Individuals respond differently to substances that is why the level of physical dependence towards addictive substances may also vary depending on the amount of substance taken, the method of how it was taken, and the kind of substance involved.
Typically, for first-time users, taking a hundred milligrams or more can already cause withdrawal. How much more if you have been using cocaine for a long time, right? The withdrawal effects can be devastating and life-threatening.
That means getting medical supervision for your detox plan is a must. In that way, a nurse or doctor can look after you and assist you with anything. This becomes less bothersome for your loved ones while securing your welfare.
Cocaine is one of the substances which can quickly penetrate the body. Because of its highly addictive potential, anyone who uses the drug even for the first time and withdraws can experience a withdrawal syndrome whose severity depends on the level of physical dependence or substance addiction a person has reached.
What Causes Cocaine Withdrawal Syndrome
Withdrawal symptoms follow as soon as the body develops a physical dependence on the substance or addiction towards it. While physical dependence involves the inability of the brain to function normally without the presence of the substance, addiction involves the inability of a person to behave normally without the presence of the substance.
When there is a physical dependence on Cocaine, the natural reward system in the body is controlled by the substance and when withdrawal begins, this system is disrupted and results in failure to feel any kind of pleasure. This is when psychological symptoms begin to kick in. This can range from mental capacity constraints to mood disorders.
Even if physical symptoms are not very common with Cocaine, physical health problems are triggered by addiction. When a person engages in substance addiction over quite some time, the length of the treatment may also take some time.
The withdrawal syndrome caused by Cocaine can typically last up to two weeks, however, the intense craving for the substance can continue to linger even after a person has already reached sobriety. This is what makes a withdrawal from Cocaine very challenging. The chances to get back to addiction are very high.
The following are the factors that contribute to the level of withdrawal symptoms a person may experience with the cessation of using Cocaine especially because the higher the addiction involved, the most serious the symptoms can occur:
Kind of substance involved
Two kinds of Cocaine bring different levels of addiction to its user. One is in a form of powder while the other is in the form of a rock, which is often termed as crack. Crack cocaine is cocaine combined with baking soda. It is too addictive to immediately cause addiction to anyone who uses it for the first time.
With its highly addictive formula, Crack cocaine poses physical withdrawal symptoms that can last up to 3 months while the psychological ones can reach up to 6 months. On top of that, withdrawal can start in as fast as 30 minutes with symptoms described to be more intense than that from Cocaine powder.
A detox treatment highly recommended for Crack is performed in a rehab facility.
A medically-assisted treatment is needed especially since the withdrawal is done by quitting cold turkey. At this phase, cravings could be too strong to cause anyone to fall off, which is why it is important to be closely monitored.
Method of substance use
Cocaine powder can be used in different ways but oftentimes, they are snorted or smoked in combination with other substances. While some would swallow it, some would also mix it with water and inject it directly into the vein. Other instances would be inserting it straight to one’s rectum or vagina.
The most intense method would be the insertion in the vein since it leads directly to the bloodstream causing the high to be immediate. Smoking it with other addictive substances can also intensify the high effect it brings. Snorting the powder may take time to reach a high yet habitual use can lead to the risk of destroying one’s nasal lining.
The method of substance use affects the withdrawal symptoms of an individual since this controls the amount of substance that enters the body. The health problems caused by a particular method can vary and these can be triggered or severely experienced as soon as the substance is reduced in the body.
Amount of substance taken
With the high amount of substance taken by the body, it would be difficult for it to cope with the vast changes in the amount it usually consumes. It may take two days for some to remove cocaine from their body, but that’s not a guarantee for safe detox. But this is not safe and advisable since you have no medical background. When you detox on your own, you are putting yourself at a greater potential health risk.
The withdrawal symptoms could be extreme even after the body has entirely released Cocaine from its system. The cravings, especially when a person has been used to prolonged use, could be so intense that it pushes one to simply resort to using the substance again just to relieve its discomfort.
This cycle is usually the outcome when detox is medically unsupervised. In addition, the body increases high tolerance when substance use is long and this follows a longer treatment too. Even when a person has reached sobriety, the challenge of fighting off the cravings could come once in a while. That is why some are recommended to go to therapy.
Combination with other substances
Combining cocaine with other substances can lead to serious physical health problems. People opt to do this to strengthen the level of intensity of the high that they seek. Cocaine, alone, is already a strong substance whose high can peak even from the first use. Some people say that the first high is incomparable, that is why people would usually seek more.
Combining Cocaine with alcohol, marijuana, and heroin is very common. However, it could be very dangerous as well as some withdrawal symptoms can lead to death. With combined substances, the body will not only experience withdrawal symptoms usually caused by Cocaine but also that from the other substances.
As a stimulant, Cocaine can bring out cardiorespiratory health problems that can lead to death. The psychological breakdown is also very likely and fatal. The inability to experience pleasure can cause feelings of depression and anxiety as well as suicidal intentions. The stronger the high, the stronger the breakdown the body experiences.
Overall, if you or anyone you know is experiencing Cocaine addiction, it is important to seek medical help right away.