- PrintArticle Summary
- Crack Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs
- Withdrawing From Crack Cocaine: Treatment Methods and Options for Help
- Detoxing, Addiction Treatment, Rehab, and Recovery
- Questions and Answers
Crack cocaine is a form of cocaine that is made by mixing powdered cocaine with water and either baking soda or another weakly basic substance such as ammonia. The mixture is boiled and then broken into chunks (rocks) that are smoked. The effects are intense but short-lived, and users can quickly become physically and psychologically dependent on crack. 1
People who are dependent on crack and stop using may experience withdrawal symptoms, which can differ from person to person. Many people will re-initiate or continue to use crack to relieve the symptoms. In some cases, symptoms begin within hours of halting crack use, while other people may not exhibit symptoms for a few days.
The first phase of treatment for crack cocaine withdrawal and addiction is detoxification, which can take place in a variety of different settings. Detoxification occurs as the body rids itself of crack and adapts back to normal functioning. After detox, people recovering from crack addiction should get involved in some type of rehab or recovery program to further deal with cravings and prevent relapse.
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Crack Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs
Crack withdrawal causes many symptoms.
- Depression can be a symptom of withdrawal. In some cases, depression can lead to suicidal thoughts.
- Someone who is withdrawing from crack may also become agitated or restless.
- Paranoia and suspiciousness are other potential signs of crack withdrawal.
- Crack withdrawal symptoms may also include fatigue and sleepiness.
- People who are detoxifying from crack often experience strong cravings and may relapse just to get rid of the withdrawal symptoms. 2,3
Withdrawing From Crack Cocaine: Treatment Methods and Options for Help
Withdrawal Symptoms of Crack
Crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms can include fatigue, increased appetite, irritability, and strong cravings.
Crack cocaine withdrawal does not usually have serious physical symptoms. But the mental symptoms, such as cravings and depression, can be hard to manage alone. Many people who try to detox cold turkey end up relapsing, which can lead to overdose.
As mentioned above, some people may become depressed and suicidal.
Seeking help for crack cocaine withdrawal can help prevent relapse and provide medical and psychiatric care for any difficult symptoms that arise.
Treatment programs for crack withdrawal include:
- Detox centers.
- Inpatient treatment, including luxury and executive programs.
- Outpatient programs.
These programs offer varying levels of supervision and medical care. For example, detox centers and inpatient programs offer 24/7 monitoring from medical and treatment staff.
Detoxing, Addiction Treatment, Rehab, and Recovery
Once detoxification is complete, long-term recovery from crack addiction can begin. Addiction treatment can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on how serious the addiction is and whether the person has struggled to maintain sobriety in the past.
Crack use can lead to both physical and psychological addiction, so many different methods of treatment are used to help the user recover. Some of the common treatment methods used in crack cocaine addiction treatment include:
- Motivational interviewing - designed to inspire the addicted person to seek treatment and to be an active partner in his or her recovery from crack cocaine addiction.
- Motivational incentives - involves offering rewards to encourage the recovering user to stick to the treatment program.
- Individual counseling - a cornerstone of many successful treatment programs that helps the person investigate why the addiction began and resolve any underlying emotional or psychological issues.
- Group counseling - used to provide support and feedback while discussing the factors involved in addiction and recovery.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy - used to teach techniques that the recovering person can use when faced with a choice to use or abstain from the drug.
- Family counseling - can be an important factor in preventing relapse, since it teaches family members how to support the user's recovery in a healthy way.
In some cases, a treatment center may also offer holistic treatment options, which can include art therapy, animal therapy, yoga, or meditation.
|Crack Cocaine Information at a Glance|
|Form, Intake, and Dose||Interactions and Complications|
|Drug Forms: white or off-white crack rocks 1
Administration Routes: smoked; can be crushed and smoked in a glass pipe or smoked with tobacco or marijuana 3
Overdose: death from crack cocaine overdose is common 2
Overdose symptoms: agitation, hallucinations, increased body temperature, irregular heart rhythm, heart attack, seizure, stroke 3,6
|Alcohol Interaction: mixing crack cocaine with alcohol creates cocaethylene in the body, which is more toxic than cocaine itself 5
Illicit Drugs: mixing crack cocaine with illicit drugs such as heroin increases the risk of overdose and death 6
|Effects and Adverse Reactions||Substance Abuse|
|Short-Term: increased euphoria, alertness, excitation, increased pulse and blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite 3
Long-Term: intensified heartbeat, sweating, chronically dilated pupils, depression, irritability, insomnia, paranoia, delirium, hallucinations, muscle spasms, chest pain, psychosis, tactile hallucination (e.g., formication, Magnon’s syndrome, or “cocaine bugs”), difficulty with problem solving, poor attention and concentration, heart damage, overdose, death 3
|Risk of Substance Abuse: High
Signs of Abuse: obsessive behavior, secrecy surrounding drug use, great deal of time spent trying to get the drug, strong craving or urge to use crack cocaine
|Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms||Dependence and Addiction Issues|
|Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: Symptoms may take effect within hours or days after the last dose. These symptoms may last up to 28 weeks. 4
Withdrawal Symptoms: fatigue, anxiety, erratic sleep, strong cravings, irritability, depression, poor concentration, dysphoria, sporadic cravings 4
Tolerance: heavy use can lead to tolerance to the euphoric effects 3
|Physical Dependence: High 1
Psychological Dependence: High 1
|Legal Schedules and Ratings|
|Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule II 1|
Questions and Answers
How Long Does Crack Cocaine Withdrawal Last?
The crack cocaine withdrawal timeline typically unfolds in phases or stages.
- The first stage, the “crash,” starts from anywhere between a few hours and a few days after the last dose of the drug.
- The next stage, “withdrawal,” lasts anywhere from 1-10 weeks.
- The final stage, “extinction,” can last up to 28 weeks. 4,5
The total length of withdrawal depends on the person and how heavily they used crack.
Do You Have a List of Popular Slang or Street Names for Crack Cocaine?
Base, beat, chalk, gravel, hard rock, rock, stones, moonrocks, casper, blast, devil drug, hell
What Are Common Misspellings?
Crack withdrawl, crak withdrawls, crack cocane withdrawel, crak cocayne withdrawels
Are There Any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?
There isn’t a natural alternative to ease the withdrawal symptoms, since they are primarily emotional.
If you or someone you love needs to get clean from crack cocaine safely, call 1-888-935-1318Who Answers?. A treatment support advisor can offer recommendations for programs that can treat crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms and addiction.
How Long Does It Take to Detox From Crack Cocaine?
Detoxifying from crack cocaine can take anywhere from several hours to a few days. However, some of the symptoms, including cravings and depression, can last for weeks or months.
. National Drug Intelligence Center, U.S. Department of Justice. (2003). Crack Cocaine Fast Facts.
. Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration. (2015). Cocaine Withdrawal.
. Morton, W. (1999). Cocaine and Psychiatric Symptoms. The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 1(4): 109-113.
. Australian Government Department of Health. (2004). The cocaine withdrawal syndrome.
. Rassool, G. (2011). Addiction for Nurses. John Wiley & Sons.
Crack Cocaine Information at a Glance Sources
. National Drug Intelligence Center. (2006). Crack Cocaine Fast Facts.
. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2017). Overdose Death Rates.
. Abadinsky, H. (2010). Drug use and abuse: A comprehensive introduction. Nelson Education.
. Australian Government Department of Health. (2004). The cocaine withdrawal syndrome.
. DrugBank. (2016). Cocaine.
. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Cocaine.