Understanding the Most Common Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Understanding the Most Common Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
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When using cocaine regularly it can be hard to imagine going without it. While you may want to stop the fear of facing withdrawal symptoms can hold you back. We understand exactly how you feel. Once you’ve become addicted to a drug, it naturally becomes more difficult to stop using it. Your dependency makes your body react differently without it and causes symptoms that may be painful or uncomfortable enough to make the thought of quitting unbearable. Know that recovery is possible and with the support of professionals you can live a sober life. You just need to take it one day at a time and not be afraid to accept help from those

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can last longer for some than others. Although, the first stage of symptoms can present themselves almost immediately after you come down from your high. Some of the symptoms that come with withdrawal from other drugs, such as vomiting or tremors, do not occur with cocaine withdrawal.

Instead, withdrawal from cocaine takes on more of an emotional and mental effect. It may seem doable, or like you can handle it yourself, but going through the withdrawal process alone is rarely successful on a long-term basis. We highly recommend to go through withdrawal and detox at a treatment facility that has the proper staff in place to help ease symptoms, monitor health, and provide support for what can be a very challenging time. Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:


The use of drugs transforms the mind and causes an imbalance within the body as it tries to regulate itself to some type of normalcy. When you become addicted to drugs, your new “normal” is life with them and the body adapts accordingly. Without drugs, the body must recalibrate to adapt again. This big shift can cause mood swings and severe depression, especially if you already exhibit signs of poor mental health. If this sounds familiar, you can imagine how important it is to have the right support system by your side during this trying time.


Many people often complain of flu-like symptoms withdrawal symptoms from cocaine or other types of drugs. It can make your body feel run down and lethargic. As you know, the high of cocaine usually makes you feel extra confident, outgoing, and able to get a lot of things done at once. When coming down from that high, the opposite can occur. It can feel draining and can cause you to withdraw. It’s important to remember not to give up.


It’s not uncommon for you to experience aches and pains as withdrawal symptoms of cocaine. Again, your body is trying to adapt to the “norm” of functioning. If it’s used to going through the day-to-day with cocaine in the system, and then it’s abruptly not present, this radically changes the makeup and feelings of the body. When you are in withdrawal you may begin to feel jittery or anxious, while also physically hurting.

Vivid and Unpleasant Dreams

Even with knowing side effects of cocaine use, it can still be unpredictable. There’s no way to know for certain how someone will react to using cocaine. Even for chronic users, each time using can be a different experience. Cocaine can play tricks on your mind both in the awake and resting state causing additional trauma to the body.

Cocaine produces a sense of euphoria caused by the increased release of certain biochemicals in the brain that equal relaxation or joy. Because of this attack on your senses, withdrawal can result in the opposite effect. The “crash” of cocaine may result in several symptoms as mentioned before, but can also increase paranoia and general uneasiness.

How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Last?

There is no one specific time to refer to when going through withdrawal. Each situation must be addressed on a case-by-case basis because multiple factors come into play. For example, generally speaking, if you have been abusing cocaine for months or years you will have a longer time going through the withdrawal process than someone who may have started using more recently.

The withdrawal period for any drug is dependent on several contributing factors, such as age, height, weight, and your general health. How much of the drug you’ve taken and how long you’ve been using it are also key differentiators.

Your body requires time to break down the drug and eliminate it from the system. If, for example, you have a slow metabolism and are also taking other illegal substances, the withdrawal period and detoxification time will be longer than someone in good health who is not a regular user.

Regardless, the effects of cocaine are just as dangerous for someone taking it for the first time as it is for someone taking it for the fiftieth. There is no way to know for sure how your body will respond. When the body begins to “adapt” to cocaine use from repeated use, you may feel like you need more of the drug in less amount of time to feel the same high as before. This is normal but it is a pattern you can break with the right treatment program.

Addiction is a disease that has to be viewed and treated as such. The ease or difficulty in which you are able to detox varies from situation to situation. Many do not succeed with withdrawal and detox on their own. It’s the help of medical professionals and supportive care that allows you to regain your strength with the help of others.

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Why Seek Help?

In addition the pain and discomfort you face when going through symptoms of cocaine withdrawal, there are also health situations that can prove dangerous when you decide to attempt the process alone. When your body goes through such an intense change, it’s best to have medical attention and monitoring available for any complications that may arise.

