cocaine abuse facts
Cocaine is a highly addictive and powerful stimulant drug. Although it is popular in social scenes, night clubs, and more, long-term cocaine abuse can lead to the development of physical and mental dependence. Once a user is dependent on cocaine, he or she will experience withdrawal symptoms if attempting to quit using the drug cold-turkey. Rather than stopping cold-turkey and struggling with cocaine withdrawals, the best way to recover from addiction is to seek professional help. Here’s everything you need to know about cocaine detox.
Cocaine Abuse and Addiction
When people use cocaine it boosts the levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a feel-good chemical that is naturally occurring in the body. However, long-term cocaine abuse impacts the reuptake and production of dopamine. In other words, people who use cocaine for a long time may be unable to feel pleasure without the drug because their brain struggles to produce dopamine normally.
This is also the process that causes cocaine withdrawal. Eventually, a user’s brain will require increasing amounts of cocaine to feel normal. If the user doesn’t ingest cocaine, they will go into withdrawal. This is unfortunate because many people become addicted to cocaine simply because they are avoiding getting sick from withdrawal.
cocaine withdrawal timeline
Withdrawal symptoms may begin within just hours after a person stops using cocaine and can last for up to a month. However, the cocaine withdrawal timeline varies significantly from one person to the next depending on the speed of their metabolism, the amount of time they have been dependent on cocaine, and the potency of the drug. Here is a general timeline of what people can expect while detoxing from cocaine:
- 1 – 12 hours: cocaine withdrawal symptoms typically begin fairly quickly. Users will feel anxious, irritable, fatigued, and hungry during this time, but cravings may not begin just yet.
- Days 2 – 7: during the first week, withdrawal symptoms will be at their peak. Users may experience depression, strong cravings, mood swings, insomnia, nightmares, and more for several days.
- Weeks 2 – 4: peak symptoms will begin to subside but users may still experience depression, drug cravings, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating
- After 1 month: most withdrawal symptoms should fade away after 3-4 weeks. After a month, some people will experience cravings and anxiety. Any lingering symptoms can be managed with a substance abuse treatment program.
Supervised medical detox centers are able to provide a safe and supportive environment necessary for a successful cocaine detox.