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How Inpatient Cocaine Withdrawal Treatment Works

Cocaine withdrawal can cause a number of uncomfortable and even dangerous symptoms, which may require treatment in an inpatient center. If you believe you or a loved one may need to attend inpatient treatment during cocaine withdrawal, it helps to know what that treatment will entail and how it works.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms Requiring Inpatient Treatment

inpatient cocaine withdrawal treatment

One sign of a need for inpatient cocaine withdrawal treatment is panic attacks.

Anyone can go to an inpatient center for cocaine detox, and if you believe you will be less likely to relapse in a controlled environment, then this option may be best for you. However, certain withdrawal symptoms may dictate the need for residential treatment when a person is a danger to themselves or others.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, someone who binges on cocaine regularly is likely to experience issues such as “increased irritability, restlessness, panic attacks, and paranoia.” These problems can lead to a “full-blown psychosis,” which often occurs before or around the time of withdrawal. A person experiencing stimulant-induced psychosis during cocaine withdrawal may exhibit symptoms such as:

  • Hostility
  • Severe paranoia
  • Auditory, visual, and tactile hallucinations, one of which is the sensation that bugs are crawling on the skin
  • Violent outbursts
  • Homicidal or suicidal thoughts
  • Delusions

These types of behaviors and feelings can be dangerous to the individual or cause them to become dangerous to others. Therefore, someone who exhibits these symptoms is in need of inpatient care for their cocaine withdrawal. In addition, depression caused by cocaine withdrawal can also become very serious, causing suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm, which can indicate need for treatment in a controlled environment as well.

If you think you or someone you know is likely to experience these dangerous issues, it is important to make sure they attend inpatient treatment, but even without psychosis, the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can be incredibly severe and may require hospitalization or inpatient care. According to the National Library of Medicine, “The level of craving, irritability, delayed depression, and other symptoms produced by cocaine withdrawal rivals or exceeds that felt with other withdrawal syndromes.”

Assessment of a Patient’s Needs

The first thing healthcare professionals do when a patient comes into inpatient cocaine detox treatment is assess the patient’s needs and create a personalized treatment plan for them. This is necessary because not every patient responds the same to a specific treatment type. The patient’s health is taken into account, any necessary tests are ordered and performed, and the doctors and nurses are able to find out how to help the patient. “A toxicology (poison) screen may also be performed to see if other drugs may have been taken,” as well as blood chemistries, a chest x-ray, a urinalysis, and a cardiac enzymes test. After the doctors at the inpatient clinic are able to assess the patient’s needs, they can begin treatment.


Officially, there are no medications indicated for the treatment of cocaine addiction and/or withdrawal, but patients may be given certain medications to treat their symptoms while in inpatient care for cocaine withdrawal. Antipsychotics may be used if the patient is experiencing psychotic symptoms. Sometimes, patients are able to take anticraving agents as well, which can be especially helpful in instances of extreme cravings for the drug.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, some patients may also need to take antidepressants if they are experiencing severe depressive symptoms. It is also very important that, during the initial exam performed on the patient, the doctor receives a thorough reading of the patient’s condition and performs a urinalysis and a blood test to ensure that the patient does not have any other drugs in their system that could counteract with the medications they will be given.

Behavioral Therapy

Medications can help reduce the intensity of a person’s cocaine withdrawal symptoms, but for the most part, they are still going to be intense, especially if the patient requires inpatient treatment. After these symptoms begin to subside somewhat, patients are often encouraged to attend behavioral therapy where they can learn to view their addictions in a different way.

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps those going through cocaine withdrawal recognize the actions and objects that trigger their drug cravings and helps them learn to avoid those triggers. In addition, some programs use other therapeutic treatments like the Matrix Model, which fosters a strong connection between the patient and their therapist in order to engage “stimulant… abusers in treatment and help… them achieve abstinence” (NIDA).

Additional Treatments

Holistic treatment methods are often available as well to patients in inpatient centers for cocaine withdrawal. In some cases, methods like yoga, exercise therapy, art therapy, and meditation can help individuals work through their issues of depression and anxiety and learn to control their feelings toward cocaine. These treatments are often very effective for individuals who have trouble with traditional treatment types.

Follow-up Addiction Treatment

Most inpatient detox centers and facilities in which individuals can withdraw from cocaine urge patients to then follow up their detox with addiction treatment for cocaine. Medically assisted withdrawal on its own is not a treatment for addiction, and patients who are beginning to feel more in control of their lives after withdrawing from cocaine are often recommended to another program for their cocaine addiction treatment. This usually occurs when a patient is stable and can sit down and discuss their options with their doctor.

While many inpatient programs provide therapy sessions to help facilitate the transition into cocaine addiction treatment, patients still need to receive some sort of drug counseling after withdrawal in order to continue their recovery safely. In some cases, patients will not need to attend inpatient addiction treatment, but some type of program is necessary to ensure that the addiction itself has been treated and not just the patient’s dependence on cocaine.

How Can I Find an Inpatient Cocaine Withdrawal Treatment Center?

Call 800-430-1407Who Answers? today to find an inpatient center in your area where you can work through the symptoms and issues caused by cocaine withdrawal safely. We can help you find the program that will best suit your needs as you begin your recovery from cocaine dependence and addiction.

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