Cocaine Addiction Rehabilitation & How to Manage Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Cocaine addiction is the hardest addiction to be cured completely as it triggers the formation of a protein that persists in the brain and stimulates the genes in the body to enhance the drug cravings. Cocaine is a type of powerful stimulating as well as natural drug to increase the functions of neurotransmitters like dopamine in the brain. Cocaine is often diluted or mixed with inert substances like sugar, baby powder or starch to increase its efficiency. Sometimes it is also diluted with chemical stimulant, amphetamine or an opiate like heroine which causes an opposite adverse effect. Cocaine addicted people generally develop a robust sense of exhilaration or euphoria and thus feel energetic, carefree or alert just for 2-3 hours. After that, as the cocaine effect decreases, individuals experience a period of crash followed by depression, agitation, anxiety or paranoia. Researches are going on for decades to get rid of this toughest addiction.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Adverse Effects of Cocaine Addiction

If cocaine addicted individuals are not treated in right time it may lead to death. Other prominent adverse effects of cocaine addiction for which rehabilitation is required are mentioned in the following:

  • Cocaine addiction can lead to social separation from family, child or friends completely.
  • Decline in work capability and getting fired from workplace.
  • Cocaine addict can become a victim of violence involved in drug trafficking.
  • Get involved in legal issues including imprisonment.
  • Loss of mucous membrane of nose due to snoring.
  • Due to repeated injections, arteries or veins of cocaine addict may get damaged.
  • Get infection of HIV or other STDs from reused or unsterilized needles.
  • Loss of sleep and appetite.
  • Cocaine addiction often leads to excessive restlessness together with panic, anxiety or irritability.
  • Worsening of mental disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome, post-traumatic stress syndrome, antisocial personality syndrome, etc.
  • Cocaine increases the risk of ischemic heart attack in young adults within 24 hours of cocaine consumption.
  • Other long-term effects of cocaine addiction consist of headaches, nausea, gastric ulcers, abdominal pain, heart arrhythmia, kidney failure, etc.

Cocaine Addiction Rehabilitation

Treatment and rehabilitation for cocaine addiction is actually a life-saving resolution. Cocaine addiction rehab is the effective residential choice for getting rid of cocaine addiction. Withdrawal from addiction symptoms can be temporary for a week or more, but may relapse in some individuals and thus require professional help. Cocaine addiction rehab usually accesses through the following solutions:

  • Medication Approaches for Cocaine Addiction Rehabilitation: No particular medications are used for pharmacological therapies, but antidepressants are prescribed to control the acute post-withdrawal symptoms. There are many medicines that reduce the risk of relapsing of symptoms in a more effective way. These include:
    • N-Acetylcysteine (NAC): This amino acid based medicine not only decreases cravings for cocaine but also repairs damaged brain functions.
    • Nocaine: This medicine blocks stimulating effects of cocaine by weakening actual cocaine effect.
    • Modafinil: This also reduces cravings for cocaine and prevents cocaine high.
    • Vigabatrin: Being an anti-epileptic medicine this medicine aids to decrease cravings for cocaine.
    • Gabapentin: This anticonvulsant medicine prevents the relapses of cravings for cocaine and thus helps to deal with it easily.
    • Baclofen: This muscle relaxant medicine controls the cravings for cocaine.
  • Behavioral Approach during Cocaine Addiction Rehabilitation: The behavioral or supportive approaches consist of 12-step conference such as interaction between Cocaine Anonymous or Relapse Prevention program. The behavioral approach includes behavior modification through positive or negative reinforcement when seeking substance for addiction or any other negative behavior. It also involves strengthening of positive behavior. Rehab treatment generally comprises of simple recreational therapies, proper education regarding cocaine addiction and also involves physical, social or emotional support of near and dear ones on the way of recovery.
  • Contingency Management or CM Method for Cocaine Addiction Rehab: According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the contingency management approach has shown promising treatment especially on long-term effects. This treatment is based on motivational incentives, i.e., offers rewards to the recovering patients for maintaining sobriety and also for self-restraint and for positive attitudes like improvement in social interaction, etc. This treatment has shown efficacy for long-term effects of substance users but with an extended period of time, the treatment has proved to be inefficient.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapeutic Approach for Cocaine Addiction Rehabilitation: This therapy is commonly known as CBT or psychotherapy or talk therapy wherein the person suffering from cocaine addiction have to talk to psychotherapist regarding the problem they are facing. This therapy helps the user to know about their negative thoughts towards life and how to deal with it during challenging situation. This therapy also helps to come out from depression, eating disorder or PTSD and helps the user to lead a better life by managing stressful conditions and fighting against future relapse episodes.
  • Cocaine Addiction Rehabilitation with Matrix Model Approach: This therapy is quite intense and effective, especially for stimulant users. This therapy involves more engagement of the patient with their friends and family, different group therapy, self-help group, relapse education and addiction prevention. The matrix model approach also includes regular tests for drugs in order to maintain sobriety.
  • Support Group for Patients during Cocaine Addiction Rehabilitation: Support groups generally help the drug users in long-term recovery by following two steps. Firstly, they offer an emotional care and substitute an intellect of personal accountability. Second, they aid in reducing stress at the time of challenging situations. People undergoing recovery often face the problem of getting isolated. The support group usually helps to combat this feeling by developing the chance of meaningful social relationship with others and also provides coping skills, share tips or strategies and many other resources. In short, support group provides the users to a sense a belongingness which thereby increases the chances of long-term recovery. Some high-quality support groups include: SMART Recovery, Dual Recovery Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous and SOS or Secular Organizations for Sobriety.
  • Rehab Centers for Cocaine Addiction: If one is addicted to cocaine, cocaine rehab centers are the best option to beat the addiction problem. These rehab centers usually provide counseling as well as medical expertise. Along with this, one gets proper diet that helps the person to maintain proper health, give resting time and detoxify the body. There are basically two types of treatment: inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab centers provide 24/7 care along with counseling and individual or group therapy and finally help you to get free from cocaine addiction. Outpatient rehab centers usually differ by location. Some of these provide daily intensive care, whereas others offer slight more than counseling or drug education.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

