Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, Effects

Generally, cocaine withdrawal can be a difficult process. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can be of two (2) different classes — psychological and physical symptoms. During a cocaine detox, you may experience different psychological signs and physical effects.

Nevertheless, you must find the right professionals to support your detox in a standard facility. This way, you can easily get through cocaine withdrawal symptoms and plan for real rehabilitation.

Usually, cocaine withdrawal may not be physically painful. However, it often comes with preset challenges. Addiction to any drug, including cocaine, will get your system addicted to the drug’s effects. As your body tries to adjust to the absence of these effects, you’ll experience several different mental and physical effects.

At this period, your body learns to work with the drug in your system. However, this often leads to total dependence on the drug. If you stop drug abuse abruptly, it may cause shock, and hence you’ll find it difficult to adapt without the prescription. Also, you may experience several side effects, ranging from low to high and possibly deadly. 

The process where your body decides to adapt to proper functioning without the substance is known as withdrawal. Usually, your body begins the withdrawal process once there is no more intake of the substance.

After reading this article, you’ll understand the different symptoms of cocaine withdrawal. Also, you’ll understand more about what to expect during cocaine withdrawal. Before we dive deep, let’s take a look at what cocaine withdrawal is.

What is Cocaine Withdrawal?

Generally, withdrawal from drugs is a condition that starts the moment your drug-dependence ends or reduces drastically. Also, physical dependence increases as your body adapts more to the cocaine in your system. Through this adaptation, your brain will start asking for cocaine to function well and feel normal again. The moment it doesn’t get the substance at the desired level, withdrawal symptoms will start.

Be aware that a substance like cocaine is very addictive. However, there is a difference between dependence and addiction. Dependence is a cognitive evolution of the body to cocaine. Notably, this evolution of dependence often foretells the origin of physical withdrawal.

In contrast, addiction reveals a failure to quit using a drug despite the personal distress it brings. It’s a lifelong dysfunction of a person’s mental well-being that involves memory, motivation, and reward. Also, addiction is about how your body craves a behaviour or substance most particularly if it prompts an obsessive or compulsive lack of concern over results.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms: What To Expect

Ultimately, most people will have different experiences with drug withdrawal, including cocaine. It’s no rocket science. It’s a function of how our systems respond to the situation or process. However, some general symptoms are common with the withdrawal experience.

Here are some of the common cocaine withdrawal symptoms:

Mood Swings

symptoms of cocaine withdrawal

One of the most common symptoms of cocaine withdrawal is mood swings. This moment you’re feeling happy, but the next moment, you’re sad and feeling angry unnecessarily. Also, some common symptoms of mood changes include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sensitivity, etc.

Even though these feelings are usually intense during withdrawal, they often stop once you pass the withdrawal stage.


Most individuals withdrawing from cocaine often experience a strong urge to take more cocaine. If you feel this way, it means you’re experiencing cocaine cravings. It’s common with people withdrawing from addictive substances, including cocaine. 

Also, cravings are stimulated by the desire to subdue cocaine withdrawal symptoms. Besides that, it’s also driven by the urge to experience the cocaine’s high pleasure again.


Tiredness or feeling very weak is another common symptom of cocaine withdrawal. Generally, you may feel exhausted naturally after the intoxicating effects of cocaine. However, you may have worsened the effects due to a lack of sleep. Another factor is your activities during the time you’re high on cocaine.

Additionally, cocaine can disguise the discomfort you often feel during hyperactive moments. Tho will worsen the feelings of fatigue as the cocaine effects wear off.

Problems With Sleep

One of the difficulties you experience during the cocaine withdrawal process is sleeping problems. Despite the fatigue, cocaine withdrawal usually causes sleep problems. Some of the issues you may experience with difficult sleep include: 

  • Unpleasant and vivid dreams
  • Insomnia, i.e. having difficulty staying asleep or sleeping at all.
  • Hypersomnia, i.e. having too much sleep.

