Substance Abuse Treatment for Crack Cocaine
Quitting crack cocaine isn’t easy. However, overcoming crack is worth the struggle and is possible through a comprehensive crack addiction treatment plan.
If you have been struggling with addiction to crack, you shouldn’t suffer alone. Recovering from a crack cocaine addiction will be physically and mentally taxing, but getting professional support through a sober support system can ease the process. Having the willpower to quit and sticking to that decision through the withdrawal symptoms is crucial for complete recovery.
People addicted to crack often surround themselves with people who enable them or accept their habit. To fully recover and conquer the biochemical part of your addiction, you need to surround yourself with supportive individuals.
Finding a rehab that focuses on helping people overcome crack addiction dramatically improves the chances of success.
Keep reading to learn more about effective means of crack addiction treatment and how Icarus Behavioral Health can help you reclaim your life from cocaine!
What is Crack Cocaine?
Crack cocaine is a highly addictive and potent psychostimulant derived from powdered cocaine. It has the consistency of a mineral and an off-white color.
This drug is often manufactured by combining the powdered form of cocaine with baking soda and/or ammonia. Crack Cocaine is made by heating this mixture with a lighter or flame.
Although some individuals use soda cans or aluminum foil to heat the drug when used, most people prefer to use a glass pipe, commonly called a stem, to vaporize it before inhaling it.
Injecting crack cocaine produces severe effects, yet many users also abuse crack in this form.
The cracking or popping sound that crack cocaine creates when heated is where the name comes from. Some of the most common street and slang names include:
Most people who use crack usually have a preexisting cocaine addiction. Crack cocaine is much less expensive than its more prestigious counterpart, cocaine. Therefore, anyone can use it, especially those in vulnerable circumstances.
A crack cocaine addiction may quickly escalate into a costly habit costing hundreds to thousands of dollars weekly as you need more of the drug to sustain a high.
Crack Cocaine and the Need for Crack Addiction Treatment
When compared to conventional cocaine, crack is much more potent and addictive. Some people become addicted after their very hit of crack, and this is because tolerance develops quickly.
Crack abuse is a vicious cycle: the high is so intense, but it wears off so quickly that they must keep taking more of the drug to feel the same way. Substance dependence develops over time, and the user eventually requires the drug to maintain a sense of normalcy.
The effects of crack cocaine diminish as tolerance sets in, and the user will suddenly experience withdrawal if they try to stop using the substance.
Crack cocaine causes this by releasing a flood of the feel-good chemical dopamine into the brain. Consistent crack use reduces the body’s ability to produce dopamine, leading to a dependency on the drug.
Addiction to crack is extremely challenging to overcome due to the intensity of cravings and the need to avoid the adverse effects of withdrawal. Crack addicts frequently ignore the severity of the damage done by their habit.
Seek immediate help from the professionals at Icarus if you or a loved one is addicted to crack cocaine.
What Factors Predispose People to Crack Addiction?
The risk that someone will develop a substance use disorder is not dependent on a single factor but on various issues. Addiction does not discriminate against age, gender, color, socioeconomic status, or religious affiliation.
Crack addiction is often the result of a complex interaction of factors, such as:
To a certain extent, susceptibility to substance abuse disorders can be traced back to a person’s genetic makeup. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that genetics account for over half of a person’s risk for substance abuse. A person’s risk of developing a substance use disorder increases if they have many family members who suffer from addiction.
A person can have a dual diagnosis of mental health and substance use disorders. Sometimes their mental health problems can come before the substance use, making this another element that leads to a person acquiring an addiction. Substance abuse and addiction can develop when someone uses drugs or alcohol to treat the distress caused by a mental health disorder.
A person’s vulnerability to developing an addiction may be influenced by their upbringing. Adolescents and younger kids tend to experience this more than anyone else. They may begin experimenting with drugs at a younger age if they do not have a supportive family environment. Adolescents can be influenced by peers to join in on popular activities or meet new people.
