Cocaine Detox: Everything you Need to Know

Published by John Gillen | Last updated: 21st May 2024 | All Sources


Clinically Reviewed by Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

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All information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Last Reviewed: 13th December 2023

Before beginning cocaine detox, it is important to understand the ins and outs of what to expect and why.

What Is Cocaine?

Coco Leaves

Cocaine is a narcotic processed from the Coco plant, a widespread plant native to South America. After processing this plant into a drug, Cocaine is recognisable as a white powder; although, it can be converted into crack. Though derived from cocaine, crack forms small lumps, and crack detox can be different – so here, we will focus purely on cocaine detox.

It is a powerful stimulant that has short-lived effects, often 20-30 minutes. It is typically taken by snorting it up through a user’s nose, although it is also possible to make it into a solution to be injected.

Cocaine users claim its use gives them a sense of euphoria and makes them feel very confident and sometimes aggressive. It raises the body’s temperature and raises the heart rate. As the effects wear off, the user starts to experience a “come down”, which can include the feeling of being depressed or run down. This effect can last for several days.


Cocaine Detox Risks

There are many risks associated with taking cocaine. These can include:

  • Cocaine Addiction – due to the short-term effects and the resulting ‘come down’, it can be very tempting to take more of the drug to alleviate the symptoms.
  • Overdose – Taking cocaine can increase the heart rate, and a high dose could result in convulsions or a heart attack. This risk is increased if the cocaine is mixed with other drugs.
  • Depression – One of the main effects of cocaine is depression. This can also lead to problems with anxiety and panic attacks
  • Financial problems – Cocaine is not just addictive; it is also expensive. Those who develop a habit may find it difficult to finance it.
  • Physical damage – Sustained cocaine use can cause damage to your nose, specifically the cartilage. Over time, the cartilage can wear away completely, leaving users with only one nostril.
  • Personality change – The effects of cocaine can include overconfidence and aggression. This can result in taking silly risks, upsetting those close to you. Consistent use may result in the user being alienated from those who care about them.


What Is Involved In A Typical Cocaine Detox?

A typical cocaine detox is an essential part of your addiction recovery programme as it is the process of removing all the harmful toxins that are associated with the drug completely from your system. This means that the physical harm that the drug causes can effectively be reduced so the psychological side of treatment can truly begin.

Physical side effects of cocaine abuse include:

  • Constant Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Seizures

These same side effects of using the drug can also become present during the detoxification process from the drug. As you begin your detox, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms that occur when removing the harmful substance from your body.

Withdrawal symptoms usually occur in the first two days of detox and can be quite severe if left untreated. This is why during every detoxification that is carried out at Cassiobury Court, you will have access to trained care professionals 24/7 who will monitor your symptoms and can prescribe medications depending on the severity of the symptoms displayed.


Can Cocaine Detox Have A Psychological Effect On Individuals?

Counselling during cocaine detoxYes, the process is effectively removing an addictive substance from your system, thus affecting the psychological dependence that has been developed towards the drug, which is mostly driven by the mind.

It is during your detox that you will attend regular one-to-one counselling with one of our experienced therapists, who will discuss how you are getting on with the detox and if it’s having any psychological effects.

We believe that by regularly discussing how the process is going and why it is important to individual recovery, we can help increase the individual’s mental durability in effectively managing the ‘addictive mind’.

There are many ways to deal with addiction, and our therapists will pass on several methods that are commonly used to help deal with the psychological effects that come with the withdrawal stage of addiction treatment.

Mental health support is especially helpful to individuals who are also dealing with depression and anxiety issues, as the symptoms associated with these mental health conditions could potentially be elevated during a cocaine detox. Suicidal thoughts can develop when struggling to deal with not having access to a substance that has a reputation for being used as a coping mechanism for dealing with these conditions, and since there is a link between cocaine and poor mental health, not getting to the root of the initial mental triggers, the likelihood of relapse increases.


Why Is Medical Supervision Important During Cocaine Detox?

As stipulated above, there are many effects that come from cocaine detoxification. These effects are called withdrawal symptoms and often occur due to the dependency that your body has developed towards cocaine.

Taking away the substance that your body has learnt to rely on can cause some uncomfortable side effects, both psychologically and physically. This can include:

  • Constant Feeling Of Discomfort
  • Inability To Sit Still
  • Constantly Irritated
  • Lack Of Motivation
  • Excessive Sleeping
  • Lack Of Concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Nightmares
  • Increased Appetite

There are some potentially life-threatening side effects, such as seizures, that can also develop during the detox process. This is why having around-the-clock medical supervision is absolutely essential during cocaine detox. If you are showing any signs of a potential seizure or any of the above symptoms, then medication can be prescribed to help alleviate them.


How we can help

Our cocaine detox programme is the first step towards recovery in our drug rehab programme. The addiction is mainly psychological, as users often take it to combat the effects of depression that it creates. Therefore, detox is combined with other therapies to raise the user’s self-esteem.

We have a range of treatments to help with your cocaine rehabilitation, including detox, counselling and holistic therapies. For more information call us on 01923 369 161.

John Gillen

John Gillen - Author Last updated: 21st May 2024

John Gillen is a leading addiction treatment expert with over 15 years of experience providing evidence-based treatment methods for individuals throughout the UK. John also co-authors the book, The Secret Disease of Addiction, which delves into how the addictive mind works and what treatment techniques work best.

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner) - Medical Reviewer - Last Reviewed: 13th December 2023

Dr. Olalekan Otulana MBChB, DRCOG, MRCGP, DFSRH, FRSPH, MBA (Cantab)

 Dr Otulana is a highly experienced GP and Addiction Physician. He has a specialist interest in Substance Misuse Management and he has a wide range of experience in the assessment, management (including detoxification) and residential rehabilitation of clients with various drug and substance addiction problems.  His main aim is to comprehensively assess patients with addiction problems and determine their treatment needs for medical detoxification treatments and psychological interventions. He is also experienced in managing patients who require dual drug and alcohol detoxification treatments.

A strong healthcare services professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Cambridge University Judge Business School.