Crack Cocaine Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms from crack cocaine can be difficult and unpleasant, leading to feelings of depression. Speak to a professional today who understands your situation.

Detoxing from Crack Cocaine

We believe safe detoxification is the answer to the uncomfortable side effects of drug withdrawal. Our goal is for every patient to be comfortable and safe throughout their detoxification process. For this reason, our addiction treatment experts first take time to assess a patient’s drug use via an initial assessment, then make an informed decision on how to approach the treatment programme.

Crack cocaine is a powerful form of cocaine owing to its stronger-acting effects. Most individuals will find it difficult to quit for fear of going through a distressing withdrawal experience. Detoxing is an unavoidable part of healing, as it will remove all traces of the substance from your body and system. Drug detoxication will cleanse you from any physical effects of crack cocaine. If you have been co-using alongside other addictive substances, a tailored detox programme may be required.

Naturally, detoxing from crack cocaine will result in withdrawal symptoms. The extent of withdrawal symptoms will depend on your physiological makeup, the amount of crack cocaine you use and the length of time you have been abusing crack.

What Is Crack Cocaine Withdrawal?

If you have been using crack cocaine regularly and in high doses, you have probably become physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. When using such substances, our bodies get used to the pleasurable effects and won’t function normally without them. In addition to being physically dependent on the chemical effects of crack on our bodies, we also develop tolerance. This is when we need more of the substance to achieve the same effect from before. This is also why detoxification should be made in an inpatient, supportive environment as overdosing is possible. Losing your tolerance after detox means that, if you decide to take the same dose you have been taking before the detox, you are putting yourself at risk of overdose.

Crack cocaine withdrawal is what happens when you stop taking crack or reduce the usual amount you use, with the goal of attaining crack cocaine abstinence (being completely free from crack cocaine). When you try to quit, your body reacts negatively, and you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawing from crack can be a painful experience which is why many prefer to spend this time at a residential detox facility, such as the one we offer.

Crack Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Psychosis
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Nightmares
  • Mood swings
  • Body aches
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Exhaustion
  • High appetite
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression

The well-known ways of taking crack cocaine are smoking, snorting, or inhaling the vapour from heated pieces of crack cocaine. Taking crack cocaine through smoking and inhaling leads to the withdrawal symptoms manifesting most intensely as it takes only a few minutes to feel the “high” effects of the drug. These effects, though, don’t last for long.

For this reason, users opt to increase their dose repeatedly, making their bodies and brain dependent on the drug. Therefore, the withdrawal symptoms will be intense when inhaling or smoking stops. Snorting crack cocaine gets the drug in the body slowly, but the “high” effects will last longer.

As a result, the risk of increasing dosage consistently is lower with snorting than it is with smoking and inhaling. The withdrawal symptoms of snorting crack may not be as intense as with the other methods. Mixing crack cocaine with other drugs worsens the withdrawal symptoms because crack can react adversely with the other drugs.

Timeline of Withdrawal Symptoms

The body responds almost immediately when it detects the absence of crack cocaine. The time it takes for the withdrawal symptoms to develop varies amongst individuals. On average, though, crack cocaine symptoms set in within 24-72 hours after your last dose. Only a few symptoms will have fully developed.

After 2-3 days, you’re likely to experience most crack withdrawal symptoms. The timeline of crack withdrawal symptoms can be simplified in these two key stages:

Within the first to second week after stopping crack cocaine use, the symptoms will be at their peak. Most crack cocaine users are at risk of relapse during this period. The severity of the physical symptoms will decline as the weeks go by.
The last stage represents the psychological side effects that may linger for over three months after quitting crack cocaine. For example, depression, anxiety, mood swings, among many others.

Before Starting a Crack Cocaine Detox

It is recommended that you speak to a medical professional before attempted a detox from crack cocaine. Withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant.

At the Providence Projects, we understand what it takes to detox from crack cocaine. This is why we first carry a thorough assessment to gain insights into a patient’s overall health status.

We do this to make an informed decision on the medical intervention that suits your health needs. Our detox interventions include both medication-assisted and non-medicated crack detox. Not all will require medication-assisted crack detox. We determine this by using findings from our assessments. For medication-assisted detox, we rely on approved medications while our non-medicated options work with evidence-based techniques.

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Detox Last?

On average, the length of crack cocaine detox is anywhere between a few days to several weeks. There’s no exact time frame. It may be long or short, depending on factors such as:

  • The extent of your crack cocaine abuse
  • Whether you used other substances while using crack
  • If you have other existing conditions
  • How your body responds to the detox medication

During crack cocaine detox, medical specialists take you off the drug slowly. As a result, you’ll experience physical and mental discomforts; this is because your body adjusts to being crack cocaine-free. Never attempt to detox by going “cold turkey” on your own because the withdrawal symptoms can be very damaging to your health.

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Is a Crack Cocaine Detox Enough?

Crack cocaine detox kickstarts your recovery journey. The truth, however, is that detox doesn’t mark the finish line in this marathon. After detox is over, your transition to a life without crack begins. Some people relapse weeks or even days after they leave a detox-only programme, because the cravings are powerful or they were stressed, and their only coping mechanism is still a dose of crack. This is not only a step backward in their recovery, but also extremely dangerous as taking the same dose as before going through detox can lead to overdosing.

That’s why we offer comprehensive treatment for crack cocaine, to help address the root causes of crack cocaine addiction. Through rehab and therapy, you’ll develop coping skills to help you remain focused on your recovery goals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does crack cocaine need detoxing?

Prolonged or frequent use of crack cocaine leaves the drug’s toxins in your body. Detoxing is necessary to give your body a fresh start — to make it get used to functioning being dependent on this very harmful substance. Just going through rehab won’t be sufficient, as wouldn’t just going through detox. You will need to cleanse your body to remove physical and chemical traces from your bloodstream and brain.

Can I detox without supervision?

No, you shouldn’t. Self-detoxing is quite dangerous. The crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms can get complicated, and if you aren’t medically-equipped and knowledgeable on how to handle these complications, you may end up needing urgent medical assistance. Without supervision, you cannot get the right medical help in case of emergencies. You risk getting severe side effects such as seizures and high blood pressure.

How long does crack cocaine detox take?

There’s no exact number of days that crack cocaine detox takes. It can take a few days or several weeks. The length differs from person to person because it depends on factors such as medical history, co-abused drugs and substances, and any underlying health problems diagnosed or not.

Can I just stop and be okay?

Unfortunately, you won’t be okay. If you’ve used crack cocaine frequently, your body got used to the pleasurable effects released by the drug. When you suddenly stop (it’s never advisable to quit crack cocaine abruptly without medical help), your body will “protest”. You’ll feel sick and experience several painful symptoms.

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