There are many different withdrawal symptoms that appear when users decide to quit using cocaine. Some of the symptoms are physical while others affect the emotional and mental processes. When it comes to cocaine, the emotional and mental effects are usually far more pronounced than the physical effects. However, most users report feeling mild discomforts such as body aches and headaches.
After a person comes down from a dose of cocaine, cravings set in almost right away, cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs out there and this is because of how strong the cravings become even after using it just once. Minor withdrawal symptoms set in within 90 minutes of the last dose. This is because cocaine has a very short half-life. The shorter the half-life of a substance, the most addictive it becomes.
Some of the symptoms that one might experience during cocaine withdrawal include things like fatigue, extreme anxiety, and severe paranoia. These symptoms arise in individuals within 24 hours of their last dose. This is the first stage of withdrawal.
The second state of cocaine withdrawal usually begins about a week after the last dose of cocaine has been consumed. The symptoms that are experienced during this stage of withdrawal include things such as poor concentration, unstable moods, depression, and dysphoria. Many people also report having nightmares and poor sexual function.
Nearly 50% of people that abuse cocaine also suffers from the symptoms of depression. When a person stops using cocaine, the symptoms of depression often surface very strongly. Many people report feeling suicidal when they stop using cocaine due to the withdrawal symptoms exasperating other mental health conditions. This is why it is important that a person is closely monitored during the withdrawal process.
The last stage of cocaine withdrawal can affect individuals for up to 6 months. During the last stage of cocaine withdrawal, users can expect to experience occasional cravings and apathy. The last stages of withdrawal are often when people relapse.
They assume that since they have made it months without using that they can start to use again and only do so on occasion. This is not the case, and the person usually escalates back to heavy use within a few weeks.
People who abused other drugs alongside cocaine are at risk for developing other withdrawal symptoms in addition to the symptoms felt when stopping cocaine. This is known as polysubstance abuse. This kind of drug abuse can complicate with withdrawal process and make it even more dangerous.
It is important that those who have been abusing multiple substances be honest about it when going into treatment. Depending on the other substances involved, withdrawing from multiple substances at once may be life-threatening and require medical supervision.
There are no approved medications specifically for assisting with cocaine withdrawal, but there are some things that are thought to be helpful by those who have worked people going through this process. Since the symptoms are primarily mental, often times if the symptoms become severe a person going through withdrawal can benefit from anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications. It is important that the individual’s needs and history are thoroughly examined before taking this route.
Many people that are going through cocaine withdrawal benefit from group therapy. Group therapy can be grounding for those that are suffering through the mental withdrawal symptoms. It allows them to see that they are not alone in going through the process. Hearing the stories of other people who have made it through what they are going through can be incredibly helpful and reassuring.