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Cocaine Comedown: The Side of Cocaine Abuse Nobody Talks About

Cocaine comedown: if you've ever used cocaine, you know about the crash. Learn more about cocaine comedown, the symptoms, and how it can be treated.

Cocaine Comedown: The Side of Cocaine Abuse Nobody Talks About

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

June 13, 2023

The Forge Recovery Center

Cocaine is mainly consumed due to its euphoric and stimulating effects. It is a central nervous system stimulant that creates energy, increases attention, and produces ecstatic effects.

However, a person consuming cocaine might experience a condition called cocaine comedown. Experienced after a period of cocaine abuse, a cocaine comedown creates painful and unpleasant sensations, making the person lose energy and feel drowsy.

To feel better, a person keeps using cocaine, often in higher amounts.

This pattern of drug consumption is a textbook addictive behavior and makes a person dependent on cocaine physically and emotionally. 

A Short Warning About Cocaine Comedown

If you are experiencing cocaine comedowns regularly and have started to consume increasing amounts of cocaine to sustain the high, you need professional help. Remember that enduring short-term pain and overcoming the odds are better than suffering a lifetime. If you are crashing down with unbearable cocaine effects and can recognize it as a sign of ceasing, ask for help.

Support is available through various therapeutic strategies and medically-assisted detox and rehabilitation. You do not have to feel embarrassed to ask for help, but if you do, remember that cocaine abuse can cause paranoia, seizures, heart attacks, and long-term medical conditions.

Cocaine Abuse Stats

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 24,486 persons died from a cocaine overdose in 2021. Furthermore, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), an anticipated 0.5% of 8th-grade students, 0.3% of students in 10th grade, and 1.5% of 12th-grade pupils used cocaine in the previous 12 months in 2022.

Warning Signs of a Cocaine Comedown

Mood swings and physical transitions while facing comedown are associated with the capacity of cocaine to create higher levels of dopamine in the brain drastically during and after use. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that initiates pleasurable reward and motivation.

However, after the cocaine high is no longer felt, dopamine content starts dropping, and undesirable symptoms like migraines, weariness, and lethargy develop. 

Physical Symptoms of a Cocaine Comedown

Among the physiological signs of cocaine comedown are:

  • Profuse sweating

  • Migraine

  • Muscle spasms and twitches

  • Vomiting or nausea

  • Drowsiness

  • Tiredness

  • Restlessness

  • Delirium

  • Trembling

  • Increased levels of heartbeat

  • Watery nose

  • Increased hunger and diet

  • Dry and red nose due to constant snorting

  • Bloody nose

  • Pain in the facial and jaw region due to constant teeth grinding

The comedown lasts longer than the euphoric effects, and the system might require a substantial amount of time to recover from it, often around 6 to 7 days. 

Emotional & Behavioral Symptoms of a Cocaine Comedown

Among the emotional and behavioral symptoms of cocaine comedown are:

  • Panic attacks or bouts of anxiety

  • Illusions

  • Changes in mood and conduct

  • Irregular sleep pattern 

  • Night terrors

  • Psychosis

  • Poor level of concentration

  • Increased drug desires

  • Depressive episodes

  • Suicidal tendencies

What If You Consume Cocaine While Pregnant?

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) claims that drug usage while pregnant is typically underreported due to stigma and potential legal consequences. Cocaine reaches the developing baby during pregnancy after crossing the placenta.

The consumption of cocaine in the initial stages of pregnancy could increase the probability of miscarriage and other complications. Preterm births could develop from using cocaine when pregnant.

Additionally, prenatal cocaine usage, according to the NCBI, has been linked to the following: 

  • A drop in the body weight of the baby

  • Possibility of cognitive disabilities in the future

  • Smaller than average body and skull size

A large proportion of recent studies is based on chronic consumption of cocaine. Because low-income households have been the subject of many studies on prenatal cocaine consumption throughout the USA, numerous external variables can affect a fetus.

Although it is challenging to pinpoint problems that are specific to cocaine use, this is not to argue that gestational cocaine use is not detrimental. Cocaine rapidly affects the mother's milk and interferes with lactation. Many research studies advise delaying breastfeeding for at least 24 hours after ingesting cocaine on a particular occasion.

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Cocaine Comedown: The Effects of the Crash

Extreme tiredness sometimes referred to as a "crash," occurs as the body starts to recuperate from the considerable energy lost during cocaine use. This phenomenon is frequently called a comeback effect, representing the inverse of the desirable effects the user seeks.

