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What’s It Like to Detox from Crack Cocaine


Monday, April 9, 2018

Crack cocaine is a powerful and potent drug. With just one hit, people can become instantly addicted. This crystallized form of cocaine creates an intense but short-lived high. Once the high wears off, users experience an intense depression which can only be relieved by taking more of the drug. This intense emotional cycle associated with crack use is very difficult to break. For those who attempt to detox from crack, it can be a harrowing event.

While the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms associated with crack addiction are intense, undergoing professional drug treatment is the only way to break the cycle of abuse. If you are addicted to crack cocaine and looking to break free, you may fear the detox process. While difficult, successful detoxing from crack cocaine is more manageable if you know what to expect. The following article will outline what you can expect when you detox from crack cocaine.

A Withdrawal Timeline

When you quit using crack cocaine, you will experience withdrawal symptoms within a short period of time. Within 24 to 72 hours, you may experience intense psychological withdrawal symptoms such as tactile and audio hallucinations. With these types of hallucinations, you may feel the sensation of bugs crawling on you or hear sirens or other noises that aren’t in your environment.

After this intense initial period of crack detox and within the first week, you will start to feel physically and psychologically stable. It is during this period of detoxification where you may feel like you are cured of your addiction. While you may feel less fatigued and healthier, you are not out of danger. Cravings persist and grow more intense. During this period, you may feel emotional symptoms such as the following:

  • Apathy
  • Increased irritability
  • Disorientation
  • hunger
  • Extended periods of sleep

In the second week of detox from crack, you may experience increased hunger as well as a lingering sense of depression. During this period of detox, the brain starts producing more dopamine on its own. While an encouraging sign, you will still feel lingering cravings to use the drug. As you progress in detox, you may alternate between anxiety and depression and your moods will fluctuate. Depending on the severity of your use, the detox process from crack can last several months.

The Short and Long-Term Effects of Crack Cocaine Addiction

In addition to the withdrawal symptoms noted above, there are additional short and long-term effects associated with chronic crack use. Additional short-term effects include the following:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Contracted blood vessels
  • Increased rate of breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Nausea
  • Hyperstimulation
  • Bizarre, erratic, sometimes violent behavior

With chronic use, those addicted to crack can experience the following long-term effects:

  • Permanent damage to blood vessels
  • Increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death
  • Severe chest pains
  • Respiratory failure
  • Malnutrition
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Unpredictable mood swings
  • Increased risk-taking and thrill-seeking behaviorDelirium
  • Psychosis

The Importance of Crack Cocaine Detox and Treatment

When you are considering getting clean and sober from this potent drug, it is important to detox from crack under the strict supervision of experienced treatment personnel. You may feel that you can detox from crack on your own. While it is an appealing option, self-detox or going cold turkey will do more harm than good.

While not particularly life-threatening on their own, the withdrawal symptoms associated with crack can be dangerous if you are addicted to other drugs. Additionally, underlying medical conditions can also compound your withdrawal symptoms. To safely detox from crack, undergoing intensive treatment is the best and safest option.

What to Expect from Drug Treatment for Crack Cocaine

When you enter a drug rehab for crack cocaine, you will first start with the detoxification process. When you detox from crack, experienced treatment professionals will utilize medications, nutrition, and other interventions. The detox stage is critical in helping you become physically and psychologically stable.

When you are detoxing from crack cocaine, you will undergo a comprehensive evaluation to detect a co-occurring mental disorder. Known as dual diagnosis, this phenomenon can provide additional obstacles in your recovery. Oftentimes, a mental illness such as depression and anxiety are a root cause of substance abuse. Once you are stable, you are ready to enter intensive drug treatment.

During drug treatment, you will undergo individual and group therapy, 12-step support, life skills training and other programs. During this phase, the main goal is to allow you the time to deal with the underlying causes of your crack cocaine addiction. With the support of staff and your peers, you will receive the tools needed to build a recovery-centered lifestyle.

Once you have completed drug treatment, your recovery journey is not over. To help you better transition from treatment to your normal life, it is highly recommended that you take part in an aftercare program. Aftercare programs include intensive outpatient treatment, sober living, and alumni programs.

Aftercare programs focus on relapse prevention and allow you to put into practice the coping skills learned in drug treatment. While these programs allow you to meet your work and family obligations, you will have the continued support of treatment staff and peers. Aftercare programs allow you to strengthen your support network.

Looking for A Detox and Treatment Program for Your Crack Cocaine Addiction?

The effects of crack cocaine addiction are devastating to the addict and their loved ones. If you are struggling with an addiction to crack, you need immediate professional help. With a phone call to B-Hope, you can begin your road to recovery.

We offer crack detox programs that are effective and proven to work. We will work closely with you to find the right combination of programs and services that will help you get and stay sober. You don’t have to suffer from crack addiction any longer; call B-Hope today.

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