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Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

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Discover the hidden struggles of cocaine withdrawal, and find out how Miracles Asia can help you or your loved one overcome dependence on blow, and live a healthier, drug-free life.

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Cocaine has a reputation as the drug of choice for high-powered business people and celebrities, so it’s easy to forget that its misuse can cause real damage. Many users are seduced by the glamor of the lifestyle shown in movies; even the celebrated literary detective Sherlock Holmes used it in a seven-percent solution.

What's seldom shown is what happens when you decide you've had enough and want to stop using cocaine. The psychological and physical symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can be quite severe, making it challenging for users to make a clean break from the drug.

If you or someone close to you is currently trying to break away from cocaine addiction, you must be mindful of the withdrawal symptoms that may arise.

By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of the signs and symptoms associated with cocaine withdrawal.
Key Takeaways
The severity of cocaine withdrawal symptoms depends on the level of abuse, as well as any underlying mental health issues.
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The majority of guests at Miracles Asia are business owners and high level executives who are close to loosing the life they've built. 

What are the Causes of Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms?

We really should start with how cocaine interacts with the body to understand the withdrawal process. Cocaine is what's known as a stimulant drug - it stimulates the nervous system and affects levels of chemicals like dopamine (the "happy" hormone) and norepinephrine. 

This then produces that 'on top of the world' feeling so appealing to users. Unfortunately, this high only lasts for a short amount of time (around 10-30 minutes) before crashing back down. 

These crashes often leads people to use more cocaine in an attempt to recapture their high, leading to addiction and dangerous behaviors like binging on cocaine or mixing it with other drugs such as alcohol or opioids.

Repeated use of cocaine also leads to changes in brain chemistry, as well as physical dependence. When this happens, suddenly stopping drug use can lead to a set of distinct and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Common Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on the level of cocaine abuse and any underlying mental health issues that may have contributed to the addiction itself. 

For example, someone who has been using large amounts of cocaine for an extended period may experience more intense withdrawal symptoms than someone whose cocaine use has been sporadic over a few months.

In addition to these physical and psychological effects, there are also social consequences associated with long-term drug abuse - financial issues due to spending all your money on buying more cocaine or damage done to relationships due to erratic behavior while under its influence.

We can divide cocaine withdrawal into two main categories physical and psychological, and emotional symptoms.

Physical Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal

Cocaine affects the central nervous system and changes the way your body functions on a physiological level, so when a person abruptly stops taking it, the brain is essentially ‘re-learning’ how to function without its presence. 

They may experience a range of physical symptoms as the body adjusts to functioning without the drug. 

These symptoms can be uncomfortable and even painful, but they will resolve over time if the body is cared for and treatment is sought.
Fatigue and low energy levels
When someone stops using cocaine, they will often become very lethargic and low on energy. As they go through withdrawal, they should get plenty of rest and take breaks throughout the day to allow their body time to recover. Though they might not feel like it, light exercise can also help with recovering energy levels.

Sleep disturbances
Generally one of the more prevalent signs of cocaine withdrawal, this can manifest as either insomnia or hypersomnia (too much sleep). Unfortunately, this knock-on effect can exasperate the lack of energy discussed above.

Increased appetite and weight gain
One of the reasons that some individuals take cocaine as an appetite suppressant while using the drug; they may not feel as hungry. However, when the drug is removed from the system and the metabolism returns to its normal state, their appetite often returns with a vengeance. 

This is a good time to look at your diet and ensure you are getting the proper nutrition. A balanced diet and a little exercise will not only keep the weight gain under control but will benefit your recovery in many other ways too.

Headaches and body aches
You may experience headaches, body aches, or muscle soreness as your body adjusts to the absence of cocaine in your system. These pains can vary in intensity from mild discomfort all the way up to severe pain, depending on how long someone has been abusing cocaine before stopping.

Tremors and muscle weakness
These are sometimes experienced during cocaine withdrawal due to changes in neurotransmitter activity within the brain which affect motor control functions. If tremors become severe enough, they may interfere with daily activities. If so, seek medical attention if necessary for this symptom specifically.

Psychological Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal

The psychological and emotional symptoms can equal, if not surpass, the physical symptoms in terms of how uncomfortable and even dangerous they can be. 

These are often the effects that make it most difficult for someone to remain cocaine-free.
Vivid, unpleasant dreams
We've already discussed the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine related to disrupted sleep patterns. But on a more emotional level, people in recovery from cocaine may also experience vivid and unpleasant dreams or nightmares.

