Overcoming an addiction to cocaine can be a long and challenging process. It often starts with detox, where patients work through withdrawal symptoms. Learn more about cocaine withdrawal, how long it takes and what symptoms to prepare for. This can help you feel ready to tackle treatment and start working toward lasting cocaine addiction recovery.
You may experience cocaine withdrawal symptoms in several different ways. Some symptoms are mental, while others are physical. Mental symptoms include things like depressed moods and cravings for more cocaine. Physical symptoms include shaking or tremors, chills, muscle pain and insomnia (trouble sleeping).
Fatigue and Exhaustion
One of the most common and immediately noticeable symptoms of cocaine withdrawal is fatigue. Cocaine is a stimulant drug. When this stimulant disappears from the body, it can be difficult to summon any energy at all.
Many cocaine users who are in withdrawal feel incredibly tired all the time. They may suffer from exhaustion. When they do experience an uptick in energy, lethargy discourages any actual activity.
To make matters worse, despite their exhaustion, they often find it difficult to sleep. Lots of tossing and turning is common. Nightmares are also likely during withdrawal, which only makes patients feel worse the next day.
Inability to Feel Pleasure
One of the most difficult symptoms of withdrawal is the inability to feel pleasure. It’s important to acknowledge that this is not a long-term condition. Pleasure might be hard to grasp in the days or weeks after quitting cocaine, but it will get easier.
Patients in detox may feel like food has lost its taste. Conversations might not be stimulating, and favorite television shows or movies will seem like a waste of time. They might not have a desire to plan ahead for the future.
Unfortunately, this is often a part of withdrawal. The good news is that pleasure will slowly become apparent in the days and weeks ahead.
Anxiety and Depression
Accompanying a lack of pleasure can be a number of psychological side effects. While there can be several, the two most common are anxiety and depression. Many users might worry about the recovery process or sink into a serious depression.
These symptoms are most likely for those who already have a history of mental health concerns. Cocaine detox patients might also experience suicidal thoughts. This is just one of the many reasons that no patient should go through withdrawal without proper medical supervision as well as without seeking help from a depression treatment center and an anxiety treatment center.
Slowed Thinking and Difficulty Concentrating
When cocaine disappears from the system, it can feel like everything is moving at a new speed. Instead of frantic energy, many patients will feel slow and confused by the everyday pace of life.
Slowed thinking is most common. Patients in withdrawal might struggle to respond to questions or participate in normal conversations. They may also have a hard time concentrating. They might find themselves reading the same page in a book over and over, or losing their train of thought when they are trying to speak.
Slowed thinking seems to have something to do with the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for many pleasurable feelings in response to rewards. When cocaine is in the system, patients feel an abundance of dopamine, which is why they are able to focus, process information quickly, and feel good. However, when the drug leaves the system, the neurotransmitter goes with it. The brain struggles to function without enough dopamine in its chemical toolbox, which is why patients might feel so slow during withdrawal.
Physical Symptoms of Withdrawal
The overwhelming majority of withdrawal symptoms for cocaine addiction are psychological and mental. This is in stark contrast to most kinds of drug withdrawal, where the physical symptoms are the most difficult. However, cocaine withdrawal can still include a handful of physical symptoms.
Many patients will experience chills as well as trouble regulating their temperature. Also possible are symptoms such as muscle aches, tremors, and unexplained nerve pain.
A Cocaine Rehab Center In Portland Can Help
After withdrawal is over, patients are technically sober. In order to maintain that sobriety and prevent relapse, further substance abuse treatments are a necessity. At Crestview Recovery, we offer a variety of programs that help facilitate that recovery. To target addiction, patients may participate in:
- 12-Step recovery programs
- Group and/or family therapy sessions
- Behavioral therapy
- Holistic drug rehab
- Mindfulness meditation therapy
Cocaine withdrawal is the first big step toward sobriety. After withdrawal, rehab at Crestview Recovery can pave the way for a lifetime of sobriety. Embrace the recovery you deserve by calling 866.262.0531 today.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.