Crack and Addiction
Crack is one of the two forms of cocaine. Both forms have the same impact; They cause a euphoric, energetic, and confident “high” feeling in their users. While powder cocaine is usually snorted or injected, crack cocaine is smoked. Cocaine producers make crack by mixing cocaine with another substance, usually baking soda or sodium hydroxide. The cocaine producer will then heat the mixture until it forms a substance that looks like a rock crystal. Some people choose crack because it’s cheaper and easier to obtain than powder cocaine.
11.3% of people ages 18-25 have used cocaine in any form. 1.1% have used crack specifically.
Crack is one of the most addictive street drugs in existence. Like most other drugs, crack works by flooding the brain with dopamine, one of the brain’s main feel-good chemicals. While dopamine is good in normal amounts, larger amounts of dopamine can be harmful. The brain gets used to this dopamine surge. Suddenly, normal levels of dopamine aren’t enough for an addicted person to feel good. The only way to feel pleasure again is to smoke more crack, which is how an addiction cycle begins.
Unlike some other drugs, crack doesn’t produce a long-lasting high. A crack high only lasts for ten minutes at most.
A lot of crack users go through a “binge and crash” cycle. They smoke crack in large amounts, hoping to prolong their high. When the inevitable “crash” arrives, crack users come down from their high, often feeling sick and depressed as a result.
If you’re ready to break the cycle, call 800-492-QUIT today.
When a person stops using crack, he or she will enter a phase called detox. During this phase, the crack exits the body so that the individual can begin to heal. While some substances can take weeks or even months to leave the body, crack detox begins and ends quickly. Detox will start the day that a person stops smoking crack, and it can end in as little as five days.
Withdrawal During Detox
Unfortunately, detox comes with withdrawal symptoms. After quitting crack, a person will experience some unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms are the brain’s way of convincing the person to keep using crack. Eventually, the brain will get used to having a normal amount of dopamine, but until then, it will crave the substance that caused the dopamine rush. Apart from insomnia, crack’s withdrawal symptoms are generally psychological rather than physical, but that doesn’t make them any less real or painful. These symptoms can include the following:
- Crack cravings
- A general “under the weather” or “not well” feeling
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
Crack users who are in recovery don’t have to deal with these symptoms alone. Detox centers and rehab programs are available to help with the discomfort.
Although it’s possible to detox from home, many crack users find that the best option is medical detox. Detox facilities provide care and support, keeping patients comfortable during the detox phase. They may offer medicine for pain and sleep as needed. They also have the advantage of keeping patients away from their usual triggers and drug supply, so the patient has no chance of relapsing during detox. The staff can keep the patient as healthy and hydrated as possible, and they’ll know what to do in case of an emergency.
If one does choose to detox at home, one should make sure that he or she has access to medical care and a support network. During home detox, a person should stay healthy through diet and exercise, keep hydrated, and pursue healthy coping skills such as meditation.
Some detox facilities are also rehab facilities, meaning that a patient can go straight from detox into a residential program. However, even if a patient doesn’t use this kind of facility, he or she should still seek treatment after detox. Once the drugs have left his or her system, the individual can address the cause of the addiction.
Some prefer an inpatient program. These programs let people with substance disorders live in the rehab center for 30 to 90 days. They offer several different types of therapy and recreational options.
Others prefer an outpatient program. These tend to last much longer than inpatient programs. Although they provide less structure, they allow patients to recover from home. A person who chooses the outpatient route should make sure that he or she has a fair amount of support and structure at home. After rehab, former crack users may choose long-term therapy from a counselor or psychologist.
How to Find Your Detox Program
If you’ve ever searched Google for “crack detox,” you know that your options can seem endless. To some, that might seem like a good thing. To others, it’s a shock to the system. How do you choose the right option? You start with one phone call.