Approaches to Overcoming Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

People often think the hardest part of recovering from substance abuse is the decision to quit. The reality is that managing cocaine withdrawal symptoms and fighting the cravings that come along with them is a much bigger challenge.

For those of you wondering how to detox from cocaine, though, there are things that you can do to make this challenge a little easier. From my own experiences along with the help of Changes Healing Center staff, I will shed light on what it takes to get cocaine out of your system and then stay sober.

We will also take a look together at what to expect when detoxing from cocaine at home and how to manage withdrawal. It is also equally important to know more about the steps to take after detox to promote long-term recovery from cocaine addiction.

Read my blog until the end to hear more about tactics and strategies used to help with detoxification from cocaine, and get help and healing options at Changes today if you are struggling on your own!

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Can You Detox from Cocaine at Home Safely?

For people struggling with substance abuse, going through cocaine withdrawal is enough on its own to make you want to use it again. Cocaine detox and withdrawal are intense and the cravings many people experience are enough for them to relapse.

I know this was the case for me, and it took many years of attempting to quit cocaine on my own until I reached out for support at Changes in Phoenix.

Their program for cocaine detox was a really effective way to overcome substance misuse and take back control of life, at least in my case.

But if you are determined to go it alone, here are some strategies that can help you detox relatively safely at home.

Do Detox Drinks Work for Cocaine?

Detox Drinks Work for Cocaine

Drug detox drinks or cocaine detox kits often promise substance users the easy way out. They usually promise to make the withdrawal process happen a little faster while helping with the symptoms of drug withdrawal.

Unfortunately, detox drinks and kits are not really proven. They are not regulated by the FDA for their effectiveness and many produce additional side effects on top of those that you may be experiencing from withdrawal. Plus, being unregulated, there is no guarantee of what is actually inside the product.

The drinks are most often marketed and sold to those seeking to pass a drug test, not those seeking detox as the foundation to live life without drugs. And even when it comes to urine tests, I know that I purchased more than a few of these products, and the results weren’t ever made magically clean when I needed them to be.

Managing Symptoms and Cravings During Detox

One of the hardest parts of detoxing from cocaine is going to be managing cravings. Even once the symptoms have subsided, many people experience intense cravings for the drug. These intense cravings last up to two weeks or longer for some people.

Many people recovering from drug abuse have cravings for the rest of their lives. I know in my case, the urges still strike on occasion, when I drive by an old dealer’s place, when it’s been a rough day (or week), or even when it’s been an awesome day and I want to celebrate. The temptations can come at unexpected times, but with the life skills I learned at Changes I am better prepared to overcome them.

But if you are going it alone in detox, treat the days as though you were sick and need compassionate care and rest, both of which have the added benefit of being totally true.

Try to manage symptoms as best you can at home. Staying in a dark room might help with headaches and using a fan or blanket will help you adjust as your body temperature changes. Many people also isolate during detox, simply because high levels of irritability during this time can make it hard to be around the people you love.

While this can be okay, make sure you have at least one trusted ally who knows what you are going through and you can reach out to when needed for support, even if it’s only words of encouragement.

Developing Healthy Habits

Once the worst has passed, it’s important to develop healthy habits that support you in recovery. This might involve developing a routine, eating good food, and putting support in place should you have intense cravings. Support often comes in the form of groups like Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, group therapy, and/or individual therapy.

Setting all this up can be a challenge when you are so focused on trying to quit cocaine. By working with a treatment center like Changes as you detox from cocaine, you’ll find the support you need.

Like I said, you can try to do it alone, but keep in mind that you don’t have to! The caring staff at Changes Healing Center have been there for me before, during, and after my early recovery efforts.

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal?

Common Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal

Detoxing from cocaine use produces physical symptoms and psychological symptoms that make it hard to quit. Here are some of the most common ailments people experience coming off regular use:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Increased hunger
  • Unpleasant or vivid dreams
  • Slowed motor skills
  • Decreased sex drive
  • A sense of joylessness
  • Depression or suicidal ideations
  • Anxiety or paranoia
  • Tremors
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Pain

Withdrawal symptoms are more intense for some people than they are for others. The intensity is going to be directly related to the duration and intensity of coke use, among other factors.

This means heavy cocaine users often experience the worst symptoms and may need help to withdraw from cocaine safely, without seizures or the risk of depression getting bad. In my case, I felt many of the above symptoms persist for weeks, though at the point I finally got to Changes I had been using cocaine almost every day for nearly a decade.

Get Proven Options For Cocaine Detox Now!

The Timeline for Cocaine Withdrawal

After you use cocaine for the last time, the initial symptoms of withdrawal begin within ninety minutes to 3 hours. These earlier symptoms are part of the crash phase, where you’ll feel less alert, fatigued, and have slower motor skills.

