What are the Signs of Cocaine Withdrawal?

The intensity of the ups and downs with cocaine use is intense.  A good comparison is riding a roller coaster versus riding the kiddie train you will find in under-36-inches-tall-land.  Cocaine produces an intense euphoria during use.  This is caused by a surge of dopamine into the pleasure center of the brain.  Naturally, the brain becomes very chemically imbalanced during continued use.  Here are some of the signs of withdrawal based on the three stages found in Gawin and Kleber’s model of cocaine withdrawal.


  • The crash


Cocaine is one of the quickest narcotics to process through the body, and users can experience withdrawal symptoms in as little as ninety minutes.  The strangest symptom in this phase of withdrawal is that it actually leaves no desire to use.  As such, many people questioned if cocaine was truly addictive many years ago.  Other than this odd withdrawal symptom, the other symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are quite common among many other narcotics.  These symptoms include: lethargy, passing out or blacking out, mild depression, agitation, a need to constantly move, and an increased appetite.

  • Withdrawal

More intense withdrawal symptoms occur within one to ten weeks if an addict abstains from use.  The intensity of these symptoms can also vary depending on how much and how often a person was using prior to stopping.  As always it is important to seek the advice of a physician prior to quitting any narcotic that may have been abused.  Severe reactions can occur as the body and mind have become dependent upon the substance to sustain itself.  

The most noted symptom in this phase is depression or sadness.  There are also more severe symptoms that can show, even with no previous issues, such as a loss of motor control and severe impairment of cognitive functions.  Other symptoms that can surface are lucid disturbing dreams, and insomnia.  Symptoms listed in the crash phase may also continue or worsen.


  • Extinction

This phase begins roughly twenty-eight weeks after becoming clean and abstaining from use.  These symptoms can also be considered long-term effects.  Cocaine withdrawal symptoms here are common to most addictions.  The symptoms include continued depression and sporadic intense cravings to use.  

As with all addictions it is important to seek a full comprehensive treatment plan that can aid you through the withdrawal process.  You should also choose a treatment that will encourage and support you through a full and joyous recovery lifestyle long after.



The Lakehouse Treatment Center understands the worlds of active addiction and active recovery. Years of comprehensive experience have helped us build a unique program focused on changing lives and rebuilding families. From detox to sober living, The Lakehouse program focuses on learning how to live and have fun again- a treatment experience like no other. Call us anytime: 877.762.3707


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