Cocaine detox treatment

Treatment during cocaine detox includes assessment, supervised withdrawal, and may use medications such as Disulfiram, Amantadine, and/or Modafinil. More on how to detox from cocaine safely here.

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Cocaine is one of the most frequently abused central nervous system stimulant. Individuals dependent on cocaine experience profound loss of control over stimulant intake, in response to the stimulation and disruption of endogenous reward centers.

But how can you withdraw from cocaine safely? Is it possible rapidly to remove the physiological effects of this addictive substance? Here, we hope to answer these questions and address treatments that help cocaine withdrawal. And then at the end, we invite your additional questions about cocaine withdrawal symptoms treatment.

Cocaine detox: What to expect

Stimulant withdrawal, which occurs following cessation of chronic cocaine use, can produce a wide range of dysphoric symptoms.  These symptoms can be categorized by period of time and may include:

Binge use – Following binge use, individuals may initially experience a “crash” period, which is characterized by symptoms of depression, anxiety, agitation and intense drug craving.

Intermediate phase detox – During the intermediate withdrawal phase, individuals may experience fatigue, a loss of physical and mental energy, and decreased interest in the surrounding environment.

Late withdrawal phase – During the weeks and months after initial detox from cocaine, individuals may experience brief periods of intense drug craving, such that objects and people in the addicted person’s life can become a conditioned trigger for craving and relapse.

Treatment of stimulant abuse requires a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s psychological, medical, forensic and drug use history. However, cocaine detox treatment is not usually associated with medical complications. Still, some patients with recent cocaine use can experience persistent cardiac complications, including prolonged QT intervals and vulnerability for arrhythmia and myocardial infarction through the production of cocoethylene. Seizures may also be a complication of cocaine abuse and can occur during detoxification.

Currently, researchers are exploring the treatment of symptoms of cocaine withdrawal. However, no medication has been developed to minimize the severity or intensity of symptoms during the cocaine withdrawal timeline. The most effective means of treating cocaine withdrawal involves establishing a period of abstinence from this agent.

Rapid cocaine detox treatment

Doctors do not recommend that people dependent on cocaine attempt any rapid detox or ultra rapid detox from cocaine.  Cocaine addiction treatment is most effective when the patient is treated with formal therapy upon completion of the cocaine detoxification process.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration maintains a continuously updated national database of cocaine detox centers in your local area, as well as the leading recommended cocaine detox centers in the United States and around the world.

When choosing any drug rehab treatment program, it is always important to choose a drug rehab treatment facility that stresses the behavioral health aspect of treatment.In cases when you don’t have a supportive network of family and friends, it is strongly recommended that you attend outpatient therapy and 12 step support group meetings to strengthen your chances of staying clean.

How to detox from cocaine safely

During withdrawal, there can be powerful, intense cravings for cocaine. Treatment should start with the least restrictive option and move up if necessary. Outpatient care is as effective as inpatient care for most people addicted to cocaine. To quit cocaine safely, you might consider any of the following primary options:

  • Disulfiram and Amantadine may help reduce cocaine use in patients with more severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • Modafinil, an anti-narcolepsy agent with stimulant-like action, is currently treated as a cocaine detoxification agent.
  • Acupuncture has been viewed as an effective adjunct to treatment for cocaine disorder. It is used as an adjunct during maintenance. The ritualistic aspect of the practice of acupuncture as part of a comprehensive treatment program provides a stable, comfortable, and consistent environment in which the client can actively participate.

People who have cocaine withdrawal will often use alcohol, sedatives, hypnotics, or anti-anxiety medications such as diazepam (Valium) or lorazepam (Ativan) to treat their symptoms. Use of these drugs is not recommended because it simply shifts addiction from one substance to another.

Detox from cocaine questions

Still have questions about cocaine detox treatment? Please leave your questions in the comments section below. We do our best to respond to you personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: Health and Human Services Department, State of Arkansas
SAMHSA Quick Guide for Physicians: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment
Medline Plus: Cocaine withdrawal
SAMHSA:  Physical Detoxification Services for Withdrawal From Specific Substances
Office of Veteran’s Affairs: Acute detox treatment
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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