How Long Does It Take To Detox From Cocaine?

Discover everything you need to know about cocaine detox and where to find effective treatment for addiction.

Table of Contents

What Is Cocaine Detox?

Cocaine is undoubtedly one of the most addictive substances, with studies showing that approximately 21.5 million people are currently dealing with cocaine addiction globally. Despite its highly-addictive nature, cocaine addiction is treatable, and recovery starts with a process known as detoxification.1

Cocaine detoxification, also known as cocaine detox, is the first step toward recovering from cocaine addiction. There can be no recovery from addiction without detox; therefore, it is usually the start of any treatment program aimed at helping individuals transition safely into a level of care that can lead to the end of their addiction.

Cocaine Detox

What to Know About Cocaine Detox

The main goal of detoxification is to restore the body to its natural state of chemical equilibrium after eliminating the stimulant from the system. This process may take days to weeks to complete, depending on factors like the amount of cocaine used and the length of addiction, but it usually lasts about two weeks.

Detox tends to be easier, safer, and more comfortable in a supervised environment where medical professionals help monitor and manage withdrawal symptoms as the body gets rid of the drug.

Treatment Options Following Cocaine Detoxification

The management of cocaine detox withdrawal to the full path of recovery after detox can be achieved through various treatment opportunities. These include:

Inpatient Rehabilitation

This option involves twenty-four-seven medical supervision of patients in a recovery center after detox. Inpatient rehab is especially useful for those who do not have a strong support system at home or have a severe addiction. It is considered the safest option for chronic users of cocaine and those who have relapsed before.

Intensive Outpatient Rehabilitation

Intensive outpatient rehab is a more mild form of inpatient treatment, as it does not require patients to stay at the facility. Instead, patients attend individual, group, and family therapy sessions for around five to six hours a day, five days per week.

Relapse Prevention Therapy

This is a form of therapy where patients undergo life skills and behavioral training to improve their mental health, thoughts, behaviors, and overall outlook on life to prevent relapse. Also, potential relapse prevention medications, such as topiramate, can be used to reduce the cocaine cravings experienced due to withdrawal.

Cocaine Detox: What You Can Expect

During and after detox, individuals may experience various physiological and psychological cocaine withdrawal symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Therefore, cocaine detox at an addiction treatment center usually involves continuous medical and psychological assessment along with the administration of medications to treat physical and mood-related withdrawal symptoms.

Treatments That Work

Below are some cocaine addiction treatment methods that have proven effective:

  • Use of Medications: While there are no FDA-approved medications to overcome cocaine addiction, some medications for other purposes, such as antidepressants, may help stabilize mood and reduce depression associated with cocaine withdrawal.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This form of treatment focuses on changing the self-sabotaging behavior of cocaine use by teaching individuals how to cope with stress in healthier ways. CBT can either be an outpatient rehab program or a part of an inpatient program.
  • Giving Rewards or Incentives: Encouraging individuals to stop abusing cocaine via rewards and incentives is a simple method that can help them develop skills to cope with cocaine abuse triggers and avoid its use.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Cocaine withdrawal is characterized by uncomfortable physical and psychological symptoms, which typically include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Cocaine cravings
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Poor concentration
  • Slowed thoughts and
  • movements
  • Changes in sleep patterns (e.g., increased sleeping, insomnia)
  • Increased appetite
  • Paranoia

Cocaine Withdrawal Treatment

Although cocaine withdrawal is usually not as dangerous as other types of acute withdrawal syndromes, such as those associated with alcohol or opioids, it can still be very unpleasant. In more severe cases, cocaine withdrawal can lead to psychological issues like depression. Here are some cocaine withdrawal treatment approaches:

  • Management of Withdrawal Without Medications: Treating cocaine detox withdrawal first involves abstinence from the stimulant. No matter where treatment is received, the patient should cease use long enough for withdrawal symptoms to diminish completely. Furthermore, individuals dependent on cocaine should be encouraged to abstain from other addictive substances like alcohol.
  • Management of Withdrawal With Medications: As earlier mentioned, there are currently no medications approved explicitly for cocaine withdrawal treatment; however, medical professionals may prescribe certain medications during detox to help people manage cocaine withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia and anxiety.
  • Patient Care and Comfort: Cocaine withdrawal is not usually associated with severe physical symptoms. Patients often experience hunger, insomnia, headaches, cravings, and irritability, so they need constant supervision and care to treat these symptoms. Cocaine can lead to cerebrovascular disease (e.g., stroke, aneurysms, blocked arteries), so persistent headaches should be evaluated and treated.

