Cocaine Withdrawal

Facts about Cocaine Withdrawal

Cocaine is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant drug that is sold illicitly on street corners in every town across America. Often sold in small plastic bags, powdered cocaine is fine and powdery that makes an individual’s tongue numb if it is tasted. Cocaine in powder form is usually snorted nasally, but can also be mixed with a liquid and injected directly into the body. Some individuals will even take it by mouth, but this can cause major problems within the digestive system, sometimes with fatal outcomes. Cocaine abuse can quickly lead to addiction, and then cocaine withdrawal will occur when the body begins to become tolerant. When an individual with cocaine addiction stops using cocaine, the body will begin to send urgent signals and cravings for the drug.


Many individuals who become addicted to cocaine report that the intensity of the cocaine cravings that developed in a short period of time were surprising. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms are different in intensity than those going through heroin withdrawal or opiate detox. Cocaine works within the brain creating highly pleasurable emotions as a result of the massive release of specific brain chemicals, especially dopamine. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms will begin to occur when the user starts to come down from this pleasurable high. Not only does this have a devastating effect on the body’s sense of chemical balance, it also contributes to something known as cocaine binging. Cocaine withdrawal can therefore cause depression in many cocaine addicts.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Cocaine withdrawal will begin as soon as the abuser lessens their doses, or stops taking the drug after a period of constant cocaine use. As with other drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Fentanyl, cocaine will make an addict physically dependent in a relatively short amount of time used. Once an individual’s body has come to expect regular cocaine use, it will begin a process called drug rebounding. This basically means that symptoms that were self-medicated for with cocaine use will come back as soon as the drug use ceases, and symptoms might also come back with a vengeance.

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About Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Many wonder what cocaine withdrawal is really like since it is a stimulant, not an opiate or CNS depressant like alcohol. Because of the way the drug metabolizes within the body, there may not be any outward symptoms that an abuser is going through withdrawal. Most of the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine are physiological and psychological. When opiate addicts are going through the stages of Vicodin withdrawal or heroin detox, there are some universal physical manifestations of drug withdrawal such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and tremors. Some of the more common symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are the following:

  • Depression
  • Unexplained exhaustion
  • Restlessness and anxiety
  • General feelings of illness
  • Slowed moments
  • Nightmares and broken sleep
  • Suicidal thoughts

Cocaine withdrawal is not like other illicit or prescription drug detoxifications. The cravings that occur are relentless and are cited as the most difficult addicts have every experienced. These cravings can last for long periods of time, even months after cocaine use has stopped. Many recovering cocaine addicts cite that the depression that hung over them while in this phase of cocaine detox and healing seemed insurmountable.

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