Appetite Increment

Appetite increment is a distinguished phase of cocaine withdrawal. In some cases, it can be intensified by poor eating habits while you are high on cocaine. However, it’s essential to boost your addiction recovery by feeding well and having a healthy diet. For example, eating small but satisfying amounts of food, rather than bingeing.

Physical Agitation or Sluggishness

Another cocaine withdrawal symptom people undergo is sluggishness. Cocaine withdrawal often causes some physical slowing down. This is often known as conversely, or psychomotor retardation. It makes you feel physically agitated.

Related article: Why You Should Not Attempt Cocaine Withdrawal On Your Own

Effects of Cocaine Withdrawal

Generally speaking, withdrawal from cocaine isn’t as critical as alcohol or other drugs. Compared to cocaine, substances cause perhaps more deadly effects during the detox stage. Be aware that cocaine withdrawal symptoms aren’t life-threatening. Despite this fact, pursuing detox with a professional cocaine addiction treatment center in Canada is the best option.

Additionally, physical health difficulties happen when you abuse cocaine with alcohol. Withdrawal after such a lifestyle may pose a risk to your heart well-being, thus causing a heart attack. In some cases, people tend to experience seizures in cocaine withdrawal.

Generally, you may develop some depression symptoms like low motivation, energy, or mood during withdrawal. In rare cases, people may suffer from suicidal ideations. These are the reasons why addicts going through cocaine withdrawal require support and monitoring during detox. Nearly half of the people who use cocaine suffer from depression. Thus the symptoms become intense during withdrawal.

Other effects of cocaine withdrawal include: 

  • Aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Violence

These symptoms make detox dangerous for the person going through withdrawal and those caring for that person. This is one of the reasons why detox programs play an essential role in drug dependence recovery.

Notably, the severity of the withdrawal effects will depend on the following factors:

  • Consumption amount
  • Cross abuse of alcohol with cocaine
  • Duration of cocaine use
  • Underlying medical conditions

How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Take?

How long cocaine withdrawal takes vary depending on the individual and some factors. 

  • The body chemistry
  • Tolerance level 
  • The severity
  • The duration of the addiction. 
  • Average Dose Period
  • Polysubstance Dependence
  • Environment
  • Co-occurring medical or mental issues

Body Chemistry

Not everyone reacts to changes in the same way. Hence the way one person reacts to cocaine withdrawal will be entirely different from how another person does. For some persons, it could take a longer time for their body to get used to the changes.  Other persons may need a more extended time to adjust.

Tolerance Level

Every person has a different level of tolerance compared to another person. Therefore, the timeline for cocaine withdrawal for one person will differ from one person to another. For some people, it will be easier to tolerate the symptoms that come with it. However, for others, it will be difficult to tolerate, and they will need close monitoring. 

The Severity

The severity of the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal you experience will determine the timeline of withdrawal. If you experience very severe symptoms, you will need a longer time to navigate through these symptoms. However, if your symptoms are not so intense, it will take less time to overcome them. 

The Duration of the Addiction

The effects of cocaine withdrawal are more challenging for persons who have been addicted for longer periods. Hence, if you have been hooked on cocaine for many years, it will take longer for you to recover from withdrawal symptoms. The same cannot be said about a person with only a few months of addiction. 

Average Dose Used

For persons who use large doses of cocaine, the duration of cocaine withdrawal symptoms will be longer than those with mild doses. They will also experience intense withdrawal symptoms compared to those with smaller doses.

Dependence on Polysubstance

If you are physiologically dependent on two or more drugs, you may experience withdrawal symptoms related to those drugs. This will increase your timeline for cocaine withdrawal. It can also lead you to have more complicated symptoms, worsening your detox experience. 


The nature of your environment plays a role in your cocaine withdrawal. If you are in an environment that will cause you to experience stress or fatigue, you may begin to crave cocaine to deal with such things. 

The more you find yourself in such environments, the higher your chances of having a relapse. Hence, you may complicate your withdrawal process, making it last longer than necessary. 

