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Cocaine Detox Process And Protocols

Cocaine detox effects can be mild or severe based on the amount taken and the duration of abuse. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can bring about a range of different physiological and mental health side effects due to cocaine being such a potent and fast-acting drug. Cocaine has a very short-lived high which means you will need more to get the same feeling.

The symptoms of withdrawal include comedowns, anxiety and depression when it’s gone. It is also common for individuals that use cocaine to have a polysubstance abuse problem where they abuse more than one drug at the same time.

Emotional changes occur during the detoxification process at different levels for all users based on genetic factors, length of abuse and amount that is being abused. Cravings and discomfort are experienced by most users that have become dependent on cocaine. Some people find themselves feeling hopeless, while others feel hopeful. The type of support offered during the withdrawal can also affect how a person feels.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms vary in level of severity and can be unpleasant without medication and therapeutic support which is why it’s important to choose a detox center for cocaine addiction that is equipped to help treat physical symptoms as well as the psychological causes that started the addiction in the first place.

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What Should You Expect During Cocaine Detox?

The biggest problems that most cocaine addicts experience during detox are extremely emotional issues. Mood swings, intense anger and irritability, deep depression, and even violence are common. 

These emotional changes can be caused by the physical changes that the body is going through as well as some psychological problems.

During cocaine withdrawal, you may experience:

  • Severe and unbearable cravings
  • Depressed mood and/or loss of interest in normal activities
  • Disturbed sleep – sleeping excessively or not being able to fall asleep
  • Significant weight loss
  • Feeling agitated, restless, and irritable
  • Panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts 
  • Hallucinations and/or paranoia

What Are The Physical Symptoms Of Cocaine Detox?

The desired results of a cocaine detox program are physical withdrawals. The decrease of these symptoms allows you to focus on dealing with the issue of cravings and psychological dependency.

In addition, many people that go through detox report some physical changes. 

These include:

  • Stomach cramps and/or vomiting 
  • Fever 
  • Tremors or twitches 

However, not everyone experiences these physical effects of cocaine withdrawal during detoxification. They can happen in some people if their addiction has been severe enough.

What Is The Cocaine Detox Process And Protocol?

Follow your doctor’s orders.

You will be given certain medications to help with the cocaine detox process. This is important because many of these withdrawal symptoms are very difficult to deal with alone.

Types of medications commonly used during cocaine withdrawal include:

  • antidepressant drugs
  • anti-anxiety drugs or mood stabilizers
  • sleeping pills 
  • tranquilizers – if the person experiences severe anxiety or panic attacks

A doctor may also prescribe IV fluids in case they suspect that a person has become dehydrated due to fever, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.

The length of time needed for detox varies depending on how long one has been using cocaine and in what amounts. Some people require more time than others when it comes to cocaine withdrawal treatment. However, some things can speed up the process such as gradually reducing the dosage you are taking of the drug.

Know what to expect.

You must know what to expect during the detox process and how you can best cope with the withdrawal symptoms.

If your addiction was not severe, then it might be possible for you to do cocaine detox by yourself at home. However, if your addiction is very strong or has lasted for a long time, it may be more advisable for you to check into a detox or inpatient rehab program.

This is because cravings can become unbearable and lead to relapse if they are not handled properly. Additionally, the depression and suicidal thoughts associated with cocaine withdrawal could become dangerous without proper supervision.

Detox and treatment

A detox treatment that can help you to clinically deal with emotional triggers and also help with medication as cocaine leaves your system can be the safest and most effective way to get through the withdrawal process. Detox for cocaine typically lasts 2-7 days.

If you decide on an early treatment program then your doctor will put you under general anesthesia while simultaneously giving you certain medications that block the effects of cocaine in your brain.

This might sound like a great option considering all it takes is one quick procedure, but keep in mind that not everyone qualifies for this type of treatment.

What Are The Best Tips For Success During Cocaine Detox?

To ease the symptoms of withdrawal from drugs or alcohol, medications are often prescribed. The most common types of medications used for cocaine detox are benzodiazepines as well as a type of antidepressant known as anticonvulsants. These help to reduce the incidence and severity of seizures and counteract the spike in dopamine levels commonly experienced with cocaine use.

Benzodiazepines seem to work best when the person exhibits strong withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations or psychosis from cocaine use. They work by slowing down nerve activity in the brain and stopping anxiety, which reduces the risk of seizures following withdrawal.

Anticonvulsants act more preventative by lowering seizure activity for those who don’t experience strong withdrawal symptoms. Both types of drugs need to be carefully monitored due to their addiction potential because they can cause users to become dependent on them.

Don’t Wait To Get Help

If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction, don’t wait to get help. Contact us today to speak with a treatment specialist and learn more about how we can help.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Detox From Cocaine?

Everyone’s body reacts to the detoxing process differently. Therefore, the detox timeline will depend on several factors, as each case is different. It will depend on factors, such as the length of the addiction and the amount the individual has been abusing. The frequency of drug abuse is also another factor that impacts the duration of cocaine detox treatment required for recovery. It can take anywhere between 5-7 days for detoxing to occur for some, but for others, it can take up to three weeks.

When Does Cocaine Detox Start?

Typically the detox process sets in for regular cocaine users after 8-12 hours from the last dose of cocaine. The first signs are usually fatigue, extremely stuffy nose, sinus issues like clogging of the nasal cavity and chills. Physical symptoms of fatigue and anxiousness may come on stronger after that 8-12 hour mark. During the detox process, many users feel very tired and have difficulty concentrating which causes agitation and sweating.

How Do I Detox From Cocaine Addiction?

Cocaine is a prohibited stimulant. Cocaine, whether it is in powder form or crystal form (often referred to as "Crack"), can harm internal organs, create mental issues, and result in respiratory failure. Cocaine has a strong addictive potential. After just one usage, some cocaine users develop an addiction. Approximately 5 million Americans regularly use cocaine. By 2020, a little less than 2% of eighth graders had used cocaine. Nearly 1% of eighth graders had used Crack in 2020. Since 2013, there have been more fatalities linked to cocaine each year. In 2018, there were 14,666 such fatalities. Cocaine consumption is highest among Americans between the ages of 18 and 25. Magnified Health Systems offers an efficient treatment program for cocaine addiction. The safest and most efficient approach to get through withdrawal is with an early detox treatment, commonly referred to as quick detox or anesthesia-assisted detox. People who need to get clean as soon as possible for reasons related to work, school, family, etc. typically use this type of treatment.

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Medical Advice Disclaimer

Magnified Health Systems aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

Dr. Bickley graduated from U.C. Irvine with honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, Cum Laude. He has been featured on national radio and print media. He is also a frequent lecturer at National Conferences. He holds an A.S. degree in Drug & Alcohol Studies, and two B.A. degrees in Criminology & Psychology, and masters and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed California Drug & Alcohol Counselor Level II, a licensed Clinical Supervisor and is certified in treating Eating Disorders.

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