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How long does cocaine withdrawal last?

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.

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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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34 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?

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

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 ??

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.

Stephanie
6:20 am October 16th, 2014

I have been off cocaine for 4 years && 5 months now. I used it for 1 year && 2 months, eventually, smoked it && also used crystal in that time. I quit cold turkey from 1 day to the next && never sought any type of help. The past years i have still had cravings. I can literally smell, taste && feel the drugs. Is this normal? Craving after all these years? What can I do?

10:01 am October 16th, 2014

Hi Staphanie. You can talk honestly about your feelings with an understanding (non-using) friend or therapist. Things that you can do on your own are keeping yourself busy, exercising, and waiting for the wave of cravings to pass.

Hira
9:31 pm December 28th, 2014

I used to abuse a considerable amount of it with alcohol once every 2 months for a long time. After I ran out of money I shifted my focus to LSD and ecstasy and alcohol to counter the withdrawal effects for about 3 months. The amount and frequency kept on decreasing because I was again running out of money and honestly they did not have the same ‘hit’ as much as coke did. They were different and weird. I was too scared to let this come into anybody’s knowledge so I started to take an anti-withdrawal med (naltrexone, sold here as Naltima) for about 6 months and it helped to a certain degree. I motivated myself to be sober, I fought battles within me everyday without letting anybody know. But its been 3 months now and the ‘bad’ feelings are taking over me again. I cant face the reality, I see no point in doing anything. I have become a miserable person. Is it normal for cocaine withdrawal symptoms last this long?? I currently am on nothing, just 2 packs of Nicorettes (sold here as Nicotex) per day. Please Help.

3:38 pm January 1st, 2015

Hi Hira. I’d suggest talking to a licensed psychologist or a psychiatrist, or you can search for some support groups in your area. You need a moral boost to continue with your mission for a drug-free life. Bad feelings can drag you back if left untreated, so please try to find some professional help. It doesn’t mean you are getting weak, it means you’ve been dealing with a lot for a while now.

bibidi
12:51 am January 4th, 2015

In some cases the user will never be set free. A relapse is almost inevitable. Don’t let yourself be fooled by an extended period of sobriety. The user will feel he or she has the addiction under use and therefore resumes use. An even deeper more painful addict is now created. Instead one should smoke marijuana. Thank you

Scared
4:52 pm January 6th, 2015

I need help. Ive lost 16 years of my life to this garbage. Im 12 days clean. Im having headaches & cant sleep. Im workingout & eating rite but its just part of the big lie of being a junky. I wanta be better

4:06 pm January 14th, 2015

Hello Scared. Get help through counseling! You’ll need psychotherapy: probably a combination of CBT and behavioral therapy to address cravings and underlying psycho-emotional issues that compel cocaine use. You are not alone and don’t need to be sober alone!

Darren
3:11 pm January 16th, 2015

I’m Planning on quiting tomorrow I can’t handle these sessions anymore I’m 21 & want more to life than take drugs!? I don’t think il withdrawal symptoms tho? Because half the coke round here is bashed

Harry
10:43 am January 19th, 2015

Hi I’ve been using drugs since 13 14 yrs old started on cannabis and moved to harder substances ive bin taking cocaine for about 7 years on and off having binges and detoxes throughout but I’m a month clean from everything now after I suffered a massive panic attack a afternoon after the night before and since I’ve not felt the same. I’m yet to have any scans done for damage but that is the next step. I’m 24 with a girlfriend and daughter of 2. It’s ruined my life made me a wreck. I now suffer from extreme anxiety and tremors etcs I feel I’m never going to get better like I’ve ruined it for ever. I just need a direction to take without feeling like a scumbag. I don’t feel the need to relapse im too scared too it’s just my health I worry about now the feeling like I’m going to die is enough for me to go this young please help

5:19 pm January 20th, 2015

Hello Harry. Sure you can do it! But, it’s not done easily and staying sober after half a life-time of substance abuse will probably require a continuous effort throughout many years to come. You need to detox first, and medical professionals can best assist you during the period of withdrawals-which won’t be very pleasant, but the sympoms can be managed with medications. After you are physically stable, the long period of being devoted to counselling and therapy sessions will begin. This is an absolutely essential step for staying drug-free by learning the root cause for your drug use and what compells you to reach for drugs; then, learning new coping techniques will help you stay drug-free.