Co-Occurring Medical or Mental Issues

Medical or Mental Issues

You will experience more complicated and extensive withdrawal symptoms if you are dealing with other medical conditions. Your cocaine withdrawal duration is extended if you have cardiovascular disease, mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Eating and personality disorders also complicate your recovery. 

You may have to treat these issues along with your withdrawal symptoms. This leads to a longer recovery timeline. It’s essential to recognize that the effects of withdrawal aren’t permanent. The primary phase, i.e. crash of cocaine withdrawal, can differ in intensity and time. Also, it can last from 24 hours to a few days.

However, like other drugs, cocaine cravings may persist for longer periods. Also, it can happen again years after attaining soberness. Notably, cocaine possesses nearly a short half-life, and cocaine withdrawal symptoms can start as early as 90 minutes after the last dose. 

What to Expect During Cocaine Withdrawal

When you get high on cocaine, you’ll experience a feeling of euphoria and a sealed boost in your mood. These feelings are created by norepinephrine and neurotransmitters dopamine. 

At this point, the cocaine will make the brain produce the chemicals in abundance. As addiction goes on, your body adapts to the new development and awaits cocaine to have these effects every time. So, once you quit, your body will experience low energy, motivation, well-being, and low moods. This is known as a crash.

Since the brain is not receiving the cocaine as usual again, it tends to cause havoc. Hence, you may experience the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Intense cravings
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Anhedonia etc.

Sometimes, you may become paranoid or suspicious during a crash. You may even suffer from depression or suicidal thoughts. All these are common cocaine withdrawal symptoms during this phase of cocaine withdrawal. However, long-term cocaine users are often at a higher risk of experiencing more severe symptoms.

Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

Based on the experiences of many who have experienced the effects of cocaine withdrawal, there are three phases of withdrawal symptoms. These are: 

Cocaine Withdrawal

First Phase

This phase, which is also known as the crash phase, lasts between one day and several days. In this stage of cocaine withdrawal, you may experience depression and anxiety. You may also struggle with feeling pleasure. 

During this phase, you may appear sleepy and also experience fatigue and hunger. Your cravings for cocaine will also be heightened at this stage. Some persons also experience cognitive problems such as being unable to concentrate and having short-term loss of memory. 

Persons with long term cocaine addiction may experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include dehydration, seizures, trembling, heart attack, arrhythmia, tachycardia, etc. However, these symptoms are rare and can be managed in addiction treatment centers.  

Second Phase

In this phase of cocaine withdrawal, the symptoms may last up to ten weeks. You will continually crave cocaine in this period. You will also be easily irritated, experience fatigue, lethargy, loss of concentration, and memory loss. During this period, your mood swings and physical symptoms will begin to subside. 

Third Phase

This phase of cocaine withdrawal is known as the extinction phase. In this phase, your cravings for cocaine are still present. Your chances of having a relapse in this period is also increased especially when you are exposed to triggers. 

You may also experience long term issues with mood swings, apathy, and irritability. Many people experience these symptoms for extended periods even after a long time of using cocaine. 

One of the things that will help you deal better with this phase is continuous support. It is important for people with more severe withdrawal symptoms to undergo their withdrawal in a rehab facility. This ensures they are always under the care of professionals who will help them manage these symptoms. 

How to Cope With Cocaine Withdrawal

When you are undergoing cocaine withdrawal, it is important to use certain self-care strategies. You must also seek professional medical help. The first step in easing the effects of cocaine withdrawal is detoxifying from the drug itself. As you have seen, this process varies in length due to several factors. 

Also ensure you are supported by close friends and family members who understand all you are going through. When seeking medical and professional help, be sure the cocaine addiction treatment service you choose is one that meets your needs. 

During your withdrawal process ensure you take care of yourself. Your physical and mental wellbeing is very critical at this point and should be priority. Practice healthy living habits, exercise regularly, eat well, and sleep well too. When you do these, you give yourself a better chance of coping better with cocaine withdrawal symptoms. 

