Cocaine addiction is among the most difficult to overcome, and while the drug itself is incredibly addictive, the withdrawal is not as severe as other notable drugs. The symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are actually more psychological than physical.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
If you or someone you know is in cocaine withdrawal, you may notice some of the following symptoms:
- Lack of focus
- Muscle aches
- Craving for cocaine
- Unpleasant dreams
Of course there are more, but if someone is exhibiting these signs and symptoms, it may be time to discuss options for treatment.
Not only is cocaine incredibly addictive, but cocaine withdrawal is incredibly unpleasant. This keeps cocaine addicts returning to cocaine again and again without concern for nutrition, hygiene, personal safety, professional obligations, or family life.
How to Stop Doing Cocaine
When you stop using cocaine after a period of prolonged use, your body craves more. These intense cravings are unbearable to many and often cause relapse and persistence of the vicious cycle. Usually, the best option is to get treatment for cocaine addiction. Cravings caused by cocaine withdrawal are often too intense for someone to stay away from the drug on their own, while a novel treatment setting with round-the-clock supervision has numerous benefits.
Mitigating The Effects Of Cocaine Withdrawal
There is a period of time required after administration for the body to rid itself of the substance. However, if you want to try to mitigate the systemic effects, there are a couple of things you can do:
- Drink water. This helps the body metabolize cocaine more quickly, which pushes the drug through your body.
- Avoid mixing the effects with other substances. Cocaine on its own has potential for danger, but when mixed with other things like alcohol, the effect can be worse than the sum of its parts.
- Take slow, deep breaths. This will help slow the heart rate and make you feel more at ease.
Cocaine Recovery Timeline
Unlike other drugs, the cocaine recovery process actually happens rather swiftly. This is because the body quickly metabolizes cocaine and it leaves the system within three to five days. Cocaine withdrawal usually begins within one hour of the last dose and continues for about 72 hours.
The first few hours of cocaine withdrawal are characterized by a “crash”. This is the most uncomfortable part of cocaine recovery. During this time, the user will have overwhelming cravings for more cocaine and may experience extreme depression or suicidal thoughts.
Most of the symptoms associated with cocaine withdrawal are psychological. After the initial crash, someone who is in recovery from cocaine addiction should expect these symptoms for the next two to four weeks:
- Cocaine cravings
- Extreme hunger
After the first month, cocaine withdrawal symptoms subside and the body and brain slowly begin to return to functioning normally. However, it might take six months to a year for all cocaine withdrawal symptoms to completely subside.
Cocaine Withdrawal Treatment Medications
Many people turn to cocaine addiction treatment medication as a solution for withdrawal. One of the most common is Topamax (also called Topiramate). Topamax is an anti-seizure drug proven to lessen cocaine cravings. Research supports that people who took Topamax used less cocaine or no cocaine at all as opposed to those who didn’t take the medication.
Another anti-seizure medication with proven efficacy in treating cocaine addiction is Gabapentin. This drug helps to elevate feelings of wellness by promoting the release of a neurotransmitter called GABA. In turn, this helps lessen the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal, especially depression.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options
In addition to medication therapy, there are several cocaine treatment methods available if you are looking to find freedom from an addiction to cocaine.
You can check yourself into an in-patient rehabilitation facility. Generally, rehab lasts thirty days to three months. This is often necessary for cocaine addicts because of the severity of cravings.
Getting 24/7 care at a safe and comfortable facility while detoxing is an effective strategy for many.
At rehab, you may go through a supervised medical detoxification process where you are given sedatives to ease the comfort of cocaine withdrawal. If you have tried repeatedly to stop using cocaine on your own without success, this option might give you the edge you need.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) is another cocaine addiction treatment option. With IOP, you spend several hours every day at a rehabilitation facility, but you do not live there like you do with inpatient. With IOP, you attend classes that will educate you about cocaine addiction while learning coping skills for staying clean.
12-step meetings are also an option. You can always go to a program like Cocaine Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous and benefit from the group support of other recovering people.