Going Through Cocaine Withdrawal

People often misunderstand how serious cocaine addiction is, with many believing that because withdrawing from cocaine does not involve many physical side effects, it is not genuinely addictive.

However, addiction is real, and hundreds of thousands of Americans struggle with cocaine addiction and withdrawal. Cocaine addiction occurs when repeated use sets

the body’s reward system out of balance. This imbalance makes it hard to quit alone without the onset of distress and cravings.

If you or your loved one wants to break free of addiction, learning about the withdrawal process is the best place to start. After this, choose a program designed to reduce the effects of problematic symptoms and build resilience against relapse.

Why Go Through the Withdrawal Process?

Why Go Through the Withdrawal Process?

The decision to quit and go through detox and withdrawal is a difficult one. However, it is necessary to protect your long-term mental and physical health. People often take cocaine in binges, but rising tolerance increases the risk of overdose. Higher doses also increase panic attacks, paranoia, and psychosis.

Long-term cocaine abuse is extremely harmful to the body. Physical side effects include:

  • Gastrointestinal tears and ulcerations
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid weight loss and malnourishment
  • Chest pain akin to heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Inflammation of heart muscles
  • Long-term cardiac damage
  • Seizures
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cognitive impairment

Cocaine addiction wreaks havoc on your body, mind, relationships, and finances. It is essential to recognize that your mental, physical, and social health is worth the withdrawal challenges. If you have identified the signs of cocaine addiction in yourself or your loved one, Cirque Lodge is here to support you.

Cocaine Withdrawal in the Body

Cocaine Withdrawal in the Body

Cocaine addiction is hard to overcome alone because of the way it alters brain chemistry.

Cocaine is a stimulant drug. It works by causing a build-up of dopamine in the brain, a chemical messenger that produces feelings of euphoria. Cocaine blocks dopamine from being absorbed out of the synapse. Instead, it lingers and floods the brain until the cocaine eventually wears off.

Once the cocaine leaves your system, your brain reabsorbs the dopamine. The network of neurons that communicates joy and pleasure suddenly has far too few messengers to produce these positive emotions. With binging and long-term use, the brain slows its dopamine production, leading to a greatly extended recovery time. The side effects experienced during this time are often miserable.

The brain does heal its system of dopamine synthesis, but this is a slow process – especially after a taxing binge. It is important to seek emotional support during this time and to stay away from anything that triggers cravings to relapse.

Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal

Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal

Cocaine withdrawal syndrome is an uncomfortable experience.

The condition is caused primarily by low dopamine levels in the body and is accompanied by a host of symptoms.

The severity of the experience worsens for users who binge or use the drug consistently before going into withdrawal. Cravings are always present.

Common mild symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritation
  • Depressed mood
  • Lack of pleasure
  • Headaches
  • Increased appetite
  • Lowered sex drive
  • Slowed motor skills
  • Cravings for cocaine

Moderate to severe symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Extreme agitation
  • Vivid nightmares
  • Increased risk of suicide
  • Depression
  • Extreme suspicion or paranoia

Cocaine detox symptoms can be dangerous without professional supervision. Intense feelings of hopelessness come with urges to binge again or take other risky actions. Cirque Lodge approaches this delicate process with empathy. We provide twenty-four-hour medical care to guide you safely through your withdrawal.

Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal Timeline

The timeline for symptoms is different for every individual and depends on a few factors. The dosage purity and length of time cocaine is used are very significant, as are other mental health conditions.

The Crash: Six Hours to Four Days

Generally speaking, users can expect to experience an initial crash when dopamine is reabsorbed into the body, but nothing has replaced it. If you embark on recovery without support, you may experience extreme dysphoric, stressed, or erratic moods. Addicted users are more likely to seek cocaine in response to stress, making this a critical turning point.

Withdrawal: Weeks to months

In heavy users, moderate and severe psychological symptoms often persist for some time after the crash. Withdrawal can be a long ordeal, and contextual or emotional triggers can still set off intense cravings. Therapeutic support and medical supervision during this time can give you the grounding you need to overcome these triggers when you encounter them.

Treatment for Cocaine Withdrawal

Bearing the initial psychological symptoms of withdrawal without relapsing can feel like an impossible challenge, and choosing the right residential program can make all the difference. Clients at Cirque Lodge build the skills and insight they need to handle any cravings and impulses they may experience. Psychosocial or medical support is used as part of our program to alleviate symptoms of withdrawal.

 When is Medical Detox Necessary?

When is Medical Detox Necessary?

People experiencing cocaine withdrawal can suffer from mood swings and severe depression, including suicidal ideation.

Medical detox with twenty-four-hour supervision and counseling ensures that clients are safe during this vulnerable time.

We recommend medically assisted withdrawal for clients who have attempted to withdraw on their own previously and relapsed.

Cocaine addiction is more likely to present in people with co-occurring mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. During our initial assessment, we look for signs of co-occurring conditions that can worsen withdrawal symptoms. These can sabotage recovery if left undiagnosed. Medical addiction treatments are often preferred to ensure a more comfortable, successful recovery for these clients.

How Does Medical Detox Work?

How Does Medical Detox Work?

The FDA has not yet approved any medications that explicitly treat cocaine withdrawal.

However, we can treat co-occurring conditions as well as patients experiencing severe mood effects during detox.

In people whose psychological symptoms are severe or persistent, medications to treat depression and anxiety may help during withdrawal. Moreover, the beta-blocker propranolol may be prescribed in patients suffering from anxiety and other related problems.

When medications are necessary, our medical staff at Cirque Lodge closely monitors our residents for side effects and further addictive behaviors. Our priority is helping our clients manage addiction, and we take every measure to support that cause.

Holistic Treatment At Cirque Lodge

Holistic Treatment At Cirque Lodge

Every recovery is different, and each person who checks into our campus will receive a personalized treatment plan.

During a detox at Cirque Lodge, we aim to heal every aspect of your health that cocaine addiction has touched.

Our program includes individual support from knowledgeable and supportive mental health experts during and after the withdrawal period. Group counseling and experiential therapy in the beautiful Rocky Mountain landscape will also provide insight and healing.

Withdrawal rehabilitation is not always the end, and triggers can arise once our clients return home. Our cognitive-behavioral therapy program arms our graduates with the skills they need to anticipate and overcome any future cravings.

Going through Cocaine Withdrawal cta

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About Cirque Lodge
Cirque Lodge is a recovery retreat providing cognitive and experiential therapies, in the pristine natural beauty of Utah’s Rocky Mountains.

Cirque Lodge is considered among our colleagues, as one of, if not the premium drug and alcohol rehab facility in the country.
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