If any individual is consuming cocaine for longer periods of time his body gets accustomed to those drugs and if those chronic cocaine addicted people suddenly stop the intake, his body reacts in some uncomfortable manner probably termed as cocaine withdrawal effect or symptoms. Some of these signs of cocaine crash or cocaine withdrawal are enlisted below:

  • Depression: Generally cocaine acts on the dopamine receptors by hindering the neurotransmitter re-uptake mechanism thus leading to a high level of dopamine in the synapse. This high level of dopamine causes the euphoria in a cocaine abuser. Therefore, with sudden stopping of cocaine, a person may experience crash during which he feel extremely depressed due to absence of good or positive neurotransmitter chemicals.
  • Cravings for Cocaine: After withdrawing from cocaine addiction, people may experience very strong cravings for cocaine intake commonly known by experience cravings. These cravings can be reduced by strong will power to get rid of cocaine.
  • Fatigue: Exhaustion or feeling tired is rather common with people who just came out from the grip of cocaine consumption. Cocaine usually doesn’t make you sleep; in contrary, with cocaine intake you may feel very much energetic and all these go off once you stopped consuming cocaine rather you will feel more fatigued or lethargic.
  • Mood Alteration: Possessing dysphoric mood is common in case of cocaine withdrawal. Usually when people are on high cocaine intake they feel severely alert or euphoric and just the opposite occur when they stop consuming cocaine. All these feelings of dysphoric mood become intense at the time of acute withdrawal from cocaine and slowly get over with the passing away of the acute phase.
  • Sleep Disorder: Cocaine withdrawal sometimes gives rise to acute sleeping disorders like oversleeping or hypersomnia and no sleeping at all or insomnia. All these sleeping problems are often accompanied with intense unpleasant dreams as well as nightmares.
  • Others: Some other cocaine withdrawal symptoms include: increase of appetite or hunger, agitation or motor retardation.

How to Manage Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms during Cocaine Addiction Rehabilitation?

For limited days, individuals may experience cocaine withdrawal symptoms which can vary in intensity or with time and can last for hours to a few days. Below are some crucial tips that one can easily follow to manage the cocaine withdrawal symptoms:

  • As it is known that cravings don’t last for long, it just comes, reaches peak and then slowly fades away, just follow the rehab program as it is and don’t allow yourself to flow with the waves of cravings; it will automatically subside after some time.
  • Distract your mind and keep yourself busy in some hobbies or the work you like so that your attention is away from the thoughts of cocaine or its cravings.
  • Exercise is the best option to manage cocaine withdrawal symptoms. It alters your mood and body sensations. It also distracts your mind from the triggers of cocaine intake or its cravings. Don’t over exercise. Even if you feel tired start with some mild exercise for at least 1 hours daily.
  • Sincerely talk as much as you can and with whom you feel comfortable with or person who understands you better like your friend, parents, counselor, psychotherapist or physician.
  • Learn and try to acquire knowledge about your addictions of the drug and also the symptoms or side-effects. You also may know about the perspectives of cute post-withdrawal symptoms.
  • One can also engage in spiritual activities if they feel like to get the desired relief.
  • Peaceful meditation is actually a remarkable tool to fight the acute post-withdrawal symptoms of cocaine addiction. It not only freshens up your health and mind but also provide mental strength to lead a perfect life free of depression.
  • There are high chances of people who recovers from drug addictions usually get adhere to some other ill-habits. Don’t get involved in those habits rather learn to maintain balance in your life by practicing, yoga or meditation, eating healthy diet, work honestly and moderately, involve in further recovery programs, etc.
  • Try to swipe away depressive moods by some non-narcotic method like cheering yourself; listen to music, watch comedy movies and by other self-care practices.
  • One can even avoid depression by eating more chocolates, or sweet candies other than medicines from psychiatrists or physicians. However, never take anti-depressants without consulting a professional.
  • As long as you are under medications you are away from depression. However, once the medicines are over you may get trapped in to the grip of mood swings or other depression related mental disorders and may get thoughts of suicidal attempt or killing yourself. In such cases, look for help and support as soon as possible.
  • Mood disorder can be drug-induced or pre-existing. If you are suffering from either of these in the post-acute withdrawal stage then it is better to consult with appropriate and experienced mental health professionals for right treatment.


Rehabilitation from cocaine addiction could be difficult particularly due to the intense withdrawal symptoms experienced by abusers. They often aren’t able to withstand the intensity of the symptoms and hence, to stop this negative experience they start abusing cocaine again. This could be particularly dangerous as the same amount of drug do not provide the similar effects leading to higher amount intake. Nevertheless, with a good support from family and friends and by following the rehab program wholeheartedly, one can effectively come out of the addiction.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 6, 2018

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