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Cocaine Detox Center

Cocaine is such a high-energy, powerful stimulant that even a one-night session of use can leave the user feeling depleted and excessively tired. This is known as a “cocaine crash”, and it is one of the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal. The longer and heavier the use, the harder the crash when the drug wears off. Most habitual cocaine users have difficulty getting off the drug without help from a cocaine detox center.

What Are the Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal?

Cocaine-Withdrawal-Symptoms-Detoxaddiction therapist performs intake at cocaine detox centerThe first symptoms appear within 20 minuteness to an hour after use and include an intense craving for more coke, excitable behavior, restlessness, and jaw clenching. If no more cocaine is used, the symptoms for the casual user will increase in intensity and duration, the length of which depends on the length and severity of the dependence. A physical and emotional crash often follows this period.

Regular use of cocaine builds a tolerance that leads to dependency and addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can occur after the first use of cocaine, which makes many continue to use until the crash occurs.

When experiencing a cocaine crash, the user will feel:

  • Exhaustion and depleted
  • Fear, anxiety, and panic
  • An uncontrollable urge to eat and sleep
  • Depression
  • Irritable
  • Decreased cravings for the drug

Once the initial crash passes, the real withdrawal symptoms appear. All of these feelings and symptoms are multiplied with heavy or ongoing, long-term cocaine abuse. The signs of withdrawal tend to be more psychological with cocaine than other drugs but begin with physical dependence that lowers the brain’s ability to regulate stress and feelings of pleasure.

Major withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slowed reactions and ability to process information
  • Vivid dreams or night terrors
  • Periods of restlessness and exhaustion
  • Muscle and nerve pain
  • Increased appetite
  • Mounting cravings for cocaine
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Inability to experience pleasure (anhedonia)
  • Irritability and outbursts of anger
  • Psychomotor agitation

One of the more serious and prevalent withdrawal symptoms from cocaine use is severe depression and suicidal behavior. Cocaine abusers are slightly more susceptible to this due to the way chronic cocaine use affects the brain’s dopamine production. This makes prompt medical detox and supervision imperative, especially in the first phase of recovery.

If someone is serious about overcoming cocaine addiction, supervised treatment at a cocaine detox center offers the best choice. Intensive addiction therapy programs provide medical assistance to manage discomfort and anxiety while the body and brain are cleansed from the drug. This is followed by intensive therapy and other measures indicated during the initial patient assessment and follow-up evaluations.

How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Last?

Every person experiences recovery in their own unique way, but there is a general cocaine withdrawal timeline that’s fairly typical among most habitual cocaine users. Physical withdrawal ends within a few days, but the psychological dependence can last for years.

Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

Because the drug spends such a short time in the system, cocaine withdrawal is fast and intense. It can begin as soon as 30 minutes after ceasing use. The short half-life of cocaine means that it depletes the system within 90 minutes. For lasting recovery, a stay at a cocaine detox center will be followed by a residential addiction treatment program. Then, a rehab aftercare program provides total support.

Withdrawal happens in three phases, beginning with the crash, and then moving on through craving and extinction. The length and intensity of each phase depend on the amount taken, the purity and strength if the batch, length of addiction, and the physiology of the user. Concurrent diagnosis of additional health or mental health problems also affects the course of rehabilitation.

First Phase

First phase: within about 90 minutes, the first cravings begin, These will peak in intensity over the next 12 – 24 hours, so detox should begin immediately after admission.

Second Phase

Medical detox is used to ease withdrawal symptoms and wean the user off of the drug(s). This is complicated if more than one substance has been abused. Cravings will continue and can become very intense for up to 10 weeks after cessation. It’s at this time that the brain learns to function without the drug and psychological symptoms appear. Medical professionals assess and alter any medication plans toward the end of this phase, if necessary.

Third Phase

Treatment professionals call this period the extinction phase. Physical cravings and emotional attachment should largely cease after the first 10 – 12 weeks of detox. The hold the drug has on the user fades significantly, but intermittent urges can sneak up and lead to temptation. During this period, the tools developed in therapy to spot and mitigate triggers spring into action.

Staying at a Cocaine Detox Center

Many substance users try to go the ‘cold turkey” route at some point or another as they become serious about recovery. However, the intensity of cocaine withdrawal symptoms makes relapse inevitable without assistance. Rehabilitation professionals know how to detox from cocaine safely. Recovery should combine medical supervision to address the physical and mental health symptoms and therapy to root out the underlying conditions that led to addiction. Some users can go years without touching cocaine before a sudden craving appears. Support after official release from a detox program provides the ongoing support necessary for comprehensive, long-term recovery from cocaine addiction.

Drugs Used to Manage Withdrawal at Cocaine Detox Centers

There is no standard, FDA-approved drug that’s used for cocaine detox. Most programs provide over-the-counter, non-narcotic medications to deal with physical pain and ease discomfort. Treatment must deal with psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression separately. Benzodiazepines can help manage anxiety. A drug called propranolol shows promise for patients who need help maintaining emotional stability.

The severe depression and suicidal behavior result directly from artificial dopamine levels created while using cocaine. After detox, there’s a sudden and drastic drop that makes it difficult to cope. Treatment of depression includes a combination of traditional medicine, therapy, and holistic healing as part of the second phase of treatment.

Recovery is a life-long process, but it’s possible with professional assistance. Many public and privately owned rehab centers exist that can help even long-term, heavy users get clean.

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