Cocaine: Side-Effects and Addiction Treatment

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that makes people very sleepy during the day. People who suffer from narcolepsy may take stimulants, including drugs like cocaine, to stay awake. Provigil (modafinil) is sometimes used to treat cocaine use along with narcolepsy.

Over the long-term, quitting cocaine is the best way to improve your sleep. Although early cocaine withdrawal symptoms can cause a crash that leads to excessive sleep, this is often short-lasting. It can take weeks, months or even longer for the body to reverse cocaine’s damage on sleep cycles. Typically, cocaine will continue to harm sleep for a period after a person quits the drug. While sleep impairment may continue during the early withdrawal phase from cocaine, sleep improves as the person continues cocaine abstinence.

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Cocaine addiction is closely linked to insomnia, a sleep disorder characterised by difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep. Prolonged cocaine use can alter the brain’s reward system, leading to tolerance and dependence. As the body becomes accustomed to the drug’s presence, users may find it increasingly challenging to achieve restful sleep without cocaine. Ultimately, this can have a long-term impact on your ability to fall asleep, stay asleep and achieve restful sleep, which can affect your long-term physical and mental health. These effects can persist for weeks, months or even longer, even when the cocaine has left your system. Cocaine use can have a detrimental effect on sleep apnea by narrowing airways, thus serious sleep problems and posing significant health risks for chronic cocaine users.

Once cocaine has left the system, certain drug/urine tests may still be able to detect cocaine usage for up to 90 days and sometimes even a year. To develop new therapeutic strategies for drug addiction, scientists must study animal models https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/how-to-rebuild-your-life-after-addiction-how-to-regain-trust/ that are not based on simple drug self-administration, Pelloux says. Although data from studies with humans are limited, he says they suggest that the negative consequences of drug abuse persuade individuals to abstain from cocaine.

Cocaine Sleep Effects

However, cocaine use doesn’t only impact sleep in the short-term. When the brain is consistently flushed with too much dopamine, it becomes unable to reabsorb this vital chemical. However, all of these feelings are counterintuitive to getting a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that cocaine use can have a direct negative impact on the genes that contribute to our circadian rhythm, also known as our biological clock. When most people think about cocaine, they think of the crack epidemic of the 1980’s and 1990’s.

  • Their altered sleep patterns, cognitive deficits, and impulsivity may be exacerbated by high levels of catecholamines, brain chemicals that the body produces in response to stress.
  • To improve sleep after quitting cocaine, seek professional help, establish a sleep schedule, and practice relaxation techniques.
  • Begin with a free call to an addiction & behavioral health treatment advisor.
  • Orexin receptor antagonism (SB , selective orexin receptor 1 antagonist) reduces sleep deprivation-induced enhancement of cocaine conditioned place preference in rodents (Bjorness and Greene, 2020).
  • These disruptions can further exacerbate the overall negative impact of cocaine on sleep quality and quantity.

Sleep disturbances may also have an effect on drug use, potentially leading to a relapse, even in crack cocaine users. This can lead to a vicious cycle of cocaine abuse and dependence, as individuals may find it increasingly difficult to fall asleep without the drug. Spring Hill Recovery Center provides residential treatment for addiction and co-occurring mental health issues. However, some conditions may require treatment beyond our capabilities, and we reserve the right to medically discharge a patient for a higher level of mental health care. For this reason, any time a long-term crack cocaine user is not high, they usually feel very tired. Unfortunately, this fatigue often makes crack addicts seek out more of the drug.

What factors affect detection time?

The type of drug test used may also depend on the preferences of the organization or facility conducting the test. Ultimately, the drug test choice will depend on various factors, including cost, accuracy, how long does cocaine stay in your system and turnaround time. The length of time that cocaine can stay in your system varies based on several factors, such as the person’s metabolic rate, the amount of the drug used, and the frequency of use.

  • Many issues play a role, including other mental health disorders,  your background, and your environment.
  • Prolonged cocaine use can alter the brain’s reward system, leading to tolerance and dependence.
  • Doing so will accurately estimate how long it will stay observable in your system based on how much, how often, and how recently you’ve used it.
  • Sleep apnea, a disorder characterised by pauses in breathing during deep sleep itself, can lead to a range of health issues, including high blood pressure, heart problems, and an increased risk of accidents due to excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • However, excessive release of dopamine is part of the addiction process.


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