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By We Level Up NJ Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: February 23, 2023

How to Detox from Cocaine?

Data collected by the CDC indicate that from 12 676 to 14 666 fatalities throughout the nation, the death toll from cocaine overdose significantly surged between 2015 and 2018.  Additionally, co-current cocaine and opioid drug use are becoming an increasing concern.  In the past five years, a tremendous rise has been seen in drug overdose deaths involving cocaine and opioids or other synthetic narcotics.  In 1999, the overall number of overdoses involving cocaine was 3,822, and in 2018 this number hit 14,666.  The majority of this rise was seen in just the past couple of years. Getting into a cocaine detox program is the start of the recovery from this.

No different from addiction to other addictive substances, the effects can be life-altering.  This includes job loss, relationship strains, financial decline, health problems, and mental instability.  Increased health problems may include stroke, seizure, heart disease, cardiovascular, and respiratory complications.  Cocaine use has also been connected to cognitive disorders such as memory loss and decreased attention span.  In addition, users who share paraphernalia, especially needles, are at increased risk of contracting infectious diseases like HIV and Hepatitis.

Cocaine intoxication and addiction can compromise judgment and decision-making and potentially lead to risky sexual behavior, including trading sex for drugs and needle sharing.  This increases a cocaine user’s risk of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C (HCV).  There are no vaccines to prevent HIV or HCV infections.  [1]

Cocaine Detox and Addiction

Below are the significant reasons why cocaine harshly affects a user and why it is hard to stop.  Despite the euphoria cocaine can bring to an individual, the risks of danger to your health are still more significant.

  • Dopamine:  The use of cocaine stimulates the production of dopamine, a chemical in the human brain responsible for pleasure.  However, too much exposure to this drug will eventually make one want to experience that feeling all over.  Hence the brain will prompt the need for the trigger.
  • Corticosterone Hormone:  The stress hormone in the body makes the body vulnerable to addiction.  Studies have found that when an individual who is stressed up uses cocaine, the high levels of stress hormones in the body will create a severe addiction to the drug.  This is likely because of the feeling of relaxation that cocaine will bring to the brain function, making one want more of that feeling instead of being bogged down by stress.
  • Prefrontal Cortex:  This is the control center of the brain responsible for decision-making and self-control.  Cocaine abuse restrains the proper functioning of the prefrontal cortex, making it hard for an individual to understand the effects of continued cocaine use.

Cocaine Detox & Addiction Statistics

Among people aged 12 or older, 1.9% (or about 5.2 million people) reported using cocaine in 2020. Among people aged 12 or older, 0.5% (or about 1.3 million people) had a cocaine use disorder in 2020. In 2020, approximately 19,447 people died from an overdose involving cocaine.

5.2 million

Among people aged 12 or older, 1.9% (or about 5.2 million people) reported using cocaine in 2020.

Source: NIH

1.3 million

Among people aged 12 or older, 0.5% (or about 1.3 million people) had a cocaine use disorder in 2020.

Source: NIH


In 2020, approximately 19,447 people died from an overdose involving cocaine.

Source: NIH

Cocaine Drug Fact Sheet


Cocaine is a stimulant drug obtained from the leaves of two Coca species native to South America, Erythroxylum coca and Erythroxylum novogranatense.

Common Street Names for Cocaine

Cocaine base (smokable): Base, black rock, crack, electric kool-aid, rock, gravel, purple caps, Scotty, scramble, supercoke, twinkie, window pane, yam

Cocaine HCl: Aspirin, Big C, blow, coconut, coke, devil’s dandruff, flake, Florida snow, foo-foo dust, happy dust, lady, nose candy, white dragon, white lady, yao

Cocaine paste: Basuco, bazooka, pasta

Cocaine + heroin: Belushi, bipping, blanco, boy-girl, dynamite, goof ball, he-she, murder one, sandwich, snowball, speedball

Cocaine + marijuana: 51, banano, bazooka, blunt, C & M, candy sticks, caviar, champagne, cocktail, cocoa puff, crack bash, dirties, geek-joint, Greek, lace, P-dogs, premos, primo, Sherman stick, woo blunts, woolie

Cocaine + MDMA (ecstasy): Bumping up

Cocaine + MDMA + LSD: Candy flipping on a string

Cocaine + morphine: C & M

Cocaine + heroin + methamphetamine + flunitrazepam + alcohol: Five-way

Short Term Effects of Cocaine

  • Extreme happiness and energy
  • Mental alertness
  • Hypersensitivity to sight, sound, and touch
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine

