Cocaine Withdrawal: Symptoms & TreatmentAlyssa
Also referred to as “coke” or “blow,” cocaine is a dangerous stimulant that’s commonly sold on the streets and abused to achieve a euphoric and stimulating high. As a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, cocaine increases nerve activity in the brain while increasing dopamine levels, leading to side effects like increased alertness and energy as well as improved mood and confidence. The drug can be sold in powdered and crystalline form (crack.) Below are common cocaine withdrawal symptoms that occur when people addicted to the drug attempt to quit cold turkey.
What Is Cocaine Withdrawal?
Powdered cocaine is abused by snorting or liquefying and injecting it intravenously (IV). Crack cocaine, on the other hand, is most commonly consumed by heating the rock in a pipe and inhaling the smoke.
The longevity and intensity of a cocaine high depends on the form of administration. Intravenous cocaine use tends to produce the most intense side effects and can therefore be considered the more addictive form of administration.
Because cocaine highs are short-lived regardless of the form of use, users tend to go back to the drug repeatedly to remain high. When first consumed, a person using cocaine will experience a rush of euphoria, after which the feeling quickly dissipates, leaving them in a state of depression and exhaustion called a crash.
To avoid this crash, cocaine users will continue to use the drug. This pattern of drug use is otherwise known as the “binge and crash” cycle.
Cocaine dependence is the result of a change in chemical structure and function in the brain. When used, cocaine impacts the CNS, specifically by increasing dopamine levels.
After a while of use, the brain becomes dependent on cocaine to produce dopamine, forgetting how to do it on its own. The body eventually develops a tolerance to cocaine, meaning that the individual will require more of the drug to feel good.
Cocaine withdrawal occurs when people who are dependent on cocaine attempt to quit the drug cold turkey, go a while without it or reduce their doses. Withdrawal is often difficult and dangerous, which is why medically-assisted detox is usually advised for individuals who want to quit using drugs.
Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal
Unlike opioid, alcohol, and benzodiazepine withdrawal, withdrawal symptoms from cocaine tend to be more mental and emotional than physical. Common cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Cravings for cocaine
- Slowed thinking
- Muscle aches
- Nerve pain
- Tremors and shakiness
- Excessive sweating
Cocaine withdrawal is usually marked by a “crash” or a sense of depression. Because cocaine elevates dopamine in the brain – a chemical that helps you feel pleasure and reward – when the brain isn’t receiving these forced spikes of dopamine from cocaine, depression can occur.
As a result, suicidality is a common risk of crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms. If you notice symptoms in someone, our residential addiction treatment in Palm Beach incorporates the medical detox needed to help the individual safely overcome withdrawals and get closer to a sober lifestyle.
Treating Withdrawal Symptoms of Cocaine
Seaside Palm Beach provides onsite cocaine detox that offers comfort, safety, and medical support. However, detox is only the first step to a lasting recovery.
Our cocaine addiction treatment addresses not only the physical symptoms of recovery but also the psychological aspects of drug use. With the help of our therapists and counselors, clients can work through their problems and understand the source of their addictions.