Wednesday October 1st 2014

How long does cocaine withdrawal last?

Are you addicted to cocaine or know someone who is? Here we explore how long cocaine withdrawal lasts and what you can do to help ease the effects. Then, we invite your questions about cocaine withdrawal or signs of cocaine addiction at the end. We try to answer all legitimate questions about cocaine personally and promptly.

How long until cocaine withdrawal starts?

Cocaine is an incredibly effective stimulant and withdrawal symptoms usually start just hours after stopping cocaine. What are symptoms of cocaine withdrawal? Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can include agitation, increased appetite, and fatigue, vivid and unpleasant dreams. While these acute symptoms usually resolve within a week or two of last dose, other symptoms linger. For example, cocaine cravings can persist for the rest of your life. And other psychological withdrawal symptoms of cocaine can last years.

Cocaine withdrawal timeline

How long to withdraw from cocaine? Cocaine withdrawal timelines can last from days to weeks to months after last use. Here’s a general cocaine withdrawal timeline to help guide you during this period.

24 – 72 hours: Within twenty four to seventy two hours you can expect to start to crash and feel remorse and depression. The brain will be severely sleep deprived and while you may be extremely fatigued, it may be difficult to get rest. Some people sleep heavily during this period but wake feeling awful.

Week 1: During week one of cocaine withdrawal, you will probably start feeling a lot better and the cravings will seem easy to manage. The effects of cocaine will seem to be wearing off and you may start to regain confidence in your ability to handle cocaine addiction. Symptoms present during this time generally include agitation, unpleasant dreams, and increased appetite.

Week 2: After about two weeks into cocaine withdrawal, the cravings for the drug can start to return and you will experience hunger, anger and depression. During week two you may experience vivid dreams and think about using again.

Week 3-4: After three to four weeks you may start to experience mood swings. Sleep may still be a problem, as can depression. Exercise and a healthy diet will help to address these issues. Many drug abusers cannot handle stress without abusing a substance, so a lot of drug addicts relapse during this time. If needed, you can seek help from a medical doctor or psychiatrist to address underlying mental health issues.

How long do cocaine withdrawal symptoms last?

Protracted cocaine withdrawal symptoms can last six months to two years. The amount of time that the symptoms last depends on the amount of time that cocaine was used, which will determine the severity and length of the withdrawal period. Typically, you can seek mental health treatment for persistent symptoms which can help to greatly reduce the effects of protracted withdrawal.

Cocaine withdrawal: how long?

How long cocaine withdrawal lasts fluctuates depending on how frequently you used the drug and how large the doses were. If you were a heavy user, then you could experience cocaine withdrawal for years.

People who have used cocaine for extended period of times may experience PAWS, which stands for post acute withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms of PAWS will appear usually three to six months after cessation of cocaine. PAWS occurs when the brain needs additional time to restore normal functions after long periods of drug dependence.

Duration of cocaine withdrawal questions

If you have further questions about how long cocaine withdrawal lasts, please ask them in the comments section below. We will try our best to respond promptly.

Reference Sources: PubMed: Cocaine withdrawal
NCBI: Cocaine withdrawal
VA: Treatment of Acute Intoxication and Withdrawal from Drugs of Abuse
NHTSA: Cocaine

Photo credit: tony newell

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14 Responses to “How long does cocaine withdrawal last?
Steven
7:49 am January 28th, 2014

Iv used every weekend cocaine for 4 months . About a half gram first 3 months a night then last month I would do 1 gram a night on Friday and Saturday

11:07 am January 31st, 2014

Hello Steven. Do you need help in getting treatment for detox? Please let us know, or you can always call 1-800-662-HELP, the national drug abuse treatment hotline (24-7).

Vaso
4:36 pm June 4th, 2014

I’ve been using quasi-daily for the past month, prior to that I was an occasional user (once every 6 month even less). I decided to stop. Today I am at day 3 but still experiencing heavy withdrawal symptoms, mainly fatigue and lack of motivation.
How long these withdrawal symptoms will last taking into consideration that the period i was using is relatively short and the dose was small (less than 0.5 g per consumption day).
Thanks,
V.

