Crack Cocaine Addiction

Crack cocaine is a form of “free base” cocaine that can be smoked and has a short but intensely euphoric high. It is a more affordable form of cocaine.

It is also the most addictive form of cocaine and stories of people becoming obsessed with the drug after one try and requiring crack addiction treatment are common. There is no medicinal use for crack cocaine, it is purely recreational and started mainly in impoverished areas, quickly becoming an epidemic.

People abusing crack will go without food or sleep, their heart rate can be very high, they may experience muscle spasms or convulsions, paranoia, anger, hostility and anxiety. Crack increases risk of a heart attack, stroke, seizure and respiratory failure, any one of which could cause death. Long-term effects include heart and liver damage, kidney damage and increased exposure to infectious diseases. Users may also become depressed, lose interest in life, and may even attempt suicide.

Addiction to crack is a serious health matter and detox and treatment should be done under medical supervision in a dedicated drug detox center or residential addiction treatment facility.

Crack Addiction Treatment

Withdrawal from crack can cause severe depression, anxiety, sweats, body aches, tremors, shakiness, muscle pain, exhaustion, inability to concentrate, inability to feel pleasure and an intense craving for the drug.

Therefore detox should be done under the supervision of a medical doctor who can prescribe medications to alleviate some of these symptoms. However, there is no medication to treat the addiction itself. Because of how addictive crack is, and how intense the cravings are, it is highly recommended that treatment start in a residential treatment center where there is round-the-clock care and the recovering addict is removed from situations that can trigger a relapse.

Treatment for crack addiction will usually begin with a full bio-psycho-social evaluation. Residential treatment will also afford an opportunity to restore physical health through good, healing nutrition and exercise. Therapies will include one-on-one sessions, group sessions, family sessions, possibly cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and perhaps somatic experiencing, especially if there is a prior trauma that is contributing to the drug abuse.

Depending on the treatment center there may also be other therapies such as art, writing or equine therapy. It is important in residential treatment to begin to restore the addict’s interest in turning around his or her circumstances and attaining a positive, goal oriented life.

Continued Treatment for Crack Addiction

Once residential treatment is concluded it is customary to step down to an outpatient program.

The threat of relapse is so serious with crack addiction that longer term treatment is almost always necessary for the recovering addict to succeed just as with other harder drugs such as meth. This will include continued therapy sessions, as well as guidance with life events such as finding a place to live or finding work and dealing with everyday situations without relapsing.

Relapse prevention is a critical part of crack addiction treatment. Recovering addicts are also encouraged to join a 12-step social support program to begin establishing healthier relationships with people who can related to their circumstances.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to crack cocaine, please call Recovery Channel now for advice and to see if your insurance will cover treatment.

Crack: Another Form of Cocaine

Crack is the freebase form of cocaine, which can be smoked, and is the most addictive type of cocaine.

Crack came to prominence in the mid 1980s. Mainly because of its affordability, it became hugely popular in lower income and impoverished neighborhoods of large cities, such as New York, Los Angles and Miami, where its use quickly turned into epidemic proportions and from which it rapidly spread across the nation.

It is entirely a “street drug” used only for recreational purposes and offers a quick, intense high that is short lived. The effects from smoking crack are delivered as quickly as injected cocaine, creating a fast “buzz” for the user.

Crack Addiction – It Happens Fast

For many people crack addiction comes on strong and fast and virtually consumes them and destroys their lives.

One of the earliest, and most famous, examples is Richard Pryor whose career, life, and health were all devastated by this toxic drug. Actor Robert Downey, Jr., now best known for his recurring role as Ironman in the movies, is another example of a star who had it made who then lost it all due to an addiction to crack cocaine. Other examples include Flava Flav, Ozzy Osbourne, Lawrence Taylor and, remarkably, Aaron Sorkin, who apparently was addicted to crack while writing and producing the TV show The West Wing, and Oprah Winfrey, who, in 1995, confessed to an addiction to crack when she was in her twenties.

Many of the people who become addicted are helpless and hit bottom, financially, physically, and mentally. Stories abound of people who became addicted after “just one hit”, or puff, of the drug.

Recovering from an Addiction to Crack

Addiction to crack is related entirely to the effects of euphoria and supreme confidence it provides the user.

The “high” from smoking crack lasts only five to ten minutes, pushing the user toward frequent abuse. This frequency, coupled with the questionable composition of some forms of the street drug, contribute to the decline in health of these addicted individuals.

Other effects, or side effects, include loss of appetite and of declining health, insomnia, paranoia, irritability, anxiety, depression, and even sudden death, which can occur on the first use of the drug or unexpectedly anytime thereafter. These deaths are most often the result of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest.

To recover from an addiction to crack is difficult and it is not at all uncommon for those who have gone through rehab to relapse. A long-term recovery program, beginning with residential care, is almost always necessary. Finding a program best suited to you or your loved one should be done with advise from an expert in the addiction recovery field.

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