Cocaine detox brings primarily psychological withdrawal symptoms. This makes the substance one of the most widely abused illegal substances in the country. Along with it, is the destructive potential leading to a lifetime of addiction. Cocaine is most commonly distributed in powder form but can also be found as a liquid or crystal. Just as cocaine has multiple physical states, there are various ways that it can be used.
The route of cocaine administration is dependent on the form. The first and prevalent form is a finely crushed powder. Powdered cocaine can be snorted, eaten, rubbed into gums, smoked, or injected intravenously. Crack cocaine is a crystal rock form of cocaine that is often cut with baking soda and is overall lower. Both of these forms of cocaine carry extreme risks. Cocaine has contributed to nearly 14,000 overdose deaths in 2017 alone. For individuals who use cocaine regularly, detox will likely be the first step recommended as a part of the treatment plan.
Understanding Cocaine Use And Abuse
When a user continues to use cocaine for a long time, there are chances that the drug will impair their nervous system and brain functions inhibiting memory, pleasure, and decision-making. Once these brain functions begin to fail, it becomes more difficult for the process of cocaine detox because the individual may become incapable of making sound decisions.
For some users, cocaine use can quickly create a strong addiction to the drug, making it very hard to experiment with. For example, a study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology indicated that cocaine addicts would choose the drug over food. This strong addiction often makes it difficult to quit without help as those addicted find themselves using it despite the apparent adverse side effects.
Cocaine reacts quickly with the body system to produce a euphoria that may last for about 15 minutes to one hour because these effects depend on the mode of ingestion. For example, when cocaine is smoked, the impact can be felt after about 30 minutes, while an intravenous injection can take only about five minutes.
What Happens to Your Body and Mind When You Detox from Cocaine?
As you think about how to detox from cocaine, it is essential to remember that the length and intensity of your withdrawal will depend on how much of the drug you’re consuming and how long you’ve abused it for.
Some common symptoms experienced during detox include the following:
- Shaking and shivering
- Nausea and headaches
- Intense cravings for cocaine
- Suicidal thoughts
Cravings can be intense as you detox from cocaine, which can cause some people to relapse. However, setting yourself up to succeed by accessing residential treatment can reduce these risks, as the support of a specialist team and a drug-free environment can act as a much-needed barrier between you and cocaine.
Detox from cocaine can also be uncomfortable and, for some people, dangerous too, mainly if their cocaine use has been heavy and chaotic. Accessing a residential detoxification program where you are under medical supervision can ensure the process remains as safe as possible.
Why Is Cocaine So Addictive?
- Dopamine: The use of cocaine stimulates the production of dopamine, a chemical in the human brain responsible for pleasure. Excessive use of cocaine will result in the brain releasing more of this chemical, thus giving the individual a sense of euphoria. Too much exposure to this product will eventually make one want to experience that feeling all over; hence the brain will prompt the trigger.
- Corticosterone hormone: The stress hormone in the body makes the body vulnerable to addiction. Studies have found that when an individual who is stressed up uses cocaine, the high levels of stress hormone in the body will create a severe addiction to the drug. This is likely because of the feeling of relaxation that cocaine will bring to the brain function, making one want more of that feeling instead of being bogged down by stress.
- Prefrontal Cortex: This is the control center of the brain responsible for decision-making and self-control. Cocaine abuse inhibits the proper functioning of the prefrontal cortex, making it hard for an individual to understand the effects of continued cocaine use.
Common Side Effects of Cocaine
- Weight Loss
- Mood Swings
- Increase in heart rate
- Enlarged Pupils
- Nosebleeds, inflamed nostrils, or nasal congestion
- Nervousness, restlessness, and inability to concentrate
- Increased susceptibility to viruses and bacteria due to a reduced immune response
- Delusions and Hallucinations
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
Addiction, dependence, and abuse of cocaine are relatively common across the United States. A national survey conducted in 2014 showed that close to 1 million adults met the criteria for cocaine abuse or dependence. Although the DSM-V changed how substance use disorders are categorized, that does not change that these 2014 numbers still show how significant the prevalence of cocaine use is.
Due to the stimulant effects of cocaine and short half-life, many users habitually consume cocaine. Once finished, snorted, or injected, the results are felt almost immediately. There is an initial high that is supremely euphoric and sparks a bought of energy. The person’s actions and words may speed up and seem almost frantic to an onlooker. Their temperature will rise, and they may seem a little sweaty, anxious, and possibly non-sensible to others. These effects may only last for about 15 minutes to an hour. The short length but great euphoria of the high is often why habitual use develops. As the effects start to wear off, they take another bump. Someone who relies heavily on cocaine for their energy might take frequent trips to the bathroom, they may experience mood swings, and they may lack interest in eating or sleeping.
