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Understanding Cocaine Detox

Understanding Cocaine Detox

Cocaine can be a difficult drug to detox from. Once cocaine is ingested, its effects are almost immediate. The user feels incredibly high, but this high may be short-lived. Studies have shown that snorting cocaine typically results in a 15-30 minute high. Afterwards, the user may feel as though they need another “bump”, thereby creating a cycle of cocaine abuse that can cause long term damage.


Over time, cocaine effects the body by changing the brain. By targeting the reward center in the user’s brain, cocaine makes it nearly impossible for the user to experience happiness without the presence of the drug in their system. Because of this, the user may become psychologically dependent on cocaine, using it to simply feel “normal.” In addition, cocaine impairs the part of the brain that regulates impulse control. This means that, over time, the user will have less and less conscious control over their decision making, leading them to give in to urges and whims with no regard to consequences. This can exacerbate the cocaine use, making detox extremely challenging.


Detox is the process through which a user removes all traces of the cocaine from their system and learns to live without it. For most cocaine users, a permanent detox program can successfully rid the body of cocaine in a matter of days. It is the learning to live without it that can be a lengthy ordeal. Once the brain realizes that it is missing cocaine, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms will begin to appear. Medications can help alleviate some of the discomfort, but overall, detox can be a brutal experience for an avid cocaine addict.