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How Long Does It Take To Detox From Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that users smoke, snort, or inject to receive an intense euphoric high and an increase in energy and alertness. Tolerance of the drug builds quickly to form dependence, then addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, using the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, states that in the United States, about 1.4 million people aged 12 and older had a cocaine use disorder in the past 12 months.

Once an individual decreases the amount of cocaine being used or tries detoxing from cocaine, withdrawal symptoms appear quickly. The plan for cocaine detox depends on the length of the addiction, the amount of usage, and how the administration of the drug. 

The Cocaine Detox Process

The process of detoxification from cocaine addiction is seldom life-threatening, but there are typically severe withdrawal symptoms. In addition, withdrawal-associated medical issues can occur. Psychological withdrawal is also a significant concern, with a high risk of depression and suicidal thinking.

Seizures, cardiac complications, and if polysubstance use is a factor, additional management of the withdrawal symptoms becomes more complex. Ultimately, the detox process can be unpleasant without medical management and the opportunity to utilize medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

During cocaine detox, the withdrawal symptoms appear in phases. The acute withdrawal symptoms, or the crash, begin with extreme anxiety, agitation, fatigue, and low energy. Dysphoria (a state of uneasiness) accompanies the onset of intense cravings for cocaine. The dysphoria can result in severe depression and the onset of suicidal ideation. It is common for individuals to experience insomnia and acute exhaustion. This phase can extend from 1 to 2 weeks. 

Following the acute withdrawal phase, the post-acute withdrawal phase is a different level of discomfort. Excessive sleepiness and fatigue combine with extreme moodiness. Although the appetite picks up, the drug cravings relentlessly continue. The post-acute withdrawal phase can last at least 2 weeks and is an individual timeline. The body and the brain must adjust to functioning without cocaine ruling the brain’s chemistry. 

Protracted withdrawal is the final phase of cocaine withdrawal that only some individuals experience after the initial detox period. Subsequently, just when it seems the withdrawal symptoms are over, lingering fatigue, depression, and mental and physical drain plague the body. Suicidal thoughts can persist, and intense drug cravings can become unbearable. In some extreme cases, psychotic episodes can occur. As a result, protracted withdrawal can trigger relapse and possible overdose. 

Signs of Cocaine Withdrawal

When detoxing from cocaine, withdrawal symptoms can begin within only a few hours from the last use. Psychological and behavioral symptoms may appear first. Uncomfortable physical symptoms follow, but with medical management and medication-assisted treatment (MAT), detox becomes tolerable. The goal for recovery is primarily to prevent relapse and obtain sobriety. Professional detox programs are the safest and most effective forms of treatment. 

The following signs and symptoms appear with cocaine withdrawal:

  • Intense uneasiness
  • Extreme depression
  • Irritability, anxiety, and agitation
  • Fatigue, sluggishness, and slowed movements
  • Increase of appetite
  • Persistent drug cravings
  • Insomnia and difficulty maintaining sleep
  • Nightmares or vivid dreams
  • Difficulty focusing and concentrating
  • Memory issues

How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Last?

Determining factors in how long cocaine withdrawal can take depends on a group of individual characteristics, but acute symptoms typically last 3 days to 5 or more weeks. Sometimes it can be longer, like a few weeks. The length of cocaine addiction, the type of administration of the drug, the dosage typically ingested, and if other polydrug use adds complications. The patient’s physical and mental health contributes to the detoxing process.

The National Institute of Health reports new medications are successful for abstinence and relapse prevention during addiction treatment. The effectiveness of some medicines may affect the withdrawal timeframe, making them shorter than the standard timeframe. 

Why Detox is Vital

Professional detox is vital to the recovery process because those who attempt detox at home possibly have substances on their property. This puts a person at a very high risk for relapse once the drug cravings begin to appear.

Without medical management and medication-assisted treatment, there is a high level of discomfort. Therapeutic support during professional cocaine detox provides safety, experienced guidance, and monitoring of physical and mental symptoms.

Signs Someone Needs Cocaine Detox

Physical signs and symptoms are indeed a red flag that drug use is present, but once addiction is in play, some behavioral signs begin to appear and escalate. Negative consequences of extreme and adverse behavioral changes can trigger lifestyle problems and destroy relationships.

People close to someone who is drastically changing their behaviors begin to wonder if addiction is the problem. It is imperative to reach out and offer treatment options and support to those struggling with addiction. 

The following behavioral changes are a sign someone needs cocaine detox:

  • Poor performance at school or work with excessive absenteeism
  • Poor hygiene and disheveled appearance
  • Risky behaviors like driving recklessly and unsafe sexual practices
  • Financial problems
  • Lack of interest in hobbies or social activities
  • Craving and intense urges to use cocaine
  • Unable to stop using or cut back on cocaine

Therapies for Cocaine Detox

Evidence-based therapies are vital to learning new ways to cope with cravings and urges that addiction holds. Providing a calm and therapeutic environment, the goal of breaking negative habits using Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy teaches positive coping mechanisms.

Alternative methods, such as mindfulness meditation, help train thoughts to stay in the present moment and stop thinking of the past. Therapy helps to investigate the underlying causes of the addiction and process emotions and feelings. 

Choose Professional Detox for Withdrawing from Cocaine in Atlanta, GA

Treatment for a cocaine use disorder can be challenging, but the safest method is medically monitored detox. The Retreat of Atlanta has experience with detoxing from several substances and understands the challenges their clients are facing. Understanding that the primary goals are relapse prevention and sobriety, we have the compassionate staff and capacity for successful completion.

Contact Retreat of Atlanta today to begin the detox and recovery journey. 

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