Last Updated: January 06, 2023
Ohio may be in the midst of an opioid crisis, but many people throughout the state struggle with other dangerous substances, such as cocaine. It is very challenging for someone to stop using cocaine once they’ve become addicted to the substance. One of the main reasons it can be so challenging is because of the cocaine withdrawal symptoms that can occur.
Unlike many other substances, cocaine can cause withdrawal symptoms shortly after someone stops using the drug. It happens so quickly that cocaine can still be in a person’s system when withdrawal starts. Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and prevent recovery, but there are ways to make the detox process easier. The following provides an overview of cocaine withdrawal symptoms, timelines, drug test detection times and types of treatment.
What To Expect During Withdrawal
When someone uses cocaine, they will experience a sense of euphoria or a “high.” This feeling of euphoria happens when the drug produces an unnatural amount of feel-good chemicals in the brain. While this may be pleasant in the moment, it is also what causes people to experience feelings of withdrawal after using cocaine.
A person may experience a crash a few hours after stopping cocaine use. A crash is more likely if they have just binged or used a lot of cocaine within a short period. A cocaine crash may include feelings of depression, paranoia and irritability. The person may also experience fatigue or a lack of pleasure.
While cocaine withdrawal isn’t as severe or dangerous as alcohol withdrawal or benzodiazepine withdrawal, it can still be very challenging to get through. Cocaine withdrawal signs and symptoms can be both psychological and physical, and they may include:
- Restlessness and agitation
- General discomfort
- Vivid dreams
- A sense of slowness
- Increased appetite
Other symptoms may include:
- Suicidal thoughts
The signs of cocaine withdrawal can vary depending on the person. Major signs of cocaine withdrawal include the emotional effects it creates and the cravings for more cocaine. Intense cravings make this drug very difficult to stop taking.
Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline
If you don’t know what to expect, the thought of going through cocaine withdrawal can be overwhelming. This general timeline provides an overview of how long cocaine withdrawal typically lasts:
- The first stage of cocaine withdrawal is the crash. This is the time period immediately following cocaine use, and it is when a person will experience the most severe side effects. It can last for a few days and may include symptoms like exhaustion, sleepiness, restlessness, irritability and increased appetite.
- The next stage can involve even more intense cravings. The symptoms felt during the crash may dissipate, but there may still be feelings of depression and lethargy. For those who used cocaine frequently or in large doses, this period can last up to 10 weeks after cocaine use.
- The final phase of cocaine withdrawal typically happens around 10 weeks after the last use of cocaine. There may still be some cravings during this stage, but they begin to significantly decrease.
How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?
Cocaine only stays in the body for a few hours after it is used, so medical labs look for the metabolite benzoylecgonine instead of cocaine. The body turns cocaine into benzoylecgonine to remove it from its system, and this metabolite is detectable for much longer than cocaine.
There are different tests that can detect cocaine use, and they vary in usefulness based on how long they detect drug use and how invasive they are. Examples include:
- Urine testing: Cocaine use is detectable in the urine for approximately three to five days, depending on the frequency and amount of use. Urine is usually the testing method of choice because it is non-invasive and inexpensive.
- Blood testing: Blood testing is very invasive, carries a risk of infection and has a short window of detection. It can only detect use in someone acutely intoxicated on cocaine. For most people, cocaine is completely eliminated in approximately eight hoursbased on its half-life.
- Hair testing: Hair testing has the longest window of detection and can detect drug use up to 90 days later. However, it is not commonly used because it is expensive and not many labs are equipped for this type of testing.
Cocaine Detox in Ohio
Because withdrawal from cocaine is not as serious or intense as withdrawal from alcohol, opiates or benzodiazepines, a lot of people don’t feel the need to go to a professional facility for medical supervision. However, a medically supervised detox can be helpful for those who are going through cocaine withdrawal.
The Recovery Village Columbus offers medical cocaine detox that addresses uncomfortable symptoms and helps you begin the lifelong recovery process. Whether you are from Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati or anywhere else in Ohio, we can assist you in having a safer, more comfortable withdrawal. We also have facilities in Florida, Colorado, New Jersey and Washington, allowing you to find help at a location convenient to you.
If you or someone you love is struggling with cocaine addiction and looking for help, The Recovery Village Columbus is here for you. Contact us today to learn more about detox services and cocaine addiction treatment programs that can work well for you.
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.