Quitting cocaine is one of the hardest decisions you’ll make. Cocaine withdrawal is only one aspect of quitting. If you’ve been using for a while, you have likely become dependent on much more that the physiological effects of the drug. Chances are, you’re surrounded by people who also use the drug and much of your daily routine centers around the substance, too.
Even if you’ve only been using a short time, it can be difficult to quit cocaine. You may be concerned about the effects of cocaine withdrawal, or wondering the best way to quit using.
There are inpatient and outpatient facilities which can help you with the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine. Those professionals can also help you to maneuver through the process of changing your lifestyle so that you don’t feel constantly tempted to go back to your old habits.
We recommend that you consult with your doctor to find resources available to you. But in the meantime, read on to find out more about cocaine withdrawal, its symptoms and the dangers of cocaine withdrawal.
How to Quit Cocaine
The first thing you need to know about how to quit cocaine is this: some people can stop cold turkey and unaided. Others can not. A lot of this depends on your own use. Occasional users may find it very easy to just turn away from cocaine and never look back.
Those who have been heavy users, or who use the drug heavily and socially, may have a bit more difficulty. Again, we recommend seeking out the advice of a doctor. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your general practitioner, find another who is familiar with the drug. Whomever you choose will be able to help you quit cocaine responsibly without damage to your body.
It’s a good idea, as with any drug, to separate yourself from the triggers which prompt you to use cocaine. These triggers could be friends who are immersed in the drug, or even who are just occasional users. Even your job may serve as a trigger. You’ll have to do some digging to see what’s true for you.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
When you’ve made the lifestyle choices you need to make, you’ll need to be prepared for the cocaine withdrawal symptoms you’ll likely experience. These may be different for you depending upon your habit, and some people may experience symptoms which are more severe than other people will.
Here are a few things you can expect when you quit using cocaine:
- Fatigue, even exhaustion
- Difficulty concentration
- Slowed thinking
- Increased appetite for food
- Lack of sexual desire
- Suicidal thoughts
- Tremors, muscle aches, chills and pain in nerves
Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline
The cocaine withdrawal timeline, like the symptoms, will vary. But most people begin to feel mild symptoms of withdrawal 90 or so minutes after last use. The symptoms can go on to last for 7 to 10 days.
While you’re in the thick of the cocaine withdrawal timeline, you’ll feel like it’s going to go on forever. But try to remember that it’s only a week. You can do this, and it will end!
Remember, too, that addiction is a disease. It doesn’t matter whether you’re addicted to heroin, alcohol or even meth, you will likely experience cravings during and after withdrawal. You’ll not only need to eliminate triggers, but you’ll need a healthy dose of willpower as well.
Can you Die from Cocaine Withdrawal?
Generally speaking, cocaine withdrawal doesn’t kill. The addiction to cocaine is largely psychological, and it’s rare for someone to die from cocaine withdrawal.
However, please keep in mind that suicidal thoughts are a very real, and very dangerous, symptom of cocaine withdrawal. For that reason, it’s recommended that you not go through the process alone. Whether you enlist a friend, a counselor or a doctor, it’s best to have someone by your side, checking in on you throughout the process.
Dangers of Cocaine Withdrawal
With some drugs, there are definite physical symptoms associated with withdrawal. Opiates, for example, carry the most severe physical symptoms. Shaking, diarrhea, vomiting and muscle spasms are just a few of these.
Cocaine doesn’t generally carry these symptoms, In some ways, that makes withdrawal from the drug less dangerous, and in other ways, it’s more so. You’ll find yourself mentally and physically fatigued, and may have trouble staying alert. You’ll also become increasingly agitated.
It’s worth pointing out one more time that the most real dangers of cocaine withdrawal are the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Suicide is not uncommon, and suicidal thoughts will most likely occur. It’s hard, but try to remember that this is just a phase of withdrawal, and it will be over soon.
Are Cocaine Withdrawals Worse Than Heroin?
Cocaine withdrawal isn’t without its physical symptoms. But, for all intents and purposes it’s also not the most difficult drug to quit. One reader told us that cocaine withdrawal was simple for him. A neighbor he’d become close with would invite him over to share cocaine, and he slowly became addicted to the drug.
One night, he’d been drinking alcohol prior to visiting his friend, and the alcohol made the effects of the cocaine much, much stronger. He found himself stumbling home, lying on the couch and swearing that blue and red flashing lights were outside his window. He felt his breathing patterns changing, and struggled to keep himself awake, fearing he’d die of an overdose should he close them.
Tired of the expense of cocaine, the paranoia and friendships which revolved around the drug, he decided to quit. He told his neighbor that he wasn’t going to be coming over anymore, and he didn’t. He quit that day, with no trouble at all.
Are cocaine withdrawals worse than heroin? That depends on the person, and the use of the drug. But overall, it is possible to quit cocaine with very few adverse effects, and you may find that you don’t need any professional help at all.