Cocaine cravings are strong feelings that overcome individuals that are addicted, causing them to want more and more cocaine. These cravings can result in intense emotions and physical activities related to cocaine use. Cocaine cravings are often related to certain memories around cocaine use known as triggers or cues. Some common triggers that can cause use include:
- Seeing drug paraphernalia
- Certain locations are associated with cocaine use
- Social situations or friends surrounding cocaine use
- Underlying stress or a traumatic event
- Moods or emotions associated with using
- Not taking good care of yourself as in getting adequate sleep, eating right, getting some exercise, and assuring your mental health is properly being treated
Once a person has been using cocaine for an extended period, dependence can occur. A dependence means their body has physically and mentally adapted to cocaine to function. If they stop using it or cut down on use, they will likely develop uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms will accompany intense cravings that can often lead them to use cocaine again. Cravings will often occur after a binge (a cycle of repeated use) or when the individual is withdrawing.
How Long Do Cocaine Addiction Cravings Last?
Cocaine cravings can occur a few hours after the drug has been stopped. The acute withdrawal usually lasts a few days, but some can have symptoms for a few weeks. Some of the factors that can contribute to cravings can include:
- The amount of cocaine used
- How often the person uses cocaine (daily, once a week, etc.)
- The length of time they’ve been using cocaine
- Family history
- Any co-occurring mental health issues
Years of cocaine dependence/addiction can make cravings last much longer after a person has detoxed versus if they’ve only been using for a short period.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms Explained
Compared to other drugs/substances, detoxing from cocaine and withdrawal is usually mild and not typically associated with any medical problems. There can be some risks associated with the withdrawal, especially if the individual has other physical or mental health conditions. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Increased appetite
- Restlessness and irritability
- Vivid dreams
After withdrawal/detox has been completed, the individual must be properly treated for any underlying mental health disorders. Treatment will help the individual get through the withdrawal period much easier.
Cocaine Relapse Prevention Strategies
Relapse rates for cocaine use seem to be much higher than with other substances. However, relapse doesn’t mean the person or treatment has failed. Continuing treatment and recovery are important to promote continued abstinence and a healthy lifestyle. For most individuals, relapse doesn’t just happen. Instead, there are warning signs for relapse: romanticizing about past use or thinking about the good times when using cocaine, stopping a treatment or group therapy, engaging with older adults, returning to old behaviors, moving away from activities or people from their sober lifestyle, and stopping medications used for treating co-occurring mental health disorders. To help prevent relapse and overcome cravings for cocaine. The following methods may be helpful when recovering from cocaine addiction:
- Knowing your triggers and having a plan in place to deal with them
- Being active in support groups and individual therapy
- Knowing the signs of relapse and being prepared to spot them
- Have a backup plan in place if you start to experience cravings
- Being able to identify signs of HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, and tired)
- Participating in stress reduction techniques like exercise, meditation, mindfulness exercises, and hobbies
- Taking medications to help treat any underlying mental health issues
Currently, there are no FDA-approved medications to treat cocaine addiction; however, some medications may help during the detox/withdrawal period. Several medications can treat depression, anxiety, and agitation associated with stimulant withdrawal. Treatment should be tailored to the individual and their specific needs. Engaging in stress reduction, harm prevention, and behavior therapy can also help. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been proven to be an excellent form of therapy for many substance use disorders.
Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
Evoke Wellness Coconut Creek is a premier treatment facility committed to providing the best care for anyone battling drug and alcohol addiction. Our top priority is your safety and comfort, and life in sobriety is our primary mission. Our professionals are some of the most experienced, compassionate, non-judgmental, and understanding people in the addiction field. We will treat you with the kindness and respect you deserve and help you start healing and moving forward to long-term recovery. Help is only one phone call away. So give us a call today.