Skip to Content

Cocaine Abuse


Cocaine abuse

is a pattern of use that causes health or other problems. Abuse can include using large amounts of cocaine at one time or using it several times each day or week. You may start needing more cocaine to get the same feelings of happiness you got from lower amounts. You may have cocaine withdrawal if you have used cocaine for a long time and you suddenly use less or stop using it.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Use of more cocaine than you first wanted to use
  • No ability to decrease or control your use of cocaine
  • Spending much of your time using cocaine, or dealing with a hangover after you use cocaine
  • Less time spent around others, at work, or doing activities that you enjoy
  • Continued cocaine use, even when it causes physical or mental problems

Signs and symptoms of cocaine withdrawal:

  • Seizure
  • Sweating, shaking, or a fast heartbeat
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not really there
  • Unpleasant dreams that seem real
  • Severe sadness or fatigue
  • Restlessness, nervousness, or anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping or difficulty waking up
  • Nausea or vomiting

Seek care immediately if:

  • You feel like hurting yourself or someone else.
  • You have a seizure.
  • You have a temperature over 101°F (38.3°C) after you use cocaine.
  • You cough or spit up blood.
  • You have severe abdominal pain.
  • You have a severe headache, confusion, or feel very nervous.
  • You have weakness on one side of your body.
  • You have chest pain, sweating, or shortness of breath.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You feel you cannot cope with your problems.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


for cocaine abuse may include any of the following types of therapy:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may help you change your thinking and behavior. It can help you manage depression and anxiety caused by cocaine abuse. CBT can help you learn good coping skills and ways to manage stress. CBT can be done with you and a talk therapist or in a group with others.
  • Motivational enhancement therapy may help you change your behavior and stop cocaine abuse. A therapist or counselor helps motivate you and set goals.
  • Twelve-step facilitation (TSF) is a short, structured approach to reach early recovery from drug abuse. It is done one-to-one in 12 to 15 sessions. Goals of the program include accepting that you have a problem that you need to overcome, and being willing to take certain steps to overcome it.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Cocaine Abuse (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.