For now, you can start by clicking on these links and finding treatment centers in your area: http://addictionblog.org/find-treatment/ and https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

pamela handerson
1:29 am February 19th, 2015

ive used the white girl for a year and a bit now . i feel im heavy into it and want to stop but i notice i get irritable and depressed before it was jsut weekend now its coffee and cocaine before work meetings just so i dont look off and i pay attention , should i consider an anti-anxiety med or a ritalin? i have the attention span of a gold fish naturally , then found coke helped me focus now its the opposite , i try cleaning and next thing you know im styling my hair and doing my make up trying new looks , or painting endlessly untill 6 am . also i find im very introverted now when i do it anyone have any good coping methods to help kick the habbit? also anyone struggling with social anxiety who has good coping methods they find helping please reach out xoxo

kamarov
10:21 pm March 2nd, 2015

Tried coke at a party this weekend maybe did 6-7 lines in one night then the next day I felt like I was hungover my stiffness loss of sleep I usually don’t do coke except 1-2 times a month with atleast a month space between. Should be worrying about this its lasted 3 days I’m not worried I have friends ready to help I’m just curious as to what’s going on

sara
8:14 am April 10th, 2015

On sunday my friend did a 8ball and Monday thru Thursday she been doing if she stop on Saturday will it be out of her system

Nervouse
6:40 am April 17th, 2015

I used cocaine about 2 or 3 weeks ago for te first time in a while .. I’ve only done it about 6 times in my whole life but this last time I did a lot of it .. the come down was horrible .. I couldn’t goto work the next day .. I got fired … And ever since than I’ve been suffering worse anxiety and depression that normal.. Have I perminently ruined my brain function? I have so much anxiety lately it’s UNbelievable I WILL never do it again … Addiction runs in my family the thought of the drug makes me nervous inside all by itself At this Point .. I’m scared il never be the same again .. Helppppp

12:15 pm April 17th, 2015

Hi Nervouse. We are lucky because our brains and bodies have amazing self-healing properties and tend to return back to normal. Although the brain has a tendency to return to homeostasis, some damages can occur and can be irreversible. Especially if you already have the genetic make up for conditions such as anxiety and depression. I’ advise you to seek doctor’s help in order to find a treatment that will help with your anxiety problems.

Alec
3:06 am May 28th, 2015

I’ve been using Coke now for over 6 months regularly once or twice a week but I’d say the last 6 weeks it’s been a lot more and the last 4 constant everyday thing I’ve he’d one day off in that time this is now my second I’m going to make it permanent he’d enough of the stuff. Anyone with some advice many thanks

John
1:58 am June 15th, 2015

I had coke on and off for years until last year. I started taking it every single week, sometimes twice in one week. I tried to quit on several occasions but failed until now. It has been four weeks now clean. Im 100% certain I wont be touching that shit again. I just laid out the pros and cons of taking the drug. I could not find one pro but many cons. I realised that this drug simply is wrecking my life.

Dave
5:32 pm July 2nd, 2015

I didn’t think I had a coke problem until now. Over the past few months it developed from a gram on a night out with work friends to taking it sober in the house after work each night. I have not had any for nearly 3 weeks and it has been a horrific time. My heart Is racing, sleepless nights with sudden rush of energy when trying to sleep. Muscle spasms, suicidel thoughts (especially when driving) freaking out thinking I’m going to have a heart attack. In general not feeling myself. It has got a bit better in the last few days, however, when I think about it I start taking anxiety attacks. Will this ever disappear and allow me to be me again? I know one thing, I will never put myself in the position where I could take it ever again.

nate
12:38 am July 26th, 2015

I was doing cocaine for about 6 months about half a gram every night got sick back in February of 2015 with bronchitis then I had mono I have not felt the same ever since how long until I can feel better again

Wayne
11:02 pm August 22nd, 2015

I used to be addicted to cocaine for about a year. I was up to an 8ball a day. I stopped cold turkey because my fiance was ptegnat and I didn’t want that in my child’s life. After she lost the baby I did it again about 2 months and realized the monster i icreated. I was clean for a year and a half I want it everyday a month ago I snorted a gram. Since I quit the first time I get terrible headache the back right side of my head. I get very dizzy.can withdrawal last this long? I have the will power to stop I am a very strong person.I’m proud of what I overcame but the symptoms have never gone away. They vary on pain levels. Also in that from I used method a few times.

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