Can Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms Be Fatal?

Cocaine addiction is a powerful disease and cocaine withdrawal is one of its strongest weapons. The drug causes massive spikes of “feel-good” chemicals in the brain, giving the user feelings of extreme happiness, confidence and ecstasy. Once an addiction is established the addict will experience extremely uncomfortable and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms. In rare cases these symptoms can be fatal. It is crucial that when cocaine addicts decide to detox it is under close medical and psychological supervision.

How Cocaine Addiction Affects the Brain

The brain manages an incredible amount of physiological and mental functions through a network of chemical signals and responses in the central nervous system. Without our conscious awareness this system controls countless critical life functions, including the following:

  • Waking and sleeping
  • Eating and appetite
  • Mood
  • Sexual attraction and response
  • Anxiety and stress response

Cocaine increases the quantity of certain key hormones in this system, and suspends their natural production. This means that when the user stops taking the drug their brain will be left without any of these critical chemicals and they will experience withdrawal until their chemical balance is re-established.

Symptoms of Cocaine Withdrawal

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the length and intensity of the addiction. For the most part these symptoms are psychological, but certain physical symptoms are possible in extreme cases. Some examples of cocaine withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Extreme anxiety or panic attacks
  • Obsessive drug-seeking behavior
  • Physical pain
  • Nausea, vomiting and other flu-like symptoms
  • Lethargy, excessive sleepiness, drowsiness or fatigue
  • Decreased heart rate and respiration
  • Extreme depression with possible suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Psychotic behavior

In some cases individuals going through cocaine withdrawal can exhibit psychological symptoms similar to schizophrenia. This is why it is recommended that addicts go through the detox process under close medical supervision. In many cases these symptoms can be relieved with carefully prescribed and administered medications.

Finding Lasting Freedom from Cocaine Addiction

As challenging as cocaine detox is, it is truly only the beginning of the recovery process. The psychological power of this particular addiction is significantly more powerful than its physical aspects. One of the greatest health risks during recovery is relapse. As addicts build a tolerance to cocaine they require larger doses in order to feel the desired effects. This can cause them to move from snorting to injecting, or to smoking crack cocaine. The increased dosage places even greater strain on the heart and other organs. Preventing relapse is the most important function of cocaine rehabilitation and this is accomplished through careful and thorough treatment of the psychological symptoms of the disease.

The most successful cocaine recovery programs prioritize the individual needs of each patient and develop customized treatment plans to help them achieve lasting sobriety. These programs primarily focus on counseling and education as they provide addicts with the skills they will need to stay clean, including the following:

  • Handling stress and anxiety through healthy channels
  • Learning new coping and relaxation skills
  • Learning how to avoid temptation and opportunities for relapse
  • Understanding their own psychological functioning so they can actively manage their emotions
  • Developing a strong plan for aftercare and continued recovery

Call for Free Cocaine Recovery Advice Today

Our toll-free helpline is always open. Call today for confidential answers to any questions you have about cocaine addiction, withdrawal, detox or rehab. Your life is too precious to waste on this terrible disease. Freedom is possible. Call today.

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