Cocaine Detox, Signs, Withdrawal Symptoms & Treatments

How to Detox From Cocaine? Cocaine Detox is part of the treatment process for recovering from Cocaine Addiction. This is a disease that makes a person use Cocaine frequently and makes this drug become a part of their life, even when it is not consumed daily. Quitting this drug suddenly can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. […]

How to Detox From Cocaine?

Cocaine Detox is part of the treatment process for recovering from Cocaine Addiction. This is a disease that makes a person use Cocaine frequently and makes this drug become a part of their life, even when it is not consumed daily. Quitting this drug suddenly can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. But before we get to the main topic, let’s first learn about Cocaine Addiction and the benefits of Cocaine Detox. 

Normally when we think of drug abuse, the immediate thing that comes to mind is when someone takes drugs every day, several times. But with Cocaine Addiction, signs can be ambiguous. You do not have to be taking cocaine, or crack cocaine, every day to be addicted to it.

A sign of addiction is that you’ve tried to cut down or stop but are unable to. Any use of cocaine is considered abuse because it is an illegal substance. Even when Cocaine is a highly addictive drug, one of its main issues is that it may be hard to recognize an addiction to it.

For example, craving cocaine, even if the use or need appears every few days, and ignoring the consequences that come with it are signs of an addiction. 

The psychological addiction is often the hardest part to overcome, although there are undeniable physical symptoms of addiction as well. Someone who uses cocaine frequently will develop a dependence on it, meaning they need to have it in order to feel normal.; in that case when your loved one is struggling with the abuse, it’s time to think about Cocaine Detox treatment.

Once dependence has developed, a tolerance will develop and withdrawal symptoms will occur when stopping use. Once someone becomes addicted to cocaine, it can be very hard to stop. This is because cocaine abnormally increases the level of dopamine in the brain, eventually reprogramming the brain reward system.

cocaine detox
Cocaine Detox is part of the treatment process for recovering from Cocaine Addiction.

Cocaine is a stimulant, meaning it increases alertness and energy. In fact, it affects the neural pathways in your brain, leading you to feel talkative, energetic, and euphoric. Addiction to cocaine can develop quickly, even after trying it only a few times. An addiction can be physical, meaning your body craves the drug. It can also be mental, meaning you strongly desire the drug’s effects. Moreover, Cocaine can be consumed in a variety of ways. [1] 

Cocaine Addiction: Signs and Symptoms

Typical signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction include: [1]

  • A tolerance for the drug, requiring large amounts to get high
  • An inability to stop or reduce usage
  • Withdrawal symptoms when usage stops
  • A desire to keep using even when health complications arise
  • A negative impact on quality of life, relationships, and employment
  • Spending excessive time and money looking for cocaine
  • Psychosis and hallucinations
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Disappearing for binge sessions

What does cocaine look like? Maybe you are concerned that your loved one is abusing cocaine, but don’t know what to look for. Most often found in white powder form, cocaine may be cut with any number of ingredients, some more harmful than others. Freebase cocaine or crack may look like small rocks that are a whitish color.

Cocaine Detox: Most often Cocaine is found in white powder form.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

While Cocaine detox may not be as severe with cocaine as it is with other substances, it can still be challenging due to the intense cravings that occur when trying to quit the drug. For the most part, the symptoms associated with Cocaine Detox will be psychological rather than physical.

The strong desire to use the drug as you attempt to get clean could cause a return to cocaine use if you are detoxing at home, which is generally why it is advisable to complete the process in a supervised facility. In such a center you will have no access to the drug, and you will be offered unwavering support to help you make it through Cocaine Detox unscathed.

Cocaine Detox means quitting the drug and waiting for your body to get back to normal. During the process, you are likely to experience a range of withdrawal symptoms, but in a supervised facility, the staff will be able to provide medications and other interventions to make you more comfortable during the process.

Withdrawal from certain substances, like alcohol and benzodiazepines, can involve severe physical withdrawal symptoms; however, Cocaine Detox brings mostly psychological withdrawal symptoms.

Signs of Cocaine Withdrawal:

Cocaine detox
While Cocaine Detox may not be as severe as it is with other substances, it can still be challenging due to the intense cravings that occur when trying to quit the drug.
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slowed thinking
  • Slowed activity or physical fatigue after activity
  • Exhaustion
  • Restlessness
  • Inability to experience sexual arousal
  • Anhedonia, or the inability to feel pleasure
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Vivid, unpleasant dreams or nightmares
  • Physical symptoms, such as chills, tremors, muscle aches, and nerve pain
  • Increased craving for cocaine
  • Increased appetite

Withdrawal symptoms start within hours of stopping use. However, the worst cravings and withdrawal symptoms appear during the first month of quitting. Withdrawal symptoms can last for months after the last dose. Some symptoms can be uncomfortable, making cocaine a difficult drug to quit. Severe depression and suicidal thoughts are the most dangerous side effects of quitting cocaine “cold turkey.”

Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

How Long Does It Take To Detox Cocaine? The symptoms of acute cocaine withdrawal often resolve after about 7-10 days. However, like with many drugs, cravings for cocaine may persist for longer periods of time and could develop suddenly, years after individuals have gotten sober. Cocaine Detox treatment helps to deal with those uncomfortable symptoms-

Cocaine has a relatively short half-life and, in people with significant dependence, withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as 90 minutes after the last dose. The timeline for withdrawal symptoms varies depending on the individual. Here are some factors that may influence the timeline for cocaine withdrawal:

  • Length of use: For people who abuse cocaine for a short period of time, withdrawal symptoms may be relatively short in duration. People who have used cocaine for years may continue to suffer lingering withdrawal symptoms for weeks, perhaps in part due to a buildup of the drug in their bodies.
  • Average dose used: People who’ve used very large amounts may experience more intense withdrawal symptoms than someone who used lower doses.
  • Polysubstance dependence: Someone who has developed physiological dependence to 2 or more drugs may experience withdrawal symptoms related to both, potentially complicating the course of withdrawal and worsening the experience for the detoxing person.
  • Environment: If cocaine was used as a means of escape from a stressful environment, stress may trigger the urge to use again. As a result, environmental factors that lead to stress – such as relationship issues, work troubles, or other factors – may lead to intense cravings for cocaine, complicating the psychological withdrawal process.
  • Co-occurring medical or mental health issues: If an individual suffers from any co-occurring medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease or mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, or personality disorder, the withdrawal process from cocaine could be more complicated. The same is true for those suffering from polydrug addictions.

Cocaine Detox Medications for Withdrawal Symptoms

While Cocaine Detox may be completed on an outpatient basis, medical detox is recommended in some instances. For example, if a person has relapsed during past withdrawal attempts, the 24-hour supervision afforded by medical detox can prove invaluable. In addition, if the person suffers from any co-occurring mental health disorders, medical detox followed by comprehensive inpatient addiction treatment can effectively address both withdrawal management and mental health treatment needs.

One of the more problematic withdrawal effects associated with acute stimulant withdrawal is an increased risk of suicide. People who attempt to stop cocaine use after addiction has taken hold can suffer from severe depression and mood swings, including thoughts of suicide. 

With regular cocaine use, the brain adapts to the consistently elevated dopamine activity associated with the drug. Over time, the reward circuit is disrupted and becomes less sensitive to dopamine, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse. At this point, a person often needs increasingly large amounts of cocaine to feel good; without it, they may feel profoundly depressed and dissatisfied with life. [2]

Cocaine Detox and Treatments

Unlike some drugs, such as opioids, there are no FDA-approved medications that specifically treat cocaine withdrawal. However, Cocaine Detox uses medications that may help individuals overcome cocaine addiction and work through withdrawal symptoms. [3]

A study suggested that propranolol might have a beneficial, stabilizing effect for those suffering from cocaine withdrawal. This beta-blocker has been approved to treat hypertension and angina, and it is often prescribed to treat anxiety and related psychological problems.

One of the major concerns with cocaine withdrawal is the risk of a person developing serious anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts. If anxiety and restlessness are reduced, other symptoms of withdrawal may be easier to manage and the entire withdrawal experience will be less unpleasant.

Cocaine Detox
Cocaine Detox: There are some promising medications that may help individuals overcome cocaine addiction and work through withdrawal symptoms.

Other medications to treat depression and anxiety could be useful for people undergoing cocaine withdrawal, as they could stabilize their moods and reduce depression. They could be particularly helpful for people whose withdrawal symptoms last longer than 7-10 days. However, medical professionals should consider these cases individually and carefully monitor patients for side effects, further addictive behaviors, and psychological changes that are detrimental to the overall goal of managing the addiction.

Psychoanalytic-developmental treatment model

According to the scientific piece ‘Cocaine dependence treatment on an inpatient detoxification unit’, published by the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, a psychoanalytic-developmental treatment model includes individual and group psychotherapy which enables compulsive freebase cocaine addicts to articulate explanations for their drug dependence.

Relapse prevention education includes recommendations for aftercare treatment. Psychosocial history and DSM-III diagnostic data reveal histories of dysfunctional family dynamics, high rates of depressive disorders, and personality disorders. Residential therapeutic communities (TCs) need to offer variable program lengths and specialized crack residences in therapeutic milieus with trained clinical staff.

TC programs should offer inpatient psychotherapy, family therapy, and provide direct entrance into program-affiliated outpatient services. Recommendations for outpatient services include adjuncts to established anonymous self-help group networks in order to reduce chances of relapse. [4]

Cocaine Detox Center California

Cocaine Addiction is a condition that can cause major health, social, and economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up California Treatment Center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this disease with professional and safe supervision for Cocaine Detox treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.


[1] We Level Up Treatment Center‘Cocaine Addiction’

[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). 2021, April 8. Cocaine DrugFacts. Retrieved from

[3] National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). 2021, August 3. Overview. Retrieved from

[4] Barbara C. Wallace, Cocaine dependence treatment on an inpatient detoxification unit, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Volume 4, Issue 2. (