Possible cocaine rebound effects involve a greater desire to eat (cocaine reduces appetite) and despair (cocaine elevates emotions). A cocaine comedown may trigger various mental and physical signs alongside the rebound effects.

Cocaine Comedown: Cocaine Hangover?

For some people, the effects of a cocaine comedown can linger into what's known as a "cocaine hangover." Basically, it's like any hangover: a person feels sick, tired, has a headache, and so on. Cocaine hangovers can become worse when cocaine is mixed with other substances like alcohol, however.

Here's one more scary fact: when people mix cocaine with other drugs, cocaine can form cocaethylene in their bloodstream, which can damage the organs and cause seizures.

What Are the Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction?

Cocaine reaches the brain quickly; the effects begin soon after taking the first dose. Because the chemical is swiftly absorbed, the sensations fade after about an hour, which may cause rapid withdrawal effects. This, consequently, may result in a cocaine binge when the person in question ingests extensively to alleviate depression or fatigue.

Cocaine intoxication symptoms may include:

  • Feeling disconnected from reality

  • Sluggishness

  • Insomnia

  • Illusions

  • Tremors

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Agitation

  • Panic attacks

  • Seizures

  • Paranoia

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Is Cocaine Comedown Different from Withdrawal Symptoms?

People who consume cocaine for a long time will often become dependent on cocaine. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using cocaine is a major sign of addiction. The consequences of comedown and withdrawal remain identical, but withdrawal symptoms vary as it requires dependence, continues for a longer duration, and is severe.

Similar to come down and rebound effects, the duration of cocaine withdrawal is marked by excessive exhaustion, nervousness, sleep difficulties, and even significant depression. Withdrawal symptoms are more severe and time-consuming than comedown, although sudden urges and mental problems can continue for months.

Even though these symptoms and the underlying hormonal imbalances that create them are only momentary, they might still be upsetting and result in suicidal thoughts or actions.

What are Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms?

Mentioned below are some of the withdrawal symptoms that are linked with cocaine addiction:

  • Low energy levels

  • Panic attacks

  • Tiredness

  • Intense night terrors

  • Epileptic attacks

  • High hunger

  • Extreme drug desires

  • Body ache

  • Muscle ache

  • Clinical depression

  • Edginess

  • Volatile thoughts

  • Impaired concentration

  • Suicidal ideation

  • Depression

  • Reduced sexual drive

What Happens if You Use Cocaine for a Long Time?

As previously stated, people can become addicted to cocaine after continued consumption. They may also develop adaptability, an urge to utilize more and more of a drug to produce the intended benefits. Both dependency and resistance feed addiction, which has adverse health outcomes such as:

Reduced Brain Chemistry and Function:

Continuous use of cocaine can reduce the number of nutrients the brain absorbs and increase the possibility of aneurysms since cocaine consumption causes the vessel walls to narrow down. Convulsions, brain atrophy, and hemorrhaging are additional dangers. Long-term cocaine use can negatively affect cognitive abilities, including concentration, impulse control, decision-making, and physical abilities.

Additionally, cocaine abuse can result in the brain's accelerated aging, long-term memory loss, and psychological difficulties.

Increased Heart Rate & Cardiac Arrest:

The danger of blood clots can rise with continued cocaine consumption, potentially increasing the probability of cardiovascular disease, stroke, pulmonary edema, and venous thrombosis. Additionally, it may impair the heart's capacity to contract, result in arterial breaches, heartburn, and permanently raise blood pressure.

Damage to the Nose and Mouth

Constant snorting and inhaling coke or cocaine affects the mucous lining of the nose and produces a dry, itchy condition with decreased blood circulation. This can severely affect the soft tissue, nasal cavities, and bone.

Furthermore, increased usage might result in a ruptured nasal septum. Also, sinus infections, difficulty swallowing, transmission, and a diminished or impaired perception of smell are also possible.

Liver and Kidney Damage

Short-term and ongoing cocaine usage may trigger muscle protein breakdown, which may penetrate the circulation and cause serious kidney issues. Furthermore, the harmful effects of coke as it gradually degrades might cause severe damage to the liver.

Effect on the Respiratory System:

Smoking or inhaling cocaine can cause severe respiratory problems because it inhibits the blood from receiving oxygen and damages the capillaries that transmit oxygen to other parts of the human body. As a result, asthma, respiratory distress syndrome, and influenza may become more likely.