Some long-term health effects of cocaine depend on the method of use and include the following:

  • snorting: loss of smell, nosebleeds, frequent runny nose, and problems with swallowing
  • smoking: cough, asthma, respiratory distress, and higher risk of infections like pneumonia
  • consuming by mouth: severe bowel decay from reduced blood flow
  • needle injection: higher risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis C, and other bloodborne diseases, skin or soft tissue infections, as well as scarring or collapsed veins
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Common Cocaine Side Effects

  • Weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Paranoia
  • Nosebleeds, inflamed nostrils, or nasal congestion
  • Nervousness, restlessness, and inability to concentrate
  • Increased susceptibility to viruses and bacteria due to a reduced immune response
  • Delusions and hallucinations

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Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse 

Continued use can lead to the following cocaine side effects:

  • Anxiety:  People who constantly use cocaine will often remain anxious most of the time.
  • Nose Bleeding:  Users who snort cocaine may experience nose bleeds as their nasal cavities have damages from restricted blood flow.
  • Extreme Tiredness and Reduced Activity:  Cocaine abuse creates franticly paced highs but also hard crashes.  During the periods after a high, the user will often feel low energy levels making the users less productive, particularly as they continue to use more.
  • Heart Attack:  Continued use of cocaine can impair cardiac muscles, inflammation of the muscles, and even rupture the aorta.  The results of this are heart palpitations, extreme stress on the cardiovascular system, and finally, death.
  • cardiovascular functions, the risk of users experiencing a stroke or brain damage is doubled.
  • Kidney Damage:  As one continues to use cocaine, the kidneys become inflamed and, from the stress of blood filtration, may begin to fail.
  • Impairment in Logic, Critical Thinking, and Attention Span:  As one continues to use cocaine, cognitive functions and self-preservation are impaired, resulting in the inability to make rational decisions.
  • Tooth Decay:  Prolonged use of cocaine will result in tooth decay not just due to the chemical compounds found in the drug but because hygiene has taken a backseat to obtain the drug.

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Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

cocaine detox
The severe cravings and mental drug dependency that cocaine users develop mean that stopping use requires a detox period.

The severe cravings and mental drug dependency that cocaine users develop mean that stopping use requires a detox period.  Depending on the length of time used and the amount used, cocaine detox may bring different physical and physiological withdrawal symptoms. How long does it take to detox Cocaine? The cocaine detox process can take anywhere from 12 hours to 4 or more days.  Most users will undergo a level of decreased energy as well as increased anxiety and irritability.  

Unlike substances such as alcohol and heroin, withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting, and tremors are not inevitable to happen.  However, a mixture of alcohol and cocaine abuse is typical and can trigger these more severe symptoms. Psychological withdrawal symptoms associated with cocaine detox include difficulty concentrating, decreased thinking or activity, hostility, depression, anxiety, vivid dreams or nightmares, paranoia, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and increased cravings for cocaine.

Signs of Cocaine Withdrawal:

  • Fatigue
  • Lack of Pleasure
  • Irritability and Anxiety
  • Suspicion or Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Trouble Eating or Sleeping

What Causes Cocaine Withdrawal?

Cocaine dependence is a common side effect for those who use the substance regularly. When someone uses cocaine frequently and depends on it to carry out daily tasks, they become dependent on it.

Genetics may be a major factor in determining how quickly someone develops a dependence on cocaine following their initial use of the substance. Cocaine dependence can develop at varying speeds in different people.

The effects of cocaine on dopamine neurotransmission in the brain can be used to explain some of the behaviors associated with both dependency and withdrawal. Dopamine, a chemical messenger involved in motivation and reward, can be significantly more active in brain circuits when cocaine is used.

Dopamine activity increases caused by cocaine greatly encourage drug use. The brain of a cocaine user gradually loses sensitivity to the drug’s effects over time and with repeated use, though, as it becomes accustomed to the excess dopamine in its system. As a result, they need higher and higher doses of the drug to avoid the onset of withdrawal symptoms like depression and insomnia.

Moreover, cocaine is described as having a “explosive risk” for dependence, which means that it takes less time than other substances for someone to become dependent on the drug after first experimenting with it.

How Long Does Cocaine Detox & Withdrawal Last?

Depending on the kind of cocaine a person uses, withdrawal symptoms from cocaine may start at different times. For example, consistent use of crack cocaine is linked to a considerably quicker start of withdrawal symptoms from cocaine, on the order of hours following the previous use. Acute withdrawal symptoms from cocaine often last 3–4 days. Nonetheless, for some people, some withdrawal symptoms from cocaine can last for 3–4 weeks.