After detoxing from cocaine, you have to undergo a treatment plan at a cocaine addiction treatment center or rehab. Some of the effective therapeutic treatments available include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This helps patients recognize the situations that led them to cocaine addiction. It also helps them avoid and cope better with these situations.

Multidimensional Family Therapy

This is developed for adolescents with addiction problems. It helps in addressing things that influence their cravings for drugs and the patterns leading to it. It also helps to improve the overall functionality of the family.

Motivational Interviewing

This increases the readiness of people to change their behaviors and start treatment.

Contingency Management

It encourages abstinence from cocaine by reinforcing positivity.

Can Medication Help With Cocaine Withdrawal

There is presently no medication used for easing withdrawal or easing your crave for cocaine. There are some drugs such as Modafinil and some antidepressants which help to alleviate the discomforting symptoms you may experience from withdrawals. 

Other symptom-specific drugs include Benadryl and trazodone, which help you deal with insomnia. However, before you use any drug, ensure a doctor prescribes it to you. Never take a drug without a doctor’s prescription. 

FAQs About Cocaine Withdrawal 

Here are some answers to some common questions about cocaine withdrawal.

How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Last?

If you are withdrawing from cocaine, one question that will go through your mind is “How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Last?” You must understand that the duration of cocaine withdrawal symptoms depends on the individual. 

However, the cocaine withdrawal timeline usually starts almost immediately following the last dose of cocaine used. It can persist between 8 days to 7 or 8 months. Nevertheless, mental health signs can persist much longer than physical symptoms.

Is Cocaine Withdrawal Safe? 

Another question people ask about cocaine withdrawal is “Is Cocaine Withdrawal Safe?” You must understand it is safe to withdraw from cocaine. Being addicted to the drug is not good for your health and deciding to be sober is one of the best decisions you can take. 

However, due to the effects of the drug on your system, you will experience various degrees of withdrawal symptoms. Hence, you will need supervision and support in these times to deal with your symptoms. With that, you will navigate through the withdrawal process easier than going it alone. 

Can I do cocaine withdrawal at home?

cocaine withdrawal

Cocaine is one of the few drugs anyone can quit anytime because of its short half-life. However, doing it alone without support may not be the best and safest option. During cocaine withdrawal, you need full support and care from friends and family and addiction treatment professionals.


Cocaine withdrawal can be challenging, but attaining sobriety is possible. Unfortunately, people tend to have problems quitting cocaine because of the severity of cocaine withdrawal symptoms. 

Most people tend to suffer from intense cravings during cocaine detox. However, the intensity of the cravings depends on the duration of cocaine usage and consumption amount.

Furthermore, cravings can promptly hijack the addiction recovery process, thus resulting in a relapse. This is why having a support system that includes medical professionals, family, and friends can help overcome the challenges. Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: Common Signs of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine Withdrawal: What To Expect

Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant. Due to its impact on the central nervous system, cocaine withdrawal can be highly unpleasant. This substance generates a euphoric high and an energy rush in anyone who uses it. 

Furthermore, it is popular as a recreational drug because it creates a feeling of confidence. Shy people become sociable. Anxious students are able to endure exams; overwhelmed executives can get through a long day of gruelling work. But as cocaine withdrawal sets in, the user starts to experience unpleasant symptoms, such as confusion, depression and exhaustion. 

This drives them to seek out more of the drug. The deeper the individual falls into the pit of cocaine addiction, the more uncomfortable the cocaine withdrawal symptoms become.

The Dangers Of Cocaine Abuse

Dangers Of Cocaine Abuse

Regular long-term use of cocaine can have serious repercussions on your physical, mental and social health. By seeking cocaine addiction treatment sooner rather than later, you can reduce these impacts and set yourself on the path to a healthier, more positive life. 