Cravings can last for several weeks or months even after withdrawal, which is why several end up relapsing and begin using again. With the disruption to the body also comes disruption to the mind as well, which means those who have struggled with addiction may also struggle with mental instability, including depression. These cravings and feelings can be intense and overwhelming. Turning to qualified individuals to help you through this challenging time can only help you succeed for the long-term and help you return to good health even sooner.

If you have experienced chronic use of cocaine, you may experience post acute withdrawal syndrome. This stage often comes with symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia. Post acute withdrawal syndrome can last for far longer than the initial physical reactions of cocaine withdrawal mentioned above. In some instances, symptoms can linger for months, even years.

It’s important to not only understand addiction as a disease, but also the residual long-term side effects that might come with it. Because when you have achieved sobriety and head back out into a world that may still hold temptation and negative influences, it’s up to you to use coping mechanisms and healthy, learned habits to combat them.

This is learned in treatment. And, is another reason why you should seek help and not struggle through detox, treatment, or recovery on your own. It is a personal path with an individual drive necessary in order to achieve sobriety, but the support of others is a vital part of the process.

Treatment for Addiction Is Available

If you or a loved one decides to seek treatment for cocaine addiction, there are several safe and secure cocaine treatment options available to you. Not only will having accountability and medical monitoring help prevent relapse, it can help make the process more comfortable for you. As a loved one you can be aware of signs of cocaine use. And as an addict, there are often ways to help curb cravings and learn how to handle temptations for the long run. These solutions must be administered by a professional to guide you to a healthier path without drugs.

When you enter treatment, you can choose inpatient or outpatient care, which is just as it sounds. Inpatient means you will be part of the facility for a certain amount of time, usually 30 days of temporary residence and an outpatient facility means you will not reside there, but still attend regular appointments.

Although you may feel like you are able to go through withdrawal problems on your own, it’s not an ideal way to overcome addiction or stay clean. Addiction isn’t only about physically eliminating drugs from the system, it’s also about being accountable for your actions and understanding the choices you have to make every day.

When you have no support or encouragement to aid the struggles that can come with withdrawal, you are more likely to slip back into old habits. Treatment and recovery programs are designed to monitor all aspects of your health. This includes the proper education and engagement necessary for you to learn about cocaine addiction, get the help you need to become healthy, and learn new ways to take hold of your sobriety and overcome negative influences and pressures that may lead you to use in the past.

Additionally, you can find more solace in a treatment facility than they might at home or trying to recover on their own. Many inpatient treatment facilities are located near scenic vistas, such as mountain ranges, oceans, or other more secluded and peaceful spots.

On occasion, you may be able to detox more rapidly. This is done under anesthesia with naloxone or another cocaine-blocking agent. For this type of intense treatment, it may help decrease symptoms, but doesn’t necessarily affect how long the withdrawal period will last. This option is determined and recommended on a case-by-case situation under the guidance of a doctor.

Much like the withdrawal process itself, treatment is dependent on a variety of factors and the choices you make.

Road to Recovery

After the initial withdrawal and detox process, it’s time for cocaine addiction treatment and recovery. Once you can begin living drug-free, then there’s time to dive deeper into issues that may have led to the addiction in the first place. For example, what are your triggers? What causes anxiety? What would make your temptation pop up again in the future?

Getting a baseline understanding of the drug and why you use it will help with solutions in finding other ways to deal with any stress, pain, or discomfort you might feel. It’s not a quick process and there may even be setbacks, but it’s doable and worth it to your health and happiness to live a sober lifestyle.

Recovery is an active decision. It’s choosing sobriety day after day and some days may be harder than others. Addiction isn’t the type of disease where you’re able to take medicine and it disappears never to return. There has to be a conscious effort to fight it and change in such a way where drugs are no longer welcome. This change in behavior doesn’t happen overnight, but we are here to help every step of the way.


  1. Australian Government Department of Health, The Cocaine Withdrawal Syndrome. Accessed Feb. 21, 2016.
  2. MedlinePlus, Cocaine Withdrawal: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Accessed March 5, 2016.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Frequently Asked Questions. March 21, 2017, Accessed Feb. 23, 2016.
  4. Harrington. Michelle. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration | SAMHSA. Substance Use Disorders. Sept. 30, 2014, Accessed Feb. 23, 2016.
  5. Mayo Clinic, Drug Addiction (Substance Use Disorder). Accessed Feb. 15, 2016.
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