Cocaine Withdrawal and effects

Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine use can cause feelings of happiness and euphoria.

Cocaine users will feel short-term effects including:

• Extreme happiness and energy
• Talkativeness
• Overconfidence
• Mental alertness
• Hypersensitivity to sight, sound and touch
• Irritability
• Paranoia

Long-term cocaine users often report the following effects:

Long-term cocaine abuse results in brain damage.

• Headaches
• Seizures
• Heart disease
• Loss of smell
• Nosebleeds
• Decreased Appetite
• Stroke
• Lung damage
• Bowel decay
• Mood problems
• Higher risk for contracting HIV or Hepatitis

Just like other addictive drugs and alcohol, cocaine users are at risk for creating a dependency, resulting in debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Repeat cocaine abuse results in long-term changes within the brain’s reward circuit. Continually using cocaine causes the reward circuit to become accustomed to the extra dopamine levels. When the brain stops receiving the same levels of dopamine (user cuts back or discontinues cocaine), the body will react with signs of withdrawal including:

• Depression
• Anxiety
• Fatigue
• Difficulty Concentrating
• Increased appetite
• Craving cocaine
• Nightmares
• Chills, nerve pain, muscle aches

Polydrug (polysubstance) abuse, when a person consumes drugs and alcohol or more than one drug at once, is incredibly dangerous; especially when one of the drugs is cocaine. Countless celebrities have lost their lives to “speedballs”; a mixture of heroin and cocaine. Considering these drugs can be lethal when taken alone, when combined, a “speedball” or “powerball” is a cocktail of fatal proportions. While some users will snort the combo, it’s most often injected to enhance the “rush” by introducing it directly in the bloodstream (Serena, 2018). John Belushi, Chris Farley and Philip Seymour Hoffman are just a few beloved celebrities that lost their lives by mixing a stimulant (cocaine) with a depressant (heroine) to make this highly dangerous polydrug.

Cocaine withdrawal timeline

Withdrawal symptoms from cocaine can vary depending on a variety of factors. Those who used for a longer period and at greater dosages will likely experience a longer withdrawal than users that have used for only a few months. Due to its relatively short half-life, heavy abusers of the drug may experience withdrawal symptoms shortly after the last dose:

Phase 1: 90 Minutes
This is known as the initial “crash”. Heavy cocaine users can experience withdrawal symptoms as soon as 90 minutes after their last dose. Common withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. It’s important to note that cocaine withdrawal symptoms are primarily psychological, though some physical withdrawal symptoms may occur.

Phase 2: 7 – 10 Days
The average person detoxing from cocaine can expect the worst withdrawal symptoms to last for about 7 – 10 days. Physical symptoms may include chills, nerve pain and muscle aches. Psychological withdrawal symptoms continue. Individuals will likely experience nightmares, cravings and increased appetite. It’s important to note that while this is the peak of withdrawal symptoms for most cases, severe cases may experience lingering withdrawal symptoms for up to 10 weeks in duration.

Phase 3: Extinction
After a user has passed the 10-week mark, he/she is in the “extinction phase”. Cravings may appear from time to time but are significantly less severe than the previous phases. It’s important to control your environment and eliminate any triggers that may pose a risk for relapse.

As with any drug addiction, there is always a risk of relapse. Those who have successfully completed treatment, should be aware of any potential triggers, and eliminate them. Surrounding yourself with healthy social relationships, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet significantly reduces chances of relapse.

Treatment for cocaine addiction

Treatment for cocaine addiction begins with acknowledgment. Cocaine addiction is a disease, not a sign of weakness. In fact, it’s a sign of strength to acknowledge a flaw and it takes strength to commit to making a positive change. Daylight Recovery Center understands how difficult it is to ask for help, and we welcome those asking for help with open arms.
Did you know there is no specific medication that can reverse a cocaine overdose? Also, did you know that there are no government-approved medicines are currently available to treat cocaine addiction? It’s especially important for someone wanting to stop using cocaine to know this. Why? Detoxing from cocaine is not pleasant, however it’s vital if you want to live a life free from the shackles of drug addiction. We do provide medications that keep our patients comfortable during the detox process should he/she experience withdrawal symptoms. Our team will be by your side during the entire process, providing you with an industry renowned medically managed detox method that is both safe and effective. After completing the detox process, Daylight Recovery Center provides each patient with the tools, training and rehabilitation that is needed to make a full recovery of the mind, body and soul. The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) says that 70 percent of people who go into treatment for powder cocaine problems either stop completely or significantly reduce their consumption within 6 months. With statistics like that in your favor, choose Daylight Recovery and regain power over your life today! (888) 708-2602


Our nationally recognized substance abuse treatment center medical professionals are here to help you navigate through the challenging road of recovery. It’s important to keep in mind that the healing process is not one to be rushed. Each patient undergoing drug rehabilitation therapy will receive an individualized drug treatment program tailored towards his/her specific needs. Each bed is equipped with its own flat screen TV for our patients’ relaxation. Our onsite Chef makes each meal using the freshest of ingredients; providing healthy, well balanced meals. Our recreation room offers various books, games, exercise equipment and 450-gallon saltwater fish tank for your viewing pleasure.

Serena, K. (2018, June 27) Speedball: The Deadly Drug Cocktail That’s Claimed Too Many Lives. Retrieved from https://allthatsinteresting.com/speedball-drugs
Mental Health Daily (2019) Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms + Timeline. Retrieved from https://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/04/22/cocaine-withdrawal-symptoms-timeline/