Crack cocaine detox is the first step towards treating an addiction to crack cocaine. The substance is potentially the most instantly addictive street drug available. Crack cocaine use induces an overwhelming feeling of artificial euphoria that causes the brain to flood the system with dopamine. The artificial stimulus rewires the brain, causing significant changes to the brain’s chemistry that can be devastating.
When a crack cocaine addict tries to stop taking the drug, the brain is unable to adapt to the loss of artificial stimulus. The result is that the person is completely unable to derive any pleasure from anything, as the brain is tricked into thinking it can’t produce dopamine naturally without more drugs.
As a result, the user experiences painful withdrawal symptoms that are predominantly psychological. In order to recover from addiction to the insidious drug, it’s crucial that crack detox is conducted in a safe, controlled environment and followed up with specialist rehabilitation treatments.
Crack cocaine detox begins within hours of the last use and extends between three and six days. In most cases, the recovering person usually sleeps unusually long hours, only waking to eat or drink. Throughout the detox process, the liver and kidneys work to clean the blood and get rid of any remaining crack in the system.
Staff within the detox facility can administer prescription medication to help reduce the severity of any withdrawal symptoms. The person may also need additional supplements to replenish nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are depleted as a result of crack abuse.
Despite urban myths to the contrary, there are some physical side effects to withdrawing from crack. These include:
New users are often drawn to try cocaine or crack, believing there are no real physical withdrawal symptoms to worry about, unlike withdrawing from heroin or alcohol. However, many people underestimate the severity of the psychological withdrawal symptoms. These include:
The highest risk of relapse for a recovering crack addict is during the detox phase. Detoxing at home without proper supervision and monitoring can also increase the risk of accidental overdose.
Due to the severe depressive symptoms that emerge as part of withdrawing from crack, the risk of suicide is also significantly increased. For the person’s own safety, it’s important that detox is conducted in a licensed detox facility under proper supervision.
It’s estimated that around 94 percent of crack cocaine addicts will relapse within the first 3 months after detox. Stopping drug use can help to rid the toxins of the substance from the body, but specialist treatment is required to correct the significant alterations to the brain’s chemistry that were caused by the drug abuse. Without treating the psychological aspect of the addiction and correcting the imbalances in brain chemistry, the risk of relapse is greatly increased.
One of the key benefits of receiving professional treatment for crack addiction in a residential rehab center is having a safe environment away from people and places associated with drug abuse. The cravings to take more drugs can be so severe that people will do almost anything to get more. When the person is admitted to a rehab center, their ability to obtain more of the drug is diminished, reducing the risk of relapse.
Drug rehab centers are also able to begin rehabilitation therapy to address the psychological aspect of the addiction. Individual counseling and a combination of different therapies are used to begin work on correcting dysfunctional behaviors.
Cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven to produce good results in treating recovering addicts. The therapy works to replace negative behaviors and attitudes with positive, healthy new habits.
Recovering people are also strongly encouraged to commit to regular attendance at group meetings, such as Cocaine Anonymous. Group meetings provide an ongoing level of peer group support and guidance that can help the person remain clean over the long term.
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