Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Table of Contents


Cocaine withdrawal symptoms manifest when someone who is dependent on the drug discontinues use. The physical and psychological signs of withdrawal can be aggravating and challenging. However, with expert support in a licensed detox facility, it is possible to move beyond cocaine withdrawal and embark on a transformative journey towards lasting recovery.

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Today, you will discover:


      • What are cocaine withdrawals?

      • What are the different stages of cocaine withdrawal?

      • How long does the withdrawal process last?

      • Detoxing from cocaine safely – how to connect with addiction treatment in California.

    Cocaine Withdrawal Stages

    When coming off cocaine, withdrawal unfolds over multiple stages, just as there is alcohol withdrawal. Cocaine is a highly addictive Schedule II drug that can lead to the development of physiological dependence and withdrawal symptoms. The severity of withdrawal differs from person to person depending on various factors, including the scope and duration of cocaine abuse. While stimulant withdrawal is generally less severe than opioid or alcohol detox, cocaine withdrawal experiences can vary significantly and may require closer medical supervision in some cases.

     Cocaine withdrawal occurs in distinct stages, each characterized by its own set of symptoms. While the duration and intensity of these stages may differ, understanding the general progression can provide insights into the overall process. 

    The stages of cocaine withdrawal include:


        • Crash: The crash stage occurs immediately after stopping or reducing cocaine use. During this stage, the early symptoms of withdrawal from cocaine present – exhaustion, intense cravings, increased appetite, and prolonged periods of sleep or hypersomnia.

        • Withdrawal: Following the cocaine crash, individuals enter the withdrawal stage. This phase of detox is marked by a variety of physical and psychological symptoms. These may include irritability, depression, anxiety, restlessness, slowed thinking, muscle aches, tremors, and chills.

        • Extinction: In the extinction stage, the acute symptoms of withdrawal gradually subside. Cravings for cocaine may persist, but they become less intense over time. This stage can be accompanied by a sense of emotional numbness or apathy.

        • Honeymoon: The honeymoon stage begins when individuals experience a temporary improvement in mood and energy. This phase of withdrawal can create a false sense of recovery, leading to a higher risk of relapse if proper support and treatment are not maintained.

        • Protracted withdrawal: Protracted withdrawal refers to the long-term effects of cocaine withdrawal that can persist for weeks or months. Psychological symptoms like mood swings and cravings may continue during this stage. It is critical to have ongoing support and follow-up care to navigate this phase successfully.

      Not everyone progresses through these stages in a linear fashion, and withdrawal experiences may vary. Seeking professional help and participating in a comprehensive addiction treatment program can streamline each stage of cocaine withdrawal and facilitate a successful recovery.

      an image of someone dealing with cocaine withdrawal

      Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

      How long do cocaine withdrawals last, then?

      The timing and duration of cocaine withdrawal symptoms can differ depending on the type of cocaine used. Crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms can manifest within just a few hours of the last use. Withdrawal symptoms from powdered cocaine typically present later during the first day of abstinence. Most acute cocaine withdrawal symptoms tend to last around three to four days, although some people may experience lingering symptoms for a period of three or four weeks.

      Here is a typical cocaine withdrawal timeline:


          • Day 1: Symptoms emerge within the first few hours after discontinuing use of the drug. Common early signs of withdrawal include irritability, anxiety, restlessness, fatigue, and increased appetite. 

          • Day 2: Intense cocaine cravings arise. Fatigue persists, making it difficult to fall asleep. Vivid and unpleasant dreams may be accompanied by mood swings and periods of depression.

          • Day 3: Withdrawal symptoms continue. Cravings for cocaine and feelings of exhaustion persist, while disrupted sleep patterns can lead to increased irritability and agitation. Some people may also experience difficulty concentrating or maintaining emotional stability.

          • Day 4: Symptoms of depression and strong cravings for cocaine may still be present. At this stage of withdrawal, individuals may find it challenging to regulate their emotions, triggering mood swings and heightened irritability. Concentration difficulties may endure, affecting daily functioning.

          • Day 5: While some people may start to feel slight improvements by this point of detox, depression and cocaine cravings can still linger. It may be challenging for those detoxing from cocaine to maintain emotional balance, and they may experience ongoing irritability and agitation.

