
  • Overdose
  • Poly-drug abuse
  • Respiratory illness
  • Seizures
  • Short attention span
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Stroke
  • Weight loss that is unhealthy
  • Death (about 5,000 deaths from cocaine overdose alone in 2013, not to mention deaths connected to cocaine use)

It’s important to get help for cocaine addiction. Trying to quit alone and without support isn’t just hard; it can be dangerous.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Psychological dependence is the most serious issue for cocaine users—but that doesn’t mean quitting is any easier. If you’re dependent in any way on cocaine, you are likely to experience cocaine withdrawal symptoms when you quit using the drug. How severe the symptoms are and how long they last varies from person to person, but one to three weeks of the following symptoms is common:

  • Agitation
  • Angry outbursts
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Vivid, unpleasant dreams
  • Vomiting

This is the wrong time to try and master your darkest thoughts on your own in your room. Get professional assistance with this difficult process to get closer to your goal: recovery.

Cocaine Detox Timeline

The most acute phase of cocaine withdrawal usually lasts from 1 to 3 weeks. It takes at least 72 hours for cocaine to leave the body after your last use, and urine tests will show it during those 72 hours—and sometimes for as many as 12 weeks in regular users.

How long it takes cocaine to exit your system really depends on how often you used the drug, and how much you used. After years of heavy, frequent use you’re more likely to experience more serious cocaine withdrawal symptoms than you are if you were an occasional cocaine binger.

In general, though, your cocaine detox timeline looks like this:

Days 1 to 3: the “crash”

The first few days are filled with feelings of coming down, hard. In this 24 to 72 hour period following your final dose of cocaine, you will feel depression, remorse, and even hopelessness. It will probably be difficult for you to sleep although you will feel fatigued, and you are likely to wake up feeling ill. As your appetite creeps back, you may feel hungry, and you are very likely to feel confused, disoriented, and irritable.

Days 4 to 7: the struggle

This time period is marked by cravings that rise and fall. The most extreme craving should go away within about four days. Your body is worn out, and you may need to sleep for long periods of time. You’ll also need to rehydrate your body and feed it; you’re catching up on nutrition. Other symptoms of cocaine withdrawal during this time can include:

  • anger
  • anxiety
  • apathy
  • depression
  • dysphoria
  • hopelessness
  • irritability
  • paranoia

Week 1 to 2 post-use: the “honeymoon”

After one week detoxing from cocaine, you’re like to begin to feel much better. Remember, although this is encouraging, it’s not over yet and relapse is a real risk now. Depression and related symptoms along with cravings can come in waves, so stay vigilant and follow your treatment plan. After week one of cocaine withdrawal, you may still experience symptoms like agitation, increased appetite, and vivid, unpleasant dreams.

Week 3 onward: the long haul

In the several weeks following the intensive phase of your cocaine detox, watch for your cravings for cocaine to return, and seek help when you need it. You are likely to continue to experience anger, depression, hunger, cravings, and vivid dreams. After around one month, you may feel another mood swing. Try to eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, and exercise.

Finding a Cocaine Treatment Program

Cocaine withdrawal and recovery from cocaine addiction are extremely difficult to cope with. Don’t let this drug’s allure keep you down and addicted. A cocaine treatment program that can support your physical needs and your mental health symptoms such as anxiety and depression is key to your success. At Clear Sky Recovery, you will benefit from our holistic approach and a complete cocaine detox in a beautiful tropical setting, professionally designed to hasten your recovery. Contact us today to find out why so many people who can choose any clinic they want select Clear Sky.


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