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Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms typically occur after a person stops using cocaine. This person will experience cravings and physical and mental side effects during withdrawal.

If you or a loved one has decided to quit using cocaine, continue reading to learn more about what to expect during withdrawals, how cocaine withdrawal impacts the body, and what you need to do to prepare to set yourself up for success.

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What Is Cocaine Withdrawal?

When a person stops snorting or injecting cocaine, their body experiences cocaine withdrawal.

As a fast-working drug, cocaine often causes quick addiction compared to other drugs. A person who uses cocaine can experience both physical and psychological drug dependence. Although discomforting, the withdrawal from cocaine only lasts until your hormones adjust your body to a relatively normal state.

Most former cocaine users can detox at home with support from doctor visits. However, each person’s experience will vary based on their individual drug use and additional unique factors, like age, health, and more.

What Causes Cocaine Withdrawal?

When a cocaine user stops using cocaine suddenly, they may experience withdrawal due to the lack of drugs in their system.

Because their body has become used to the amount of cocaine they ingested regularly, the sudden lack of this drug will cause an imbalance in their natural chemistry As the body adjusts, the person usually experiences a range of withdrawal symptoms while the body re-regulates itself.

How Does Cocaine Affect the Body?

People can illegally snort powdered cocaine or inject cocaine dissolved in water into their veins as a potent stimulant. Crack cocaine, which people smoke, is the base of cocaine.

Cocaine has a high addictive potential for two main reasons:

  1. The ingested drug causes an extreme “rush,” or euphoria, and the body builds tolerance at a high rate.
  2. The person who takes cocaine often takes more each time to feel the same high as before, making it easy to develop a dependence quickly.

Cocaine addiction often rapidly worsens due to the typical cocaine user’s binge-withdrawal pattern and the associated side effects.

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Common Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

While cocaine withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the individual user, the withdrawal can affect the mind and body. The physical effects of cocaine withdrawal often begin as soon as 30 minutes after a person uses cocaine and typically include fatigue and cravings for the drug.

The mental effects of cocaine withdrawal often include anxiety and mood swings, but extreme cases may result in suicidal thoughts and psychosis.

Some of the common cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Profound dysphoria (i.e., a strong sense of uneasiness)
  • Psychosis (i.e., mental disconnect from reality)
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Disrupted sleep patterns (i.e., hypersomnia or insomnia)
  • Nightmares
  • Paranoia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Increased appetite
  • Chills
  • Nerve pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Difficulty with motor function (e.g., talking, walking, etc.)
  • Intense cravings for the drug
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

Each person’s body will react differently based on factors like their metabolism and overall mental and physical health.

There are three phases of cocaine withdrawal:

  1. The crash period (sudden stop of cocaine use)
  2. Acute withdrawal (the main withdrawal phase)
  3. The extinction period (periodic cravings).

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 30 minutes to 72 hours after a person’s last use.

After a person stops taking cocaine and enters the crash period, they may face short-term symptoms (acute withdrawal) for a few days. In some cases, acute withdrawal symptoms can last 3 to 4 weeks.

At first, for 24 to 36 hours, the person abstaining from recent cocaine abuse will likely need an initial recovery period of rest and substantial meals. This initial period is due to the common habit of someone who has abused cocaine to undergo sleep deprivation.

The extinction period happens after acute withdrawal when a former cocaine user overcomes situational cravings.

How to Safely Withdraw from Cocaine

Cocaine is a stimulant that can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms as a person works to overcome cocaine addiction.

In high-risk situations involving cocaine abuse, the former user will need the help of a treatment center or hospitalization with the aid of medical professionals. These less-common situations run the risk of heart attack, seizures, or other medical emergencies.

Always speak to a doctor or medical professional when you or your loved one has decided to undergo cocaine detox. A healthcare professional will discuss the best treatment options available to you and ensure your safety throughout the process.

Typically, cocaine withdrawal treatment mainly focuses on an inpatient or outpatient detox (more likely outpatient in most cases). However, medication-assisted treatment may also be recommended depending on your situation.

Medical Detox for Cocaine Withdrawal

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms are not usually life-threatening. Most people can detox through outpatient services or check-ins with their doctor. Overall, the physical symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are mild compared to other drug withdrawals.

