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What Are Some Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal?


What Are Some Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal?

Withdrawal symptoms from cocaine occur when you stop using cocaine, or cut down, after heavy usage.

Although withdrawal symptoms from cocaine are typically associated with high usage, withdrawal symptoms from cocaine can occur even if you have only used it once or if you have reduced your dose.

Cocaine produces a sense of euphoria, causing extreme mood changes.

This due to the brain releasing abnormal amounts of “happy” chemicals in the brain.

Despite this, cocaine can have an extreme impact on parts of the body.

These can be very serious, or even deadly.

When your cocaine use has stopped, you will fall into a crash almost immediately,

You may notice a craving for the drug.

You will also notice fatigue, lack of pleasure, anxiety, irritability, sleepiness, and sometimes agitation or extreme suspicion or paranoia.

Despite no common visible physical symptoms, withdrawal symptoms from cocaine are still painful and should be avoided.

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Withdrawal Symptoms From Cocaine vs Other Drugs

Withdrawal from some substances can be extremely painful.

The symptoms from alcohol and benzodiazepines may involve severe physical withdrawal symptoms.

Despite this, withdrawal symptoms from cocaine typically show themselves as psychological withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms from cocaine may include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slowed thinking
  • Slowed activity
  • Exhaustion
  • Restlessness
  • Inability to experience sexual arousal
  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Nightmares
  • Chills
  • Tremors
  • Muscle aches
  • Nerve pain
  • Craving for cocaine
  • Increased appetite

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When Do I Need Medical Detox for Withdrawal Symptoms From Cocaine?

Cocaine detox can be completed during an outpatient program, but when medical detox is needed, it is recommended to go to inpatient treatment.

Typically you will be recommended for medical detox if you have relapsed during past withdrawal attempts. This is because the 24-hour supervision provided during medical detox can provide you with a variety of benefits.

Specifically, if you suffer from co-occurring mental health disorders, medical detox can be essential. After any medical detox program, you should follow up with a comprehensive inpatient addiction treatment. This will help you to address both withdrawal symptoms from cocaine, as well as your mental health needs.

Risk of Suicide

Although hardly spoken about, one of the more dangerous withdrawal symptoms from cocaine is the increased risk of suicide. If you attempt to stop using cocaine after becoming addicted, you may suffer from severe depression and mood swings. This, of course, can lead to thoughts of suicide.

With regular cocaine use, the brain can adapt to the elevated dopamine levels. Over time this creates an issue with the reward circuit, which in turn, makes you less sensitive to dopamine. Once you reach this point you will need huge amounts of cocaine to feel normal, and without it, you may feel completely depressed.

Withdrawal Symptoms From Cocaine Timeline

Withdrawal symptoms from cocaine occur for as long as 10 days, but the cravings for cocaine may persist for longer. These cravings can develop after years of no cocaine use, which makes relapse very possible.

What is interesting is that cocaine has a somewhat short half-life. This means that if you are dependent on cocaine, your withdrawal symptoms from cocaine can appear as soon as 90 minutes after your last dose. The cocaine withdrawal timeline varies depending on the individual. Here are some factors that may influence the timeline for coke withdrawal:

Length of Use

How long you have abused cocaine will affect your withdrawal symptoms from cocaine. This means that if you have used cocaine for many years, your withdrawal symptoms from cocaine will linger for longer. This can occur due to the build-up in your system and can last for weeks.

Average Dose Used

If you have used cocaine for a long period of time then your tolerance may be higher. This means that you will require more cocaine to feel the same effects. If you have used very large amounts of cocaine, then you may experience more intense withdrawal symptoms from cocaine as compared to someone who uses lower doses.

Polysubstance Abuse

If you use more than just cocaine as an addict, then your withdrawal symptoms from cocaine may be much worse as compared to someone who only abuses cocaine. When you use two or more drugs your withdrawal symptoms will be a product of both drugs. This means that your course of withdrawal may be much worse, and can be extremely intense.


If you first turned to cocaine as a way to escape the stress of your life, then this same stress can bring back the urge to use it again. This shows that environmental factors are a huge factor when it comes to drug abuse. Some occurrences that may lead to stress include relationship problems, work struggles, financial or social issues. These can cravings for cocaine, complicating the psychological withdrawal process.

Co-occurring Medical or Mental Health Disorders

If you suffer from any co-occurring medical conditions or mental health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, or depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, or personality disorder, then the withdrawal process from cocaine may be extremely difficult. It is important to brace yourself for this possibility because this is similar to the withdrawal for those suffering from polydrug addictions.

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Medications for Withdrawal Symptoms From Cocaine

With many drugs, such as opioids, benzodiazepines, alcohol, and heroin, there are FDA medications to help you get through your withdrawal. When it comes to withdrawal symptoms from cocaine, there are no promising medications that can help you. This is painful and can feel scary to attempt to overcome cocaine addiction.

Recent Studies

There has been medical research that shows medications such as buprenorphine and naltrexone may be able to offer assistance for people in cocaine withdrawal. Despite this, both of these medications are approved to treat other types of addictions, but still not cocaine addiction. These findings are also very new when it comes to cocaine abuse.


Another promising study involves the drug propranolol. This is thought to have a beneficial, and even stabilizing effect for those suffering from cocaine withdrawal. Propranolol is known as a beta-blocker, and it has been approved to treat hypertension and angina.

Along with hypertension and angina, propranolol is often prescribed to treat anxiety and other related psychological problems. One of the major concerns with cocaine withdrawal is the risk of developing serious anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts. By using propranolol to avoid anxiety and restlessness, your other symptoms may be easier to manage. Overall, the hope is that the entire withdrawal experience will be less unpleasant.

Other Anxiety Medications

Other medications to treat depression and anxiety are also in the works to be used to treat cocaine withdrawal. Despite these promising plans, it is recommended that doctors monitor patients for side effects, as well as further addictive behaviors with anxiety meds. Overall, the goal is to work on managing your addiction.

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Getting Help For Your Cocaine Addiction

At Resurgence Behavioral Health we know how difficult cocaine addiction can be.

This is why we offer free insurance verification for treatment for anyone looking into treatment.

If you are ready to present yourself for treatment, then you need to be assessed for mental health disorders.

This is essential to your safety, and due to the high rates of comorbid depression that goes along with cocaine dependence.

If you or someone you love is struggling with untreated cocaine abuse or depression in relapse, then you must get help.

Contact us today to learn more about problematic substance use and its connection to cocaine withdrawal.

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