What are the Effects of Cocaine Withdrawal

Authored By: Joe Gilmore

Table of Contents

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 dangerous and it is best to seek the help of a cocaine addiction treatment center.

Cocaine is a powerful and highly addictive controlled substance that can bring about a variety of sharp withdrawal effects, and we’ll be giving you a brief insight into what to expect from cocaine withdrawal if you find yourself addicted to this deadly drug.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

To kick-off, this is a snapshot of just some of the symptoms associated with cocaine withdrawal: 

  • Generalized discomfort
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Chills
  • Tremors
  • Strong cravings for cocaine
  • Diminished sexual desire
  • Hostility
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Lack of motivation
  • Sleepiness
  • Headaches
  • Problems with focus
  • Inability to feel joy or pleasure
  • Increased appetite
  • Paranoia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Exhaustion, mental and physical
  • Muscle aches
  • Troubling dreams
  • Slowed activity 

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

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: 

  • The crash
  • Continued cocaine withdrawal
  • Extinction

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.

Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

With mild or moderate cocaine addictions, withdrawal symptoms could be gone in 24 hours. Moderate to severe addictions might see withdrawal symptoms lasting for two to four days. 

Almost all acute withdrawal symptoms should disappear within ten days. What lingers in the case of cocaine withdrawal are intense cravings for the drug.

How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Last

The most severe cocaine withdrawal symptoms should last no more than two weeks.

Cocaine Withdrawal Treatment at Renaissance Recovery

Although often unpleasant, cocaine withdrawal is seldom life-threatening. There is usually no requirement for medical treatment either. 

In cases of severe cocaine addiction, medically-managed detox is usually advisable. 

Medication-assisted treatment is also recommended if you have previously attempted cocaine withdrawal but relapsed. 

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 therapy is usually sufficient for treating cocaine addiction, and we can help you out there. 

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 programs for cocaine addiction will help you get to the bottom of what’s been leading you to abuse cocaine. 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 the friendly team at our California rehab at 866.330.9449.866.330.9449

an image of people holding hands after learning how to help a drug addict
Addiction and Recovery

How to Help a Drug Addict

Learning how to help a drug addict is something millions of people would benefit from, with over 20 million people in the United States diagnosed

Read More »

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Pat C

“I owe my life and my happiness to these people. October 8th, 2019 marked two years of sobriety for me, and prior to finding Renaissance I hadn’t had 24 hours sober in nearly 20 years.”

Paige R

“Renaissance Recovery truly changed my life.”

Courtney S

” I’m grateful for my experience at Renaissance, the staff are very experienced, they gave me the hope I needed in early sobriety, and a variety of coping mechanisms that I can use on a daily basis.”

Diana Vo, LMFT

Diana is an addiction expert and licensed marriage and family therapist who has been in the field of mental health for over 10 years.

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country