Longer-lasting or more intense withdrawal symptoms may vary in intensity and duration from person to person. For instance, a research assessing the development of cocaine addicts in their rehabilitation discovered that their lack of improvement in impulse control even after 4 weeks of abstinence.

The chance of relapsing can rise with more severe cases of cocaine withdrawal. According to one study, patients who performed poorly on a test to measure the severity of their cocaine withdrawal were four times more likely to start using the drug again. By reducing the chance of relapse, medically managed cocaine withdrawal offers social and medical support to make sure someone has a safe and comfortable withdrawal time.

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Cocaine Detox Treatments That Work

  • Medications: There are no drugs that have been FDA-approved for treating cocaine addiction. Other drugs, such as those used to treat depression and stabilize mood, may also be helpful.
  • Behavioral Therapy: Therapies that concentrate on altering behavior might be administered either as part of an inpatient treatment program or on an outpatient basis. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) teaches techniques to aid in preventing cocaine use.
  • Reward: One easy way to learn how to avoid cocaine and deal with situations that lead to drug usage is to receive a reward for abstaining from narcotics.
  • Sauna Detoxification: In accordance with a 2018 study that was written up in the Journal of International Medical Research, the benefits of sauna therapy helped persons who were still experiencing withdrawal symptoms after ceasing narcotics. This might be as a result of the body being loaded with toxins from continuous drug use.

The Importance of Cocaine Detox for Drug Addiction

Long-term, continued cocaine use quickly leads to late-stage addiction.  In this stage, the risks the user takes on are significant and critical to be aware of.  The most severe of the possible bets are that of overdose and death.

Detox encourages healing in a safe, comfortable environment and provides resources for withdrawal that lessen negative symptoms.  With a staff of trained practitioners and caretakers, We Level Up New Jersey gives the ability to detox under the careful eye of professionals.  In addition, we work to maximize comfort, offering over-the-counter and prescription medications as needed, psychological care, and personal support to encourage abstinence from cocaine and other drugs, both today and for years to come.

  1. What is detox for Cocaine like?

    If you are wondering, “what is detoxing from Cocaine like?”, the answer is depending on the dosage and length of abuse, the effects of a cocaine detox might range from moderate to severe. Because cocaine is such a strong and quick-acting stimulant, withdrawal symptoms from cocaine can result in a variety of various physiological and mental health adverse effects.

  2. How to detox Cocaine?

    If you’re considering how to detox from cocaine, we strongly advise that you consider doing so in a carefully supervised and medically supported setting so that you may remain safe and comfortable during the process.

  3. What is a Cocaine detox kit?

    If you are wondering, “what are detox drinks for Cocaine?”, “What is an detox drink ofr Cocaine?”, or “what is an example of a Cocaine detox drink?”, the answer is drug detox beverages and kits promise to speed up your metabolism or thin out your urine, helping you pass a drug test. Chemicals that hide the presence of drugs or drug metabolites in bodily fluids are also included in certain kits.

  4. How long does it take to detox from Cocaine?

    If you are wondering “how long to detox from Cocaine?”, the answer is everybody’s body responds to detoxification differently. The detox timetable will therefore vary depending on a number of variables since each case is unique. It will rely on various elements, including the extent of the abuse and the length of the addiction. Another element that affects the length of the cocaine detox program needed for recovery is the frequency of drug use. For some people, detoxification might take anywhere from 5-7 days, however it can take up to three weeks for others.

  5. What are Cocaine detox supplements?

    Depending on how long you’ve used, withdrawal from drugs or alcohol can cause serious, even painful, negative effects. Many people are unaware that vitamins and minerals might be helpful in addition to the various medicines that are used during detox to treat pain and withdrawal symptoms.

Cocaine Detox In New Jersey

Following the completion of a cocaine detox in New Jersey, several different treatment options help individuals who have been struggling with addiction.  Care can be provided on an inpatient or outpatient basis and at various levels of care.  Your addiction treatment team will recommend levels of care depending on your current progress in recovery, your experience with addiction and recovery, your motivation, and your home situation.

Contact us today if you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine because we can help you explore cocaine addiction treatment options and how you can start with recovery.

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[1] Why are Cocaine Users at Risk for Contracting HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis? – National Institute on Drug Abuse,a%20SUD%20and%20mental%20illness.