Man experiencing a cocaine comedown in Riverside County

How Bad is the Cocaine Comedown – What to Expect

Cocaine addiction remains prevalent in the USA, leading to significant overdose deaths and heart attacks each year. Recent studies reveal approximately 1.5 million people over the age of 12 abuse cocaine each month in the country, representing 0.6% of the population. 

When long-term users try to reduce or stop their cocaine consumption, they are exposed to high risks of a corresponding crash, commonly known as a comedown. Cocaine comedown can be very uncomfortable, but with the proper support from a treatment facility, one can recover and feel better.

What is a Comedown?

A cocaine comedown refers to the unpleasant symptoms that a person experiences when they start to “come off” from a high. These symptoms usually occur when one stops doing cocaine or when the cocaine in their system wears off. This time can be particularly dangerous during a person’s drug addiction. The safest place to be during this period is a drug detox program.

Symptoms of Cocaine Comedown

The symptoms of cocaine comedown can be psychological or physical. They include:

  • Agitation and irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Intense cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Unpleasant and vivid dreams
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Slowing of activity.
  • Increased appetite
  • Mood swings 
  • Runny nose
  • Physical shaking or tremors

How Does Cocaine Comedown Affect the Body?

Cocaine use increases dopamine hormones, producing intense euphoria, energy, happiness, and confidence. Experts reveal a person abusing cocaine usually feels like they are on top of the world. However, during a cocaine comedown, there is less dopamine active in the brain, and the positive feelings will leave suddenly as the high of cocaine wears off. This results in unpleasant feelings of depression, guilt, shame, and anxiety that can leave users feeling like they have hit rock bottom. 

Usually, during this time, the body tries to regain its balance in a process known as homeostasis. This process results in physical symptoms that are opposite to those caused by the drug. The comedown effect causes users to experience the same impact they were trying to escape through cocaine use. Typically, these effects and experiences vary depending on the user, the amount of cocaine taken, the duration of the abuse, and how often one has been using the drug.

Is Cocaine Comedown Dangerous?

Cocaine comedown can be brutal depending on the duration of usage and the amount of drug used. If one feels ill during a comedown, there is a high likelihood the person is having medical complications related to the drug. If symptoms worsen, it is crucial to be evaluated by a healthcare provider. One should also be examined for emotional or psychological signs if they are entertaining thoughts of hurting themselves or someone else.

How Long Does a Comedown Last?

The cocaine comedown usually lasts as long as it takes for the body to get rid of the chemicals after a person stops taking the drug. For most users, cocaine comedown symptoms begin minutes to hours after the drug leaves the body and last hours to days, depending on factors such as the frequency of use, the type of drug, and the amount taken.  

Can Cocaine Come Down Trigger a Relapse?

Cocaine comedown is undoubtedly one of the riskiest periods for anyone attempting sobriety. The unpleasant feelings associated with comedowns can pose a high risk of relapse. Comedowns are known to cause intense periods of stress and depression. 

Stress is a top cause of relapse for people who struggle with addiction. Studies reveal an increased urge to use the drug during stressful situations, especially when the substance is the person’s primary coping mechanism.

When to Seek Professional Help

As mentioned earlier, the cocaine hangover phase is usually unpleasant though rarely dangerous. However, if one is struggling with the symptoms or has thoughts of hurting themselves and others, it is a sign that recovery or drug abuse rehabilitation is required. Additionally, seeking medical attention is a good idea if one feels ill or experiences a bad reaction during the comedown process. Besides, medical support may be required if one experiences psychotic symptoms.

How To Manage Cocaine Come Down

Increasing fluid intake, especially water, is advisable during a cocaine comedown. Water intake helps one stay well hydrated. 

Other things that can help one manage the comedown include:

  • Eating a nutritious, balanced meal
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Meditating and yoga
  • Learning basic stress management techniques
  • Getting enough rest and sleep
  • Get busy with household chores or other activities to keep the mind engaged  

It is essential to note the only reliable cure for cocaine comedown is the passage of time. One should give the body ample time to rid itself of the substance and normalize the effects of excessive usage. 

Using cocaine triggers a massive release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. The neurotransmitters and other hormones become depleted when one stops using the substance. The system tries to adjust itself within several hours. 

Managing cocaine withdrawal symptoms can be difficult without professional guidance. One should be put under the care of medical professionals in a rehab facility. The medical team will offer much-needed support and help a person handle the symptoms and behavioral issues that develop from quitting cocaine.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options

A person with cocaine addiction should seek help with a substance abuse treatment program. Some treatment programs are inpatient, meaning you reside at a treatment center and receive constant care.

Outpatient treatment programs are available, which means the cocaine user lives at home and regularly visits a treatment facility. 

Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs include:

  • Medical detox is when doctors help you manage cocaine withdrawal symptoms with medication-assisted treatment while you become drug-free
  • Therapy, in which a therapist helps you manage your cocaine comedowns and any other mental health concerns you have to pertain to substance use.
  • Support groups, in which you can discuss your experiences with other people recovering from cocaine abuse.

Cocaine Detox in Riverside County

Cocaine comedown symptoms are unpleasant and unpredictable. This is why partnering with a treatment center that offers a detox program is crucial. At Inland Detox, our caring and compassionate medical team ensure one stays in a conducive and safe environment to detox and embark on a solid journey to full recovery.

We ensure our patients are highly hydrated and in superb physical and psychological health to effectively tackle the symptoms of cocaine comedown. Inland Detox is Southern California’s leading drug and alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation services provider. Our goal is to help patients detox comfortably and help them get to the next level of care that’s best for their needs.