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What Happens During Cocaine Detox?

Detoxifying the body is never a comfortable process. Some substances, like alcohol and benzodiazepines, can cause lethal withdrawal effects. Others, like opiates, aren’t lethal but come with extremely discomforting and painful symptoms. Cocaine, like other drugs, creates changes in the chemistry of the brain that cause physical dependence. Breaking this physical dependence requires a person to go through the process of detoxification until all traces of the drugs are removed from the body and healing can begin.

Cocaine addiction accounts for about 6% of those entering into treatment. Unlike alcohol and many other drugs, the physical symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are not severe. The mental health symptom, however, can be quite extreme. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “When cocaine use is stopped or when a binge ends, a crash follows almost right away. The cocaine user has a strong craving for more cocaine during a crash. Other symptoms include fatigue, lack of pleasure, anxiety, irritability, sleepiness, and sometimes agitation or extreme suspicion or paranoia.” Many of these symptoms resolve quickly, but cravings and depression can last for months after detox.

The intensity of drug cravings associated with withdrawal from cocaine require a recovering user to engage in therapeutic methods and recovery programs to counteract the strength of these cravings. With the development of healthy coping skills and an effective aftercare plan, the long-term mental health problems associated with past cocaine addiction can be managed. The depression associated with cocaine withdrawal can be severe and lead to the potential for self-harm or suicide.

According to the National Institutes of Health, over 70% of people seeking treatment for cocaine addiction have other psychological problems, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and antisocial personality. These can easily exacerbate the depression that occurs from the withdrawal process, requiring that a client be closely monitored to ensure that they are not in any danger of self-harm or suicide. The duration and length of detoxification from cocaine is dependent on how much and how frequently it was being used, and will vary from person to person. Generally, however, acute symptoms resolve within a few weeks, while longer-term mental health issues may take a few months.

Life in active addiction is no way to live. If you are struggling or care for someone who is struggling with addiction, you know that life can be better. It’s time to live. Ready? Set- GO. Resilient House cultivates the resilience necessary to those in recovery for lasting wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Bringing together the best in clinical and holistic expertise, our full continuum of care is designed to help you change your life for good. Call us today for information: 833-CHANGE1