Cocaine Withdrawal for Chronic Cocaine Use

Chronic cocaine use can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms due to the amount of drug use and the length of addiction. In addition, individuals may experience symptoms like depression, anxiety, strong cravings, and suicidal thoughts for a longer period in what is known as protracted withdrawal.

Cocaine Withdrawal Risk Factors

The severity of a person’s withdrawal symptoms can vary widely, and many factors can influence these symptoms. Some cocaine withdrawal risk factors include age, the overall well-being of the person, the amount of cocaine used, duration of abuse, route of administration, and usage of other substances with cocaine.

Cocaine Withdrawal Medications

While no single medication has been designed specifically to treat cocaine withdrawal, research has shown promising results in reducing severe cravings and other cocaine withdrawal symptoms for the medications listed below:2

  • Topiramate—to reduce cravings for cocaine
  • Baclofen—acts as a muscle relaxant and reduces cravings
  • Disulfiram—a promising relapse prevention drug
  • Modafinil—used to fight sleepiness associated with early cocaine withdrawal
  • Propranolol—to relieve anxiety and cravings
  • Other medications to alleviate specific symptoms, such as antidepressants

Cocaine Detox: How to Get Cocaine Out of Your System

To eliminate cocaine from the system, individuals should avoid further use and place themselves in a drug-free environment where they can be cared for and monitored, preferably in an inpatient or outpatient rehab center. Addiction treatment facilities can appropriately manage withdrawal symptoms and provide accountability on the journey towards recovery.

Here are some other tips that can help you get rid of and abstain from cocaine:

  • Eat healthily
  • Exercise regularly
  • Develop a regular sleep schedule
  • Stay hydrated
  • Avoid drinking coffee and alcohol
  • Find positive ways to occupy your mind and entertain yourself
  • Avoid triggers

How to Detox From Cocaine Safely

The safest way to cleanse the body from cocaine is through medical detox, which involves abstaining from the stimulant in a carefully monitored environment with supervision from medical personnel to help manage withdrawal symptoms safely and comfortably.

While it is possible to detox at home, it’s recommended that this process occurs at an addiction treatment center or a hospital if the patient is at a higher risk of developing complications.

Find Cocaine Withdrawal Treatment Centers Near You

The easiest approach to finding a cocaine withdrawal treatment center near you is by searching on the internet. You can review various facilities, find their contact information, and even book an appointment online!

If you’re in San Diego, California, we at Soledad House would be very excited to be part of your journey to recovery at our center! Call 866.314.3222 to learn more about our women’s recovery programs.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, and Detox Treatment

Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal may range from mild to severe as people react to the detox process differently. The timeline for recovery is also specific to individuals; however, the withdrawal process from cocaine after detox treatment can be generally classified into three phases—the crash, craving, and extinction phases.

Crash Phase (After a Few Hours to a Few Days)

In this phase, individuals usually experience a “crash” after their initial abstinence from using cocaine, which involves acute withdrawal symptoms like severe anxiety and depression.

Craving Phase (After One to Ten Weeks)

The craving phase involves experiencing a strong craving for cocaine while feeling lethargic and irritable. This phase may take less severe addictions a shorter time to overcome.

Extinction Phase (After Thirty or More Weeks)

Lastly, the extinction phase involves random, more mild cravings for cocaine than experienced in phase two. People can get through this phase by mindfully ensuring their environment is safe and drug-free. Cravings can, however, last for a lifetime.

How Long Does It Take To Detox From Cocaine?

Metabolism rates usually differ from person to person, so it can take some days or several weeks to detox from cocaine. Typically, a detox process should take about two weeks or less.

How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Last?

Those with a cocaine addiction commonly experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome, meaning the withdrawal may last for weeks, months, or even years. The duration of cocaine withdrawal depends on the individual and the circumstances surrounding their use.

Factors That Influence the Length of a Cocaine Detox Program

The following are factors that can influence the length of stay in a cocaine detox program:

  • Dosage of cocaine used
  • Purity of cocaine used
  • Method of use
  • The period of abuse

Long-Term Rehab for Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Research suggests that drug addiction treatment lasting at least three months (ninety days or longer) can successfully reduce or abstain from the substance and result in better recovery outcomes.3

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug, and cravings can last a lifetime. Long-term rehabilitation with a counseling program, either in an inpatient, outpatient, or sober living treatment program, can go a long way in helping people recover.

What Happens in Cocaine Detox Programs?