10:50 am June 5th, 2014

Hello Vaso. Cocaine can cause protracted withdrawal symptoms in mood and sleep disorders for weeks or months after use. I’d suggest that you seek help from a psychiatrist for an assessment of your level of physical dependency and to address any underlying psycho-emotional issues. The more support during withdrawal, the better!

Lisa
3:36 am June 19th, 2014

I have used cocaine for 3 years off and on and for the past year I have used it daily to the point if 3.5 grams a day how long will the withdrawal process last and how long will the nightmares persist I have been clean for 3 weeks now almost a month Z d I still get terrible nightmares and wake up in cold sweats his long will it last?

1:30 pm June 19th, 2014

Hello Lisa. PAWS (post-acute withdrawal symptoms) can last for weeks or months after acute cocaine withdrawal. Have you spoken with an addiction specialist (MD or psychologist) about these symptoms? It can help to talk with a professional who can let you know what’s normal and how to track and address symptoms as they arise.

Erika
6:03 pm June 28th, 2014

I have used cocaine off and on for 3 years and in that time I used meth for two months that were spanned a year in between each month. The second month I used meth everyday for that month and took the drug by snorting it not smoking it (I don’t know if this makes any difference). I have been clean from drugs since August 2013 and my question is how long does the fatigue last? I feel like I am abnormally tired, like my brain can’t handle being awake a normal amount of hours during the day so I sleep a lot. It’s not even just the tired feeling you get from doing too much and not getting enough sleep. I get enough sleep, 8 hours per night and drink lots of water try to eat healthy and I’m only 25 but I am very, very tired all the time. Is this normal?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
9:37 am June 30th, 2014

Hi Erika. It is expected that you may feel very tired, lethargic, and fatigued throughout the day. A drug like cocaine tends to give people increased energy, so it’s pretty obvious that when you come off of it, you will very likely experience fatigue. People may fall victim to what is called “hypersomnia” or excessive daytime sleeping. This feeling of sleepiness may be very extreme in some past users. It shouldn’t last for too long. Taking more vitamins may give you more energy and vitality throughout the day.

Peter
10:30 am July 30th, 2014

I tried cocaine once a couple of weeks ago and have recently been feeling very tired and lethargic during the day. I have heard that one-time use can have serious affects. Could my sleepiness be related to the cocaine or is that unlikely given that it was just one time?

6:46 pm July 31st, 2014

Hi Peter. It’s unlikely that fatigue is caused by one time cocaine use, especially once the acute effects of the drug have worn off and the body has received from intoxication. I’d suggest, however, that you seek medical help from a general physician and not be afraid of full disclosure of the circumstances surrounding your concerns. Fatigue and sleepiness can be caused by a number of medical conditions and you’ll need a proper diagnosis in order to address the symptoms.

Susan
1:56 am August 12th, 2014

I started using cocaine for the first time Saturday night and now I have these god awful headaches andthey jjust wwon’t budge I don’t have any of the other symptoms it’s been 24hrs since my last dose and I have no cravings what so ever what can I do

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
1:30 pm August 12th, 2014

Hi Susan. Cocaine raises your blood pressure, so that may be the cause for your headaches. It can also be your body’s normal reaction if it doesn’t like stimulants, or you over-did it. Anyway, coke is now more cut than ever. These days up to 80 percent is cut at the source with Levamisole. It could be a cut your body doesn’t like. Cocaine is very irritating to your body. You’re very lucky that all you have experienced is a headache.

anon
10:25 pm August 17th, 2014

Hi .. i have two quick questions… one : can pregnancy cause cravings for cocaine or cat long after someone has stopped using the drug… about a year after the last use of the drug… and the second question if someone has been clean for about a year perhaps 13 month (i do not have the exact dates and timeframe that the person used and then stopped using the drug) what withdrawal symptoms can still be expected.. is sudden cravings for the drug usual after such a long period ??

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
1:16 pm August 19th, 2014

Hi anon. Cocaine cravings can persist for a long, long time after quitting cocaine use. Some people have to deal with the thoughts almost every day, for the rest of their lifetime. As far as the question about pregnancy causing cravings goes, I’d have to say that I’m not aware of such thing. However, using coke during pregnancy is VERY bad for the baby.

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