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Delamere rehab specialise in the professional treatment of cocaine addiction and abuse; here we outline what you can expect to experience during cocaine withdrawal, the symptoms, the timeline and the treatment required.

Delamere delivers a unique and holistic approach to healing from addiction. We ensure that all of our cocaine addicted patients undergo a full medical detox before undergoing a full cocaine rehabilitation programme.

A medical cocaine detox suppresses cocaine withdrawal symptoms, shortens their duration and ensures comfort and safety every step of the way.

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What are the cocaine withdrawal symptoms?

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms develop when a cocaine dependent individual tries to stop the drug abruptly, too quickly, or without medical intervention.

The majority of cocaine withdrawal symptoms manifest psychologically. It is the psychological aspect of cocaine withdrawal that proves the most challenging to overcome.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:

Physical withdrawal symptoms from cocaine:

  • Aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Physical cravings for cocaine
  • Low energy (2)

Psychological withdrawal symptoms from cocaine:

  • Anxiety
  • Severe depression
  • Changes in mood
  • Psychological cravings for cocaine
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Paranoia
  • Dysphoria (a general feeling of unhappiness and dissatisfaction)
  • Irritability
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Psychosis (2)

Not every individual will experience all of the above symptoms and some may experience different symptoms not mentioned.

Withdrawal from any drug can be unpredictable. The majority of cocaine withdrawal symptoms vary in accordance with the individuals biochemistry, their mental health and their individual use of the drug.

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How severe are cocaine withdrawal symptoms?

Cocaine is a Class A stimulant drug, once addicted, trying to stop cocaine without medical intervention will produce a variety of cocaine withdrawal symptoms.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms vary in severity from mild to severe. The severity of symptoms you experience as an individual will depend on the following:

  • The duration of your cocaine use
  • The frequency of use
  • The purity of the cocaine you have been taking and whether it has been mixed with other substances to increase its potency
  • The method of administration (whether you have been snorting, injecting or smoking it)
  • Whether you suffer from any underlying physical and/or mental health conditions (1)

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms affect both the body and the mind. It is these withdrawal symptoms that can keep an individual trapped in the deadly cycle of addiction.

Cocaine addiction creates both a physical dependence and psychological dependence. Successful cocaine treatment needs to treat all aspects of the individual patients illness and any underlying mental health conditions.

women with her hands over her eyes and cocaine written on finger

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Cocaine timeline of withdrawal

Whether you use cocaine every day or binge for days then stop suddenly, the timeline of cocaine withdrawal consists of three different stages (1,3)

First stage of cocaine withdrawal timeline

This stage occurs within 24 hours of stopping using cocaine and lasts for around 7 days. Physical cocaine cravings will be at their most intense during this period of withdrawal.

Symptoms of the first stage of cocaine withdrawal typically include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Lack of motivation
  • Cocaine cravings

Second stage of cocaine withdrawal timeline

The second stage of cocaine withdrawal can last anything up to ten weeks – without a medical cocaine detox.

Physically the person may start to feel better but this is when psychological symptoms can be at their worst.

Typical second stage symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Lethargy and demotivation
  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Restlessness
  • Dysphoria
  • Cocaine cravings

Third stage of cocaine withdrawal timeline

The third and final stage of cocaine withdrawal can last for up to 6 months after quitting cocaine. Whilst the vast majority of symptoms will now have dissipated, third stage cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Mood changes
  • Some cravings for cocaine

The first, second and third stage of cocaine withdrawal is likely to be more evident in those that have suffered a heavy cocaine addiction and have stopped suddenly without medical and therapeutic treatment.

Those that do not undergo professional cocaine treatment are far more susceptible to developing Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (Paws). Paws stage consists of third stage symptoms that can come and go for up to a year, sometimes longer (4)

Cocaine treatment at Delamere

Professional cocaine treatment can make all the difference between staying cocaine free and not.

Successful cocaine treatment needs to address all aspects of the individual and not just the drug use.

Following on from a cocaine detox, a solid treatment plan should be formed. This treatment plan should focus on: changing addictive behaviours, rebuilding social skills, forming healthy relationships, attending support groups and include the simultaneous treatment of any underlying mental health issues (dual diagnosis) or trauma (5)

Delamere rehab takes a holistic approach to cocaine treatment. We use evidence based therapies to help heal the whole individual in accordance with recommended clinical guidelines.

We also help each of our patients to move beyond the treatment environment and support them with integrating back into the community, into education and into work.

Some of the evidence based therapies (6) that Delamere use to treat cocaine addiction include:

  • Full medical detox
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Integrated therapy
  • Person centred therapy
  • Relapse prevention therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Full holistic programme including equine therapy and meditation (to name but a few)

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  1. Australian Government: The Department of Health. (2004). Models of Intervention and Care for Psychostimulant Users, 2nd edition: The Cocaine Withdrawal Syndrome.
  2. US National library of medicine – Cocaine withdrawals
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (1999). Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders: Quick Guide for Clinicians.
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2010). Protracted Withdrawal.
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (1999). Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders: Quick Guide for Clinicians.
  6. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.