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Crack Cocaine Rehab

Crack Cocaine Rehab

When an individual has been using addictive substances such as crack cocaine for a long period of time, this behaviour can quickly become normalised. As a result, a physical and psychological dependence can develop without their knowledge, and the individual may be unable to see that they have an addiction.

There is no safe dosage of crack cocaine and this highly addictive substance offers no proven medical benefits. In fact, an addiction to crack cocaine can result in a number of physical and psychological side effects, some of which are life-threatening. [1]

A crack cocaine addiction does not have to be permanent. With the help of specialised treatment programmes and rehabilitation centres, even the most severe addiction can be brought under control.

How do I know if I’m addicted to crack cocaine?

Addiction is often characterised by specific behaviours which can provide an insight into the extent of the problem. If an individual has attempted to stop using crack cocaine in the past and has been unable to do so, or has experienced negative consequences due to their crack cocaine use but continues to use it, then it is highly likely that a physical and/or psychological dependence is present.

If you are experimenting with crack cocaine or have been using it for any period of time, it is crucial that you change your behaviour. Get in touch with our team at OK Rehab today to discuss potential treatment options – many of us have been in your situation and know just how difficult it is to take the first step towards recovery.

Do I need to go to rehab for a crack cocaine addiction?

As mentioned above, it can be difficult for an individual to recognise that they have an addiction as their behaviour can quickly become normalised. This is particularly true when the majority of their acquaintances display the same behaviours.

If you can relate to some of the below statements, it is highly likely that your use of crack cocaine has become unmanageable and that rehab will be beneficial to you.

  • I have tried to stop using crack cocaine in the past but have been unable to
  • Other people have commented on the extent of my crack cocaine use
  • When I tried to stop using crack cocaine in the past, I experienced withdrawal symptoms
  • I have experienced financial and/or legal troubles due to my crack cocaine use
  • If I cannot use crack cocaine before or during a social event, I would prefer not to attend
  • I am having trouble performing at work or school due to my crack cocaine use
  • I find myself neglecting my responsibilities in favour of using crack cocaine
  • I need to use more crack cocaine on a more frequent basis to experience the same effects
  • I would like to stop using crack cocaine but I am scared to experience the withdrawal symptoms
  • I have experienced negative consequences due to my use of crack cocaine but continue to use it

Can I die from crack cocaine withdrawal?

The process of crack cocaine withdrawal is often extremely intense due to the potency of this substance, and as a result, many people will continue to use crack cocaine in order to avoid the withdrawal effects even if they no longer want to.

Over time the body will build a tolerance to the drug, requiring a higher dosage and more frequent ingestion in order to experience the same effects. This tolerance will quickly reduce as the individual begins the withdrawal process, leading to a higher risk of overdose in the event of relapse as their body will no longer be able to tolerate their usual dosage.

A crack cocaine overdose can be life-threatening and may result in death.

Common symptoms of a crack cocaine overdose include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme chest pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate

If you suspect that you or someone you care about is experiencing a crack cocaine overdose, seek medical treatment by calling 999 immediately.

Certain people are more likely to experience more dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and dehydration, which can be life-threatening if not properly treated. These include individuals with an underlying mental health disorder, a long-term crack cocaine addiction or those who are suffering from cardiovascular disease.

What are the most common crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms?

Using crack cocaine on a regular basis can cause physical changes to the body and brain as they attempt to learn how to function despite the effects of this substance. [2] As a result, suddenly reducing or completely removing the amount of crack cocaine ingested can lead to a number of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms as the system attempts to rebalance. [3]

The intensity of these symptoms can vary depending on the individual’s tolerance to the drug, the length of the addiction, the amount of crack cocaine ingested on a regular basis and whether they suffer from a co-occurring mental health disorder.

Crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Intense cravings for crack cocaine
  • Psychosis
  • Disturbed sleep, including nightmares and insomnia
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Seizures
  • Increased desire to consume food
  • Paranoia
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Feeling agitated and angry
  • Trouble experiencing happiness and pleasure

How to withdraw from crack cocaine safely

The safest and most effective way to withdraw and recover from a crack cocaine addiction is to undergo a treatment programme within a specialised rehabilitation centre. This allows the individual to start the detoxification process under the care of medical professionals and receive a personalised treatment plan that best suits their needs.

For less severe addictions it is possible to withdraw from crack cocaine as an outpatient, but this must be assessed by a trained doctor on a case-by-case basis. As there is no method to predict the severity of withdrawal symptoms the patient must be monitored throughout the detoxification process due to the risk of relapse or severe medical issues, whether they are choosing to recover as an inpatient or an outpatient.

Many people find it difficult to overcome the social pull of a crack cocaine addiction. Before entering rehab they may have surrounded themselves with other people who also use the substance, and these relationships can lead to relapse. The key to overcoming a crack cocaine addiction is to find healthy friendships and a strong support system once the treatment programme has ended.

What happens during crack cocaine rehab?

The strength that it takes for an individual to recognise that they are suffering from a crack cocaine addiction cannot be underestimated. Reaching out for help can feel overwhelming and intimidating, so it can be helpful to first gain an understanding of the rehabilitation process in order to feel mentally prepared and ready for the journey towards recovery.

1. Assessment

Before treatment can begin, a diagnosis of addiction must first be established. The individual will be examined by a trained doctor who will usually perform a series of blood tests and ask questions relating to their crack cocaine use.

In many cases, the doctor will also investigate any potential co-occurring disorders, which can include mental health issues and other concurrent addictions or substance misuse. Once a diagnosis has been made, a personalised treatment plan will be created to effectively tackle the addiction.

2. Detoxification

The process of removing all traces of crack cocaine from the system is known as detoxification, and the patient is closely monitored throughout this process. This ensures they do not relapse and allows prompt medical treatment to be performed in the case of a severe reaction to withdrawal.

As crack cocaine is fast-acting, physical withdrawal symptoms can begin within the first hour and may last for up to a month. They will usually peak during the second week of treatment with cravings becoming more intense during this time.

Psychological withdrawal symptoms can last for up to three months and this is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) which many patients will experience. In many cases, a doctor will prescribe medication in order to make the detoxification process more comfortable and bearable.

3. Counselling

An individual addicted to crack cocaine is not recovered simply because they no longer have the substance in their system. Once the detoxification phase is complete, they must now begin to work on the psychological reasons behind their addiction and discover strategies that can carry them through life even after the treatment programme has ended.

A trained therapist will work with the patient, challenging their beliefs and mindset around drugs and addiction while preparing them for the inevitable triggers and challenges of life after recovery.

Therapy options for crack cocaine addiction include cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, group therapy and family therapy.

4. Aftercare

The individual is most at risk of relapse during the period of time after the treatment programme has ended. They will be given an aftercare plan to help guide them on the path towards long-term recovery which can include NA and 12 Step meetings, tips on building a strong support system, continued therapy treatments and effective strategies to cope with triggering situations.

References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2564618/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2851032/

[3] https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/drugtreat-pubs-modpsy-toc~drugtreat-pubs-modpsy-3~drugtreat-pubs-modpsy-3-7~drugtreat-pubs-modpsy-3-7-cws

 

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