Cocaine Detox: Overview, Withdrawal, How it Works, and Detox Length

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Cocaine is an illicit stimulant and Schedule II drug defined as having a high potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction. People who stop using cocaine abruptly will immediately experience a crash characterized by unwanted symptoms like strong drug cravings and severe depression. Cocaine drug detox helps people safely withdraw from this substance with a reduced risk for complications like cravings, overdose, and suicide that sometimes stem from cocaine withdrawal.

What Is Cocaine Detox?

Cocaine detox is a treatment used at drug and alcohol rehab to help people safely withdraw from cocaine and overcome physical dependence on this substance. People who try withdrawing from cocaine on their own without professional treatment can experience serious psychiatric symptoms like paranoia, extreme agitation, and suicidal thoughts, along with strong drug cravings that can lead to relapse and overdose.

In some instances, cocaine use can lead to overdose and death when people use higher amounts than they can tolerate after discontinuing use for a time, or when they use cocaine laced with more potent substances like synthetic fentanyl. However, cocaine detox reduces these risks and helps people safely recover from cocaine dependence and addiction.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Cocaine is a short-acting drug that produces withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of the last dose. While some substances like alcohol that trigger physical symptoms like shaking and vomiting, cocaine produces psychological symptoms that often require treatment in therapy at a drug rehab following drug detox.

Common cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Restlessness and agitation.
  • Fatigue, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Increased appetite and muscle aches.
  • Sleeping for longer periods of time.
  • Vivid and unpleasant dreams.
  • General feelings of discomfort.
  • Irritability and mood swings.

How Does Cocaine Detox Work?

Cocaine detox can take place at either an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab center, though an inpatient rehab center allows patients to be closely monitored by medical staff who can immediately intervene to treat symptoms that become too severe or problematic. Patients going through cocaine withdrawal are advised to drink plenty of fluids and take nutritional supplements that help boost immune system function and correct chemical imbalances in the brain triggered by cocaine abuse. Medications may be used during cocaine drug detox to relieve specific symptoms, such as muscle aches, anxiety, and depression.

How Long Does Cocaine Detox Last?

Cocaine detox usually lasts an average of three to five days, though post-acute withdrawal symptoms may last for up to several months. Following cocaine detox, many patients transition to drug rehab centers to be treated for lingering psychiatric withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, emotional instability, and strong urges to use cocaine. Therapies such as individual and group counseling, relapse prevention training, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can all help people recover from the psychological effects of cocaine addiction and achieve long-term abstinence.

America’s Rehab Campuses treat cocaine use disorder physically and psychologically using medical detox and a range of therapies. Contact us today to learn more about how our safe drug and alcohol detox programs can help you or a loved one safely and successfully overcome substance abuse.