Withdrawal from Cocaine can have physical and mental consequences. It’s advisable to seek medical assistance before quitting, to design a supervised programme of action.

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a highly dangerous and addictive substance. As a stimulant, it affects the central nervous system and the brain in such a way that the body over-produces depressants. Once the pattern of an addiction is formed, it is hard to ignore the symptoms. Following withdrawal, it takes the central nervous system a while to normalize – this is when the symptoms set in.

Cocaine causes addiction by affecting the ‘reward system’ in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which contributes to positive feelings in response to pleasurable activities. Cocaine dependency can expose the brain to high levels of Dopamine which, in turn, triggers the euphoric surge that the user experiences. The desire for a repeat of this feeling contributes to intense cravings.

Other chemicals such as Serotonin and Norepinephrine flood the brain, which is brought on by overstimulation.

Effects of Cocaine Addiction

Addiction can be dangerous and quitting can be difficult, depending of your level of Cocaine dependency. Cocaine users often elevate the importance of the drug over food, and have the tendency to compulsively seek the drug, regardless of consequences.

Cocaine can have the following psychological effects:

  • Wakefulness
  • Clearer thinking and increased concentration
  • An elevated mood
  • Euphoric feeling
  • Restlessness and anxiety

The user also experiences increased blood pressure and body temperature, sweating, a lack of sleep, elevated heart rate and dilated pupils.

Quitting this addiction can be very challenging and success depends upon undergoing the withdrawal period.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Effects of withdrawal from Cocaine can include depression, fatigue, increased appetite and a general slowing down of activity.  Ultimately, of all the side effects experienced when attempting to quit Cocaine, cravings for more of the drug pose a danger, with the potential to trigger a relapse.

Ways to Quit

You may decide to quit Cocaine use gradually; this method prepares the body both mentally and physically for the absence of the substance in the body. The intense effects that come with quitting are lessened, when taking a gradual approach. You may try to achieve this by slowly ‘tapering’ your dosage.

There is also the option of quitting suddenly; deciding to opt for outright detox can trigger intense side-effects and is typically accompanied by a ‘crash period’ of very intense cravings.

It is advisable to seek medical assistance when attempting to quit Cocaine. Whilst it is possible to do so alone, quitting under supervision helps to mitigate the withdrawal symptoms and helps you to cope better with the mental and physical repercussions. Taking factors such as level of substance addiction, age and medical history into account, professionals will oversee each case individually.


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