Crack cocaine addiction is a serious health problem which can severely affect a person’s physical and mental health. Very often, addiction doesn’t happen overnight, and the person is surrounded by people and an environment that normalizes and encourages consumption. Suddenly stopping is dangerous and very hard because the environment around you is surrounded by cues and triggers that activate intense cravings.
Don’t lose hope if you’ve struggled to overcome drug addiction in the past, only to relapse. Successfully recovering and long-term sobriety from crack cocaine is very much possible if you find the right environment, support networks, and professional guidance to help you fight the physical and psychological dependence you’ve developed on the substance.
What Is Crack Cocaine
Crack cocaine is the crystal form of cocaine and usually comes in powder form. It is the most potent form of cocaine and poses the greatest risks to the user because of the high likelihood to get addicted, which leads to intense cravings and serious withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop. It is between 75% and 100% pure and far stronger than regular cocaine. Crack cocaine is heated and smoked, and smoking crack can get you addicted much more quickly because the high you experience is much more intense and sudden. Smoking crack gets you high very quickly while snorting the substance takes much longer to reach your brain. The sudden euphoric effect and the fact that it lasts only 15-20 minutes make the substance very addictive.
As a result, the following cravings and mental obsession over the drug are often very severe, chronic addicts struggle to hold conversations, pay attention to their surroundings, and care to meet their other basic needs if they haven’t received a recent hit of the drug. What’s worse, the initial high you get from crack cocaine doesn’t last since your body gets used to the dose and builds its tolerance. What follows is a vicious cycle of crack cocaine abuse where you crave more frequent and bigger doses to catch the same feeling, which puts you at risk of overdosing.
The effects of smoking or injecting crack cocaine are intense and often easy to spot. Signs and symptoms to look out for include:
- Aggressive, unpredictable behaviour
- Dilated pupils
- Frequent disappearances to get high
- Inability to concentrate
- Increased breathing rate
- Physical health problems
- Burns on fingers
- Blistered lips from smoking out of a pipe
Crack abuse can destroy your personal, social, and professional life, but no matter how serious the condition, it’s never too late to realise there is an issue and take positive steps in the right direction. Here, at The Providence Projects, we offer a free consultation with a highly qualified addiction counsellor, call us on 0800 955 0945 to get a quick confidential assessment of the severity of your addiction and the treatment options available at The Providence Projects.
Crack Cocaine Detoxification
Detox is the first and one of the most important steps toward a successful crack addiction treatment. Detoxification is designed to rid the body of crack cocaine under the care of our experienced team.
Withdrawal symptoms from crack cocaine can be both physical and psychological. Withdrawal is the body’s adjustment process when a frequently-used drug, such as crack cocaine, is suddenly removed from your system. Over time with chronic use, the body gets used to having these substances there, so when they’re removed, the body has to adjust, to maintain an internal balance called homeostasis. The result is a rocky and uncomfortable experience where your body slowly removes the toxins and substance residue.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Loss of energy
- Muscle numbness
- Brain fog
- Symptoms of depression
- Mood Swings
- Restlessness and agitation
- Cravings for the substance
- Loss of appetite
The intensity of the withdrawal symptoms will depend on various factors, such as how long you have abused crack cocaine, the amount of the drug you have been using, your general physical and mental health, and whether you’ve been abusing any other substances at the same time.
Crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms begin within 24 hours of the drug’s use. Symptoms tend to peak within 72 hours after the last use, and after a week or so, it is normal for powerful physical and psychological cravings to be present and to affect your mood and general well-being.
It’s important to stress that withdrawal management is not just a process of you passively staying and waiting for the toxins to be removed while employing willpower to fight urges and cravings. Crack cocaine is one of the most addictive substances, meaning that chronic use has led your body to develop a strong dependence on the substance.
Suddenly stopping by yourself will likely send your body into a state of shock, making you experience immense amounts of discomfort that are not only painful but may make you relapse and risk over-dosing, or the withdrawal symptoms may threaten your life if unchecked.
The initial detox stage can be really difficult and uncomfortable, and withdrawal symptoms are most intense during this first phase. Being in a residential rehab clinic like the Providence Projects will reduce symptoms and be more bearable. Since withdrawal from crack cocaine can be difficult, the symptoms are more severe than those associated with normal cocaine. By detoxing in a residential rehabilitation facility, all remnants of crack cocaine will be removed from the body in a safe manner.
At the Providence Projects, our medical staff will take care to ensure you have a proper diet, get enough sleep and consume enough liquids to speed up the process of detoxification while offering ongoing support. You will be supported by a team of expert counsellors, doctors and therapists who are leaders in their field and understand the detox process’s severity and the support you need.
Addressing the Root Cause of Crack Addiction
After completing the initial detox phase, you will engage in a comprehensive therapeutic programme, which incorporates a range of evidence-based therapies, such as group therapy, motivational interviewing, CBT and individual counselling. Workshops on different aspects of addiction are also a feature of the timetable, on topics such as boundaries, grief & loss, anger, resentment, and triggers for relapse.
We put a huge emphasis on the psychological side of substance abuse because exploring the emotional baggage you carry from the past, and the current sources of stress and dissatisfaction in your life allows you to understand the underlying mental reasons for turning toward crack cocaine in the first place. Knowing the root cause, be it loneliness and social isolation, stress at work, or feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth, allows you to heal the wounds and find more effective and healthier coping mechanisms for those issues.
Once you step out of the clinic, we still offer options to remain by your side with an effective aftercare programme to ensure you retain the support networks, professional help, and accountability checks needed to stay on the right track over the long term.
You will work closely with your focal therapist to determine the best aftercare course for your individual needs. Plans may include 1-1 counselling, group therapy with other recovering addicts, Zoom meetings, attendance at local Cocaine Anonymous meetings, health and fitness plans, sober coaching to help with cocaine cravings that persist, or attending Providence aftercare groups, depending on your location. We understand the transition from the clinic to independent sober living can be challenging, and we are here to support you all the way.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one is struggling with crack cocaine addiction, there’s no better time to explore options for treatment than right now. Don’t hesitate to call us at 0800 955 0945 for a free consultation with a qualified addiction counsellor. Our experienced team of addiction counsellors are equipped with the knowledge and skills to help you overcome your crack cocaine problem, arrange detox, and explore the best possible solution for your and your family to recover and reach physical and mental restoration from the illness.