Crack Withdrawal and Detox
Crack, the larger, crystal form of cocaine, is one of the most dangerous drugs in the world.
Crack addiction is a difficult obstacle that many people in the United States struggle with. However, there is help available for you or a loved one suffering from substance use disorder. The first step is to contact a licensed medical facility and inquire about the recommended steps needed to begin the recovery process. These include withdrawal and detoxification, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, and aftercare. Withdrawal and detox can be challenging for people, but accepting help from trained professionals is a monumental first step.
Each person experiences crack withdrawal from crack in different ways, whether it’s exhibiting different symptoms or spending varying lengths of time in treatment. For this reason, among others, it’s advised to use a medically supervised detoxification program. Doing so will provide a strong foundation as you remove crack from your body and your life.
- Heart attack
- Increased appetite
- Erratic sleeping patterns
- Vivid dreams
- Nausea or vomiting
- Spitting up black phlegm
- Excessive sweating
- Fatigue or feeling lethargic
- Brain seizures
- Mood swings
- Lack of motivation
- Cravings for the stimulant
- Chronic depression
- Difficulty concentrating
- Within 72 hours: People often experience the crash from their high. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and include hallucinations or the feeling that their skin is crawling. Many people can also suffer from depression during this time period, which is why it’s important not to be alone at this stage. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and intense sweating.
- First and second week: Fatigue and sleeping irregularities are a couple of common side effects of withdrawal during this time period. While symptoms can decrease over time, people often feel irritable or apathetic toward recovery. Cravings for crack are also known to increase. Depression can persist, along with anxiety.
Within a month: Common symptoms at this time include rapid and uncontrollable mood swings, depression, and anxiety. While many of the physical symptoms subside, psychological dependency on crack often continues. Even once medical detoxification finishes, people should continue to use professional care to complete their rehabilitation.
- Detoxification centers
- Rehab facilities
- At home
While there are plenty of ways to go about detox, a medical facility can provide the benefit of constant care in a safe environment. It’s recommended to detox at a medical facility to benefit from the constant medical supervision that is available. This type of personal attention can help mitigate withdrawal symptoms, creating the most comfortable experience possible.
While detoxification removes harmful substances from the body, the recovery process continues. Detox from crack is the first step in seeking treatment. At The Recovery Village, some clients enter rehab having already completed detox. Meanwhile, for other patients, detox is the step in their treatment. The stages of rehabilitation are typically:
- Aftercare planning or sober living
During evaluation at The Recovery Village, the intake team takes time to get to know the client. Medical doctors, nurses and counselors discuss the client’s substance use disorder and dependency. Clinicians may also use this time to ask about other symptoms the client may have. This process helps identify if there are any co-occurring disorders, such as mental health issues, and how to address them through a comprehensive treatment plan.
Seeking professional assistance to taper off of crack can lead to a safer foundation for recovery. In this stage, clients may receive medications from doctors to lessen the effects of the withdrawal symptoms. Some of the most common medications used for crack addiction and withdrawal include:
- Propranolol — Treats anxiety, agitation and hypertension
- Baclofen — Muscle relaxer that can reduce cravings
- Tiagabine — Anticonvulsant that has shown positive results in continuing recovery from cocaine and opiate addiction
- Modafinil — Narcolepsy medication to prevent the recurring use of crack
- Disulfiram — Alcohol addiction treatment that blocks the high from taking cocaine
The Recovery Village has a full continuum of care available to help clients recover from addiction to crack. The trained staff will moderate your withdrawal symptoms and create the most comfortable environment possible. Contact The Recovery Village to learn more about treatment options.
Australian Government Department of Health. “The Cocaine Withdrawal Syndrome.” Department of Health, Australian Government, Apr. 2004, www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/drugtreat-pubs-modpsy-toc~drugtreat-pubs-modpsy-3~drugtreat-pubs-modpsy-3-7~drugtreat-pubs-modpsy-3-7-cws. Accessed 15 Mar. 2017.
Kampman, Kyle M. “New Medications for the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence.” PubMed Central (PMC), National Institutes of Health, Dec. 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2994240/. Accessed 15 Mar. 2017.
MedlinePlus. “Cocaine Withdrawal.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 13 Apr. 2015, medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000947.htm. Accessed 15 Mar. 2017.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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