Those who have experienced trauma or abuse may turn to drugs like crack cocaine to help them cope with the trauma.
5. Method of Administration and Drug of Choice
Depending on their potency or how they are used, some chemicals are more addictive than others. Crack cocaine’s potency and rapid onset of effects make it a dangerous and addictive drug with short “high” and “down” phases.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Crack Abuse?
Crack cocaine produces has intense effects. Addiction to crack cocaine addiction is almost always noticeable, in contrast to other drug dependencies.
Given the short half-life of crack, users often need to use the drug every 15–30 minutes to maintain the high. And because of the extreme preoccupation with getting their next “hit,” many crack users cannot carry on regular conversations.
People who use crack can act overly confident and frantic.
Besides these, look out for the following signs if you suspect a loved one is using crack:
- Pupillary dilation
- Aggression and hostility
- A rapid increase in breathing rate
- Uncharacteristic carelessness
- Fingers or lips with burns or cracks
Hazards Associated with Crack Cocaine Use
Crack’s addictive properties are one of the drug’s most concerning side effects. Because it prevents the reuptake of dopamine, crack produces an excess of the neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure systems.
Once your brain experiences the euphoric “high” from crack for the first time, it begins rewiring itself in anticipation of future use.
What are the Immediate Effects of Using Crack?
The unpredictable chemical composition of crack means its effects can vary from user to user. Physical and mental side effects of crack use are cumulative and become more severe with continued use. Substance use disorders involving crack can have instant adverse effects like:
- Strong urges to keep using
- Restlessness and anxiety
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Pressured speech
- Dilated eyes
- Lack of appetite
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Elevated temperatures
- Stroke and heart attacks
- Respiratory failure
- Feeling like there are bugs under the skin, sometimes known as “coke bugs”
Harmful Consequences of Crack Cocaine Use
Crack abuse can have negative consequences over time. Chronic crack use is toxic to the liver, kidneys, and heart, among other essential organs. Furthermore, because crack cocaine weakens the immune system, people who use it are more likely to get sick. Long-term crack addiction carries risks such as:
- Severe depression
- Blood vessel damage
- Elevated blood pressure
- Lungs damage
- Liver damage
- Tooth decay
- Reproductive damage
- Risky behavior
- Paranoid behavior
- Kidney failure and heart attack
- Stroke and heart attack
Spotting the Signs of Crack Addiction
Considering how powerful and addicting crack is, occasional use is grounds for alarm. Crack addicts will breach any law to satisfy their need for the drug. Your or your loved one’s life may depend on your ability to recognize warning signs.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), some signs of addiction are excessive use, tolerance, withdrawal, and neglecting obligations in favor of drug usage. The diagnostic criteria for crack cocaine dependence include these symptoms.
When you learn that a person has a crack addiction, the next step is to get them into crack addiction treatment. But it’s not usually easy to convince someone who has had their brain altered to misuse crack persistently to enter drug rehab. So staging an intervention may help.
A professional interventionist may help deal with crack users’ potentially violent or paranoid behavior.
Whether you or your loved one are using a gram of cocaine daily and cooking it yourself, or buying larger amounts of crack on the street, the danger remains.
If it has become a problem in your life, get support for lasting recovery from crack at Icarus, reach out for options today!
Does Crack Cocaine Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?
People with crack cocaine addiction develop a psychological and physiological tolerance to the drug and suffer from withdrawal when they try to stop using.
Crack cocaine is a more concentrated and potent version of powdered cocaine. Its potency also means its withdrawal symptoms might be more severe than other drugs.
Using crack cocaine alters the brain and the neurological system. When a user finally decides to put down the crack pipe for good, their bodies go through a period of readjustment during which they learn how to operate normally without the drug.
A former user may go through a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms during the withdrawal process, including:
- Mood swings
- Vivid, unpleasant dreams
Many factors, such as the client’s tolerance, metabolism, length of addiction, the severity of habit, and the presence of co-occurring mental disorders or other addictions, might influence the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
What are the Signs of Crack Withdrawal?
