Understanding Crack Addiction

Authored by Pin Ng

Edited by Hugh Soames

Reviewed by Dr Ruth Arenas

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Understanding Crack Addiction


In 2014, it was estimated by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSUDH) that over 21 million Americans 12-years old and older suffered from a substance abuse disorder. It is claimed that America losses around $600 billion per year due to substance abuse disorder.


Money is lost due to criminal justice costs, legal expenses, healthcare, and a lack of production in the workplace, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Crack cocaine is one drug that Americans are struggling with currently. It is a highly addictive drug and one that is very difficult to stop using cold turkey.


How Addictive is Crack Cocaine?


One of the drugs that consistently leads to addiction in users is crack cocaine. Crack is a drug that is derived from cocaine. Often known as the “rich person’s drug” cocaine is produced from the coca plant in South America. In its powder form, cocaine produces an intense high. It causes dopamine to flood the brain. The effects are immediate but short-lived resulting in users needing more and more cocaine to get high.


Crack is produced when powered cocaine is mixed with water and, most often, baking soda. The mixture is then boiled to form a solid substance. The substance is then cooled and broken into small pieces. These pieces are then sold by drug dealers as crack. The drug’s name comes from its “cracking” sound when it is warmed and smoked.


Crack cocaine is extremely addictive. The reason why it is so addictive is due to its high concentration of ingredients. Just one use can make a person addicted to the drug.

Going to Rehab for crack cocaine addiction


Although crack is highly addictive, there is help available to end an addiction to the deadly drug. Recovery is difficult and extremely taxing. It will test your physical and psychological make up. Ending your crack cocaine addiction alone is possible, but with professional help, you can end your dependence on the drug for good.


Rehab removes you from the environment of crack cocaine addiction. Many people struggling with addiction remain rooted in an atmosphere that fosters addiction. Rehab eliminates this atmosphere and provides an environment with support to end your need for the drug.


There are treatment centers that specialize in crack cocaine addiction. By seeking help from one of these expert institutions, you provide yourself with the tools needed to end crack’s hold on your life.


Understanding the journey to a life after crack addiction


After you decide to get help from a professional rehab, you will begin the journey to a life without crack cocaine. Once this step is taken, you will begin detox. A crack treatment center will provide you with a safe environment to detox off of the addictive drug.


Undergoing detox in a controlled environment allows you to safely remove the toxic drug from your body. Your mental health will be tested during this stage as depression and anxiety occur during the detox process.


The come down from crack cocaine addiction is steep. Many people want to end their crack cocaine addiction, but the fear of the mental and physical pain prevents them from entering the detox phase. Along with depression and anxiety, crack users experience strong cravings when they enter the come down11.S. R. Radfar and R. A. Rawson, Current Research on Methamphetamine: Epidemiology, Medical and Psychiatric Effects, Treatment, and Harm Reduction Efforts – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4354220/.


Detox will produce withdrawal from crack. You will experience cravings, physical symptoms, and psychological symptoms. These symptoms may be intense and could last up to a month or more. However, most crack cocaine users go through the worst parts of withdrawal for three to seven days. Your detox and withdrawal will depend on your level and length of crack cocaine use.


The most common withdrawal symptoms from crack cocaine addiction include:


  • Anxiety
  • Intense cravings
  • Extreme fatigue and tiredness
  • Sleeplessness and insomnia
  • Severe depression and sadness
  • Nightmares


The withdrawal period is very difficult. Unfortunately, many users do not want to go through withdrawal due to fear. This causes crack cocaine users to relapse. Returning to crack does not mean you failed in your bid to get clean, however. You should remember that the road to long-term sobriety is long and winding.

Assessing the different types of crack addiction rehab treatment


There are different types of crack cocaine rehab options. Inpatient rehab is oftentimes seen as the best solution to an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Inpatient rehab facilities come in all shapes and sizes. There are also different rehab treatment plans that inpatient centers employ.


Some of the most common practices an inpatient crack cocaine rehab will use is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), one-to-one therapy, group therapy, support groups, and psychoeducational group sessions.


You will also find other treatment methods used at many inpatient crack cocaine rehab centers. These methods may include mindfulness and meditation, 12-step programming, off-site activities, and more. Most crack cocaine rehab programs will last 30 days, but depending on your level of addiction, you may be able to stay longer.


Never underestimate the importance of aftercare for Crack addiction after rehab


Due to the level of addiction crack cocaine creates in users, you will likely need continued care post-rehab. A treatment center will help you adjust to life after addiction. Intensive therapy and counseling will help you cope with life and the challenges you face without drugs.


Some crack cocaine rehabs provide support in the form of vocational training. This helps you through the recovery process by teaching you skills for a work. Many former crack addicts have difficult reintegrating with society. Rehabs want to prevent an individual from relapsing and providing them with the skills to reintegrate into society aims to lower the chances for a relapse.


Support groups are available and give you the chance to speak with someone. Speaking to a support group may be the difference between using crack once more and staying sober. By building ties with a group or community after rehab, you give yourself the chance to remain clean and sober for the long-term.


If you are struggling with crack cocaine addiction, there is help for you. Inpatient rehab is the ideal way to end an addiction to crack and regain control of your life. Ending crack cocaine addiction is a long, difficult road. It will take mental and physical strength, and it is likely to need support from professionals at a cocaine rehab facility. If you want to begin the journey to being drug-free, then you can begin it today.


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    1.S. R. Radfar and R. A. Rawson, Current Research on Methamphetamine: Epidemiology, Medical and Psychiatric Effects, Treatment, and Harm Reduction Efforts – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4354220/
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