Drug rehab centers usually offer cocaine detox programs through which one can safely recover from cocaine withdrawal under close supervision. In a cocaine medical detox, patients are cared for by medical professionals and monitored twenty-four-seven, so their withdrawal symptoms are safely managed. Cocaine detox programs mainly involve the following:

  • Medication management
  • Nutritional focus—a healthy diet full of nutrition-rich food gives the body strength to withstand detox
  • Supplements and fluid administration—supplemental nutrition in the form of fluids may be administered through an IV

What Happens to Your Body and Mind When You Detox From Cocaine?

When you detox from cocaine, you may experience physical symptoms (e.g., fatigue, muscle aches) and psychological symptoms(e.g., anxiety, inability to concentrate, drug cravings), ranging from mild to severe.

These symptoms occur because the body, over the addiction-forming period of cocaine use, has become dependent on cocaine and its effects to function properly. A reduction of cocaine concentrations results in destabilization as the brain is temporarily unable to function optimally, leading to a cascade of physical and mental side effects.

Can You Beat Cocaine Addiction on Your Own?

While it is possible to beat cocaine addiction on your own, it is not recommended. This is because undergoing cocaine detox and dealing with the accompanying withdrawal effects on your own at home is extremely difficult and potentially dangerous, as withdrawal side effects should be properly managed with medications. Additionally, self-detox does not equip people with the necessary skills and coping mechanisms for dealing with addiction.

How to Detox From Cocaine

At-home detox from cocaine usually involves a combination of a healthy diet, exercise, rest, hydration, a positively preoccupied mind, and avoidance of triggers that can lead to drug use. These activities are essential for keeping the body clean from cocaine to stay healthy during cocaine detox. It may also involve using medications like non-addictive sleep aids to cope with withdrawal symptoms.

Benefits of At-Home Cocaine Detox

Although it’s not recommended, going through a home cocaine detox does have some advantages. They include:

  • Ability to maintain privacy
  • Easier availability of support systems, such as friends and family
  • Saves stress
  • Quality care from both family and professionals while at home

Next Steps After Home Detox From Cocaine

After a successful home cocaine detox, people should consider attending an inpatient or an outpatient program. Receiving care from an addiction treatment center allows patients to be part of a support group and get the support they need to get better and stay cocaine-free.

What Are the Side Effects of Cocaine Addiction?

Effects of addiction can be seen in both short-term and long-term use of cocaine. These will be discussed in detail below.

Short-Term Side Effects

Some short-term side effects of cocaine addiction include:

  • Increased sensitivity to touch, sound, and sight
  • Euphoria
  • Decreased appetite
  • Anger and irritability
  • Paranoia

Long-Term Side Effects

Long-term effects of cocaine addiction include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures/convulsions
  • Heart disease
  • Lung damage
  • Mood disorders
  • HIV or hepatitis, if commonly injected
  • Bowel decay, if commonly swallowe
  • Loss of smell, nosebleeds, and runny nose, if commonly snorted

Severe Side Effects

Cocaine overdose is a significant and severe side effect of cocaine addiction. It involves taking too much of the drug, either alone or in combination with other illicit substances (e.g., opioids, alcohol), preventing the body from metabolizing it fast enough and resulting in drug toxicity. In 2020 alone, an estimated 19,447 people died from a drug overdose involving cocaine.4
Cocaine Detox

What Are the Major Risk Factors for Cocaine Addiction?

Some people are at a higher risk of getting addicted to cocaine than others. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Genetics and Heredity: Individuals whose first-degree relatives (parent or sibling) suffer from addiction are likely to develop the disease themselves.
  • Social and Environmental Factors: Environment and social interactions can influence addiction.
  • Other Factors: Concurrent mental health disorders, personality traits, early use, etc.

What Are the Common Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction?

Some common signs and symptoms that can indicate cocaine addiction include the following:

  • Changes in sleeping pattern
  • Mood swings
  • Dilated pupils
  • Withdrawal from loved ones
  • Risky behavior
  • Chronic runny nose

How Soledad House Can Help Treat Cocaine Addiction

Soledad House is a recovery center in San Diego that offers high-quality treatment in a healing environment to help women battling drug and alcohol addiction. Our addiction treatment program is specifically tailored to meet the needs of women with substance use disorders through inpatient, intensive outpatient, aftercare, and sober living programs.

In addition, we offer different types of therapy and fun activities like snowboarding, camping, and bowling, all of which are designed and geared toward ensuring patients can undergo effective cocaine addiction treatment in a calm, enjoyable, and supportive environment. To get started with cocaine addiction treatment, visit our website or call us at 866.314.3222.