After prolonged cocaine use, the signs of a substance use disorder (SUD) will become evident. When cocaine use develops into an SUD, the need for professional treatment is essential. Without this expert support, it is very difficult to overcome the SUD, as powerful cravings and breakthrough withdrawal symptoms will perpetuate the addiction cycle.
When someone enters the path to recovery, the first step will be withdrawal management. During this detoxification phase, when the residual cocaine is purged from the body, there will be some discomfort. The emerging withdrawal symptoms will be closely monitored. Targeted medical interventions are provided to minimize the effects of the cocaine withdrawal symptoms.
Continue reading to learn more about what to expect during the withdrawal management phase of recovery.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a white powdery substance that is derived from the coca plants native to South America. The effects of cocaine will stimulate the central nervous system, resulting in a short-lived but powerful euphoric high. Because the desirable effects are short-acting, the inclination is to continue using cocaine in order to re-experience the high.
As with all substances, tolerance increases with the repeated use of cocaine. Once the cycle of addiction takes hold, it is difficult to break. People find themselves enslaved to the substance, and that can lead to serious consequences affecting physical health, mental health, finances, and relationships.
What is Withdrawal?
When someone with an SUD decides to enter recovery, they will voluntarily stop using the substance. Within hours of cessation, the body will begin to respond to the absence of the substance. This process is experienced as withdrawal symptoms.
Over a period of days, usually about one week but longer for certain substances, the body and brain will attempt to stabilize as it adjusts to no longer having the substance in the system. During this period, the person will experience withdrawal symptoms. During withdrawal, a team of medically trained recovery experts provide support based on the presenting symptoms.
About Cocaine Withdrawal
Cocaine withdrawal requires both medical and psychological support. The withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant, which can cause some to want to give up on recovery. Having the professional support available will help them persevere, to successfully complete the withdrawal process.
Withdrawal symptoms will vary from mild to severe depending on the length of time cocaine was regularly used, and the level of cocaine consumption. Interventions may be provided for sleep disturbances, headaches, and muscle aches, and psychological support is offered for managing symptoms of depression, anxiety, or psychosis.
Withdrawal symptoms might include:
- Slowed thinking
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Vivid nightmares
- Increased appetite
- Muscle aches
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
The individual should immediately enroll in a treatment program once the withdrawal process is complete.
Next Steps After Cocaine Withdrawal
Overcoming the SUD will require a comprehensive treatment approach. The cocaine recovery program should address poly-substance use if present, as well as any co-occurring mental health complication that might also be a contributing factor.
Behavioral therapies, like cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management, are central interventions that help the person make lasting changes in their thoughts, behaviors, and actions. Treatment will involve individual and group therapy, psycho-social skills training, 12 Step Program integration, education, and holistic activities.
Completing cocaine withdrawal begins the journey to a full and lasting recovery, and treatment helps to solidify that. Take this first important step toward achieving the productive and fulfilling future you deserve.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and is accredited by The Joint Commission. We offer both inpatient and outpatient programs, holistic addiction treatment, drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to heal each individual with respect and dignity, and reflects on our ongoing commitment to meet new challenges. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call (866) 313-6307.