However, the risks of cocaine detox can include suicidal thoughts and attempts. People overcoming cocaine abuse may struggle to experience pleasure, so they generally feel down or even depressed.

Therefore, speak with your doctor or similar medical professional before attempting to quit cocaine use “cold turkey.”

Medication-Assisted Treatment

The FDA has not approved any specific medication to manage the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal. However, doctors may prescribe other medication during the cocaine withdrawal process to manage strong cravings or feelings of depression.

Since cocaine withdrawal symptoms can often impact the person’s emotional well-being, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant during withdrawal. Occasionally, cocaine withdrawal symptoms are severe enough to warrant using amantadine (an antiviral drug and dopamine promoter.

Doctors may also prescribe disulfiram or naltrexone to prevent relapse by easing strong cravings, especially in the early stages of cocaine withdrawal.

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Follow-Up Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options

Because cocaine has such a high potential for addiction, a person fighting against cocaine addiction may need additional treatment after the detox and withdrawal phase.

Individuals who have additional drug use concerns or may have participated in rehab before might want to seek guidance through an addiction treatment facility or support program after they complete detox.

People with a substance use disorder diagnosis may also want to consider treatment after cocaine withdrawal symptoms subside.

Cocaine Rehab Treatment

Usually, when someone is working to overcome a mild cocaine addiction, they will participate in outpatient treatment.

Outpatient addiction treatment options include doctor appointments, short-term hospitalization, and intensive outpatient treatments. Intensive outpatient treatment is effective for patients with more intense cocaine addiction.

Inpatient treatment requires a patient to check into and reside at a facility. This residential recovery program lasts for a set amount of time, usually 30 days. There are also 60- and 90-day options and longer programs.

Behavioral Therapy for Cocaine

Mental health professionals use behavioral therapy in outpatient and inpatient treatment. Behavioral therapy treats any mental condition, including cocaine addiction.

During treatment, the patient will work on their behavioral health, with the ongoing support of professionals, to avoid both cocaine cravings and other related cravings.

Get Help for Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

If you or your loved one is ready to stop using cocaine, speak to a medical professional to begin your process. Starting the process can feel overwhelming, but you can recover. Alternatively, you can call the SAMHSA helpline at 800-662-HELP(4357) or visit to locate cocaine addiction treatment options near you.

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Cocaine Withdrawal FAQs

Are cocaine withdrawals dangerous?

Yes, the psychological and physiological effects of cocaine withdrawal are dangerous. Heart complications, severe depression, and suicidal thoughts are just some of the risks of cocaine withdrawal.

How long does cocaine withdrawal last?

Often, cocaine withdrawal lasts a few days after stopping the drug. However, some cocaine withdrawal symptoms can last 3 to 4 weeks.

Can I die from cocaine withdrawal?

Usually, cocaine withdrawal does not threaten someone’s life. However, other health conditions can lead to serious medical issues. Always speak to a medical professional for help with cocaine withdrawal.

What are the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal?

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Depression
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Increased appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

How can I support someone going through cocaine withdrawal?

Loved ones should avoid conflict with someone going through cocaine withdrawal by offering support and creating a calm, quiet environment. The person withdrawing commonly has headaches and faces irritability.

How severe is cocaine withdrawal?

The cocaine user’s overall mental and physical health plays a role in the severity of cocaine withdrawal. Overall, cocaine withdrawal tends to have less severe effects than opioid or alcohol withdrawal.

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. is a founder of Addiction HelpReviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality.

Jessica Miller is the Content Manager of Addiction HelpWritten by:

Editorial Director

Jessica Miller is the Editorial Director of Addiction Help. Jessica graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) with an English degree and combines her writing expertise and passion for helping others to deliver reliable information to those impacted by addiction. Informed by her personal journey to recovery and support of loved ones in sobriety, Jessica's empathetic and authentic approach resonates deeply with the Addiction Help community.

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  3. Parvaz, M. A., Moeller, S. J., & Goldstein, R. Z. (2016, November 1). Incubation of cue-induced craving in adults addicted to cocaine measured by electroencephalography. JAMA Psychiatry. Retrieved April 24, 2023, from

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  6. United States Drug Enforcement Administration. (2022, October). Drug Fact Sheet: Cocaine. Retrieved April 24, 2023, from

  7. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (2010). “What treatments are effective for cocaine abusers?” Retrieved on April 24, 2023, from:

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