Crack has a strong psychological and physiological hold. Addiction to this stimulant is notoriously difficult to beat, which is why detoxing in a rehabilitation center is highly recommended.
Prolonged withdrawal, also known as post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS), can cause long-lasting psychological difficulties, often months after a person has stopped using an addictive substance.
Signs of acute withdrawal syndrome (AWS) include the following:
- Having nightmares
- Difficulty concentrating
- Moods swings
Some of the possible long-term effects of withdrawal are:
- Intense cravings
- Poor sleep quality
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of capacity for pleasure
- Experiencing extreme displays of emotion, such as anger
How Long Does Withdrawal from Crack Last?
The duration it takes to recover from crack withdrawal varies from person to person and is affected by various circumstances. Factors include the client’s biochemistry, tolerance level, and the intensity and length of the addiction.
If you stop using crack cocaine suddenly, you may start to feel the effects of withdrawal within 30 minutes to 72 hours. Crack withdrawal can cause physical symptoms that persist for weeks or months.
The presence of withdrawal symptoms for longer than three weeks is PAWS. Crack cocaine withdrawal has psychological effects that can linger for far longer than the physical ones. Psychological withdrawal effects have been reported to last for about six months.
When a person stops using crack cocaine, they may have intense physical symptoms for the first week, but these severe withdrawal symptoms reduce to a week.
Detoxing in a drug treatment facility and establishing a support system ahead of time can help ease withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. Our cocaine use disorders professionals and doctors may recommend joining an inpatient or outpatient treatment program after detox.
The Crack Withdrawal Timeline
Here’s what to expect during the crack cocaine withdrawal phase:
24 to 72 Hours After the Last Dose
In the initial 24 to 72 hours of withdrawal, some people experience symptoms like paranoia and bodily aches. In rare cases, people have even reported hallucinations during this time. Symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, extreme exhaustion, irritability, and cravings often begin within the first 24 hours of stopping use. In most cases, hallucinations and paranoia fade away after this early phase.
During the first week of withdrawal, many people experience anger, excessive exhaustion, problems sleeping, and a general lack of enthusiasm.
During this time, many people experience increased drug cravings and the onset of despair. The brain is still reacting to the withdrawal process, which usually does not release enough dopamine for intensely pleasant emotions. Anxiety symptoms may reappear in this phase.
Week 3 and 4
Mood swings are more common in this phase as the body’s chemistry continues to readjust. Although the physical craving for crack has diminished by this point, the psychological cravings typically last for at least another month. It’s also possible that anxious or depressed emotions will linger.
Crack Detox: Helping Support Lasting Recovery
Your treatment provider will tailor detox plans at drug rehab centers to each client’s needs. Crack is not tapered down during detox way some other substances, such as prescription anti-anxiety meds, are. Users quit cold turkey and can mitigate the discomfort of withdrawal using medicine under medical supervision.
Our addiction professionals may use the following drugs to treat some withdrawal symptoms:
- Clonidine reduces blood pressure and anxiety
- Gabapentin helps treat insomnia, anxiety, tremors in the legs, and seizures
- Propranolol helps with anxiety
- Trazodone and Seroquel treat insomnia
- Vigabatrin and Vistaril help ease anxiety
Crack Cocaine Treatment
Those addicted to crack or freebase cocaine have the best chance of beating their habit during detox. Our crack cocaine addiction treatment center is staffed by professionals like therapists and doctors who tailor treatment plans to each client’s specific requirements.
Individual psychotherapy, psychoeducational groups, process groups, support groups, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) are some of the therapeutic methods used by the different types of crack addiction treatment programs.
These addiction treatment therapies can help clients develop effective strategies for avoiding relapse and identify and alter the thoughts and actions that initially contributed to their crack addiction. Overcoming crack’s social stigma is one of the drug’s most challenging aspects. Finding a new community, good friends, and encouraging influences is the first step toward beating a crack addiction habit.
