Cocaine Comedown

Bad cocaine stories tend to go in one direction: down

There is a recognisable pattern that cocaine users go through, a negative spiral. As a user becomes more hooked on cocaine, as their addiction develops they go through various experiences. Gradually the only thing that matters is being able to maintain access to cocaine.

To start with cocaine brings euphoria, but it doesn’t tend to last

Users become manipulative, dishonest, they develop debts and financial problems. Frequently there are co-morbidity problems. Cocaine users develop depression, increased anxiety and obsessional issues. Over time addicts become prone to paranoia.

Their relationships suffer, there may be problems in marriages, and an increase in relationships breaking down. Over time the cocaine addict puts cocaine above everything else.

The term ‘cocaine comedown’ covers a range of possibilities

Cocaine use tends to start as a social past time.  Perhaps for a lot of people it can stay like that. Cocaine is probably the number two recreational drug after cannabis.  For some people it stays like that, for others cocaine takes over and the cocaine comedowns begin.

One minute you feel that you are in control of your cocaine use.  The next you’re not.  And on the way you have spent a fortune, lied to and deceived yourself and all the people you love, and probably risked and maybe lost everything along the way.

At one end a cocaine comedown is a heavy hangover, at the other, it’s a rock bottom where users lose everything and their life, perhaps several lives all need to be be rebuilt.

Cocaine Comedown and Politics

Cocaine comedown may yet become a footnote in the Conservative Party leadership elections of June 2019.  A series of embarrassing disclosures has led to candidates admitting that they all experimented with cocaine in their earlier years.

  • Will their political careers recover?
  • Should they be given a second chance?
  • They think so.  What do you think?

Why does cocaine cause such a heavy come down?

“No matter where I treat my guests, you see they always like my kitchen best.

Cause I’ve cocaine running around my brain.”


It starts off as fun… and then it’s not. After the high and the buzz comes the fall. Cocaine is a very energy heavy drug.  It’s a bit like going into debt in your bank account.  You can spend what you like today but it will all have to be paid back tomorrow.  This is part of the withdrawal syndrome.  Cocaine is a stimulant with side effects.

All of the energy that you consume on a night of cocaine pleasure, it all has to be paid back over the next few days.  And that debt can be very hard to pay back. Cocaine doesn’t just empty your bank account, it depletes your system and your psyche.  It can impact your blood pressure and heart rate, leave you with a runny nose and post acute withdrawal.

And that’s just if you are an ordinary social user.

Cocaine comedowns, cocaine combinations

  1. Usually cocaine is taken with alcohol which then adds to the hangover and come down that you feel the next day.  This is why you will experience terrible dehydration and fatigue.
  2. Cocaine use suppresses your hunger and messes with your appetite which further adds to the experience of physical exhaustion and wipes you out, as well as leading to some very bad dietary habits.
  3. Excessive cocaine use often goes hand in hand with casual sex, adultery, and that can mix other emotional consequences into your comedown, often involving guilt, shame, regret, and a need for secrecy.
  4. These feelings all then have to be managed and covered up while, with very limited energy, the cocaine comedown is metabolised and worked through your system.

All of this makes your cocaine come down very hard

This is why it becomes tempting to reach for more cocaine.  One way to deal with the comedown is to try to defer it for another day.  But one way or another the debt will be there waiting for you, getting bigger and bigger all the time.

Cocaine is a drug that makes users very self-interested.  What starts off as a social sharing of cocaine amongst friends, very quickly turns into a hunt to be with the person who has the cocaine.

All cocaine encourages you to do is to take more cocaine, and every time you take another line you become more in debt to the drug.  And the next day when the cocaine comedown rolls around you will be exhausted, feel shame, regret, and probably guilt that you have done it all again.

Cocaine comedowns, film, music and novels

Goodfellas (1990) depicts Henry Hill’s descent into paranoia and fear and escape into police protection.  Henry’s cocaine comedown is so powerful that it leads him to break the Mafia omerta, the rule of silence.  The Wolf of Wall Street, John Belfort’s memoir, adds its own excessive vision to what cocaine come downs are like.  Ruinous.

Cocaine comedowns in music

Lonnie Johnson was singing about cocaine and cocaine comedowns as far back as 1927 Dopehead Blues, More recently Johnny Cash’s Cocaine Blues, or J.J. Cale’s Cocaine.  Cocaine is all part of the music scene party life of excess and hedonism.  But when the party stops, the comedown will be there waiting for you.

Cocaine comedowns in novels and history

Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Hunter S. Thompson all wrote about cocaine and cocaine comedowns. In the 1880’s Sherlock Holmes novels, Holmes is injecting cocaine.

At the end of the 19th century cocaine was commonly used in medical procedures as an anesthetic. Freud wrote about the uses of cocaine in 1884 and included his own experiences of the drug.  Freud experimented with cocaine as an anesthetic to be used in eye surgery.  Freud moved on from working with cocaine.  Can you?

Is your cocaine comedown the sign of an addiction?

  • How do you know if your cocaine comedowns are a sign that something is out of hand?
  • Could they be a sign of addiction?

One way to check is to look for the signs of your life becoming unmanageable. Cocaine will deplete and degrade you and your life.  You will rack up debts, your relationships will suffer.  An addiction is not just measured in a craving for more cocaine, it is measured in the way your life is starting to fall apart.

  • Increased levels of anxiety
  • Money problems,
  • Problems at work,
  • Problems in your relationships with your partner and children
  • A fear that you might have brought a sexual infection into your marriage.
  • Memory problems and lost periods of time.

The comedown from cocaine is further complicated because there are questions of what chemicals have been cut into the drug. Often the additives that are used to dilute the cocaine introduce further toxicity.

Physical symptoms of cocaine comedown

Typically as well as exhaustion and dehydration, users nostrils will be inflamed and dry with possible sinus inflammation, possibly bleeding.

  • Frequently heavy users chew their gums as a side effect of dehydration.
  • The heavy fatigue may bring on increased irritability, agitation and
  • An inability to concentrate on any activity for an extended period.
  • You will probably experience sleep problems.
  • At an extreme you may experience irregular heartbeat and develop arrhythmia, a heart attack is possible.

The cocaine comedown hangover will create cravings for more cocaine use to ease your hangover.  The more you use the more tolerance you develop and the more you have to use.  Eventually it will dawn on the user that they have spent much more money than they meant to.

How are you going to stop?

How do you start to deal with all the unmanageability?

At this point you either decide to stop… or take more cocaine.


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