September 5th, 2023
Crack cocaine detox
Imagine a life where crack cocaine no longer controls you and where your relationships, health and peace of mind are vastly improved. Luckily, this is not an impossible dream; it is a reality that countless people have achieved, and so can you. The journey to this happier, healthier life free from addiction always begins with the crack detox process. Crack detox takes resilience and determination, but it is the first step towards healing, recovery and regaining control over your life.
What is crack detox?
Chronic crack increases dopamine levels, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, in your brain. Over time, your brain becomes accustomed to these high levels, leading to a physical dependence, where you need to keep taking crack to achieve the same high or feel “normal”. When you detox from crack, your body is purged of the drug and all its toxins. This process breaks the physical dependence, paving the way for the brain to start restoring its normal functions.
Crack detox also involves managing crack withdrawal symptoms that emerge once drug use is reduced or stopped. Crack withdrawal symptoms are often challenging and dangerous, but a professionally managed detox makes this transition safer and more bearable.
This critical phase not only prepares you for further treatment in rehab but also instils the belief that recovery is achievable.
What are common crack withdrawal symptoms?
Undergoing drug detox always causes some level of withdrawal, and crack cocaine detox often involves a variety of withdrawal symptoms. Each of these crack detox symptoms signifies your body’s readjustment to the absence of the drug and the different stages of healing.
Here are some common crack withdrawal symptoms that you may experience:
- Agitation and restlessness: When the effects of crack cocaine wear off, it is common to experience a general sense of unease and restlessness. This is a normal part of the crack withdrawal process as your body starts to crave the drug it has become accustomed to.
- Intense cravings: One of the most challenging aspects of crack withdrawal is dealing with the powerful cravings that arise. These occur because the brain, accustomed to the high levels of dopamine produced when using crack, takes a little while to start producing it without crack present.
- Depression and anxiety: These feelings are also common symptoms as your brain adjusts to the absence of increased dopamine levels.
- Fatigue: As your body works hard to eliminate all the crack from your system and regain balance, you may feel a deep sense of tiredness. This is a natural response to the physical and emotional changes occurring within your body.
- Sleep disturbances: Changes in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or restless sleep, are often experienced during cocaine detox. These disruptions occur as the body adjusts to the absence of the drug.
- Psychosis: In extreme cases, crack withdrawal may lead to hallucinations or paranoia. This generally occurs in people who have used high doses of crack for extended periods.
The intensity of these symptoms can vary greatly depending on factors such as the length of drug use, frequency of use, overall health and psychological resilience. Understanding these potential symptoms can help prepare you for what to expect during the crack detox process.
How long does crack withdrawal last?
The crack withdrawal timeline can vary widely, depending on individual factors such as personal physiology, the extent of the crack addiction and whether you have any co-occurring mental health conditions. However, there are general phases that most people will experience during the crack withdrawal process:
Early crack withdrawal (First few hours – three days)
The onset of crack detox symptoms typically starts within hours of the last crack cocaine use. This period is also referred to as the “crash” phase and is often marked by a sudden swing from extreme excitement to intense dysphoria (general distress, unease or discomfort).
- First few hours after the last use: Feelings of discontent, agitation and restlessness usually start setting in within a few hours as the body craves another dose of crack.
- Days one to three: Usually, this is the phase when crack withdrawal symptoms become most acute. Extreme cravings for crack may occur, often paired with dysphoria and agitation. There may also be physical crack withdrawal symptoms such as exhaustion, increased appetite and disturbed sleep. These symptoms can create a strong desire to use crack again to alleviate the discomfort.
Peak crack withdrawal (one to two weeks)
The ‘peak’ withdrawal phase often starts a few days after the last use and can last up to two weeks.
- Days four to seven: Crack withdrawal symptoms typically peak in intensity during this time. Depression, anxiety and intense cravings are common, as are ongoing sleep disturbances such as vivid, unpleasant dreams or insomnia.
- Week two: While the intensity of cravings may start to subside slightly, they can still be strong and persistent. Emotional crack withdrawal symptoms like depression and anxiety can also continue, although the severity of these symptoms usually starts to decrease gradually.
Late crack withdrawal (Several weeks – months)
The late crack withdrawal phase, also referred to as the ‘extinction’ phase, is marked by a gradual decrease and ultimate ending of symptoms for most people.
- Three to four weeks: The intense cravings will likely have significantly reduced by now, though occasional mild cravings may still occur. Depression and anxiety levels also usually decrease during this time.
- One to three months: While most acute crack withdrawal symptoms should have subsided after the first month or so, psychological symptoms like occasional cravings or mood swings can persist, potentially leading to Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).
PAWS refers to withdrawal symptoms that persist or appear weeks or months after acute withdrawal. It usually involves ongoing mood swings, anxiety, trouble with cognitive tasks, sleep disturbances and ongoing cravings. These symptoms can pose challenges to recovery, potentially leading to relapse if not adequately managed. Treatment options include medication, therapy and supportive counselling, all of which are available through drug rehab at Oasis Runcorn.
How to detox from crack safely
The best way to detox from crack safely is at a professional detox centre. Oasis Runcorn is a leading provider of inpatient crack detox services. Inpatient detox means that you will stay at our facility throughout your crack detox programme, allowing you to escape triggering environments and focus solely on recovery.
The benefits of undergoing crack detox at Oasis Runcorn include:
- 24/7 professional medical support: Our highly qualified and empathetic healthcare professionals are on hand round the clock to monitor your progress, help you manage crack withdrawal symptoms and provide emotional support.
- Medical crack detox: Depending on your individual circumstances, medications may be administered under professional medical supervision to help manage crack withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process more comfortable.
- A full medical assessment and detox plan: A comprehensive assessment will be conducted at the onset of crack detox to understand your needs. This includes examining your physical and mental health, reviewing your drug addiction history and understanding your circumstances. The insights gleaned from this assessment allow us to guide you seamlessly throughout your crack detox.
- A comprehensive crack rehab programme: Crack detox is just the first step in recovery, and once you are over the worst of crack withdrawal, you will begin rehab treatment. This programme offers a combination of therapy, counselling and skills training designed to equip you with the tools needed to maintain long-term sobriety and prevent crack relapse.
Myths about crack detox
There are many myths and misconceptions about crack detox that can create barriers to people seeking help. Here are some of the most common myths and the reality behind them:
Myth: Crack detox is enough for recovery…
Reality: Detox is an important first step but not a complete treatment. Long-term recovery requires follow-up care, including therapy, skills development and lifestyle changes.
Myth: Crack detox is unbearably painful…
Reality: Crack detox can be uncomfortable, but under medical supervision, crack detox symptoms can be managed effectively to ensure your safety and comfort.
Myth: You need to hit rock bottom to detox from crack…
Reality: This is one of the biggest misconceptions of them all. The truth is you don’t have to reach a crisis point to seek crack detox, and early intervention can greatly increase the chances of successful recovery.
Myth: Relapse means crack detox has failed…
Reality: Relapse is a common part of recovery. Rather than proof that crack detox has failed, it is an opportunity to learn and strengthen coping strategies.
How to start crack detox
The journey to recovery always begins by recognising you need help and reaching out for it. If you are ready to regain control of your life, Oasis Runcorn is here to support you. Reach out to our professional and compassionate team today to find out more about crack detox and start your personalised journey to recovery.