          • Day 6: Withdrawal symptoms continue to diminish, and the mind and body gradually start to heal. Cocaine cravings may still crop up intermittently, posing the most significant challenge for those in recovery. Generalized anxiety and feelings of uneasiness may resurface temporarily.

          • Day 7: The healing process continues, and withdrawal symptoms become less severe. Cocaine cravings may still occur, but they tend to be less intense. Overall, individuals may experience a decrease in anxiety and uneasiness, although some fluctuations in mood and energy levels are still expected.

          • Weeks 2 to 4: Depression and strong cocaine cravings may continue throughout this phase. Irritability and agitation are frequent symptoms experienced during this time.

          • Weeks 5 to 10: During weeks 5 to 10, the mind and body gradually begin to heal, leading to a reduction in withdrawal symptoms. That said, cocaine cravings can still arise intermittently during this period. Generalized anxiety and uneasiness may also reoccur temporarily as part of the recovery process.

        What are the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal, then?

        Psychological withdrawal symptoms from cocaine include:


            • Anxiety

            • Severe depression

            • Mood changes

            • Psychological cravings for cocaine

            • Difficulty concentrating

            • Paranoia

            • Dysphoria (general feeling of unhappiness and dissatisfaction)

            • Irritability

            • Suicidal ideation

            • Psychosis

          Physical withdrawal symptoms from cocaine


              • Aches and pains

              • Fatigue

              • Increased appetite

              • Physical cravings for cocaine

              • Low energy

            Not everyone will experience every symptom mentioned, and some may encounter symptoms not listed. The variability of cocaine withdrawal symptoms is influenced by individual biochemistry, mental health, and patterns of drug use.

            Seeking professional support and engaging with a comprehensive addiction treatment program can greatly aid individuals in managing withdrawal symptoms and progressing towards long-term recovery.

            Cocaine Withdrawal Treatment

            While stimulant withdrawal may not always be severe, it can still be challenging. However, professional detox interventions can effectively manage cocaine withdrawal. Under the supervision of medical professionals, a medically supervised detox allows the body to eliminate cocaine and its toxic metabolites while ensuring the safety and comfort of the individual in early recovery. 

            Although there are no specific medications approved for cocaine withdrawal, certain medications may be utilized during medical detox to alleviate troublesome symptoms such as insomnia. Additionally, symptoms of stimulant withdrawal can be addressed through rest, exercise, and a nutritious diet.

            For those experiencing severe or persistent depression during withdrawal, antidepressant treatment and additional psychiatric support may be beneficial. Given the intense drug cravings experienced during cocaine withdrawal, the risk of relapse is high. Behavioral therapeutic interventions, including CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), CM (contingency management), and relapse prevention techniques, can effectively address these challenges. 

            Detox alone is not a substitute for comprehensive rehabilitation. While detox is the initial step in a substance use disorder treatment program, its purpose is to prepare individuals for the transition into a higher level of care. This subsequent level of care focuses on addressing the behavioral, social, and psychological aspects of the stimulant use disorder in a more comprehensive manner.

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            Get Treatment for Cocaine Withdrawal at California Detox  

            At California Detox in Laguna Beach, we offer a diverse range of treatment programs for those who have developed a physical dependence or diagnosable addiction to illicit drugs like cocaine.

            Through our supervised cocaine detox program, you can take advantage of a supportive environment where withdrawal symptoms are carefully managed with the aid of appropriate medications to alleviate cravings.

            Following your detoxification, a seamless transition awaits you as you move directly into our inpatient program, also known as residential rehab. This program offers a comprehensive approach to addiction recovery, incorporating evidence-based interventions and holistic therapies for a whole-body approach to cocaine addiction recovery. 

            Our treatment programs at California Detox encompass various elements tailored to meet your individual needs. These include MAT (medication-assisted treatment), which combines medication with therapy, group counseling, individual counseling, psychotherapy utilizing techniques from CBT and DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), family therapy, holistic therapies, and aftercare.

            For immediate assistance and further information, please reach out to our admissions team at 949.694.8305.


            While cocaine withdrawal is generally not life-threatening, complications can arise, especially if cocaine was abused in combination with alcohol. In such cases, there is a risk of heart problems and seizures, making it crucial to have proper support and monitoring during detox.
            Currently, there are no specific medications approved for the treatment of cocaine withdrawal. However, medical professionals may prescribe certain medications to manage specific symptoms or address underlying mental health conditions associated with withdrawal, as part of a comprehensive treatment approach.


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