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Withdrawal Symptoms of Cocaine

Withdrawal Symptoms of Cocaine

cocaine withdrawal feature

The Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal

Addiction can feel like a powerful negative force for any Texan, so it is very freeing when you take that power back and start your journey toward recovery. This journey can be mentally and physically challenging, but worth it as you start to reclaim your life from the clutches of harmful substance addiction. Cocaine is one such harmful substance that can have negative effects on important aspects of a person’s life. Due to Texas’ location on the border, cocaine is plentiful in the Lone Star State. The DEA listed cocaine as the 4th largest drug threat in Dallas and 2nd in Houston in 2019. When you are addicted to cocaine and stop taking it, there will be a detox process. During this process, it is common for people to experience symptoms of withdrawal. We will discuss these symptoms, signs of cocaine addiction, the stages of cocaine withdrawal, and cocaine addiction treatment.

The Popularity of Cocaine

Cocaine is one of the most well-known addictive substances. Made from South American coca leaves, cocaine as we know it today was developed in the 1860s. It has been applied as a local anesthetic because of its numbing effect and was famously an ingredient in early versions of Coca-Cola. Cocaine’s effects were shown to be doing more harm than good, and it became strictly regulated by the 1920s. Decades later (in the 1960s), cocaine started to become more popular, becoming known as the “party drug” in the ’70s and having a surge of popularity in the ’80s, with movies depicting the substance and crack cocaine becoming the hot drug of the time. Now, cocaine is regulated as a Schedule II substance. This means the likelihood of someone misusing it is high, but it can still be administered by doctors as anesthesia for throat surgeries. Cocaine is usually seen as a white powder and can be mixed with water and injected but is usually snorted. Crack cocaine is smoked.

Your Brain on Cocaine

Cocaine is a stimulant, which means it is a substance that stimulates the brain. Cocaine specifically affects the levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical messenger in the brain responsible for movement control and our reward system. Dopamine is normally recycled back into our cells. With cocaine, that recycling is stopped and leaves a big buildup of dopamine. This big buildup is the “high” you feel, and it encourages you to take larger amounts of cocaine to reach that buildup. It also changes your brain by increasing its tolerance to cocaine. You will gain tolerance to a certain dose and then want to take in more cocaine. This is dangerous as it can lead to accidental overdoses and dependency on the substance. This dependency can grow into an addiction to cocaine.

Signs of Addiction

Addiction is something that can sneak up on you without you even realizing it. While there are some obvious signs of addiction, there are some other signs that are more subtle. For example, are you or a loved one constantly sniffing? This could be a possible sign. Other signs include rapid weight loss, not being able to quit cocaine consumption, having financial issues, and becoming depressed after misuse. Rapid mood swings also can be a sign, as well as exhibiting secretive behavior. If your loved one is being secretive about their activities or whereabouts, this could be a sign that they’re dealing with an addiction to cocaine.

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine

If you misuse cocaine, you may be familiar with the short-term effects, but there are also long-term effects of repeated cocaine misuse. Depending on how it is taken, cocaine’s long-term effects can differ. For example, if injection is your method of taking it, the risk of catching bloodborne diseases like HIV and hepatitis C increases if needles are being shared. Smoking cocaine can lead to breathing troubles, asthma, consistent coughing, and a higher risk of pneumonia. Snorting cocaine can mess with your nasal pathways and lead to losing your sense of smell and frequent nosebleeds. Cocaine can take a toll on the brain as well. Repeated misuse of the substance can lead to bleeding in the brain, as well as balloon-like bulges. Along with these, cognitive functions are also affected. You may develop problems with paying attention, controlling impulses, and making decisions. According to data compiled by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas has seen overdose deaths from cocaine quadruple since 1999. Cocaine Deaths in Texas

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

The first step of your journey is seeking help from an addiction treatment center that understands what you’re going through. Vertava Health Texas offers different treatment options for helping you or a loved one overcome an addiction to cocaine. We believe that every client is unique, and cookie-cutter care won’t cut it when it comes to lasting recovery. Instead, we like to get to know our clients and use measurement-based tools to guide recovery. [inline_cta_two]

Cocaine Withdrawal

The first step in cocaine addiction treatment is detox. During cocaine detox, it is common for people to experience withdrawal. Withdrawal happens when you quit regularly taking cocaine, whether you’re in a treatment center or not. At Vertava Health Texas, medications can be given to help you manage uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. There are typically three stages of cocaine withdrawal: the crash, withdrawal, and extinction.

