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Cocaine Withdrawal and Detox in Teens

Teen boy using razor to make a line of cocaine.  

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug derived from the leaves of the coca plant. Although adults more frequently use cocaine, teen cocaine use occurs at alarming rates. According to studies evaluating teens and cocaine use, nearly 4% of 12th graders reported cocaine use.

Signs of cocaine use in young adults can differ from those in adults, making it challenging to identify teen cocaine usage. When cocaine is used consistently or at high doses, the body adapts to functioning with the drug present. This adaptation leads to physical cocaine dependence. When a teen with dependence abruptly stops cocaine use, cocaine withdrawal symptoms occur. Although teen addiction is challenging for families to overcome, a comprehensive teen cocaine withdrawal and detox program can lead to successful recovery from cocaine addiction.

Teen Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Over time, teen cocaine use may lead to physical dependence and addiction. When halting cocaine use, unpleasant and sometimes severe withdrawal symptoms can occur. Parents of kids doing cocaine should seek the assistance of a professional cocaine detox program tailored to teen cocaine addiction. A professional detox program provides the necessary resources to monitor and manage cocaine withdrawal symptoms successfully. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include physical and behavioral signs such as:

  • Anxiety: Cocaine-induced anxiety and paranoia can occur as the body adjusts to functioning without cocaine.
  • Depression: Withdrawal from cocaine and depression is common. Without cocaine’s stimulant effects, teens may experience a severe crash and subsequent depression. However, there are many causes of depression in teens, so additional sources should be evaluated and treated if necessary.
  • Excessive sleep: Sleeping longer or more often than usual is a sign of cocaine withdrawal in teens due to the absence of cocaine’s stimulant properties and accompanying depression.
  • Agitation: Irritability and mood swings may occur in teens as cocaine’s sense of euphoria wears off.
  • Severe cravings: A strong desire for more cocaine may occur once use is stopped.

Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

Cocaine withdrawal timelines vary from teen to teen. The duration of teen cocaine withdrawal depends on the teen’s age, height, weight, genetics, and metabolism, as these factors influence how long it takes for the body to metabolize and eliminate the drug. The dose and duration of use also impact cocaine withdrawal symptom timelines, with higher quantities or more prolonged use associated with more severe withdrawal symptoms. An initial crash occurs immediately once cocaine use is stopped. Withdrawal symptoms typically begin within 24 hours of the final cocaine use and last for three to five days. However, cravings and depression can last for months after stopping long-term heavy use. Since each teen is different, it is essential not to compare cocaine withdrawal timelines between individuals.

Adolescent Cocaine Withdrawal Dangers

Parents may wonder, is cocaine withdrawal dangerous? Although cocaine addiction withdrawal symptoms may be severe, they are rarely life-threatening if managed as part of a professional detox program. In some cases, serious psychotic symptoms such as paranoia, severe agitation and hallucinations may occur during withdrawal from stimulants such as cocaine. These symptoms may lead to aggressive behavior, self-harm or harm to others. However, these symptoms can be successfully managed using antipsychotic medications.

Teens should be closely monitored while undergoing cocaine withdrawal to minimize the risk of suicide. In rare situations, hospitalization may be necessary to manage symptoms.

Cocaine Detox for Adolescents

Due to the potential severity of cocaine withdrawal symptoms, detox can be difficult and hazardous to complete without the support of a residential treatment center for teens. Cocaine withdrawal treatment may include medical monitoring, medications, psychotherapy and 12-step support groups. Since detox for teenagers differs from adult detox, a qualified medical detox center designed specifically for teens is recommended.

Addressing the unique challenges that face teens, such as peer pressure, academic difficulties, social problems and co-occurring mental health conditions is critical in supporting long-term recovery. Studies show that peer influence is a significant driver behind teen substance use. Since it can be difficult for teens to separate themselves from peers who are using drugs, professional inpatient cocaine detox and treatment centers provide a place for teens to focus on recovery.

Teen cocaine addiction has many negative consequences and can be challenging for families to overcome. However, recovery is possible with proper treatment. If your teen lives with cocaine addiction, Next Generation Village can help. Contact Next Generation Village today to learn about treatment options and begin the initial steps toward addiction recovery.

Medical Disclaimer: Next Generation Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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