Acute Digestive Issues:

Cocaine can restrict blood circulation to the intestines and gastroesophageal junction (GE), generating ruptures and ulcers. In addition, the probability of temporarily reducing blood flow to the large intestine also increases. 

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How Do I Know If I'm Using Too Much Cocaine?

This is a question every cocaine user asks themselves. However, this answer depends on the individual. Some people can use cocaine for years without having problems; others might develop a serious addiction to cocaine in a very short time.

That said, there are definitely some signs of cocaine abuse. They include:

  • Spending large amounts of time using cocaine

  • Spending increasingly high amounts of money on cocaine

  • Abandoning responsibilities and social obligations to use cocaine

  • Losing interest in activities in favor of cocaine abuse

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using cocaine

If you're experiencing any of these, it's a red flag of a serious cocaine problem.

How to Recover from a Cocaine Comedown

The following recommendations could help speed up recovery after a cocaine comedown. Although some people try to detox from cocaine at home, people are strongly advised to get expert therapy and professional cocaine detoxification. At best, detoxing alone or with a detox kit is unlikely to be unsuccessful. At worst, there can be serious medical complications that can be very dangerous if a person is alone.

Detoxing with medical help makes cocaine detox somewhat easier, safer, and more likely to be successful.

Here are some simple things to make a cocaine comedown easier to take:

  • Eat a balanced diet

  • Make a strategy for good sleep hygiene

  • Take advantage of integrative techniques like yoga and mindfulness

  • Whenever necessary, take nutritional supplements

  • Consume water to keep hydrated

  • Maintain a workout regime

  • Engage in problem-solving techniques

  • Devise a strategy to maintain sound sleep

Ultimately, the best way to avoid a cocaine comedown is to stop using cocaine. An addiction center will help you break your addiction to cocaine.

How to Recover From Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction is a challenging concern that involves bodily, mental, familial, environmental, and hereditary factors. Coping mechanisms and regular therapy will teach you the basics of these factors in detail when admitted to a treatment facility.

Rehabilitation Programs

In rehabilitation facilities, all aspects of dependency are addressed using inpatient therapeutic techniques. These courses could range from a few months to a full year. In addition, counseling, rehabilitation programs, and group meetings are frequently employed.

Treatment for cocaine addiction comes in two types:

  • Inpatient addiction centers: These centers continue the 24/7 monitoring of drug detox while introducing drug rehab treatment like group meetings. Inpatient addiction treatment is great for people in early recovery as it separates them from harmful influences. During this phase of treatment, a person lives at the addiction center. Outpatient addiction centers: These centers allow for greater flexibility in treatment and are better suited for people farther along in recovery. During outpatient treatment. a person lives away from the treatment center and goes there for treatment.

Today's outpatient rehabs are also widely available, allowing you to receive therapy while caring for your commitments at home and work.

Psychotherapy

The future of behavioral therapy in treating crack addiction looks bright. Both outpatient treatment and residential care in an addiction treatment center are options. In addition, drugs are frequently combined with treatment methods. Psychotherapy, which emphasizes cognitive techniques that support your sobriety, and behavioral regimens offer incentives for reaching goals connected to quitting drug usage.

Professional Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Although there aren't any medications made expressly for the treatment of cocaine addiction, numerous medications with different purposes, such as tranquilizers, can be useful.

Holistic options or alternative methods of treating cocaine addiction include relaxation, acupuncture, mindfulness, and herbal remedies. Whether these treatments are effective in curing cocaine addiction, more research is required.

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Would you like more information about mental health or drug addiction? Reach out today.

Cocaine Comedown Can End Today. The Forge Recovery Center Will Help You Break the Cycle

Cocaine comedown doesn’t have to signal another period of cocaine abuse. Cocaine abuse can negatively impact an individual's overall health as well as the people close to them. Anyone considering treating their cocaine addiction should strongly consider professional addiction treatment. 

The Forge Recovery Center provides evidence-based, effective treatment for cocaine addiction. At our addiction center, you’ll be able to develop the coping mechanisms and tools you need to leave cocaine addiction behind permanently. We treat cocaine addiction by tackling it at its roots, helping people explore the emotional and mental issues that drive cocaine abuse. We also help people learn to trust and believe in themselves, making new, healthy connections that will serve them for life.

Cocaine abuse only seems hopeless. It isn’t. Reach out to The Forge Recovery Center today to learn more about our effective, proven cocaine addiction treatment program.

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