The Crash

This is the first stage of cocaine withdrawal. It shows up relatively quickly after stopping misuse of cocaine. It has been found that cocaine withdrawal symptoms can show up as early as 90 minutes after stopping cocaine misuse. This phase can include feelings of anxiety, irritability, acute dysphoria (short bursts of uneasiness and sadness), increased appetite, as well as a decreased craving for cocaine.


This is the second stage of cocaine withdrawal. This is where withdrawal symptoms start coming on. This is when you will start to have cravings for the substance, your concentration starts to become poor, and you see an increase in irritability and the desire to sleep. This stage can last anywhere from one week to ten weeks, and Vertava Health Texas will be there every step of the way. Our trained staff will be able to give you medical supervision and support throughout this entire process. After this comes the extinction process.


This is the final stage of cocaine withdrawal and is the longest stage at 28 weeks. The extinction stage can include some feelings of dysphoria and episodic cravings for the substance. Cocaine withdrawal can be tough, which is why Vertava Health Texas offers options for cocaine addiction treatment. After detox, the next step in treatment is rehab.

Residential Treatment

Our Texas cocaine treatment center removes people from the triggers and places that may be fueling their addiction and instead places them in a safe and supportive environment. Clients in our residential treatment program will participate in a comprehensive schedule of programs in both group and individual settings. These programs give clients the skills they need to prepare for life outside of rehab and find lasting recovery.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

One of the most well-known forms of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on catching inaccurate and negative thoughts while learning how to reshape them. CBT has strategies to change behavioral patterns, such as:

  • Learning how to relax one’s mind and body
  • Facing fears instead of avoiding them

There are also strategies that address how to change thinking patterns. These include:

  • Using problem-solving skills to cope with stressful situations
  • Learning how to develop more confidence in one’s abilities
  • Learning how to recognize skewed thinking patterns and look at them realistically

CBT is known to have “homework,” meaning activities that are to be done outside the therapy session. These activities can be reading something, using the coping skills you learned, or writing down your feelings as they come to you. CBT works best when the client is open and honest with the therapist and themselves. While opening up will take time, you will get the most out of CBT when you do.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

The term “dialectical” means synthesis (blending). This form of therapy is one that focuses on blending two core principles: acceptance and change. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) will help clients learn how to accept the things they can’t change and change the things they want to change. In DBT, clients will be learning four core behavioral skills, two of which are change-based and two that are acceptance-based. These include mindfulness, which is being aware in the present moment and accepting the moment for what it is; interpersonal communication, which entails learning how to ask for what you want properly while also saying the word “no”; emotional regulation, requiring you to learn how to change the emotions you want to change and decrease vulnerability to painful ones; and distress tolerance, learning how to accept stressful situations without changing them.

Other Effective Treatment Methods

At Vertava Health Texas, we realize that every person is unique, so our approach to forming addiction treatment plans must take into account the needs of each person we treat. What works for one person may not work for another. This is why we use a wide variety of evidence-based treatment methods. Some of our other cocaine addiction treatment methods and curriculum include:

  • Support groups
  • Education about substance use disorders
  • Relapse prevention skill-building
  • Outdoor-based activities
  • Recovery enhancement activities
  • Family therapy
  • Co-occurring disorder care

This extensive list of programming includes both evidence-based services as well as secondary programming to help clients become more well-rounded and heal as a whole.

Reclaim Your Life From the Grips of Cocaine Addiction With Help from Vertava Health – Texas

If you are suffering from an addiction to cocaine, or know someone who is, the time to get help is now. Stop waiting and reach out to our care team today. Our Texas cocaine addiction treatment center helps people quit cocaine and get their life back. Call us today at (888) 759-5073 to get started toward a healthier future.