What are cocaine withdrawal symptoms?

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms are largely psychological and can have extreme effects on you during detox and withdrawal. Learn more about cocaine withdrawal symptoms here.

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Why do cocaine withdrawal symptoms occur?

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms occur when a user decides to cut down or stop use of the drug after regular use. Using cocaine consistently can cause you to become physically dependant on cocaine use. In fact, when your body starts to become used to cocaine, it “rebounds” when you don’t have it. But even one use of cocaine can result in withdrawal. Why?

Cocaine use typically renders a sense of extreme joy by causing your brain to release an excess amount of certain biochemical’s called dopamine. Symptoms occur after cocaine use as you withdraw from cocaine because your body is coming down from an extreme high and seeks homeostasis. This is why you feel a sense of deep dissatisfaction with life after cocaine use. And after a cocaine binge, it is common to have extreme cravings because of the high your body is coming down from.

What are symptoms of cocaine withdrawal?

What is cocaine withdrawal like?  Cocaine withdrawal symptoms vary slightly from other opiates or alcohol because there are typically no visible signs of physical withdrawal symptoms. There are still symptoms that accompany cocaine withdrawal, but there are usually no sign of physical symptoms like nausea, vomiting or shakiness. Some of the symptoms that you will encounter when going through cocaine withdrawal may include:

  • agitation and restlessness
  • depressed mood
  • fatigue
  • generalized malaise
  • increased appetite
  • slowing of activity
  • vivid and unpleasant dreams

Along with these symptoms, you will also face extreme cravings for more cocaine use. This is one of the most difficult symptoms to deal with while trying to abstain from cocaine use. Suicidal thoughts may also be associated with cocaine withdrawal in some users.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms: How long?

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can occur almost immediately after the final dosage of the drug has worn off. Because cocaine use comes with a short-lived high, there are almost immediate cravings for more use. When you withdraw from cocaine, be prepared to face cravings and certain withdrawal symptoms almost immediately after the final use.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms such as depression and cravings, can last months following the end of cocaine use. They can become stronger after being away from the drug for an extended period of time. This is the most difficult part of cocaine withdrawal, because cravings and depression can cause you to return to cocaine use even months after you quit using. Because of this, it is incredibly important to seek long-term treatment for cocaine addiction and use.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms treatment

There is no easy way to treat cocaine withdrawal. In fact, cocaine withdrawal symptoms will usually ease and then disappear over time. There are no medications that are proven to reduce cravings or other cocaine withdrawal symptoms, which makes psychological treatment incredibly important. Both outpatient and inpatient treatment programs can be good options for cocaine withdrawal treatment. Treatment programs will allow you to consult counselors and other patients to deal with the psychological symptoms of withdrawal.

One factor that may contribute to complications with cocaine withdrawal is the use of other substances as a method to reduce withdrawal symptoms. It is important to avoid using other addictive substances, such as alcohol or sedatives, to treat the psychological symptoms of cocaine withdrawal. Treatment centers will allow you to cope with psychological trauma that may have contributed to cocaine use.

Cocaine withdrawal questions

Do you still have questions about cocaine use or withdrawal? Please leave your questions below. We will do our best to respond to you personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: Medline Plus: Cocaine withdrawal
NCBI: Cocaine withdrawal
University of Indiana: DSM IV Criteria for drug dependence
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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