As with any addictive drug, a host of unpleasant symptoms come along with withdrawal from cocaine. Cocaine withdrawal does differ from withdrawal from substances like alcohol or heroin in that there are few physical symptoms. The symptoms primarily affect a person's psychological well-being, placing the individual at increased risk of depression or suicide during the withdrawal process. For this reason, it's essential to go through withdrawal under the guidance of a professional and successful addiction recovery program.
Symptoms of Withdrawal
The symptoms of cocaine withdrawal manifest primarily in the mind, often in a severe reversal from the high initially sought through drug use. An individual may feel agitated, depressed, exhausted, generally uncomfortable, or some combination thereof. The addict's appetite will return, and they may have unpleasant dreams. If the individual uses cocaine again, the high itself may bring on the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine, producing feelings of fear and paranoia rather than the emotional high previously experienced. It should be noted that there are a few cocaine withdrawal symptoms that are physical in nature. Tremors, chills, and muscle pain can all appear and can aggravate any existing psychological symptoms. Individuals may find it difficult or impossible to feel arousal or pleasure and may experience unusual fatigue after any kind of physical activity.
What Is the Withdrawal Process?
The good news is that cocaine withdrawal symptoms typically abate within two weeks of sobriety. Users will have already experienced a milder version of cocaine withdrawal at the end of their first high. At the beginning of withdrawal from cocaine, there is the initial "crash," when the artificial high fades and is replaced by feelings of extreme depression, irritability, and lethargy. The second step in the process is to manage cravings over the next three months until the cravings diminish in strength or disappear. Even as the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine fade, the craving for the drug may resurface. It is during this phase when individuals are at the highest risk of relapse, which is manageable under the care and supervision of a professional counselor or addiction recovery program.
Assisted Withdrawal Is Safe Withdrawal
Cocaine withdrawal symptoms affect the mind and mood of the individual, creating an environment that can be extremely difficult to navigate alone. Previous users may be tempted to return to the drug to alleviate the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal. This can result in accidental overdoses, which can be fatal. Individuals may also seek to treat the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine with other drugs, such as alcohol or sedatives. The risk with this option is that the individual simply transfers dependence on cocaine to the new drug and a new cycle of addiction begins.
Cocaine withdrawal can be dangerous if you are attempting to deal with these symptoms without support. At BetterAddictionCare, we will work to help find the best program for you through our nationwide recovery network. Withdrawal may not be comfortable, but it can be safe and individualized to meet specific needs. Fill out our contact form and we'll help you find and speak with a counselor near you.