The risks of cocaine abuse include the following:

  • High blood pressure, irregular and/or rapid heart rate, and cardiac arrest
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression
  • Paranoia
  • Mood swings
  • Aggression and/or an increased propensity for violent behaviour
  • Inability to manage relationships and/or finances
  • Increased risk of HIV and hepatitis from the use of shared needles
  • Increased risk of respiratory disease from ingestion through smoking
  • Sores and blisters around the nose and mouth from ingestion through snorting
  • Collapsed veins and track marks from intravenous use

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms And Timelines

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Cocaine withdrawal comes with some uncomfortable symptoms that may make this difficult. These appear at different phases of the withdrawal process and vary in severity from one person to the next. Typically, what to expect from cocaine withdrawal is based on

  • The individual’s original state of physical and mental health
  • The circumstances surrounding their addiction
  • Whether any other substances are involved.

When exploring what to expect from cocaine withdrawal, there are three major timelines to this process.

The crash 

The crash happens 24 hours or less after a period of sustained cocaine use ends. Many addicts who are in this phase are not intending to quit: they are simply caught in the cycle of cocaine use. 

For those who are attempting to quit, this phase presents a high risk of relapse, as the discomfort of the withdrawal symptoms may drive you to seek out more of the drug.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms that happen during this phase include: 

  • Lack of energy
  • Deep depression and a sense of demotivation
  • Hunger
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Fatigue


The second phase of cocaine withdrawal starts a few days after the last use of the drug, and it can go on for as long as ten weeks. The risk of relapse during this phase remains high, largely because of the persistence of symptoms. 

If you begin to feel as if this feeling will never end, it’s possible to seek escape by using the drug. Symptoms that you may experience during this phase include:

  • Depression, anxiety and paranoia
  • A persistent sense that all is not right with the world
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Intense cravings
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue and low energy


Once you reach this phase, your risk of relapse is significantly lower. Although extinction can last for up to six months, it is marked by a gradual but steady decline in the severity of most withdrawal symptoms. 

You may continue to experience some cravings, and depression, while improved, may linger. Some individuals experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), which is marked by the persistence of impulse control difficulties.

Related article: Why You Should Not Attempt Cocaine Withdrawal On Your Own

Is Cocaine Withdrawal Dangerous?

Cocaine Withdrawal

It is important to understand the withdrawal risks of any substance before abruptly stopping the use. Some substances such as alcohol and certain opioids can have potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. 

Although cocaine withdrawal can be uncomfortable and frightening, it is generally not dangerous. However, some circumstances can create a higher risk.

  • If you are addicted to both alcohol and cocaine, withdrawal from either one – or both together – can result in cardiac arrest
  • If you have a condition that makes you prone to seizures, you are more likely to have seizures during withdrawal, and these can result in injury 
  • For some people, particularly those with preexisting mood disorders, cocaine withdrawal can lead to serious depression. This carries a risk of suicidal intent, suicide attempts and self-harm. This is exacerbated in cases of polysubstance abuse.
  • One of the signs of cocaine withdrawal is an increased tendency to behave in a violent manner. This puts the cocaine addict at risk of harm, but it also increases the risk for other people.

How To Stay Safe Through Cocaine Withdrawal

Stay Safe Through Cocaine Withdrawal

Medical Detox

Cocaine withdrawal treatment is available through medical detox. Through this process, the cocaine user is supervised by medical professionals while the cocaine is working its way out of the system. 

Medical detox can accomplish the following:

  • It allows for immediate treatment of withdrawal symptoms as they arise
  • The patient is kept safe and as comfortable as possible throughout the withdrawal process
  • The patient is protected from the immediate risk of relapse
  • A cocaine addiction treatment and rehab plan is formulated in preparation for the end of the detox

Although most medical detox is done on an inpatient basis, some people are able to withdraw from cocaine at home. Then, they attend medical appointments to monitor progress. 

In order for this approach to be safe and effective, the patient must have no access to cocaine or any other substance. Also, they should have a strong support network consisting of family members and close friends.

