Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms, cocaine, Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms California

What Are The Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms When You Quit?

If you or a loved one is battling a cocaine addiction, you know how powerfully this stimulant drug can grip your life. Cocaine is a highly addictive substance that leads to physical and psychological dependence. Once hooked, attempting to quit cocaine on your own often leads to intense cocaine withdrawal symptoms that can be extremely difficult to overcome without professional help. The distressing withdrawal effects and intense cravings drive many addicts into a cycle of relapse when trying to get clean at home.

At Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center in Orange County, our addiction treatment programs provide medical detox and evidence-based therapies to help make the withdrawal process as safe and comfortable as possible. With expert clinical care and addiction counseling, our cocaine rehab aims to minimize withdrawal effects and set you up for long-term sobriety. Our comprehensive approach to cocaine withdrawal management gives clients the highest chance of achieving lasting recovery.

What are the Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that causes a rush of euphoria and energizing highs. However, these effects are extremely short-lived, leading many addicts to binge on cocaine in a pattern known as a “run.” Once the cocaine high wears off, withdrawal symptoms set in quickly – often in as little as 90 minutes after the last dose. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms are both psychologically and physically taxing, making it extremely difficult to quit cold turkey without professional help. The intense cravings and distressing withdrawal symptoms are major drivers of continued cocaine abuse and addiction.

The acute phase of cocaine withdrawal can bring about intense psychological cravings and a “crash” of physical and emotional symptoms, including fatigue, anxiety, depression, irritability, increased appetite, vivid dreams, sluggish thinking, body aches and chills. The cocaine withdrawal symptoms can feel debilitating and overwhelming, causing many addicts to relapse in an effort to make the discomfort stop. The distressing nature of the withdrawal syndrome is one of the biggest hurdles in overcoming a cocaine use disorder. Trying to push through the acute withdrawal phase alone significantly increases the risk of relapse or developing severe depression.

The severity of withdrawal effects depends on how long and how much cocaine was used. Generally, the heavier and more prolonged the cocaine use, the more intense the withdrawal syndrome will be. Those addicted to cocaine for years who engaged in frequent bingeing patterns are likely to experience more severe cocaine withdrawal symptoms compared to casual or infrequent users. The intensity and duration of the addiction play a major role in how difficult the detox process will be. Even for lighter cocaine users, withdrawal can be grueling without proper medical and therapeutic support.

Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

While acute withdrawal symptoms begin quickly and peak within a week of the last dose, the protracted withdrawal stage can bring lasting effects like sleep disturbances, inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia), cognitive impairments like poor concentration, mood disorders like depression, increased risk of suicidal ideation, and intense cocaine cravings that persist for months. These post-acute withdrawal symptoms of cocaine addiction can be extremely challenging to overcome without professional treatment.

The post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) related to cocaine withdrawal symptoms often involves distressing psychological effects like anhedonia, depression, anxiety and drug cravings. PAWS makes it difficult for recovering addicts to experience joy and motivation in their daily lives. The cognitive issues like poor concentration can greatly impact work or school performance during this stage of withdrawal. Insomnia and other sleep disturbances are another common post-acute cocaine withdrawal symptom that can be detrimental.

Some addicts report experiencing “residual” or “intermittent” withdrawal symptoms like dysphoria, insomnia and drug cravings even years after quitting cocaine. This is known as the extinction period and highlights the importance of ongoing counseling and relapse prevention support. Without long-term treatment for PAWS and residual withdrawal effects, the risk of relapse runs extremely high for recovering cocaine addicts. Proper psychotherapy and medications are often needed to manage these lingering withdrawal symptoms.

Easing Cocaine Withdrawal at a Detox Center

Quitting cocaine “cold turkey” at home often fails because the withdrawal symptoms are so uncomfortable – mentally and physically. The cravings can become unbearable without medical and psychotherapeutic interventions in place. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms like depression, fatigue, anxiety and drug cravings make it extremely difficult to remain abstinent without professional help. Attempting to push through the acute withdrawal phase alone increases the risks of relapse or developing severe health complications.

This is where a professional detox program at an accredited cocaine addiction treatment center is essential. Medical detox allows you to quit cocaine in a safe, secure environment with 24/7 clinical monitoring. Certain medications may be administered to help ease the withdrawal effects and cravings, including anti-depressants to stabilize mood, medications for sleep and sedation, anti-anxiety and anti-seizure meds, and nutritional supplements and hydration. Having around-the-clock medical care greatly reduces the dangers and eases the discomfort of cocaine detox.

Non-medical treatment approaches are also used in detox, such as counseling and behavioral therapies to address the psychological aspects of withdrawal. This comprehensive, whole-patient approach helps minimize withdrawal risks and set the stage for the next phase of addiction rehab. Without interventions for both the physical and mental health symptoms of cocaine withdrawal, the likelihood of relapse skyrockets. A full continuum of clinical and therapeutic detox services is crucial for safely overcoming this distressing phase.

Overcoming Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)

Even after the acute withdrawal period has passed, many recovering cocaine addicts experience PAWS – a series of physical, emotional and psychological symptoms stemming from the brain’s process of restoring equilibrium and normal functioning.

PAWS symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can include:

  • Difficulty feeling pleasure (anhedonia)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Problems with focus and concentration
  • Memory issues and cognitive impairments
  • Lack of motivation or energy
  • Inability to deal with stress
  • Emotional outbursts and mood swings
  • Unpredictable cocaine cravings

These persistent withdrawal effects can continue for 6-24 months and often lead to relapse if not properly managed through intensive therapy, counseling and support. At Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center, our inpatient and outpatient programs integrate a wide range of evidence-based treatments to help clients overcome PAWS, such as:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Family therapy and peer group support
  • Mindfulness training and holistic practices
  • Dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • Relapse prevention planning and aftercare

By combining medication management for withdrawal symptoms, individual and group counseling, wellness practices and a strong community of recovery support, our clients gain the coping tools to successfully navigate PAWS and maintain long-term sobriety after cocaine addiction.

Beginning a Path to Recovery

If you’re struggling with cocaine withdrawal symptoms and feel trapped in the cycles of addiction, reach out to Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center today. Our dedicated admissions team is available 24/7 to discuss our comprehensive cocaine addiction treatment programs and answer any questions about what to expect from the withdrawal and recovery process. We understand how daunting it can feel to face the withdrawal process, but our evidence-based programs are designed to make it as safe and comfortable as possible.

Don’t let the fear of withdrawal stop you from getting the help you need and deserve. Our accredited rehab center provides a safe, compassionate environment to overcome cocaine dependence and finally break free from addiction. Contact us now to begin your journey towards lasting healing and a healthier, happier life in recovery. With medical detox, behavioral therapies, and comprehensive support, you can take back control from cocaine addiction and withdrawal symptoms.  Seize this opportunity to get your life back on track at Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center.

Clinically Reviewed By

Dawn Masick, LMFT

Dawn has experience dealing with various relational, emotional, and psychological struggles. Dawn’s training has prepared her to work with children, teens, young adults, adults, couples, and families. She has undergone training in DBT, TF-CBT, and Family Therapy.  Other competencies include dealing with ADHD, mood/anxiety disorders, parenting challenges, addiction, PTSD, co- dependency, and relationship issues. I have experience in residential, school-based mental health, children’s community mental health, victims of crime (VOC), and private practice settings.

Dawn has been committed to guiding clients through their trauma, coming alongside them in their healing, and supporting them as they navigate life changes. Dawn’s passion is working with clients struggling with trauma in substance abuse and mental health.