For many, the first step of addiction recovery is detox. A drug detox program allows drugs to safely leave a patient’s body with fewer severe symptoms that normally accompany the withdrawal process.
Substance use disorder is a serious medical condition. Detoxing from cocaine requires medical care. If an addiction treatment program doesn’t immediately follow detox, there’s a high chance of relapse soon after detox is complete.
Why Cocaine Detox Requires Medical Care
Cocaine use can be deadly, but cocaine withdrawal doesn’t often produce fatal outcomes. Unfortunately, there are still serious dangers that accompany cocaine withdrawal.
Withdrawal can be physically and psychologically intense, especially if cocaine has been used for an extended period. Physical symptoms like changes in heart rate and blood pressure put a patient at risk of heart attack and other medical issues.
Cocaine withdrawal can also produce severe psychological effects. These are challenging and can be unsafe to experience without medical oversight. Medical support during cocaine withdrawal means a patient is more likely to complete detox and less likely to relapse to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal.
During detox at a treatment facility, providers take precautions to minimize risk and ensure a patient is stable throughout the withdrawal process. They monitor vital signs to protect against medical complications and administer medications to alleviate psychological symptoms.
What to Expect from the Cocaine Withdrawal Process
Completing cocaine detox at an addiction treatment center ensures that the patient is safely under medical supervision throughout the process. Cocaine detox is easier when you know what to expect.
Physical Effects of Cocaine Withdrawal
The physical effects of cocaine withdrawal include the following:
- Aching muscles
- Physical discomfort
- Cocaine cravings
Since cocaine is an appetite suppressant, it’s normal to experience increased appetite and weight gain as normal eating habits are restored.
Psychological Effects of Cocaine Withdrawal
While cocaine withdrawal can be physically challenging, the drug is better known for the psychological effects that accompany detox. Cocaine withdrawal impacts a patient’s brain function and mental processes.
Common psychological effects of cocaine withdrawal include the following:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Anxiety and agitation
- Hostile behavior
- Lack of motivation
- Disturbing dreams
Because cocaine detox also impacts brain function, it’s common to experience cognitive difficulties related to concentration and memory.
These effects can be severe and make cocaine withdrawal difficult for patients and their loved ones. Medical oversight is the best way to ensure that a patient’s mental and physical health is supported during detox.
The Stages of Cocaine Detox
There are three stages of cocaine detox.
Stage one begins soon after cocaine was last used. After a few hours, a person will begin experiencing symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, and severe cravings.
Stage two is typically the longest and most noticeable. This is the peak of the withdrawal process, as cocaine leaves the body. During this period, medical complications and psychological concerns are serious.
Stage three is the tail end of withdrawal. Cravings and withdrawal symptoms diminish, and a normal state of health begins to return.
The length of each stage can vary, but the process heavily depends on the length and frequency of cocaine use. The detox process typically takes longer when someone has been using cocaine regularly for a long period.
Article source: vertavahealth.com