Crack Detox Symptoms, Timeline, Medications and Treatment

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  1. Is Detox from Crack Dangerous?
  2. Why Detoxing at Home Can Be Harmful
  3. Medically-Assisted Detox and Withdrawal
  4. What to Expect During Detoxification
  5. Crack Detox Treatment
  6. Choose the Best Addiction Treatment

Why Detox is a Must

The first physical step to recovery is getting the crack out of your system completely. Because of the highly addictive properties of crack, the withdrawal process can be agonizing, both physically and psychologically.
Why Detox is a Must

Medically managed crack detoxification is critical to:

  • Mitigate suffering.
  • Ensure the safe transition to a toxin-free state of abstinence.
  • Reduce withdrawal symptoms.

To aid someone in acute withdrawal from a crack dependency, health professionals may administer medications to lessen the impact of physical symptoms, while providing extra nutrients and vitamins to supplement what likely has been very depleted nutritional intake.

The detoxification process following chronic crack cocaine abuse can seem like a daunting step to undertake, but one need not make the attempt alone. Seek help with crack dependency by speaking to a treatment support team member about your addiction treatment options, 24 hours a day, at 1-888-993-3112Who Answers?.

Is Detox from Crack Dangerous?

Detoxing from crack is indeed dangerous, and the risks of relapse throughout are high. In many instances, it's advisable that detox be completed under medical supervision.

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Crack withdrawal symptoms tend to be flu-like in nature, but can include some negative psychological effects as well. Crack withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure without using). The initial detox phase is extremely difficult and must be managed by a medical professional.
  • Depression.
  • Extreme cravings.
  • Fatigue.
  • Irritability.
  • Mood disorders.
  • Terrible nightmares.
  • Suicidal ideation (in extreme cases).

The initial detox phase is extremely difficult, and must be managed by medical professionals. As with other drugs of abuse, however, crack withdrawal can take months to completely subside.

While the symptoms won’t be as severe, the tenacious hold that crack can have on an individual can commonly elicit protracted withdrawal symptoms (where non-specific agitation and residual symptoms last for a longer period than usual). The potential for relapse is quite high during the protracted period, complicating many detox and recovery efforts.

Why Detoxing at Home Can Be Harmful

It is understandable why you or someone you know wonders if they can successfully detox from a crack addiction. We all want to be in control.

The reality is that crack withdrawal and even expert treatment of withdrawal symptoms in a detoxification setting can have hazards, and it can be extremely counterproductive to attempt detox at home. Because of repeated crack use, your body has adjusted to the influx of toxic chemicals

and adjusted the way in which it responds physiologically. When crack use is stopped, it is difficult to predict with certainty how your body will react.

Without trained health care providers on hand to make continuous assessments and to monitor the physical reaction your body has to the lack of crack, these risks are significantly increased. Detoxing at home frequently ends in failure.

Medically-Assisted Detox and Withdrawal

Crack disrupts neurotransmitter activity in the brain; the euphoria experienced after crack use is due to the increased activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Negative psychological symptoms are intense in crack withdrawal and are treated immediately and consistently in medically-assisted detox.

When dopamine levels are artificially and markedly increased through crack usage, long-term brain changes can occur which can dull the brain’s capacity to respond to previously normal levels.

Negative psychological symptoms are intense in crack withdrawal and are treated immediately and consistently in medically assisted detox.

Medications Used

The sustained administration of medications such as beta-blockers and anti-convulsants help to reduce hypertension and seizures respectively. Medications such as amantadine and bromocriptine may be used to manage cravings, possibly by influencing crack’s effect on the central nervous system.

Why is Medical Assistance Important?

Research shows that the response to treatment of crack-dependent individuals varies widely, which is why tailored, and closely monitored medically assisted detox is so critical.

Crack anhedonia (as mentioned above), is a common and devastating effect of crack abuse. Managing such profound psychological changes requires trained medical intervention, both in the acute detox phase and in long-term recovery.

Medically assisted detox can make the withdrawal process bearable, and ensure the safety of the person in withdrawal.

If someone is crack dependent, they may have a profound fear of withdrawal symptoms and as a result, decide not to seek treatment, even if they recognize they have a problem and would like to live life without crack.

Please call 1-888-993-3112Who Answers? to find out which treatment option will help assist you or your loved one in this critical phase of long-term recovery from crack addiction.

What to Expect During Detoxification

Working with trained medical staff typically ensures the best chance of a comfortable and soothing environment to promote your full recovery. You can expect the following:

  • Use of medications and supplements such as propranolol, a beta-blocker that addresses hypertension, tremors and heart conditions are sometimes provided.
  • Anticonvulsant medications for seizures in the case of extremely severe withdrawal.
  • Extra vitamins and nutrients.
    • Someone who has been abusing crack has likely not slept for an extended period and generally sleeps for extended periods of time during detox, waking only to eat. As such, providing extra vitamins and nutrients are essential.
  • Supplements to support the essential organs, such as the kidneys and liver, as they work to clear toxins and return to normal function.

How Long Does Detox Last?

Health providers understand that acute crack withdrawal has a typical duration of 3-7 days. In some cases, however, protracted withdrawal, where symptoms are not as strong but are still present, can last months or even years.

Handling the extreme unpleasantness of withdrawal for days or even a week is extremely difficult, even with expert medical care. Detoxing from the crack with trained and knowledgeable medical staff is essential.

Crack Detox Treatment

  • Inpatient

    Long-term inpatient treatment is the recommended course of action because of the highly addictive nature of crack addiction, and the high chance of having an underlying mental health issue that if left untreated will almost guarantee relapse.

  • Outpatient

    Outpatient treatment also has high success rates for someone who is highly motivated and who is unable to be absent from their daily lives for months (a typical stay in inpatient care).

  • Support Groups

    Support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous, and individual and group therapy are key recovery support services and are extremely important to sustained recovery once a physical addiction is combatted.

Depression is common in crack addiction recovery and left untreated, will frequently lead to relapse.

If you or someone you love is about to undergo crack detox, know that no matter how difficult the withdrawal process, symptoms do abate. Please act now if you’re concerned that you or a loved one is suffering under the weight of a crack dependency.

Call 1-888-993-3112Who Answers? to speak with someone about your crack addiction treatment options.

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Choose the Best Addiction Treatment

There are a wide range of institutions that provide crack addiction detoxification services, like:

  • Hospitals.
  • Chemical dependency clinics.
  • Outpatient addiction treatment.
  • Inpatient or residential treatment centers.

Ideally, much of the decision-making in selecting an appropriate treatment strategy will be dependent on the recommendations of a physician and/or trained addiction treatment providers. Often, however, factors such as financial and time resource capacity drive the choice of detox center.

If available, entering into a detox center that offers follow-on long-term treatment and psychosocial services is the preferred course of action. Facilities that provide cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and/or motivational incentives have shown to have high success rates.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    • CBT helps an individual in recovery:
    • Retrain their brain.
    • Recognize relapse triggers.
    • Create and operationalize a new life with a new purpose supported by non-drug using activities.
  • Motivational Incentives

    Motivational incentives provide concrete encouragement for previously crack dependent individuals to stay drug-free.

  • Free Resources

    If long-term treatment is beyond an individual’s means, making full use of free resources such as support groups, community, and faith-based programs is an alternative.

Choosing a suitable crack addiction treatment center is difficult, and in many cases, probably the last thing you want to focus on when you or a loved one is in extreme distress.

To obtain information about crack detox and treatment programs so you can transition back into a clean and sober life, please call 1-888-993-3112Who Answers? now.

Additional Resources

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