Cocaine addiction: signs and symptoms

Causes of cocaine addiction

Cocaine addiction often starts as a recreational pursuit that is used to help users drink longer, feel more confident in social gatherings and to increase sexual potency.

For some, it also starts in the working world where to stay awake longer, maintain alertness and be more creative, one resorts to cocaine.

However, for whatever reason cocaine addiction starts, it always ends the same way – with health & relationship problems, isolation, mood swings and severe financial consequences that require treatment.

There are several factors which make someone more likely to become a cocaine addict. Research suggests that it is most likely that a mixture of genetic, environmental, and psychological influences work together to lead to addiction.

Genetic traits

Over the last few decades, a large body of research has built up supporting the idea that certain inherited genetic traits can greatly increase the chances of becoming an addict. Scientists believe that genetics make up 50% of the risk of developing an addiction. How this works is complex, as there is no one specific gene which is responsible for addiction, but rather a series of genetic variations that make some individuals more vulnerable to addiction than others.


Individuals who have come from unstable home environments are believed to be at a higher risk of addiction than those with a stable family background. This is especially true if someone has grown up around drug abuse, as they are more likely to grow up believing these activities are normal, or even harmless. These influences don’t have to come only from the family – friends, colleagues or partners can also encourage a person towards cocaine abuse.


Cocaine can make the user feel invincible, as if they have nothing to fear. As such, it is often used as an antidote to social anxiety. This can lead to a reliance on the drug and a belief that, it would be impossible to relax and ‘be themselves’ in social situations. Mental health issues are higher among cocaine addicts than the general population, as it is often used as a form of self-medication and as a coping method.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Dilated Pupils
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Anxiety/panic
  • Increased energy
  • Extremely talkative
  • Short attention span
  • Restlessness
  • Feelings of superiority
  • Irritability
  • Muscle twitches

As cocaine abuse continues, physical and behavioural symptoms include:

  • Abandonment of activities once enjoyed
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Increased need for sleep after usage
  • Stealing or borrowing money
  • Sexual isolation with porn
  • Decreased appetite
  • Depression & mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss

If you or a loved one are suffering with one or more of the above symptoms, call now or speak to us on LIVE Chat!

What is a detox

A process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification.

Home v private detox

The intense psychological withdrawal symptoms associated with cocaine cessation can result in depression, anxiety or even psychosis in chronic cocaine users. Therefore attempting to detox at home is likely to lead to relapse in the first few days. Professional treatment and guidance is key to long-term abstinence and spiritual recovery

Private detox

Private detox entails a stay at a rehab clinic with 24/7 medical care and therapeutic support. The likelihood of long-term sobriety is significantly increased with private treatment

Withdrawal symptoms

Due to the brevity and intensity of a cocaine high, withdrawal symptoms may set in with extreme rapidity. In fact, many users experience withdrawal from cocaine within an hour of the last dose of the drug. This phenomenon, also known as a cocaine “crash,” actually marks the onset of withdrawal as deficiencies of important neurotransmitters – particularly dopamine – begin to be felt and experienced by the brain and body.

As a result, cocaine users often experience feelings of anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, malaise, an increased appetite, and even paranoia. In fact, once the cocaine high has worn off, users tend to exhibit deep depression and fatigue until reuse occurs.

Beyond these dynamics, a craving for more cocaine is the strongest and most marked symptom that persists throughout withdrawal – often long into the detoxification process itself. Because of the long-term chemical alterations that cocaine causes in the brain, psychological cravings can outlast the physical aspect of withdrawal by far. Until the brain has experienced enough of the chemical imbalance triggered by chronic cocaine use to resume natural production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, cravings and withdrawal symptoms may persist.

In many cases, psychological counseling, medical supervision and occasionally, psychiatric medications may be necessary in order to safely and comfortably guide cocaine-addicted individuals successfully through the withdrawal phase of recovery.

Cocaine Detox Timeline And Schedule

The following information provides an approximate timeline for cocaine withdrawal.

