kick the habit

How Do I Stop Using Cocaine?

Facing a cocaine habit is one of the first steps to quit use altogether. It is also one of the hardest things to do as cocaine is highly addictive both physically and psychologically. Find out some ways to quit cocaine for good and recover in a healthy, positive way.

Giving Up the Habit

Many people do not realize cocaine is highly addictive and targets the central nervous system. The liability is one of the reasons it is scheduled as a narcotic, illegal drug within the United States. People who use cocaine frequently are at seriously high risk of dependence.  Generally, it is not advisable to quit without first consulting a medical professional. Many factors are involved in quitting a highly addictive substance such as cocaine, including:

  • Level of dependence or addiction
  • Desire to quit
  • Ability to find right support mechanisms

Keep in mind a person will need to modify behavior and build awareness of triggers in order to avoid future cocaine use. A person can get off cocaine if he or she first explores what happens in the brain and body after the drug is stopped.

Brain and Body on Cocaine

If cocaine has been used for a long period of time, the body will likely to be used to its presence. Cocaine acts on the brain as a stimulant, causing the body to overproduce depressant effects to balance out. Once the drugs are stopped, the effects become more noticeable. When cocaine is no longer in the system, the central nervous system’s functions will go back to normal over time. Withdrawal is a set of symptoms which kick in when the drug is not in the system and begin after a period of regular use where the body needs time to ‘figure out’ how to regain balance.

Potential Side Effects

Quitting cocaine is a great goal to have but it comes with adverse side effects in the beginning. Common side effects which occur when cocaine is stopped may include:

  • Depression
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling agitated
  • Increased appetite
  • Slowing down of activity

The effects may not feel physically challenging but will provoke feelings of cravings and relapse which are considered emotional-psychological in nature. Seeking support during the first week or so after quitting cocaine is recommended until the side effects wear off.

Cold Turkey

When cocaine is suddenly not used, it is very difficult mentally and physically. The method may increase the likelihood of relapse as side effects may be more severe and intense. The body needs to be physically and mentally ready to cope with the absence of cocaine by slowly tapering down the dose. When severe cravings occur, people often reach for other abusive substances or consider suicide. Medical supervision is critical during cocaine detox.

It is possible to quit cocaine and recover from addiction. Seeking support is the best next step to ensure a healthy experience with less severe side effects or repercussions.


The Villa provides support and resources to individuals seeking help with cocaine or other addictions. If you or a loved one need help quitting cocaine, call us to see how we can support your journey to recovery.