a person folds over themself to handle the cocaine withdrawal timeline

What Is the Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline?

If you or a loved one is living with cocaine dependence, know that effective help is available. Many people have struggled with this potent and highly addictive stimulant and come through to the other side to live lives free of cocaine. If you’re seeking information about the recovery process, such as the cocaine withdrawal timeline and what form of treatment may work best for you, such as a cocaine detox center, call 1.844.675.1628. The caring team at The Right Step Hill Country is standing by at this number and can be reached online. We’re located in Wimberley, TX, between Austin and San Antonio, and we look forward to connecting you with resources that can improve your life.  

When Does Cocaine Withdrawal Start and How Long Does it Last?  

Cocaine is as potent and habit-forming as it is because of its effects on the brain. It acts directly on the reward center by increasing the amount of dopamine, a powerful naturally produced chemical, active in the brain at any given time. Getting informed about what’s entailed in recovery and finding a quality treatment center to support the process are significant first steps toward regaining control of your life. Here is the basic timeline for cocaine withdrawal:  

  1. Crashing: Acute cocaine withdrawal, or “crashing,” typically happens between days 1–3 after the last use. The symptoms of crashing are often similar to the flu and include exhaustion without being able to sleep, anxiety and irritability, and temporarily decreased cravings.   
  2. Withdrawing: This phase can go on for up to four weeks after the last cocaine use and presents the greatest relapse risk. This is because cravings for cocaine typically return with a vengeance during this phase. Other symptoms include difficulty concentrating, low energy, increased appetite, and paranoia.  
  3. Extinction: Potentially lasting four weeks or even longer for those severely addicted, extinction reflects the final phase of withdrawal from cocaine. Cravings are typically sporadic, and the person in recovery often becomes aware of external triggers to use, such as social situations or life stressors. Receiving adequate counseling and support during this time is thus crucial.  

While the steps mentioned above reflect the basic structure of cocaine withdrawal for most people addicted to the substance, it’s important to note that various factors make the process highly individual. For example, a person’s age, metabolism, genetics, mode of taking cocaine, and presence of other drugs in the system can all impact the withdrawal process’s duration and severity.   

Cocaine Detox and Recovery: How Formal Treatment Helps Improve the Odds 

At a qualified cocaine treatment center, you’ll receive medical monitoring during the initial crash and withdrawal phase. This helps you avoid easy access to the drug you’ll likely crave intensely. Providers can also monitor your vitals, support good nutrition and exercise, and potentially administer pain medication to manage some of your withdrawal symptoms.  

Following this phase, group and individual therapy are key to lasting recovery. In individual counseling, you’ll be assessed for any potential dual diagnosis. Many people who abuse substances also struggle with a co-occurring mental illness, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, or personality disorder. Identifying and treating this simultaneously as your substance use disorder helps you avoid the two issues feeding into each other in the future. You’ll also explore key areas like the underlying basis of your drug use and how to reframe negative self-talk to promote resilience in the face of triggers.  

Group therapy can be helpful in recovery as well since it affords perspective on the healing journey. Many people struggle with substance use disorders, and working in a communal setting can help remove the stigma and any feelings of isolation that may have contributed to drug use in the first place. Moreover, group therapeutic approaches, like 12-step programs, foster accountability and give members a chance to practice healthy interaction. This makes a world of difference upon reentry to everyday life and more independent functioning.  

Learn More About Treatment for Cocaine Addiction at Hill Country Today 

Optimize your chances for lasting recovery from cocaine dependence by enrolling at a certified treatment center today. At Hill Country, we offer various drug and alcohol treatment services, including inpatient and intensive outpatient rehab, aftercare, and alumni programs. Call us at 1.844.675.1628 or reach out online for more information.  

Scroll to Top