Days 1-3

In the period of 24 to 72 hours after last use of cocaine, it is possible for you to feel remorse and depression. It may be hard for you to sleep and wake up feeling bad in the morning. Hunger is common, as is irritability. You may feel disoriented and confused.

Days 4-7:

Alternating low and high drug craving can be present during this time. Extreme craving begins to decrease after 3-4 days. Long periods of sleep may be needed, as well as attention to water consumption and nutrition. Other symptoms of withdrawal can include:

  • anxiety
  • apathy
  • depression
  • dysphoria (general dissatisfaction with life)
  • irritability
  • paranoia
  • suicidal thoughts

You may wish to speak to your GP if you are suffering with any of the above

Week 1

After a week, you’ll probably start feeling much better. This may increase your confidence you may start to think that it`s easy for you to handle cocaine addiction. However, depressive symptoms, mood disorders, and problems sleeping can occur in cycles. Cravings can also disappear and resurface without warning. After the first week of withdrawal, symptoms may remain such as agitation, unpleasant dreams, and increased appetite.

Week 2

In the two weeks after acute cocaine detox, the cravings for the drug can start to return and you may continue to experience hunger, anger and depression. During week two you may continue to experience vivid dreams and think about using cocaine again.

1 month

After about a month, you may start to experience unaccountable change of mood. Sleep and depression may still be a problem. These issues can be addressed through exercise and a healthy diet. Many former cocaine users cannot handle stress, so relapse is common during this time.

Why people avoid rehabilitation

Avoidance of treatment is commonplace despite the devastating effects of cocaine addiction. Overall avoiding treatment falls under the following categories.

Money; many addicts fail to acknowledge that the cost of treatment may only equate to a few weeks of cocaine usage in the financial sense. Of course, many addicts don’t have the financial reserves in place and are not willing to seek external support through family/friends or a loan

Time; many addicts have secure and well-paid jobs and are not willing to take time off to get treatment. Though they fully admit that they have a dangerous cocaine habit, which may result in job loss and loss of standing in their community they cannot grasp the urgency or their situation as it has not collapsed externally

Denial; despite the breakdown of relationships, loss of partner or loved on and being sacked along with medical practitioners telling them they are going to die, many cocaine addicts still do not believe that they are a drug addict whom requires treatment.

Fear; what becomes clear in recovery is that addicts act out due to fear. Before treatment, fear of living life cocaine free is terrifying. Their mind is so polluted due to years of cocaine abuse that they are unable to process logically anymore Attempting to learn new ways to handle stress, busy schedules, and social engagements – even just to wake up in the morning – can be intimidating; many avoid treatment to avoid living life on lifes terms

Family; those with children/dependent elderly family members, taking time away to attend a treatment program is not acceptable and becomes a reason not to get treatment whereas it really is a reason to get clean

Treatment options

Intervention; is a controlled process of persuasive confrontation designed to break through the wall of denial that alcohol and drug addicts tend to hide behind

Detox; Cocaine detox programs address the physical withdrawal symptoms that may occur when the individual attempts to stop using cocaine

Residential; all-inclusive detox & therapeutic rehab clinics with 24/7 care & support

Outpatient program; Provides detox, therapy and educational classes that allows patients to go home at night and keep up with responsibilities at work, home and school

Holistic treatment; Includes a wide range of different therapies that stem from a variety of treatment philosophies, including alternative and cutting-edge treatment options

Family support; weekly support sessions for family/friends connected to the addict to attend on a weekly basis during and after the addicts rehab stay is complete

Our Treatment Cost

Counselling: 10 sessions from £1,000
Medical Detox: 7-10 days from £2,500
Low-cost rehab: 28 days from £5,500
Luxury rehab: 28 days from £10,950

*12-week rehab: from £9,999

We specialise in providing tailored cocaine detox and rehab to the client with dedicated family support. Cocaine addiction rarely affects just the individual, and we appreciate that this can be a stressful time for all those concerned. If you have any questions regarding our cocaine detox and rehab clinics, treatment needs, locations and cost – we can answer them!

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