Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms – What To Expect In Cocaine Detox

By Midwest Detox Staff

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Most people are very familiar with cocaine, even if they’ve never used it. The drug has become synonymous with the “excess” of the 1980s and even contemporary party culture. But the reality of cocaine abuse is anything but fun. Every year, more than a million Americans are diagnosed with a cocaine use disorder.[1] And, despite thousands of neutral depictions of cocaine in films and television, it is not any safer than other street drugs like crystal meth or heroin.

But if you’re struggling with a cocaine addiction, you already know all of this. You know that cocaine is powerful, destructive, and extremely addictive. What you may not know is what to expect when you begin to experience withdrawal from cocaine. Signs of cocaine withdrawal can begin very quickly once you stop using the drug, and the symptoms can be frightening.

So, if you’re reading this right now, you’ve probably got a lot of questions. For instance, what are the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal? How long do cocaine withdrawals last? What are the cocaine withdrawal stages? Is crack cocaine withdrawal different from cocaine withdrawal? Finally, where can you go when you require detoxing from cocaine?

In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more, so let’s get started.

In This Article
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    Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

    There are generally three cocaine withdrawal stages that can vary in length and intensity based on the severity of your addiction. The stages generally unfold in this order: crash stage, withdrawal stage, and extinction stage. Each stage comes with unique symptoms and timelines:

    Crash Stage

    The crash stage of cocaine withdrawal can begin within hours or even minutes of a heavy cocaine binge. If you used cocaine before, you’re likely familiar with the comedown that quickly follows cocaine use; you feel energetic and euphoric while the drug is in effect, but you quickly feel your mood and energy levels drop as the effect goes away. This stage can be extremely intense for someone with a severe addiction. It can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, though the average is about 48 hours. This stage is most often associated with irritability and flu-like symptoms.

    Withdrawal Stage

    The withdrawal stage is less predictable than the crash stage, and it can also last much longer. During this stage, your body will begin to crave the drug more strongly than before, and you will experience more intense withdrawal symptoms of cocaine. This stage can last anywhere between one and four weeks. Relapse is most common during this stage, especially if you’re trying to recover without professional help.

    This stage is called “withdrawal” because it is often considered the peak of the entire withdrawal period, and for some people, it can last longer than any other stage. In any case, it’s important to distinguish between the withdrawal stage and the cocaine withdrawal as a whole, which includes all three stages.

    Extinction Stage

    The extinction stage may have a frightening name, but it actually refers to the gradual decline of a condition (in this case, withdrawal) over some time. During the extinction stage, you’re likely to experience cravings from time to time, but these cravings will often become less intense and more sporadic as the days and weeks go by. The extinction phase can last for up to four weeks or longer, depending on the severity of your addiction. It’s also important to point out that the transition between the withdrawal and extinction stages is gradual. As you feel your symptoms lessen, there’s a good chance that you're leaving the withdrawal stage and beginning the extinction stage.

    Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

    Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can vary based on where you’re at in the detoxing process. That said, most people who experience cocaine withdrawal can expect some or all of the following symptoms:

    • Extreme fatigue and lethargy that make it difficult to engage in work or daily activities
    • A reduced sense of pleasure
    • Uneasiness or restlessness, particularly at night
    • Dozing off or general sleepiness during the day
    • Tremors or chills that come and go
    • Aching muscles throughout the body
    • Flu-like symptoms (especially early in the withdrawal)
    • Heightened appetite and weight gain
    • Vivid dreams and nightmares
    • Intense cravings for cocaine
    • Feelings of depression and anxiety

    The symptoms are generally the same for people detoxing from crack cocaine, though crack users may experience even more intense withdrawals.

    Can You Die From Cocaine Withdrawal?

    While the risk of death is generally lower with cocaine withdrawal, people can and do die. Death from cocaine withdrawal often happens when someone attempts to detox or recover without professional help. The lack of trained support increases the risk of relapse and death. Without proper care, people suffering from cocaine withdrawal are also more likely to die as a result of less common symptoms, such as:

    • Heart attack
    • Seizures
    • Stroke
    • Confused thinking
    • Hallucinations

    It’s important to note that these symptoms are most often associated with severe cocaine addiction, and the likelihood of their occurrence can vary based on your age, gender, and medical history. In any case, you’re much more likely to survive any of these issues if you’re under the care of qualified professionals.

    Why Cocaine Withdrawal Management Is Essential

    Since the likelihood of death is lower with cocaine withdrawal, many addicts believe that they can safely recover on their own. Sadly, very few people who attempt a solo detox from cocaine actually succeed. This is because cocaine is extremely addictive and the cravings that you experience during withdrawal can be overwhelming. The risk of relapse during an informal detox is very high.

    For this reason, it is vitally important to seek out formal cocaine withdrawal management. You can access this kind of care at a qualified detox center. Cocaine withdrawal management typically involves trained substance abuse professionals monitoring your condition, working to reduce the severity of your symptoms, and teaching you coping mechanisms to reduce cravings and avoid relapse.

    Cocaine withdrawal management is also about minimizing risk during your recovery. When you’re in a detox clinic with round-the-clock care, you greatly reduce the risk of relapse and potentially fatal consequences of drug abuse. Trying to get clean on your own is simply taking an unnecessary risk with your life and your sobriety.

    Detox Safely From Cocaine With Midwest Detox

    Are you or someone you love struggling with cocaine addiction? Are you afraid of the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal and don’t know where to turn? Do you feel trapped by your cocaine use disorder? Do you want to learn how to detox from cocaine the right way? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, Midwest Detox is the solution you’ve been looking for.

    At Midwest Detox, our trained staff can provide the care you need to overcome the early days and weeks of recovery. We can safely manage your withdrawal to avoid life-threatening symptoms and generally ensure that you remain comfortable throughout the entire process. We also work diligently to help you stave off cravings and learn how to stay sober for the long term. Don’t wait until it’s too late; let Midwest Detox help you through cocaine withdrawal in a safe, private, and discreet environment.

    Are you in need of a private cocaine detox center to begin your recovery? If so, Midwest Detox can provide everything you need to detox in a safe, comfortable environment. Visit our site or call us directly at 414-409-5200 to take the first step toward sobriety.