The next part of the detox timeline lasts from 3 hours up to 3 days. This is where you’ll experience many of the symptoms mentioned above. From days 4-7, feelings of anxiety, depression, and irritability are common. You also might experience intense cravings for cocaine.

After 1-2 weeks, many of the symptoms of withdrawal usually start to subside. However, individuals may still experience cravings for the drug. Cravings are something that come and go, but most people deal with them for the rest of their lives. (They do go away for the most part over time though, and become less of a fixation than a minor annoyance, something I even laugh at myself for these days).

People who have abused cocaine heavily often experience intense withdrawal symptoms that might last longer than they do for the average person. Additionally, some cocaine users, like me, experience protracted withdrawal or what are known as post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS).

These are symptoms that might appear at any time after you quit using, from a few hours to a few months later.

Is Cocaine Withdrawal Dangerous?

Cocaine Withdrawal Dangerous

Cocaine withdrawal can be dangerous, which is part of the reason I chose to seek out cocaine detox treatment. In a treatment program, I knew my withdrawal symptoms would be managed under medical supervision. Inpatient treatment is also helpful during the craving phase, which is going to be strongest for the first week or two after you’ve quit.

Another reason detox from cocaine use is dangerous is because of its effects on the brain and the increased risk of depression. Rehab is a good alternative to contacting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) or talking to a family medicine doctor. Rehab centers provide around-the-clock care, whereas other options require you to reach out. This is something that isn’t always easy when you’re in the throes of withdrawal!

For me, I chose Changes over other cocaine treatment options in Phoenix, because I knew they offered effective treatment approaches I wanted, such as helping me learn new life skills as well as providing a solid grounding in relapse prevention since I was tired of quitting only to pick up again.

Managing Depression During Cocaine Detoxification

There is a strong link between depression and cocaine use. Cocaine is a stimulant, which means it strongly affects the central nervous system or CNS by increasing activity levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine.

Over time, this has long-term effects and your body won’t produce these neurotransmitters on its own. This leads to the crash phase during stimulant withdrawal, which produces psychological symptoms like depression, suicidal thoughts, and even suicidal attempts in some people.

It’s most common in people who have been using cocaine for an extended period of time. For me, it just felt like everything became heavy when I stopped using coke, and that the world would have been better off without me. I know better now, but those first days of detox were pretty dark in my case.

Cocaine Addiction and Prevalence of Suicide

Since getting clean I have realized that it is not uncommon for cocaine users to experience a heightened risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts. A substance abuse disorder is a major risk factor for suicide. Other risk factors for suicide include genetic factors, feelings of hopelessness, or a history of trauma or mental illness, which also contribute to drug use.

Additionally, there’s an increased risk of suicide after relapsing from cocaine use. According to the statistics, around 9-20% of suicides occur within a few days of using cocaine. Cocaine abuse alters the way that your brain works and makes you behave in ways that you might not usually.

Finding Support After You Quit

Finding Support After You Quit

Going through cocaine detox might be one of the earliest steps of recovering from cocaine abuse, but it isn’t the last one. Many people need additional support after quitting, especially when managing strong cocaine cravings. I know I did.

Mental Support and Cocaine Detox

Mental and emotional support are critical components of addiction treatment at Changes. It’s not uncommon for people to use drugs to self-medicate, especially if they have existing mental health conditions or unresolved trauma. Additionally, knowing how to properly manage a crisis is important for preventing relapse.

Having this type of support is one reason a person might choose drug rehab to detox from cocaine safely. Rehab helps clients develop skills for managing cravings and improving all areas of their lives.

Additionally, dual-diagnosis treatment prioritizes other aspects of a person’s health in addition to abstaining from drug use and helped me a lot during my time at their residential facility.

Finding Social Support After Quitting

Support groups are important for building social relationships after going through substance withdrawal. It’s not uncommon for people to go through detox and then return to the same friend group, thinking they can still abstain.

Support groups like CA, NA, and SMART Recovery all give you a drug-free peer group to build social relationships and communicate with people who share similar experiences as you. This helps prevent the likelihood of relapse and gives a support network in addition to the staff and other alumni from treatment. If you choose to go without formal treatment, such groups will be even more essential.

Reach Out For Immediate Help At Changes Today!

Detox from Cocaine with Support at Changes

Remember: you don’t have to go through cocaine withdrawal alone. At Changes Healing Center, their addiction medicine professionals can ease symptoms during the cocaine detox process and give you a safe place and comfortable setting that includes mental health support.

Proper medical detox at Changes ensures that you won’t be alone as you manage withdrawal symptoms and learn to live without cocaine. Plus, their team can help lay the foundation for support that is sorely needed as you go out into the real world and return to daily living.

Call their team today and learn more about how Change’s detox program can support you… I know it was a call I will never regret, so give yourself a break too, and reach out today!