Cocaine Withdrawal & Detox

Getting Help from a Cocaine Detox for Withdrawal

Despite what you might imagine, cocaine withdrawal is not as intense as withdrawal from alcohol or any other drugs. That said, it can still be a dangerous and uncomfortable process that can have detrimental effects on a person’s health. It is best to seek the help of a cocaine detox center if you are looking into quitting cocaine.

Cocaine is a powerful and highly addictive controlled substance derived from the coca plant and can come in both a powdered form or a solid form known as crack cocaine. Cocaine drug abuse can bring about a variety of sharp withdrawal effects.

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By: Renaissance Recovery

Clinically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated:


Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

To kick-off, let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms of cocaine withdrawal. Whether you are struggling with powder cocaine or crack cocaine, withdrawal symptoms can be similar.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include: 

Physical Symptoms:

  • Chills
  • Tremors
  • Increased appetite
  • Sleepiness
  • Headaches
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Muscle aches
  • Slowed activity

Psychological Symptoms

  • Generalized discomfort
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Strong cravings for cocaine
  • Diminished sexual desire
  • Hostility
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Lack of motivation
  • Problems with focus
  • Inability to feel joy or pleasure
  • Paranoia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Exhaustion, mental and physical
  • Troubling dreams

With that laundry list of negative outcomes in place, how does cocaine withdrawal take place?

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Signs of Cocaine Withdrawal

Many variables will affect the severity of cocaine withdrawal symptoms, most notably: 

  • How much of the drug you’ve been using
  • How long you have been using the drug for
  • The severity of your addiction

With that said, cocaine withdrawal is characterized by three distinct phases:

1. The Crash

From a few hours to a few days after last using cocaine, habitual users can expect the crash phase of withdrawal to begin. 

A sense of crippling depression washes over users, along with exhaustion and fatigue. 

Suicidal thoughts are commonplace in cases of severe cocaine addiction. Everything seems hopeless at this stage.

2. Continued Cocaine Withdrawal

Users’ moods and general functioning improve once the initial slump is over. 

Unfortunately, anhedonia often comes about during the continued withdrawal phase. This is a condition characterized by an inability to feel pleasure or joy. 

Prevailing feelings are of boredom and irritation, undercut by powerful cravings for cocaine. 

During this phase of cocaine withdrawal, which can last from one to ten weeks, the chance of relapse is highest.

If you successfully navigate this thorny phase of cocaine withdrawal, the final stage is where recovery proper begins.

3. Extinction

You can expect your moods to fluctuate over the coming months, and you can also expect cravings for cocaine for up to 6 months. The worst, though, is behind you and cocaine withdrawal complete.

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Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

The cocaine withdrawal timeline for those suffering with a cocaine addiction will have plenty of variation based on the length of time of use, physical build of the individual, and amount of cocaine intake.

With mild or moderate cocaine addictions, withdrawal symptoms could be gone in 24 hours. Even though only a day doesn’t seem that bad, sometimes withdrawal can be extremely dangerous and some emotional and other side effects like depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can persist from days to months.

The cocaine withdrawal timeline typically occurs as follows:

  1. Crash phase: Initial detox phase that can feel like you have the flu, can last 1-3 days
  2. Withdrawal phase: Length can vary by each individual, can last up to 4 weeks.
  3. Extinction phase: Begins after 10 weeks of sobriety, cravings and irritability still exists but begins to subside.

Moderate to severe addictions might see withdrawal symptoms lasting for two to four days. These withdrawal symptoms will more likely be more substantial and may even require medical supervision to do safely.

Almost all acute withdrawal symptoms should disappear within ten days. What lingers in the case of cocaine withdrawal are intense cravings for the drug. Sometimes these intense cravings can push people to the brink of relapse that is why its important to seek addiction treatment and relapse prevention therapy in tandem, this is why some treatment programs utilize drug tapering to help ensure safety.

How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Last?

Experiences will vary person to person based on factors like amount used, length of use, and existing health conditions.

Cocaine withdrawal (also known as coke withdrawal) can last anywhere from a few days while the cravings and depression can last a couple months.


Fight Back Against Cocaine Addiction

Get evidence-based treatment to overcome cocaine addiction at Renaissance Recovery. Call our team now to learn more about the process.

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Cocaine Detox Programs

For those in early recovery experiencing cocaine withdrawal symptoms, seeking out a medical detox program will give you the best chance to fight back against cocaine addiction, overcome the withdrawal stage of treatment, and begin your new sober life on the right track.

During the cocaine detox process, clients will start treatment at an inpatient or residential treatment facility and be monitored 24/7 by medical professionals as they deal with the withdrawal symptoms associated with cocaine.

Along with some common withdrawal symptoms like nerve pain and mood swings, the withdrawal process can also bring about problems related to mental illness including increased risk of depression, anxiety, and more.

Unlike other forms of substance abuse, dealing with cocaine withdrawal is not often life-threatening, going to a detox program will help clients who are seeking treatment get over the first speed bump of the treatment process, reduce their cravings for cocaine use, overcome early cocaine withdrawal symptoms, and allow clients to focus on treatment.

Cocaine Detox Help at Renaissance Recovery

In cases of severe cocaine addiction, medically-managed detox is usually advisable. Health care providers can ensure that withdrawal symptoms don’t exacerbate and become too severe and risk more serious consequences. Medication-assisted treatment is also recommended if you have previously attempted cocaine withdrawal but relapsed. MAT can help ensure clients overcome the cocaine cravings that are common among those who are newly sober.

Unlike alcohol use disorder or opioid use disorder, there is no FDA-approved medication for treating cocaine withdrawal, although research in this area is ongoing and promising. Buprenorphine and naltrexone could be beneficial according to the findings of some animal studies. 

With the right behavioral therapy like CBT, you can learn to identify the triggers causing you to abuse cocaine, and you will also formulate coping strategies that don’t involve rolling up a dollar bill. 

Outpatient care is usually sufficient for treating cocaine addiction, and our treatment program at Renaissance Recovery can help you build a sober support network that can contribute to long-term and lasting recovery.

Whether you have cocaine dependence or full-blown cocaine addiction, you might benefit from outpatient treatment to help you become substance-free, and to give you the strongest chance of staying that way. 

While there might not be any FDA-approved medications to ease withdrawal symptoms, our comprehensive treatment program for cocaine addiction will help you get to the bottom of what’s been leading you to cocaine abuse and begin the recovery process. You’ll also learn how to counter cravings for coke with healthier coping mechanisms. 

If you or a loved one needs help to get back on track, then, you can get started today by calling our addiction treatment professionals at our cocaine rehab today.

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