Cocaine Addiction:
Effects, Withdrawal & Treatment

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that can alter the brain structure and function when used repeatedly. Due to the party nature of the drug, cocaine is often used with other types of drugs most notably alcohol, but also other drugs like prescription medications and heroin.

Unfortunately, the use of this drug, especially in combination with other substances, leads to substance use disorders and thousands of deaths every year. Nearly 25,000 people died from a cocaine-involved overdose in 2021 alone.

If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction, reach out to our expert team at Reflections and get help at our cocaine rehab program.

Our Cocaine Addiction Treatment Centers

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Bay Area Detox

Begin your recovery from cocaine addiction with medical detox in a luxury setting licensed for alcohol detox.

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Bay Area Rehab

Work with our PhD clinicians to tackle the root causes of cocaine addiction at our private, luxury rehab center.

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Bay Area IOP

Maintain sobriety from cocaine with our day programs that help you develop and sustain the tools learned in rehab.

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Bay Area Sober Living

Find a community and live in a space dedicated to cocaine addiction recovery in our extended care program.

Struggling with cocaine addiction and not sure what to do?

Is Cocaine Addictive?

When cocaine is used there is a short-term surge of dopamine in the brain, giving the user a surge of pleasant feelings and euphoria. Because of these effects, people will often go back and continue to use the drug, leading to the build-up of tolerance and neurological changes in the brain leading to cravings causing addiction to take hold.

Cocaine addiction, or cocaine use disorder, is defined as the compulsive use of cocaine while facing “medical, psychological, and behavioral consequences.” People dealing with cocaine use disorder will struggle with numerous issues related to impairment and distress causing issues such as:

  1. Cravings, increased tolerance, and withdrawal
  2. Loss of control of cocaine use
  3. Cocaine use taking precedence over other activities (work, school, etc.)

How Addictive is Cocaine?

Statistics show that nearly 5 million people in the U.S. have used cocaine in the past year, with 1.4 million of those dealing with a cocaine use disorder.

Cocaine Addiction: Signs of a Problem

If you think that you or a loved one may be struggling with a cocaine problem, there are some cocaine addiction signs that you can keep a lookout for. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for if you think that you notice your loved one or family member is using cocaine more often:

  • Spending a lot of time and energy obtaining and using cocaine
  • Inability to maintain employment
  • Reduced productivity
  • Paranoia
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Engaging in unlawful activities to continue using cocaine

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Cocaine Effects

Cocaine affects a number of organs in the body and especially impacts the cardiovascular system. Small amounts of cocaine lead to general euphoria as well as increased energy, alertness and increased sensitivity to sight, sound, and touch. While the euphoric feeling associated with the flood of dopamine in the brain is what draws people to the drug, there are a number of dangerous side effects to be aware of as well.

Side Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine has a dangerous effect on a number of organs and systems in the body. Some of the most common side effects associated with cocaine use include:

  • Increased body temperature
  • Dilated pupils
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irritability

These effects can lead to a number of other mental health issues such as erratic and violent behavior, anxiety, paranoia, panic and more.

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine is known to have prevalent effects on the cardiovascular system. The increased heart rate and blood pressure can lead to a number of dangerous problems including arrhythmia, chest pain, heart attacks and heart disease in the long-term.

Along with these, the way the drug is used can cause other adverse effects as well. For example, regularly snorting cocaine can lead to loss of smell, issues swallowing, as well as overall deterioration of the nasal septum. Whereas, people who inject cocaine can deal with track marks on their arms as well as an increased risk of HIV and Hepatitis C.

How Long Do the Effects of Cocaine Last?

Cocaine is a relatively short-acting drug. For example, snorting cocaine produces a high that may last for 15 to 30 minutes while smoking cocaine gives a more immediate high that may only last for about 10 minutes.

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Cocaine Withdrawal

Cocaine withdrawal occurs when a person suddenly stops taking the drug after using it regularly. Oftentimes, regular cocaine use will lead to an initial “crash” phase that lasts a few hours, or even sometimes days for some people. This crash causes some issues like depressed mood due to the absence of dopamine in the body as well as irritability. Following this crash, some people will deal with a range of other withdrawal symptoms that range from mild to severe.

Common Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Cocaine withdrawal can include a number of different symptoms that impact both physical and mental health. Some of the most common mild symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • General discomfort

Unpleasant dreams and nightmares

Along with these problems, the lack of dopamine in the body following cocaine withdrawal can lead to some people experiencing suicidal thoughts. If you or a loved one is dealing with a cocaine addiction, it is important to seek out a treatment program that can help with cocaine withdrawal treatment.

How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Last?

One way that people can overcome alcohol withdrawal is through detox. While some believe that detoxing from alcohol at home is fine to do, it is vital to seek out the help of a professional treatment program. Alcohol withdrawal can be deadly in some cases and is not anything to play around with.

During a medically monitored alcohol detox, clients will be given fluids and examined 24/7 to ensure that withdrawal symptoms do not become too severe. Emergency services are available in these circumstances. During this time, some treatment programs also elect to use alcohol withdrawal medications like benzodiazepines to help numb the symptoms that clients are struggling with.

Alcohol detox is the first step in addiction treatment and is vital to ensure that users can overcome the early stages of sobriety so they can shift their focus to learning about addiction and developing skills related to relapse prevention during their time in a rehab facility.

Detox for Cocaine

While cocaine withdrawal can be uncomfortable, there are treatment options to help clients get through this stage of early sobriety. Cocaine detox programs are in place to medically monitor clients and ensure that the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are managed in a safe environment.

Dealing with severe cocaine withdrawal symptoms can lead to people giving up on their sobriety and staying shackled to their addiction. Attending an inpatient cocaine detox program can help clients get through this difficult initial step of the recovery process so they can focus their energy on the ultimate goal of long-term sobriety.

Worried about cocaine withdrawal?
Reach out to Reflections today and learn about our cocaine detox program.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Getting help for a cocaine addiction will look different at every cocaine rehab program you look into. However, if you are looking for help, there are a few things to look out for specifically. For one, you should ensure that whatever treatment program you are evaluating has the proper certifications and licenses, one catch-all way to do this is make sure whatever rehab for cocaine you are looking into holds a Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission.

Following that, looking into treatment options and treatment providers should be a priority. Evidence-based treatment programming like medication-assisted treatment, behavioral therapies, sober support groups, relapse prevention, and aftercare support are all things that can help you understand if you’re looking at a quality treatment program. Along with this, learn more about who is providing treatment to ensure they are experts in their field.

At Reflections, we have a Ph.D-led staff of addiction treatment experts with decades of experience. They provide top-notch care that includes evidence-based and holistic treatment options to ensure that all clients get what they need throughout every level of care including inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient, sober living, and more. Reach out today to learn more about how our medical professionals can help you or a loved one overcome cocaine addiction at our California rehab.

Using Insurance to Pay for Alcohol Rehab

Reflections works directly with your insurance to help make the treatment process as affordable as possible for all clients. Our admissions team will work with you to help you understand the benefits provided by your employer plan. We often work with:

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