Cocaine detox timeline: How long to detox from cocaine?

It takes a little under a week to recover from the acute effects of a cocaine binge. What can you expect during this time? We review a common timeline of cocaine detox effects here.

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Detoxifying from cocaine is crucial to recovery from addiction. But cocaine is a habit forming drug which triggers intense cravings upon cessation. So, what can you expect during detox? What kind of timeline can be predicted?

We review here. Then, we invite your questions about cocaine detox or treatments for cocaine detox in the comments section at the end. We try to respond to all legitimate questions personally and promptly.

Cocaine detox duration and length

Acute withdrawal from cocaine typically last from 1-3 weeks.  Cocaine will be present in the body for approximately 72 hours after use. It can be detected in urine during this time, although traces of cocaine can be found in urine for up to 12 weeks in cases of habitual use.

Furthermore, the length of time it will take cocaine to leave a person’s system depends on how frequent and heavy the cocaine use was.  People who have developed extreme dependence on cocaine, after years of use will usually experience more intense withdrawal than those who use cocaine occasionally on binges. For example, following binge use of cocaine, the “crash” can last from 9 hours to 4 days. However, long term users can develop protracted withdrawal symptoms which can take weeks or motnhs to resolve.

Cocaine detox timeline and schedule

Days 1-3: In the period of 24 to 72 hours after last use of cocaine, it is possible for you to feel remorse and depression. It may be hard for you to sleep and wake up feeling bad in the morning. Hunger is common, as is irritability. You may feel disoriented and confused.

Days 4-7: Alternating low and high drug craving can be present during this time. Extreme craving begins to decrease after 3-4 days. Long periods of sleep may be needed, as well as attention to water consumption and nutrition. Other symptoms of withdrawal can include:

  • anxiety
  • apathy
  • depression
  • dysphoria (general dissatisfaction with life)
  • irritability
  • paranoia

Week 1: After a week, you’ll probably start feeling much better. This may increase your confidence you may start to think that it`s easy for you to handle cocaine addiction. However, depressive symptoms, mood disorders, and problems sleeping can occur in cycles. Cravings can also disappear and resurface without warning. After the first week of withdrawal, symptoms may remain such as agitation, unpleasant dreams, and increased appetite.

Week 2: In the two weeks after acute cocaine detox, the cravings for the drug can start to return and you may continue to experience hunger, anger and depression. During week two you may continue to experience vivid dreams and think about using cocaine again.

Later withdrawal phases

After about a month, you may start to experience unaccountable change of mood. Sleep and depression may still be a problem. These issues can be addressed through exercise and a healthy diet. Many former cocaine users cannot handle stress, so relapse is common during this time. Because no one particular treatment method has yet been shown to completely and effectively treat cocaine dependence, it’s best for you to ask help from a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist to learn more about behavioral, psychological and pharmacological (antidepressant) therapies that can help.

How long to detox from cocaine?

It takes about a week to detox from cocaine.

Breaking the binge/crash cycle is probably one of the hardest parts of cocaine detox. The extreme craving that occurs after the crash begins to decrease after 3-4 days, so if you can get past that period of time, you are more likely to stay abstinent. Psychological treatments are reallythe best in current practice, but can help if you stick with them. Researchers are investing much time and energy into the development of some medicines for cocaine withdrawal, but none have been approved by the FDA at the moment..

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Cocaine detox scheduling questions

Do you still have questions about cocaine detox? Please address any questions about cocaine detoxification duration in the section below. We are eager to hear from you and will reply to you ASAP.

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Reference Sources: NHTSA: Cocaine
Withdrawal: Cocaine withdrawal symptoms and signs and detoxification
Health tap: how long does it typically take to detox from cocaine
NIDA: Effective treatments for cocaine abusers
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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