Rehab and Crack Addiction Treatment Options
Those struggling with substance abuse need individualized strategies of care. Because of their differences, individuals must receive the treatment that best fits their needs and preferences.
The first step in crack rehab is often detoxification. Detox is followed up with a comprehensive substance use disorder (SUD) or addiction treatment plan.
Below are the treatment options for crack addiction:
Trauma Therapy Programs
Substance abuse problems with roots in past trauma are prevalent. People may seek to self-medicate with narcotics like crack cocaine to numb severe sentiments or emotions around their tragedy.
By prioritizing the whole person’s health, trauma therapy programs can speed up the treatment process and improve the quality of life for those who have experienced trauma.
People struggling with trauma and other mental health issues can benefit from participating in trauma therapy programs. When someone receives care for their crack cocaine addiction, mental health condition, and underlying trauma, they can begin recovery.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program
A person’s behavior can influence their substance use disorder and how they handle the rehabilitation process. DBT programs can help people develop strategies to understand and manage their behavior in different contexts.
Mindfulness training is essential to dialectical behavior therapy, which aims to foster a more receptive and optimistic outlook. Individuals can acquire skills for dealing with high emotions and significant life transitions that can cause distress.
You can benefit from this treatment by being aware of your feelings, managing your behavior, and balancing your responsibility with everyone else’s.
Learning how to accept the existing circumstance and go ahead through stressful situations is the core of the Mindfulness-Based Sobriety service. Crack cocaine users can benefit from this service because it helps them learn to recognize and cope with their triggers.
Everything from emotions to thoughts to physical sensations happens in reaction to some trigger. When a person in recovery is confronted with something that reminds them of their crack cocaine use, they may experience a relapse. Sobriety based on mindfulness can help them respond more constructively.
Psychosocial Treatment Interventions
Psychological and social factors related to crack abuse are addressed in treatment programs that take a psychosocial approach. This approach includes counseling, case management, group meetings, and outreach classes.
The use of contingency management (CM) is common in such interventions. Clients who successfully complete their addiction treatment plan through CM are given a reward or other incentives. Crack users who utilize CM report higher abstinence rates and greater motivation to complete treatment.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The primary goal of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is to reduce the likelihood of relapse. People in recovery can avoid triggering situations by becoming aware of the triggers that make them crave crack. Crack addicts can relieve their emotional and behavioral issues through cognitive behavioral therapy.
12-Step Programs and Aftercare Planning
12-step groups like Cocaine Anonymous help members work through their addictions one step at a time. Some of these “community-based” programs may not even include a therapist directly. Someone in the group who has overcome substance abuse leads the meetings.
Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment Programs for Cocaine
An outpatient program involves receiving treatment while still living at home. People who still have work, home, or school obligations often prefer outpatient treatment. It’s helpful for people who aren’t ready to publicly admit they have an addiction problem and are seeking treatment.
Clients often opt for outpatient therapy since it is more cost-effective than hospitalization.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, individuals who need concurrent treatment for co-occurring disorders (both medical and psychiatric) or require around-the-clock access to medical aid are recommended to receive inpatient treatment. Clients in an inpatient program benefit from a peaceful and completely distraction-free setting during their recovery.
Residential rehabilitation programs involve clients remaining in the crack cocaine rehab centers for the entire duration of treatment. People in residential treatment live on the premises with other individuals in recovery, and community service is highly encouraged.
When residents are ready to leave the residential program, they get counseling through individual or group therapy and receive help finding employment and re-entering society.
Get Effective Treatment Options for Crack Abuse and Addiction Now
Participating in a crack addiction treatment plan is the best decision to improve your health and overall well-being. Crack cocaine addiction treatment will help you stop the vicious cycle of addiction and allow you to learn the root cause of your addictive behaviors.
Our professional and compassionate team will help you develop new habits and create healthy boundaries to ensure long-term sobriety.
Contact us today for a confidential consultation and professional medical advice on how to reclaim your life from crack cocaine addiction now!