Cocaine Detox

Cocaine withdrawal occurs in people who are addicted or dependent on the drug. After someone who uses a lot of cocaine quits, or cuts down, withdrawal symptoms will occur. This is the same case for those who choose to detox from cocaine. These symptoms can occur even if the user is not completely off of the drug, or still has the drug in their body.

What is Cocaine Detox Like?

Because cocaine produces a sense of euphoria, which causes extreme mood elevation, detox can be painful. Cocaine causes the brain to release higher than normal amounts of some chemicals. Therefore, cocaine’s effects on other parts of the body can be very serious, or even deadly.
When cocaine use is stopped, or if someone stops using it excessively in a binge, a crash begins almost immediately. The user may strongly crave more cocaine, but may also feel fatigued, lack of pleasure, anxiety, irritability, tiredness, and even agitation. They might also feel suspicion of paranoia.
Although cocaine withdrawal during cocaine detox typically does not have physical symptoms like other drugs, it is still painful.
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How Long Does it Take to Detox from Cocaine?

Everyone’s body reacts to the detoxing process differently. Because of this, the cocaine detox timeline is different for everyone. It will depend on a few factors such as:
  • Length of the addiction
  • Amount the individual has been abusing
  • Frequency of drug abuse
Generally, it can take anywhere between five to seven days for detoxing to occur. In severe cases, it can take up to three weeks.
  • 8-12 Hours: The detox process typically begins within eight to 12 hours after the last dose of cocaine. The most obvious first sign is that you will feel fatigued. This is because your body is dependent on the drug, so symptoms of fatigue and anxiousness showcase this. During the detox process, you may generally feel tired and lethargic, along with excessive sweating.
  • Day 1-3: After the first day, you will experience nausea, sleep deprivation, difficulty with concentration, and even loss of motor control. After the third day, you should expect for symptoms to get worse.
    The next few days will lead to blood pressure spikes and even difficulty breathing. You may notice yourself having convulsions, tremors, and even hallucinations. At this point in the detox process, you are more vulnerable to harm. This is why you should get medical help to aid you in going through these symptoms. It is very easy to relapse during this time because of the pain.
  • 5-7 Days: If you can make it past the first week, then you will notice yourself feeling better. It may seem almost like the flu, which will eventually fade. You will find yourself functioning again, and get back on your feet. Despite this, depending on your addiction, your symptoms may be worse. It may even take a few weeks to detox completely. This is why you need to take care. Your symptoms can even continue for a few months, to which you will need to be on the watch.

Common Signs of Cocaine Withdrawal

Withdrawal from substances like alcohol and benzodiazepines can be dangerous. It can also involve severe physical symptoms. When it comes to cocaine withdrawal, it is less on the physical side and mostly psychological withdrawal symptoms that are felt. Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slowed thinking
  • Slowed activity
  • Fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Restlessness
  • Sexual disfunction
  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unpleasant dreams
  • Chills
  • Tremors
  • Muscle aches
  • Nerve pain
  • Increased craving for cocaine
  • Increased appetite

Cocaine Detoxification Timeline

  • Stage 1: The “crash” starts within a few hours, but may take up to a few days. You might experience exhaustion, irritability, anxiety, and increased appetite.
  • Stage 2: The second stage is referred to as the withdrawal stage. You may be in the second stage for up to 10 weeks. Expect lethargy, persistent anxiety, persistent irritability, erratic sleep, strong cravings, depression, and poor concentration during this time.
  • Stage 3: This stage can go on for as long as 28 weeks. You may have sporadic cravings and dysphoria. It is sometimes the hardest part of detox because you can easily relapse.
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How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Urine?

Because of cocaine half-life and metabolites cocaine can be detected in your urine for up to 4 days after taking it. However, this is just a guideline. It is possible for cocaine to stay in your system for a longer or shorter amount of time. The exact amount of time will vary based on a few different factors:
  • How much cocaine you have taken: The more you take, the longer it can stay in your body.
  • How often you take cocaine: The more often you take it the longer it will stay in your body.
  • Method of taking cocaine: If you were to snort, or put it on your gums, it can go deeper into your bloodstream. This means it may stay in your system longer than if you injected or smoked it.
  • Cocaine and Alcohol Toxicity: If you have been drunk at the same time as using cocaine then the cocaine may stay in your body for longer. This is due to higher levels of intoxication and slower metabolism during alcohol consumption.
  • Your weight and metabolism: You have higher levels of body fat; cocaine will stay in your system for longer.

Chronic Cocaine Abuse Effects

Suicidal ideation and cocaine are common symptoms of abuse. This is because it can induce depression very easily.

Physical Damage from Cocaine Use

Also known as long-term effects, the matrix model for stimulant treatment is usually necessary once you have seen physical damage from your cocaine use.
With regular use, tolerance will develop quickly. This may lead to needing higher doses in order to experience the same feelings of pleasure. This can also lead to developing a sensitization. This is when less cocaine produces anxiety, convulsions, or other toxic effects. Eventually, tolerance to cocaine reward and sensitization to cocaine toxicity increases the risk of overdose.
Additionally, for long-term users who binge on cocaine, it can be very dangerous. binges are when cocaine is used repeatedly and at higher doses. It can lead to physical symptoms such as irritability, restlessness, panic attacks, paranoia, and full-blown psychosis.

Treatments for Cocaine Detox

Going to a facility for treatment is important because it means you will have therapists and access to a full range of treatment options. You will have access to custom treatment programs such as:
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs: These programs involve both physician and therapy services while you live in a treatment facility. Typically, these programs range from 30 to 90 days.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs: Outpatient rehabilitation involves services where you do not live in the facility. Instead, you will travel to the facility in order to receive treatment.
  • Relapse Prevention Therapy and Life Skills Training: Aftercare often includes relapse prevention therapy and life skills training. These involve learning how to live without cocaine, as well as being able to identify triggers before they trigger you.
  • Therapy techniques for stimulant users: Often simulant users combat addiction differently than those who use other drugs. Therefore, there are specific techniques to learn in how to avoid using or getting through detox.
  • Evidence-based cocaine treatment methods: It is essential to use evidence-based methods to get through addiction. This is because these methods are proven to work. They can be used alongside other holistic methods as well.
  • Cocaine and Contingency Management: One option for exploring cocaine detox and rehabilitation is contingency management. It is proven to work and is something we offer at the Discovery House.

Do I Need Medical Detox for Cocaine?

The benefits of medically supervised detox are unparalleled. For example, because of the mental health risks of cocaine detox, having a facility where you can detox properly is incredibly important.
During the medical detoxification period, you will be able to have your vitals closely monitored to manage your symptoms. This will also decrease risks. Sometimes this may occur in a hospital, but typically it is a center specifically for detoxing.
After medical detox, you will have a higher chance of success to avoid relapse. Although your situation will vary based on your personal addiction, you will often have a customized treatment plan moving forward. Your recovery plan will depend on your history and prior attempts at quitting – but will be specifically crafted for you with South Shores Recovery and their personalized addiction plans for all clients.
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Long Term Recovery from Cocaine

Cocaine addiction is a lot to handle, and if you are suffering from cocaine addiction or going through a detox it might be painful. Long-term recovery is difficult, but not impossible. At South Shores Recovery, we can offer a wide range of options to help you get through your cocaine addiction and into recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how we can generate a custom plan for your recovery.