Management Of Cravings

If you choose not to attend an inpatient or outpatient cocaine withdrawal treatment program, there are still some steps you can take to manage cravings:

  • Ensure that your other lifestyle habits, such as nutrition and exercise, are strong enough to support you through the rigours of withdrawal
  • Have someone you can call if you are in immediate danger of relapse
  • Develop healthy habits and hobbies that you can use to distract yourself from cravings – for example, go for a walk, do some gardening, or take art classes
  • Create new routines to end associations with cocaine use
  • If possible, avoid the people and places associated with your use of cocaine
  • If you used cocaine at home, reconfigure the space to make it new
  • Avoid all substances – not just the one you are addicted to

If you do suffer a relapse, try not to be too hard on yourself. Relapse during the early stages of cocaine withdrawal is extremely common. However, it does not represent failure. Instead, it is a temporary setback that you can learn from and move on from. 


Medication for cocaine withdrawal treatment should not be considered without prior consultation with your doctor. Although no medication has been developed to minimize withdrawal or reduce cravings, some medical relief may be available for specific withdrawal symptoms. 

For example, if you are already undergoing medical treatment for depression, your doctor may temporarily adjust your doses for the duration of your withdrawal. Some sleep aids with low addiction potential may also be used to treat insomnia.

What Comes After Cocaine Withdrawal?

What Comes After Cocaine Withdrawal

Cocaine withdrawal is an important first step to recovery. It gets the cocaine out of your system and gets you past the period during which your risk of relapse is at its highest. Most important, it sets you up for the next phase of your recovery: cocaine addiction treatment and rehab. 

During this phase, you will be guided through the process of delving into the causes that lie beneath your addiction. Together with an expert, you can explore topics such as trauma, bullying, bereavement, or stress that comes with a major life event. By resolving certain issues, you can develop techniques for coping with those that you can’t.

The most effective cocaine addiction treatment programs are ones that are customized to the needs of the individual. Everyone is unique, and no two addiction journeys look the same. It is important to account for these individual differences in treatment.

Treatment programs can include a combination of methods and modalities, including:

  • Group, individual and family therapy
  • Creative therapies such as art, music and dance
  • Yoga, meditation and mindfulness training
  • Life skills training
  • Nutrition and exercise coaching

At 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre, we don’t treat addictions, we treat human beings. We do not see you as someone with a substance abuse problem. Instead, we see substance abuse as a symptom of deeper issues that are affecting your life. 

Under our gentle, compassionate guidance, you can find your way out of addiction and on the road to a happy, healthy, productive life. To get started, call us at 855-601-0555.

Related article: Cocaine Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, Effects

Cocaine Addiction

The Harmful Effects Of Cocaine

As a young college student, Jessica (not her real name) started to sell small quantities of cocaine here and there to help pay her bills. She didn’t see the harm: she was not using herself, and the tiny amounts she was selling were not exactly keeping the drug industry alive. She was not even a drop in the cocaine supply pool.

It didn’t take long for her occasional selling to become a very lucrative business for her. She was able to finance her college tuition, plus cover her rent and living expenses – and still have plenty of money left. But then, when she became involved with one of her customers, it all came crashing down. 

For the first time, she started to use the drugs she was selling: within a year, she had abandoned her studies, her friends, and all of her interests. Her supplier, fed up with not being paid, dragged money out of her and then cut her off. She was evicted for not paying rent, and after a brief stint living with an abusive boyfriend, she ended up alone on the streets, relying on prostitution for survival.

Jessica’s story may be unique – all stories about drug addiction are – but what many of these stories have in common is how quickly the lives of the addicts fall apart.

It is sometimes said that in order for a cocaine addict to get help, they have to reach rock bottom. But this is a dangerous stance because, for many people, rock bottom means death. The sooner we can reach an addict and help them get into a program of cocaine addiction treatment, the better. Because the longer it is left, the more damage can be done.

Harm #1: Cocaine Is Extremely Addictive

Cocaine Is Extremely Addictive
What makes cocaine appealing to its users is that it generates a rush of energy and euphoria within moments of consumption. All of a sudden, fatigued people have the energy to get through a busy day, and those with social anxiety have the confidence to not only endure but actually enjoy a party.

