Cocaine is a dangerous and extremely addictive drug. Over 1.5 million people are addicted to it, which is over 0.6% of the population. Compared to any other age group, adults between the ages of 18 and 25 are the ones who use cocaine more frequently, as published by the NIH.
For those who have become addicted to the drug, giving it up is not that easy. They will experience a debilitating and draining withdrawal before they flush out the cocaine from their system. That’s why a cocaine detox is crucial.
This guide will offer a detailed analysis of cocaine withdrawal, symptoms, and medications. Including everything, there is to know about medical detox.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
Some substances, like benzos or alcohol, can create numerous physical withdrawal symptoms. But, for those who abuse cocaine, the symptoms are more psychological.
According to the National Institutes of Health, it’s normal to experience cognitive impairment during cocaine withdrawal. Especially in communication, memory, and attention. Here are some of the most typical cocaine withdrawal symptoms people can experience.
Experts believe that depression can persist for a very long time. It’s often accompanied by suicidal thoughts if not properly taken care of. The emotions are overbearing, and the cravings are over the roof.
A Cocaine Abuse Treatment Center like Stonegate Center, which is located just west of Fort Worth, Texas, can help people control these symptoms and stop them from taking over their life.
Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline
Based on the same clinical studies, researchers found three unique stages, each with their own withdrawal process. The first one is “the crash,” and it’s evident in individuals who have abruptly stopped taking cocaine after heavy and prolonged use.
The second phase is called “the withdrawal” stage, which can last for a few weeks. The last, and probably the hardest stage, is “the recovery.”
Although people have stopped supplying their body with the addictive substance, the mind is still vulnerable to outside stressors. If there’s a single trigger, people often relapse. Here’s a detailed guideline for each stage.
Even though cocaine withdrawal doesn’t often come with painful physical symptoms, the unbearable cravings, triggers, and emotional issues make it an incredibly painful process.
Is Cocaine Withdrawal Same for Everyone?
The cocaine withdrawal timeline is different for each individual. It’s often affected by multiple factors, each with their own role to play. Here’s a list of all the things that can prolong the withdrawal process:
- Substance dependence – Individuals who are addicted to more substances than one, like cocaine and alcohol, will need much longer to pass through the withdrawal phase. The symptoms get more complex and difficult to deal with.
- Size of cocaine dose – People who’ve taken cocaine in larger doses will go through more severe and intense withdrawal. But patients who’ve taken only a smaller dose will have a much easier time flushing out the substance from the system.
- Medical or emotional complications – Any health complications, whether they are physical or emotional, will take a toll on a person’s well-being. If someone who is addicted to cocaine also suffers from diseases and anxiety, these health issues will complicate the detox process.
- Environment – For individuals who use cocaine as a form of escape from an oppressive environment, the stress will serve as a trigger for relapse. The urges will create immense pressure, which will postpone the withdrawal process.
- Length of use – People who have been addicted to the substance for a couple of years are more prone to suffering long withdrawal issues. The symptoms will persist for a couple of weeks before they gradually subside. This adds additional pressure to the withdrawal timeline.
It’s very risky for someone to try and detox at home without expert help. Without medical support, the risk of suicide, depression, and anxiety is very high. Plus, those who give up and relapse have a higher chance of overdosing on cocaine. Overdosing can be lethal.
That’s why medical detox is essential. A cocaine detox center can provide you with the support you need. With their help, you can get through each distressing phase of the cocaine withdrawal timeline.
Why is Medical Detox Essential?
If a person has tried to give up cocaine, but they relapsed before, it’s better to get medical help. Emotional difficulties, mental disorders, and other health complications can make the detox process very difficult.
With professional help, like at our Inpatient Rehab Center for Cocaine Abuse for Women in Texas, it’s much easier to stay safe. But don’t worry, guys! We also have a Cocaine Treatment Center for Men in Texas as well. Here, patients get access to proper mental health treatments and get to control their cravings.
So, they are less likely to suffer from severe mood changes, anxiety, and depression, including suicidal thoughts. Constant supervision gives people a sense of security and provides them with a safe environment.
How Long Does it Take to Detox from Cocaine?
The length of the entire detox process varies based on multiple factors. For example:
- How long the person has been taking cocaine
- How much they’ve taken
- The quality and purity of the drug
- The emotional state of the user
Each factor will affect the detox duration. But, in general, cocaine has a short half-life (that is the time necessary for the drug to leave the system).
In most people, it takes 90 minutes for the substance to be completely flushed out. That’s when people start experiencing withdrawal issues, explains the Australian Department of Health. After getting treated at a Cocaine Detox Center, Inpatient Rehab in Texas can help make the entire journey more bearable as long-term residential care increases the odds of success.
How Does the Cocaine Medical Detox Process Look Like?
Many people believe that a simple detox is a cure for cocaine addiction. But that couldn’t be more wrong. There is no cure for substance abuse, only cleansing. All the harmful chemicals have to be removed from the system before a person can function physically and emotionally.
Here is how a medical detox looks like:
A cocaine medical detox focuses on not only detoxifying the body but removing all the potential triggers for relapse as well.
So, a patient will get access to rehabilitative counseling, medication, and consistent care. A cocaine detox center provides the safest environment for treating serious cocaine abuse. They provide long-term treatment with behavioral therapy and individual counseling.
That way, patients get to learn new skills, which could help them cope with the cravings.
Patients at the Inpatient Rehab in Texas will be able to change their behaviors and thoughts that force them to take drugs. They can control their triggers and learn how to abstain from cocaine. Also, constant care allows them to prevent relapse completely.
The environment is clean and safe, away from any stress or triggers that might prompt an individual to take a dose. All the resources used are helpful for a drug addict. Patients can use the skills they’ve learned in the long haul.
What Medications Are Used?
The FDA hasn’t approved any drugs that could treat cocaine addiction. But the medicines that affect the dopamine levels, like mood stabilizers and antidepressants, seem to provide the most effective results.
Based on reports from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDD), these are some of the medications used for cocaine abuse:
These medications are used to manage cocaine-induced problems. They can regulate the body and restore normal brain functions.
Medications are a practical option for stabilizing the system. They interact with the neurotransmitters and alleviate any of the symptoms that might affect the cocaine detox.
Because of how many drugs there are, it’s important to have professional support. Each medication is designed to provide a different stabilizing effect, so it’s essential to have supervision when taking these drugs.
Otherwise, the addictive behavior will become difficult to manage, and patients will give in to the withdrawal effects. Any emotional or behavioral challenges can be managed in a cocaine detox center. That way, patients get the best possible care they deserve.
Cocaine addiction can be a serious problem. The detox process is too intense, and self-detox is too risky. It makes people vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and suicide.
The longer they use cocaine, the more the brain will adapt to it and affect the entire nervous system. To stop using the substance completely, people would have to solve the issues at the very core. Medical detox can help.
With professional supervision, patients get to manage their mood swings, curb the withdrawal symptoms, and avoid the thoughts of suicide. All the counseling, medications, and treatment possibilities can help them overcome the challenges of cocaine addiction. In the end, patients will be proud of what they’ve achieved in life – being clean.
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John Eckelbarger is a Business Development Representative for Stonegate Center. With a BSA in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, he has an interest in the neurobiology of addiction & pharmacology of drugs. He hopes to bolster Stonegate Center to the forefront of addiction medicine through bold, innovative content. He is currently pursuing his MBA in Finance from Texas Christian University.