New Shadow Mountain Treatment Center Blog Post Details Cocaine Withdrawal

Taos, N.M. — Shadow Mountain Recovery, an addiction treatment center located in Taos, N.M., recently published a blog post that outlines what someone can expect when going through cocaine withdrawal. The post also discusses why people use cocaine and how to determine if someone is addicted to cocaine.

Cocaine is mostly used by people who are required to work long hours in high-pressure environments or those in the party scene. According to the post, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports that the drug has a high potential for misuse since it can cause extreme psychological and physical dependence.

The drug, made from the South American coca plant, has a history of being used for increasing alertness and focus. When distilled into its potent form, the drug also produces feelings of euphoria. Cocaine works by attaching to the dopamine transporters in the brain and hampering the normal recycling process of dopamine, the hormone that creates feelings of pleasure and joy. When dopamine cannot be recycled, it builds up in the brain, causing an overwhelming feeling of energy and pleasure.

Uncontrolled cocaine use can impede one’s normal life and can be classified as an addiction. According to Shadow Mountain Recovery, certain behaviors such as lying about cocaine use; hiding cocaine use from friends and family; strained relationships; legal problems; depression when without cocaine; inability to maintain work, school, and home life; and financial problems are all possible signs that one is wrestling with cocaine addiction.

As one continues to consume cocaine as a crutch to function normally, the body becomes used to having the drug play a role in the life cycle of dopamine. If one abruptly stops taking cocaine after regular use, the body revolts, leading to withdrawal. Cocaine withdrawal can begin as early as 90 minutes after the last dose and can last for as long as a week to 10 days or longer. However, the physical withdrawal from cocaine is not as severe as withdrawal from other substances such as opioids and alcohol. Cocaine's withdrawal symptoms are mostly psychological in nature and can be managed with counseling and therapy, provided the person is in a professional detox setting.

Cocaine withdrawal plays itself out in three stages. The first stage is the crash, which includes symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, extreme depression, anxiety, and hunger. The second stage of withdrawal can last for up to 10 days or longer and can include symptoms such as low energy, fatigue, depression, paranoia (general fear of harm), anxiety, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, dissatisfaction, and intense cravings for cocaine. The last stage of withdrawal is extinction, which can last indefinitely and include cravings and low energy.

Cocaine withdrawal can be complicated by several factors such as the length of misuse, average dosage amount, the person’s environmental factors, co-occurring mental health disorders, and polysubstance misuse. Polysubstance misuse can make withdrawal worse as the person may face physical symptoms such as muscle pain, weakness, sweats, shakiness, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, seizures, numbness in hands and feet, insomnia (inability to sleep), nightmares, slurred speech, tremors, nerve pain, chest pain, heart attack, stroke, and even coma.

Shadow Mountain Recovery recommends going through detox in the presence of medical professionals who are always monitoring one’s progress. Cocaine withdrawal can be a mental challenge as the damaged dopamine receptors are unable to produce sufficient dopamine, possibly leading the person to fall into a crippling depression and even making them suicidal. To counter the mood swings experienced by a person going through withdrawal, a well-equipped detox facility will offer evidence-based treatments such as medications to relieve withdrawal symptoms; counseling and group therapy; alternative therapies such as meditation, hiking, and educational classes; and a number of personalized treatments tailored to one’s exact needs.

Shadow Mountain Recovery Taos offers detox and holistic residential addiction treatment amid the beauty of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Shadow Mountain also has locations in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M.

For more information about Shadow Mountain Recovery and its treatment services, visit their website or call (800) 203-8249.


For more information about Shadow Mountain Recovery Taos, contact the company here:

Shadow Mountain Recovery Taos
250 Shadow Mountain Rd
Taos, New Mexico, 87571