What is Crack Cocaine?
Crack Cocaine, also known as crack, rock candy, base, ball, rocks, nuggets, grit, hail, ice, sleet, or tornado, is a less processed and, therefore, less pure form of cocaine. The appearance of crack rocks is that of a dull crystal. These crystals are heated and the vapors inhaled and can be done using a pipe or in a cigarette. Crack gets its namesake from the sound it makes when heated.
Although this is a cruder form of cocaine, crack acts much faster but with a shorter-lasting high. Typically the effects of smoking crack cocaine are on the shorter end and only last about 15 minutes. Unfortunately, the short life of the high also brings more intense, frequent cravings. Additionally, because crack is often cut with fillers like baking soda or ammonia, there are often unintended side effects. Drug peddlers may add these fillers to make it seem like their customer is getting more for their money, but it adds more risk to the user and more profit for the seller.
Cocaine and crack cocaine are virtually identical in chemical and pharmacological makeup. As such, both cause the same side effects, and there is no difference between cocaine addiction or crack addiction or how long crack cocaine stays in your system.
The Withdrawal Process
The severe cravings and mental dependency that cocaine users develop mean that discontinuing use requires a detox period. Depending on the length of time using and the amount used, cocaine detox may bring on various physical and physiological withdrawal symptoms. The cocaine detox process can take anywhere from 12 hours to 4 or more days. Most users will experience a level of decreased energy as well as increased anxiety and irritability. Unlike substances such as alcohol and heroin, withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting and tremors are not expected. However, a combination of alcohol and cocaine abuse is common and can trigger these more severe symptoms.
More common cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:
- Lack of Pleasure
- Irritability and Anxiety
- Suspicion or Paranoia
- Trouble Eating or Sleeping
The Importance of Drug Detox for Cocaine Addiction
Long-term, continued cocaine use quickly leads to late-stage addiction. In this stage, the risks the user takes on are significant and critical to be aware of. The most severe of the possible bets are that of overdose and death. Additionally, co-current cocaine and opioid drug use are becoming an increasing concern.
No different from addiction to other addictive substances, the effects can be life-altering. This includes job loss, relationship strains, financial decline, health problems, and mental instability. Increased health problems may include stroke, seizure, heart disease, cardiovascular and respiratory complications. In addition, users who share paraphernalia, especially needles, are at increased risk of contracting infectious diseases like HIV and Hepatitis.
Detox promotes healing in a safe, comfortable environment and provides resources for withdrawal that minimize negative symptoms. With a staff of trained practitioners and caretakers, We Level Up delivers the ability to detox under the watchful eye of professionals. In addition, we work to maximize comfort, offering over-the-counter and prescription medications as needed, psychological care, and personal support to encourage abstinence from cocaine and other drugs, both today and for years to come.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Following the completion of a cocaine detox program, several different treatment options help individuals who have been struggling with addiction. Care can be provided on an inpatient or outpatient basis and at various levels of care. The levels of care for cocaine addiction treatment include:
- Residential Cocaine Addiction Rehab
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
- Outpatient Treatment & Aftercare
For those addicted to cocaine, help is here. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the We Level Up today to learn more about overcoming addiction to cocaine through our detox & addiction treatment program.
Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal
Withdrawal from certain substances, like alcohol and benzodiazepines, can involve severe physical withdrawal symptoms. However, symptoms of cocaine withdrawal tend to be more mentally severe:
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Slowed Thinking
- Slowed activity or physical fatigue after activity
- 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
At American Addiction Centers, we offer 24-hour detox with a medical professional to ensure you withdraw safely, followed by treatment and aftercare planning. If you’re battling a substance use disorder (SUD) with cocaine or other drugs, please reach out to one of our admissions navigators at We Level Up.
How To Detox From Cocaine Safely
When thinking about how to detox from cocaine. We would highly recommend that you look at detoxing within a well-monitored and medically-assisted environment to be kept safe and comfortable throughout the process.
Within this blog, we will look at what to expect when you detox from cocaine, what you can do to help yourself during the withdrawal process, and how Priory Group’s detoxification program can support you throughout. While the idea of detoxing can be scary, it is a crucial step to take so that you can enjoy your life away from the impact of cocaine once again.
Cocaine Detox: The First Step of Recovery
Cocaine addiction, like many addictions, can be overwhelming to face on one’s own. An abuser must find the proper treatment for addiction that treats their addiction individually and safely. At We Level Up, we work hard to create an environment and uphold standards of care for every client’s success. Please get in touch with We Level Up today to learn more about overcoming addiction to cocaine with our detox & addiction treatment program.
At We Level Up Treatment Center, we provide world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope. We work as an integrated team providing support through cocaine detox and other aspects of treatment. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.
Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.