What to Expect When Quitting Cocaine
Cocaine detox involves more psychological problems than physical ones, but that doesn’t make it easy. In fact, with a high risk of depression and even suicide, it can be a harrowing ordeal. But withdrawal is just the first challenge in quitting cocaine. Behavioral therapy and other long-term treatment may need to be treated as well. Before beginning any cocaine detox or drug rehab, it’s imperative to know how the process will unfold.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
Cocaine detox usually results in physical discomforts such as chills, tremors, muscle aches, and nerve pain, but cocaine detox more commonly involves mental and emotional issues. Withdrawal may cause “brain fog,” marked by slowed, confused thinking and problems concentrating.
Recovering addicts may feel fatigued and exhausted yet also experience restlessness at the same time. Psychological effects like depression may occur, ranging from inability to feel pleasure – including sexual arousal – to suicidal thoughts or actions.
How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Last?
Everyone will have a different experience with cocaine withdrawal, but symptoms usually start about 90 minutes after last use and continue for seven to 10 days. Individual detox times will vary depending on factors such as how long the addiction has gone on and how much cocaine the addict has been using. If the addict has other dependencies, drug detox can be more complicated. If they were using cocaine to cope with stress and the underlying issues are still present, cravings for cocaine will probably get stronger, lengthening the detox period.
Does Cocaine Require Medical Detox?
Cocaine detox can take place on an outpatient basis, but a medically supervised program is often advised. If the recovering addict has a history of depression or if other emotional disorders accompany their addiction – known as dual diagnosis – medical supervision may be the best course.
It’s also advised if the addict has relapsed during previous detox attempts. Medical detox is always recommended if the addict has attempted or talked about suicide. Research has indicated an increased risk of suicide for recovering cocaine addicts, who often suffer from severe depression and mood swings, including thoughts of suicide.
What Medications Are Used in Cocaine Detox?
Unfortunately, cocaine detox cannot be treated explicitly with medications, which is a standard therapy for drugs like opioids. No medications are currently approved for cocaine detox by the Food and Drug Administration.
Researchers are investigating drugs that can help alleviate the discomfort of detox or provide relief from withdrawal symptoms. Medicines that treat severe anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts might give some relief in cocaine detox. These drugs can be a great help in stabilizing moods and reducing depression.
As with all drugs given during detox, medication must be administered only by a trained professional and under close supervision.
What Happens After Cocaine Detox?
With no proven medications available, cocaine rehab tends to focus on treating the addiction’s root causes and providing healthy alternatives to the drug. Several forms of behavioral therapy, which treat the behavior that leads to addiction, have been an effective strategy for continuing treatment after cocaine detox.
- Contingency Management (CM): Participants earn tangible rewards for continued abstinence certified by urine tests or other monitoring. The rewards provide concrete validation of the recovering addict’s work toward sobriety and serve as incentives to keep them in treatment.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Patients learn how to use critical-thinking skills to avoid using cocaine, such as by anticipating and recognizing situations that usually lead them to use. They become better able to avoid these situations and others associated with drug use. Some CBT programs use a multimedia approach using movies, puzzles, and games to set up real-life drug scenarios and help the viewer work through them.
- Therapeutic Community (TC): People in recovery stay in drug-free residences known as sober-living homes and help each other understand and change their behaviors. They may include an extended stay of several months, but intensive focus and peer support have been shown to be helpful tools in achieving sobriety.
Muse Treatment offers residential and outpatient treatment for cocaine detox and rehab, including sober-living homes for men and women. For 24-hour help or more information, call (800) 426-1818 today.