Detoxing from Crack Cocaine

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Are you or a loved one addicted to crack cocaine? Have you found that trying to get clean on your own isn’t working? Detoxing from crack cocaine, while being an overall gentle process PHYSICALLY, has been shown to be one of the most difficult detoxes when it comes to mental side effects. This is why it is especially recommended for those who are detoxing from crack to do so in a medical facility.

The First 48

While the process of detoxing from crack can sometimes vary from person to person, the timeline generally remains the same. The first withdrawal symptoms will primarily begin within the first 30 minutes after the last dose and can last up to 48, and even 72 hours afterward.

Usually, the detox process is affected by:

  • Length of use
  • Amount of use
  • Frequency of use
  • Level of cocaine dependence and tolerance
  • Diet, sleep, and mental state upon detoxing

This initial detoxing from crack cocaine phase, from the last use for up to 72 hours is known as the crash. People can primarily expect to experience extreme fatigue, anxiety, and intense cravings. It has also commonly been reported that people who are detoxing from crack can experience extreme depression and suicidal thoughts.

During this period, depending on the frequency of use and diet during use, people can have pretty crazy appetite swings. Some people find that they cannot hold down food, while others tend to binge during these first few days. Primarily speaking, most people are malnourished when they are detoxing from crack, so a few days of binge eating is not necessarily a bad thing.

man pondering a decision

The Next Two Weeks

In comparison to other drugs and alcohol, crack cocaine has a pretty mild PHYSICAL withdrawal process. Primarily speaking, it doesn’t come along with the usual aches and pains, fever, or nausea that many other drugs can create during the detox process.

However, crack is better known for the extreme cravings that it causes in users who are detoxing, which can be one of the main reasons why medical detox is so vital.

Triggers can occur from thoughts, behaviors, smells, and even certain locations. The brain will take a few weeks to adjust to the absence of cocaine, and this can often create:

  • Irritability
  • Hostility
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Irregular appetite
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Vivid dreams
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Compulsivity

The Next Three Months

This is when people start to feel normal and healthy again. The cravings decrease, overall moods improve, the diet is back on track, and people feel confident, energetic, and ready to take on the world.

However, studies show that two-thirds of people who are detoxing from crack have a higher relapse rate within the first three months of quitting. This is usually because, since they feel normal again, they assume that their addiction is cured. Many people will try to go back to just drinking or doing other drugs, but the likelihood of going back to crack cocaine is very high.

PAWS

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome is the long-term effects of detoxing from crack and any other drug or alcohol. These are the more minute but annoying side effects, that occur in anyone who abused drugs or alcohol.

They are primarily mood and mental health-related, and although they are not the common aches and pains of usual detox, they can actually cause a lot of people to relapse, especially if they are not understood.

PAWS usually last anywhere from 1 month to 18 months after the last use, depending on length and frequency of use, and the amount of damage that occurred in the body.

The most common symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome are:

  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular Sleep Patterns
  • Mood Swings
  • Sensitivity to Stressors
  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Memory loss

The reason it is important to understand and be aware of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome is that it explains a lot of the “rollercoaster” like states people can go through in their first year of sobriety.

After detoxing from crack or any other substance, many people will assume that their lives will go back to normal pretty quickly. However, when they find that they are 6 months sober and still battling with anxiety or having difficulty finding joy in things, it can lead a lot of people back to a relapse.

When people are aware that what they are ACTUALLY experiencing is PAWS, and not a failed attempt at sobriety, it can be easier to come to terms with the fact that what they are going through is only temporary, and it is just their body and brain getting back to normal.

The Benefits of Medical Detox

Most people who struggle with addiction have tried to get clean and sober on their own. Chances are if these people are actual addicts or alcoholics, they didn’t have a very high success rate. This is why medically detoxing from crack or any other drug is so beneficial.

For those individuals who have struggled for some time to get clean, they will be well aware that when they try to do so in their same environment, they have a much harder time. Medical detox allows for people to be separated from their environment, and drugs, for enough time to both detox the substances from their system, as well as clear their head a little bit.

Some other benefits of detoxing from crack in a medical facility are:

  • Around the clock care from trained professionals
  • Medications prescribed and administered to ease the detox and withdrawal process
  • Healthy foods provided
  • Introduction to 12 step programs if the individual wishes
  • Ample time for rest and relaxation
  • Ability to speak with doctors and therapists
  • Potential to attend long-term treatment

Detoxing from crack cocaine is possible, and does not need to be done on your own.

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