skip to Main Content

Cocaine Addiction

The Crash

Cocaine withdrawal runs through several stages. Immediately after using cocaine, the user undergoes a “crash,” which begins with a rapid drop in mood, fatigue, and intense craving for cocaine. This craving usually subsides within a few hours, followed by increased fatigue and need for sleep. At this point, people who are not in treatment often use alcohol, anti-anxiety drugs, sedatives, opiates, or marijuana—just to get some sleep.

In treatment, these symptoms can be managed with electro-chemically balanced nutrition, certain natural supplements, exercise, and the occasional use of nonaddicting, mildly sedating medications, such as sedating mood-stabilizing antidepressants.

After the Crash

Once the cocaine user gets past the acute fatigue and need for sleep, most of the “crash” symptoms disappear. The short- and long-term effects of cocaine usually depend on whether the drug was snorted, smoked, injected, or swallowed (i.e., snorting damages nasal passages, smoking affects the lungs, etc).

Crack, because of the severity and intensity of its abuse, often causes extreme side effects. It has been estimated that an alarming 24 percent of female crack users and 9 percent of male users had experienced side effects severe enough to require a trip to a hospital’s emergency room. The reasons given for these hospital visits include “my heart stopped,” “I thought I was going to die,” and “my lungs filled up with blood.”

The most notable after-crash symptom for cocaine users is a chaotic emotional state. Users can experience rapid mood shifts, emotional instability, and an overall heightened emotional range. Basically, a cocaine-user will experience their emotions as being all over the place.


A pronounced cognitive issue in cocaine withdrawal is anhedonia—an inability to feel pleasure or enjoyment. Experts say that the most common complaint of chronic cocaine users is boredom, because they don’t know the word anhedonia. The state can be described as an empty subjective existence, and during anhedonia the cocaine user may feel the pull toward cocaine-induced euphoria most strongly.

This is a major danger period during which many cocaine users return to the old cycle: high-crash-anhedonia-craving-use-high, and so on. But during treatment, with abstinence and with medical and psychological support, the anhedonia disappears—usually within two to ten weeks.

Quality treatment programs also have the great advantage of protecting the cocaine user against “cues” or reminders of past euphoria that make return to cocaine so tempting during the period of boredom.

Triggers and Cravings

Even after the worst is over, there can be moments of intense craving. Cocaine users seem to have remarkably poor memories of the bad effects of their habit—physical, emotional, and social—and remarkably strong memories of the “highs.” The bad memories, which make returning to cocaine less appealing, do seem to return after the craving period is over. Part of addiction treatment is helping you learn to survive the craving and reinforce the reasons you needed to quit.

Compared to cravings for other chemicals, craving for cocaine seems more strongly linked to such influences as your mood, scenes, particular people or events, times of the year, problems with other people, or various objects associated with drug use. These associations can be part of the so-called “glamor appeal” of cocaine. For the majority of users, these associations are not glamorous: driving past an old nightspot, bumping into the neighborhood dealer, even watching an actor use cocaine in a movie can trigger powerful craving. For this reason, therapy for cocaine dependence deals intensely with techniques to reduce the power of these triggering factors.

Reach Out

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse problem, please reach out to our addiction specialists for guidance and support, at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Because We Care.

Our team of addiction specialists make themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Because We Care.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out” 

– Robert Collier

Take a Look at Our Recent Blog Posts

<h1>Financial Planning: Making Cuts to Save Money</h1>
<h1>Financial Planning: Making Cuts to Save Money</h1>

Financial Planning Recap Last month, we made our first introduction to financial planning. In that…

Financial Planning: Building Your First Budget!
Financial Planning: Building Your First Budget!

Financial Planning: Building Your First Budget! For many men and women who are recently in…

Recovery Lifestyle Reduces Risks of Coronavirus
Recovery Lifestyle Reduces Risks of Coronavirus

Evidence-based peer-reviewed scientific articles have long established the fact that respiratory viruses, including coronavirus, infect…

Recovery Apps - The Best Apps For Recovery - List Of Recovery Apps
11 Good Recovery Apps: Our Shortlist
11 Good Recovery Apps: Our Shortlist

Recovery? There’s an app for that. Recovery apps can help, especially in early recovery. Some…

How To Live A Sober Life - Stuff I Learned In AA - Alcoholics Anonymous
Stuff I Learned in AA: How To Live a Sober Life
Stuff I Learned in AA: How To Live a Sober Life

AA, or Alcoholic's Anonymous, is a very popular program of recovery. AA is a 12-step…

3-6-5: The Numbers I Needed to be Alive
3-6-5: The Numbers I Needed to be Alive

‘Those times when you get up early and you work hard, those times when you…

Anonymity - Disclosing You Are In Recovery
Should I Be Anonymous?
Should I Be Anonymous?

Your anonymity is a personal choice. Someone else’s anonymity is not your choice. You have…

What You Learn In Sobriety - Your First Year Sober
Your First Year in Sobriety
Your First Year in Sobriety

What you Learn your First Year Sober Getting sober comes with a whole new system…

Royal Life Centers is one of the leading providers of addiction treatment in the nation. We strive to set ourselves apart from other treatment centers by providing not only the highest level of care, but also diverse programs and amenities. Our staff work around the clock to ensure the best possible chance of success in a safe and constructive environment. We pride ourselves on providing exemplary, quality addiction treatment and exceptional care.

Royal Life Centers provides the best quality of care, while extending our genuine hope and belief in each guest that steps into our facility. We strive to give each guest the most transformative recovery experience, not just because that’s what we do— but, Because We Care. We hope for each of our guests to rebuild happy, healthy, and meaningful lives in sobriety.

Back To Top