Author: James Anderson

Cocaine Crack: What It Is, Side Effects, Risks & Withdrawal

crack withdrawal symptoms

For example, it affects the amount of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that sends messages between nerve cells in the brain. Long-term cocaine use dulls thinking processes and the ability to remember information. Cocaine use may make the brain’s stress receptors more sensitive to stress, so people react more strongly to stressful situations. Treatment may occur in hospitals, in therapeutic communities, or in clinical settings. People who are addicted to crack have a chronic medical condition that requires treatment. It’s often not as simple as expecting a person to stop using it on their own, or thinking they’ll be better if they stop using it for a few days.

crack withdrawal symptoms

In general, symptoms reach their peak within 7 to 10 days of discontinuation, and then steadily decline thereafter. Although cocaine withdrawal doesn’t produce the same physical symptoms as opiates or alcohol, it can trigger symptoms of depression. Severe symptoms of depression may cause suicidal thoughts, which should be consulted with a medical professional.

Additional long-term complications of crack are much more extensive and will depend on several factors, such as the duration and intensity of use.

Dialectical-behavior therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on mindfulness, how to live in the moment, cope with stress, and improve relationships. DBT also helps clients identify negative influences in their lives and learn how to develop healthy coping skills. If withdrawal symptoms last longer than the 3 or 4 weeks, this is referred to as “post-acute withdrawal syndrome” (PAWS). During this phase, symptoms include ongoing fatigue, depression, cravings, and long periods of sleep. If someone in your life has a crack addiction, it’s important to support them and help them find evidence-based treatment that works for them, Dr. Tetrault says.

Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment

In this article, we cover the typical symptoms encountered during crack withdrawal and the timelines for recovery. After detoxing, you may choose to continue treatment with an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. A healthcare provider will develop a treatment plan and help you determine the best path for your individualized needs. Crack addiction is a substance use disorder that involves the use of crack cocaine.

Crack is a freebase form of cocaine that is processed using water and either ammonia or baking soda, until it forms a rock crystal that can be smoked. Crack cocaine is also known as “rock,” because it looks like small, hard shards of rock. People typically smoke crack by heating it in a glass pipe; however, they may also add it to tobacco cigarettes or marijuana joints.

Dr. Tetrault explains that cocaine is sometimes adulterated with other drugs, such as amphetamines or synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which can make it particularly dangerous. A person can overdose the first time they use crack cocaine, or any time thereafter. Jenn is a Canadian writer and poet with a background in psychology, sociology, and natural health. She is the founder of The Master in You, a mental wellness site that provides information about the role that thoughts and emotions play in our physical and emotional health.

Cognitive behavioral therapy may help people recover from cocaine use disorder. Short-term inpatient centers typically start with medical detox and are followed by a program of addiction treatment such as therapy or counseling for 30 to 90 days. These programs range from basic inpatient to luxury options, all varying in terms of their amenities and types of therapy. During rehab, centers and clinics will provide a range of treatments such as medications, counseling, and behavioral therapies. Below are some of the more effective therapy options for crack addiction. Potential short-term side effects include overdose, addiction (cocaine use disorder) and withdrawal.

  1. The best way to support someone coping with addiction is to encourage them to find help.
  2. Phase two is considered the onset of the serious withdrawal period and takes place 1 to 7 days after the last dose.
  3. If someone in your life has a crack addiction, it’s important to support them and help them find evidence-based treatment that works for them, Dr. Tetrault says.
  4. Withdrawal is different for everyone and may depend on how much you used, how often you used, and your physical and mental health.

However, research has shown that the medications below may reduce withdrawal symptoms. Standard outpatient programs are suited to individuals who have just completed an inpatient program and want to continue some form of therapy. Standard outpatient is also ideal for people who may be juggling other responsibilities such as work or school.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)

Cocaine is an addictive stimulant drug that can change lives and be life-threatening. Using cocaine may change how people’s brains work and increase their risk for many serious medical issues. Finding the next high may seem like the most important thing in their lives.

Beta-blockers such as Propranolol can reduce anxiety and restless symptoms that follow withdrawal from crack or cocaine. Propranolol may also reduce the euphoric effects of cocaine, which can discourage future use. Unlike opioid addiction, which is treated using medications like Suboxone, there are currently no federally-approved medications used to treat crack withdrawal.

crack withdrawal symptoms

Her work spans various health-related topics, including mental health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness. The term ‘crack’ refers to the crackling sound the crystal makes when it is being heated to smoke. Approximately 1.3 million people in the United States over the age of 12 have a cocaine use disorder, which means they use cocaine or crack. Participants who continue to abstain receive rewards such as prize draws for money or in-demand objects. This kind of therapy is incredibly effective for addictions, especially those who have anxiety or depresssion. DBT is also effective for PTSD and for people who exhibit self-destructive behaviors.

Crack Withdrawal Resources

While every individual is unique and will have different needs, many centers provide tailored recovery plans. Below is a list of the most common forms of drug abuse treatment programs and what they entail. Detoxing on your own can be difficult but a medical detox can provide a personalized treatment plan, support, and medical supervision. If you think you or a loved one is addicted to crack cocaine, a detox may be an effective first step in treatment. Asking for help is a huge and important step toward recovering from cocaine use disorder.

Crack Withdrawal Timeline

If you think you or a loved one may be experiencing cocaine withdrawal, professional treatment can provide a supportive environment to recover. As a result, people need to take more of the drug more frequently in order to achieve the same high and prevent withdrawal symptoms. Meditation can also stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain and improve cognitive function, which is especially useful when recovering from stimulant addiction. Additionally, research has shown that meditation can be useful for easing tension and calming the nervous system. However, it is showing potential for treatment as it also blocks the euphoric effects of cocaine. Contingency management is another effective treatment for addiction and is based on a reward system.

Long-term side effects may include serious and potentially life-threatening medical issues like heart failure, stroke or infections. Rehab facilities that offer dual diagnosis are often staffed with psychiatrists or clinical therapists that can diagnose and/or treat co-occurring mental health conditions. This kind of treatment is especially useful for people who have underlying issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).