Cocaine Addiction: Detox and Withdrawal Timeline

When you use cocaine, your body adapts to the presence of the drug and physical and mental changes occur. When you then decide to stop using cocaine, your body and brain must adapt, leading to withdrawal symptoms. The severity of withdrawal depends on the amount of cocaine you have been using, how you have been taking it and the length of time you have been using, as well as your general state of health and your environment.

Common withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, cravings, mood swings, irritability, panic attacks, anxiety, depression and problems with memory and concentration.

Going through withdrawal yourself can be dangerous as you may feel depressed and have suicidal thoughts. At our residential clinic you can safely detox under the 24/7 supervision of our clinical team with therapeutic support.

Get in touch with us today to find out more about the ways we can support you through withdrawal and detox.

What Is Cocaine Withdrawal?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that causes a high where you will feel more alert, on top of the world and confident. It also causes a long ‘comedown’ or crash where you will feel run down (like you have the flu) and depressed – this can last for days. When your body adapts to the constant presence of cocaine in your system then physical changes occur to your brain and body. When you stop taking the drug, your body goes through a period of adapting to normal function, without the drug in your system. This is known as withdrawal.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms are most severe in the first 5 days after stopping use of the drug as your body attempts to readjust. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and some can persist long after you have quit. Severe symptoms may cause you to crave more of the drug which could lead to relapse or even an overdose.

What Causes Withdrawal?

Cocaine has a very short half-life compared to some other drugs, which means withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as 90 minutes after the last dose.

Cocaine affects the central nervous system and increases the levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Our brains normally produce this neurotransmitter naturally but eventually cocaine use will lead to the brain stopping production of dopamine which means it can’t be recycled in the brain cells. You will need increasing amounts of cocaine to recreate the initial euphoria you had when taking the drug. When you then stop taking cocaine, withdrawal symptoms set in as your body craves more of the substance.

Withdrawal Symptoms

It can be extremely challenging to overcome an addiction to cocaine without professional help. Because withdrawal from cocaine is different for everyone, your symptoms can vary from mild to severe. The severity can depend on how long and how much you have been using. It can be dangerous to go ‘cold turkey’ and stop using as you never know how you will be affected. Symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, convulsions and hallucinati0ons have been reported, not to mention the risk of overdose if you take more cocaine to alleviate your withdrawal symptoms.
Here are some of the most common withdrawal symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Cravings
  • Feeling despondent or lethargic
  • Exhaustion
  • Mood swings
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Irritability
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

These symptoms usually start within 90 minutes of stopping taking cocaine and are most severe for the first 5 days after stopping. They can persist for weeks and become chronic in some cases. The best way to safely make it through withdrawal is to attend residential medical detox clinic where you can undergo medical detox and withdrawal under 24/7 supervision.


The cocaine withdrawal process can be categorised as:

0.5–3 hours – Because cocaine has a shorter half-life than most drugs, it leaves the body very quickly and you will experience the ‘crash’ in as little as 90 minutes after your last dose. You’ll feel tired, uncomfortable and possibly depressed.
3 hours-7 days – This is the peak of withdrawal with acute physical symptoms such as restlessness, pain and tremors. Cravings are also at their most severe during this time and it can be difficult to avoid relapse without professional help. You may also experience nightmares and insomnia.
7-10 days – By this point withdrawal symptoms are likely to gradually diminish but you may still experience depression, strange vivid dreams and anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure from previously pleasurable activities)

In some cases, depression and anhedonia can continue for weeks or months after your last dose and you may need special treatment. Cravings can also reappear months or even years after quitting cocaine, caused by specific triggers. At Primrose Lodge, we offer personalised treatment tailored to suit your withdrawal symptoms as well as a range of support to ensure you get through withdrawal with minimal discomfort.

What Is A Medical Cocaine Detox

Detoxification is the first stage of treating any addiction and generally lasts at least two weeks. The length of detoxification usually depends on your level of addiction and the method of treatment used. Detoxification can be carried out in several different settings, but a medical detox is best as you will receive 24/7 care and supervision.

Detoxification is only a part of the recovery process. It involves removing the drug from your system so that treatment can focus on your body’s physical addiction. However, helping you recover from a psychological dependence and addiction to cocaine requires counselling. This can start at the initial stage of detox and continues throughout the process.

During counselling sessions, issues relating to drug use and the resulting psychological cravings will be addressed. You can also continue counselling after detox has been completed. You may choose to continue with treatment for cocaine withdrawal in an inpatient rehab facility or on an outpatient basis.

Home Detox

It may seem tempting to detox at home, surrounded by familiar things and home comforts. However, particularly in the case of cocaine, home detox is not recommended as it can be very challenging to overcome your addiction without professional help.

Home detox can be unsafe as you are not equipped to deal with cravings and other symptoms that may arise. If you are addicted to cocaine then detoxing at home means you could still have access to the drug and be more likely to relapse or overdose. Because cocaine has such a short half-life, symptoms of withdrawal come on quickly and could lead to the temptation to use again.

In addition to this, if you have been addicted to cocaine for a long time, your withdrawal symptoms could be particularly severe or uncomfortable. This can be difficult to manage alone and a medical detox at Primrose Lodge means you will be in a supportive environment where we will make you as comfortable as possible.

Benefits Of Private Detox

Residential rehab is the best option for anybody with a cocaine addiction, however mild or severe. You will receive 24/7 support and monitoring as well as being away from your home environment, with no access to drugs and no risk of relapse whilst in our care. We provide support from experts with experience in addiction, withdrawal and detox, making you as comfortable as possible while you are going through rehab.

Because private detox is tailored to suit your individual needs, you will be supported throughout and learn techniques to help you prevent relapsing. This gives you the best possible chance of living a life totally free from addiction to cocaine. You will also undergo medical detox where your withdrawal symptoms will be monitored and medication may be administered to help ease the severity of your symptoms.

Some of the other benefits of residential rehab include:

  • 24/7 care and support from an experienced medical team
  • A safe, nurturing environment where all your needs are met
  • Assistance with diet and nutrition to help you feel and look healthier
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • 12 months of complimentary aftercare support
  • Personalised treatment programme
  • Therapy and counselling to overcome the root causes of your addiction
  • The ability to learn techniques to overcome your cravings and prevent relapse in future

To find out more about the benefits of private rehabilitation as well as the facilities available to those undergoing treatment at Primrose Lodge, just get in touch with us today.

If you or your loved one are suffering from cocaine addiction or addiction to any other substance, it is never too late to seek help. We can offer advice and an initial assessment to work out the best drug rehab for you, which will be tailored to suit your individual needs. At our treatment facilitie,s you will find experienced staff offering personalised care as well as excellent facilities (including an on-site chef and access to a gym). We offer life-changing treatment and take a holistic approach to recovery, with a full range of therapies available, from cognitive behavioural therapy to art therapy and more.

Whether you have been addicted to cocaine for a few months and need assistance or are a long-term user looking to break your addiction, we can help you. Our experienced clinical team are dedicated to helping you beat your addiction and live a long, happy life free from the influence of drugs.

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Call Now 0203 553 9263
Call Now 0203 553 9263

Call Now 0203 553 9263

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