Lack of concentration
By focusing on the task at hand and comprehending conversations or texts can be particularly challenging when withdrawing from cocaine. This is partly due to the physical symptoms, such as sleep deprivation, but also the chemical changes that are occurring in the brain.
Irritability and mood swings
Again, this is a double-edged sword; cocaine cravings and withdrawal can cause a person to feel more irritable and suffer from mood swings. And then this is made worse by the physical effects that don't make you feel at your best when around others.

The short-lived confidence boost and relief from stress that cocaine provides is often replaced with heightened levels of anxiety when the user gives it up. This can lead to feelings of panic and paranoia, as well as general nervousness and apprehensiveness.

As the body experiences a drop in dopamine levels and neurotransmitter activity changes, and the physical and mental fatigue associated with withdrawal kicks in, depression is common. Even if not particularly prone to feeling depressed before quitting, the user can feel a sense of despair.
Suicidal thoughts
In extreme cases of cocaine-withdrawal-related depression, suicidal thoughts or ideations can occur. In no instance should these be taken lightly; professional help should be sought immediately.
You might have noticed some of the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal overlap and can fall into both the physical and mental camps. 

A successful recovery should include treatments for both your body and mind - an all-encompassing holistic approach to healing from substance abuse.

What Are The Stages of Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline?

This stage will typically begin within 24 hours after your last dose of cocaine and lasts for about a week; it occurs in most users to a greater or lesser degree.

During the 'crash stage,' you may experience fatigue, depression, and an overall feeling of malaise as your body begins to adjust to the lack of its regular supply of cocaine. 

Additionally, you may experience highly intense cravings for the drug during this period.

For many, this is the most difficult stage, being unaware of how dependent on cocaine they have become. Remember that these cravings are only temporary, and they will pass.

Stage 1: The Crash

The official withdrawal stage is when the most intense effects of cocaine use will begin to subside. 

But this can also be a time of doubt, and the potential to relapse, especially if you are in with a crowd that still uses the drug. And though less intense, it still lasts up to six weeks, so avoiding places where cocaine is around and surrounding yourself with positive influences will be vital. 

Physical symptoms may include insomnia, nausea, increased appetite, and stomach aches. You will likely also experience headaches, muscle pain, and an overall lack of energy.

Stage 2: Withdrawal

The official withdrawal stage is when the most intense effects of cocaine use will begin to subside. 

But this can also be a time of doubt, and the potential to relapse, especially if you are in with a crowd that still uses the drug. 

And though less intense, it still lasts up to six weeks, so avoiding places where cocaine is around and surrounding yourself with positive influences will be vital.

Physical symptoms may include insomnia, nausea, increased appetite, and stomach aches. You will likely also experience headaches, muscle pain, and an overall lack of energy.

Stage 3: Extinction

As the effects of cocaine begin to wane and your brain chemistry begins to balance itself out, you enter into the extinction phase. The third stage can last anywhere from two weeks to several months.

Lingering effects from withdrawal may be felt, but you are on the home stretch of the recovery process. These might include mood swings, irritability, and difficulty sleeping.

Once again, avoid the people still using and look to positive activities and people who can provide you with support and understanding.

Understand the stressors that might lead to relapse and use it as a transitional period to work on the underlying causes of your cocaine use.

Risk Factors and Complications Associated with Cocaine Withdrawal

When an individual tries to quit, they may be at risk for a relapse—and potentially a cocaine overdose if they return to using in large amounts. They may believe that the same amount as before will produce the same effects, but the likelihood is their tolerance levels have decreased, and that same amount could be deadly.

Cocaine makes up the second-highest drug fatality rate after opioids, with 21.2% of the yearly rate.

Another potential issue is when another addictive substance replaces cocaine in an effort to cope with the cravings.

This can be known as 'substitution addiction,' where they replace cocaine use with something else—such as alcohol. Of course, this doesn't solve the problem and is more likely to worsen things.

Rehab for Cocaine Addiction and Withdrawal

So as you've discovered, stimulant withdrawal doesn't come without its challenges, and undergoing a cocaine detox is best done with the help of professionals.

If you are looking for residential treatment far from the triggers and temptations of your daily life, then Miracles Asia's rehab center on the beautiful island of Phuket, Thailand, would be hard to beat.

Not only will you wake up every day to the sound of tropical birds, sunshine, and sea views, but our team of experts and on-site facilities make Miracles Asia the perfect choice for a life-changing recovery experience.

Our rehab and detox programs take place in a peaceful, supportive setting where a range of proven, evidence-based therapies are available. With a success rate of over 85% for clients staying more than 60 days, we proudly stand amongst the leading rehab facilities in the world.

We're here to walk alongside you on your cocaine recovery journey; contact us at Miracles Asia for more information about our cocaine detox and rehab programs.

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