Does Cocaine Addiction Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?
We are frequently asked this question:
“Does cocaine use cause withdrawal?”
The answer we have to this is slightly complicated. cocaine addiction withdrawal symptoms are unlike heroin, alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal. Cocaine has no visible physical withdrawal symptoms like the latter drugs, which can cause symptoms from vomiting and shaking to full blown grand mal seizures. The user experiences cocaine withdrawal symptoms when they cut down or quit taking the drug. This phenomenon is also known as crashing. The symptoms during a crash can range from mild to extreme (severe depression and cravings).
Symptoms Experienced During Cocaine Crash or Withdrawal
A cocaine crash occurs after a cocaine binge or period of long-term heavy cocaine use. The symptoms can last anywhere from as a short as a day to months (for heavy cocaine use).
Primary Cocaine Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms Include:
- Suicidal thoughts in extreme cases
- General malaise and disinterest in activities
- Increased appetite
- Vivid and unpleasant dreams
- Slowing of activity
- Cravings for cocaine
- Agitation and restless behavior
Treatment for Cocaine Withdrawal
Since there aren’t really any pronounced physical withdrawal symptoms, there aren’t any medications specifically designed for “cocaine withdrawal”. More often than not, insurance will not cover a detox visit strictly for cocaine as it usually isn’t medically necessary. That doesn’t mean treatment isn’t necessary, the patient just won’t need to detox under medical supervision unless they’ve been using other substance such as alcohol, opiates, or benzodiazepines. Some treatment centers will prescribe Clonidine for issues with blood pressure and agitation, and a non-narcotic medication such as Trazodone to help with sleep. Wellbutrin is also used from time to time for issues with depression, low energy, and cravings.
The real issue among cocaine addicts is the fact that over half of them have a co-occurring mental disorder. Providing the necessary treatment by use of different medications and cognitive behavioral therapy is usually provided in an inpatient or outpatient treatment center.
Just because cocaine doesn’t have any pronounced withdrawals, it doesn’t mean the dangers of cocaine addiction and withdrawal couldn’t be life threatening and/or dangerous. A cocaine overdose could speed the heart up to supraphysiologic levels and could lead to heart issues or even worse, a heart attack. Furthermore, the withdrawal could cause depression and in severe cases, suicidal thoughts. Suicidal ideation could become a life threatening issue and would require treatment immediately.
There is a Way Out
If you are or someone you know are struggling with addiction, there is a way out. At Recovery Care Partner, we understand the delicate nature of planning an intervention and guiding a loved one toward recovery from active addiction. We offer a free, 30-minute pre-treatment consultation to help you make an informed decision on if our support is appropriate for your circumstances. Beyond that, we offer intervention services, post-treatment support, recovery care monitoring, transition coaching, and sober companions for intensive, discreet, and professional one-on-one support.