Crack or crack cocaine is one of the most potent and widely used drugs in the United States. This has caused concern for many years since the mortality rate of crack cocaine has always been a very serious reality. This drug prompts people to develop serious physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when quitting.
Crack is derived from cocaine, which is a white powder that comes from a hard mineral-like substance. The process of creating this chemical make-up varies from differing illegal facilities. Some are more powerful than others.
The common compounds present are baking soda, ammonia, and cocaine.
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This drug is only found illegally in the black market and by clandestine dealers across the country. One cause of its highly addictive nature is that it is smoked. This allows it to reach the brain much faster. This, in turn, produces an intense and quick high. The abuse begins when the person smoking realizes the high symptoms are short-lived. The individual will then seek to consume more and more.
If the user stops taking crack, the withdrawal symptoms can be tough and produce adverse effects on the mind and body. Addiction and withdrawal will always be a battle in the user’s mind and body. Without the proper treatment to help fight against these experiences, the user will be stuck between two horrible circumstances.
What Is Crack Withdrawal?
Crack cocaine is a cheaper alternative to powder cocaine. Users ingest the substance by smoking it. They typically heat the crystals and inhale the smoke. Crack cocaine is highly addictive, and it is among one of the most dangerous drugs in existence. Since the high is short-lived, it keeps users rushing back for another hit.
The problem with this is a user will spend all of their money trying to chase the high, and they will do anything at their disposal to do so. There are stories of women who sell their children to obtain more of the drug. The withdrawals come on quick since the duration of cracks high is so short, and they can be extremely intense, which highlights how such vile acts can take place.
What Are Crack Withdrawal Symptoms?
Regarding withdrawal symptoms, crack has two types of phases: the acute withdrawal and the protracted (post-acute) withdrawal phases.
These symptoms regarding withdrawal are aimed to describe the experiences individuals have when addicted to substances like alcohol or crack cocaine. The acute withdrawal stage has been studied for quite some time. Generally, the primary physical symptoms that people exhibit are tremors, seizures, and cravings for the substance in which people are addicted to.
The post-acute symptoms are typically seen two months or more after the person has ceased taking crack.The person will begin to experience mood swings and the inability to get to sleep. They will also endure depression, anxiety, and agitation.
These psychological symptoms are quite tough for recovering addicts and can usually be even worse for those who have been suffering from addiction for a prolonged period.
Risks of Withdrawal
Those going through crack withdrawal can experience severe depression. There is an increased risk of suicide when an individual does not have an adequate support system. Cravings and relapse are also a problem during this period, and while the physical symptoms are relatively mild, a person in withdrawal is going to have extreme cravings. This can lead to a rapid return to the drug, which can result in an overdose if someone detoxes without support.
One of the most significant factors of treatment in detox is that a program will prevent someone from falling back into old habits, as well as treat any medical complications. As we mentioned above, heart problems and seizures are prevalent, and being surrounded by a support team is imperative.
What Are the Stages of the Crack Withdrawal Timeline?
The timeline of crack cocaine withdrawal may extend for a month or longer.
During the first few days, the body begins to react after the user has ceased crack intake. A variety of symptoms are felt as the body becomes accustomed to the drug.
- First Week : The person will begin to experience a series of psychological symptoms during the first week. Among these are paranoia, auditory, and visual hallucinations.Anxiety, cravings, and insomnia are always present. Each symptom gives way to the other, leaving the person to feel as if they’re losing their mind.People will often feel extreme fatigue, lack of motivation, and irritability. This is a very difficult time, and in most cases, the person encounters these feelings with other substances that will make them feel better.Alcohol, painkillers, and opioids are a common rebound substance and drugs for people to experiment with to combat the ill feelings they are battling.
- First 15 Days: At this stage, depression has reached its peak, and people tend to feel an intense feeling of sadness and anguish. The drug cravings are still a very present symptom still prevail throughout the person’s daily routine.The brain itself is still trying to combat the effects of withdrawal. Therefore, the levels of dopamine it produces are not abundant. This leads to strong levels of depression. Anxiety is still prevalent.
- First Month:Physical symptoms decline during this period of the withdrawal timeline. Strong body aches are not that prevalent anymore.Psychological effects are still very much existent. People do not realize when they begin using crack how powerful mental dependence is.Depression pretty much stays with the person for a very long time due to an imbalance in the brain. The psychological cravings of crack, alongside anxiety, will create a very difficult time for people who have other mental issues.After this period, things will decline slightly, but the damage is still present until the user seeks professional medical treatment.
Causes of Withdrawal
Using crack cocaine alters chemical behavior throughout the central nervous system (CNS), and increases the activity of dopamine, which is a chemical in the brain related to experiencing pleasure or rewards. Those who abuse crack will experience increased energy, alertness, and feelings of elation. The brain of someone abusing crack is flooded with dopamine, and it requires more of the drug to experience the same high as before.
Fighting Addiction Yourself is Difficult. Let Our Experts Help!
Fighting Addiction Yourself is Difficult. Let Our Experts Help!
Why Should I Detox?
Without supervised medical care, the user will not be able to manage the physical and psychological effects of withdrawal. This is where a detox program is most beneficial for the user.
Detox or detoxification is simply the process in which a person goes through to liberate themselves from strong addiction. Substance abuse normally carries a series of toxins left behind in the body, which makes the patient believe like they can’t feel clean or free from this compulsion.
The best and most effective way of obtaining actual results is by simply reaching out to a medical specialist and accepting a detox treatment program. This will keep them off of crack while also providing them with medical treatment, drug therapy, and regular checkups with physicians and trained doctors.
The withdrawal process from drugs is formidable and produces severe reactions from the body and mind. Detox programs aim to ease the process medically and emotionally.
Many times, people are surprised to find out how effective the withdrawal process is. Fear keeps people from entering a specialized program and combating the struggles that come with addiction and withdrawal.
What Is the Next Treatment Step?
The next treatment step is to enter a program that effectively tackles addiction issues. When it comes to crack and its withdrawal phase, people often enroll in a residential program. This kind of program is effective because the facility houses the patient or client for a specific period as they focus on their substance use with minimal distractions. Treatment is available at all hours, and a team of medical professionals always monitor the person and provide aid.
Equally important are outpatient treatment programs. These are similar to the residential programs, but instead of living on-site at the facility, the person checks in regularly to continue and monitor their progress. After each session, the client goes on with their daily routine, which includes returning to their home or another living arrangement, such as transitional housing.
“Cocaine Side Effects and Complications.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/112009-side-effects-crack-cocaine/
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What Are the Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use?” NIDA, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-are-long-term-effects-cocaine-use
Chicago Tribune. (2018, August 30). WOMAN ACCUSED OF TRADING DAUGHTER FOR CRACK COCAINE. Retrieved from from https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1996-01-15-9601160276-story.html
Morton, W. A. (1999, August). Cocaine and Psychiatric Symptoms. Retrieved from from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC181074/