The problem is that these effects are short-lived, and users are driven to consume more cocaine in order to recreate those feelings. But in order to achieve the same levels of euphoria and high energy, higher doses of the drug have to be taken, with less time between doses.

Harm #2: Cocaine Damages Physical And Mental Health

Even short-term use of cocaine can cause a lot of damage. It raises the body temperature and constricts the blood vessels, causing the heart rate to shoot up. If a large dose is taken, the user may start to act erratically. Uncharacteristic violent behaviour is sometimes attributed to the feelings of panic and paranoia that often come with cocaine use.

Those who use cocaine regularly over an extended period of time are at risk of several damaging effects, including the following:

  • A tendency to neglect nutrition, resulting in rapid weight loss, increased propensity for illness, and organ failure
  • Damage specific to the method of ingestion: damage to nasal tissues (snorting); lung damage and an increased risk of respiratory complaints (smoking); track lines, collapsed veins and risk of infection from shared needles (intravenous use)
  • Cardiac risks: elevated heart rate; high blood pressure; ruptured blood vessels; stroke; cardiac arrest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Reduced sense of judgment, resulting in potentially risky behaviour without regard for danger
  • Risks during pregnancy: Premature delivery; delivery of babies with low birth weight; delivery of babies born addicted to drugs
  • Cocaine carries a high risk of fatal overdose

Related article: Cocaine Withdrawal: What To Expect

Harm #3: Cocaine Is Not Always Just Cocaine

Because cocaine is an illegal street drug, there is no cocaine available that is legally produced. It is made in laboratories that do not follow any health and safety standards. Furthermore, unscrupulous manufacturers often combine or “cut” the cocaine with other products in order to increase their profits. Some of these additional ingredients – examples include chalk, baking soda and detergent. Not only does this pose additional risks to the user, but it can also be difficult for first responders to treat cases of accidental overdose.

Harm #4: Cocaine Can Ruin All Aspects Of Your Life

Cocaine Can Ruin All Aspects Of Your Life

One thing that cocaine addicts quickly discover is that cocaine use is very expensive to maintain. As we saw in Jessica’s story, cocaine addiction can very quickly lead people down a path of financial devastation. The precise outcomes of this vary from person to person. 

Some addicts are abandoned by loved ones who can no longer tolerate them lying and stealing to support their addiction. Others end up in jail for illegal activity. Divorce, job loss, bankruptcy, and loss of children to the child welfare system are all common outcomes of cocaine addiction.

Harm #5: Cocaine Withdrawal Can Be Dangerous

It is very difficult to stop using cocaine, because the withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable at best, and downright dangerous at worst. Many addicts who try to quit on their own suffer relapses fairly quickly because they just cannot handle the cravings and sensations that happen when the body is suddenly deprived of a substance it has come to rely on.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Intense cravings that may lead to anxious, agitated behaviour
  • A tendency to be exhausted even after mild physical activity
  • Muscle aches, nerve pain, chills and tremors
  • Depression and anxiety, that may be accompanied by suicidal thoughts and actions

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

The sooner an individual gets help, the less damage their cocaine abuse symptoms will ultimately do, and the more likely they will be to repair their relationships and reclaim a life that is positive and productive.

Cocaine addiction treatment starts with medical detox, a process whereby the addict is medically supervised during withdrawal. This keeps them safe and comfortable as the last of the drugs leave the system. 

Detox is followed by a program of cocaine addiction treatment and rehab, during which the addict is guided through the process of exploring areas of their life that may have contributed to the addiction. Addiction treatment varies from person to person and often involves a combination of group, individual and family therapy, along with exercise programs, nutrition coaching, life coaching, creative therapies and other modalities.

What Happened To Jessica?

Jessica’s story has a happy ending. After coming face to face with the frightening probability of her own death, she pulled together the courage to talk to her family. With their help – and after several relapses – she was finally able to achieve lasting sobriety. She is an example of the fact that it is never too late to get help.

Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: How to Quit Cocaine Addiction