It only takes one use to develop a serious crack addiction, which is why many Americans struggle with it.
The drug, a crystalline form of cocaine, is responsible for a majority of the cocaine addictions treated at centers across the country every year. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 68% of cocaine users smoke crack. Those same users are also far more likely to be polydrug users, which means they use multiple substances. An addiction to this drug can be deadly, so here’s everything you need to know about how to stop using crack.
Why Stop Using Crack?
Cocaine can be used and ingested in several different forms, but crack cocaine is widely considered to be the most potent form of the drug on the market. Smoking crack brings on a faster and more powerful high than other forms of cocaine, but the euphoria only lasts about 15 minutes. This leads users to crave another high immediately afterwards, which causes frequent binging and forms a strong addiction to the substance.
A crack addiction has serious health consequences. In the short-term, users will experience anxiousness, extreme depression, difficulty eating and sleeping, frequent hallucinations, and paranoia. The dangers don’t end there. The long-term effects of crack cocaine use include:
- Respiratory illness
- Damage to liver, heart, and kidneys
- Severe tooth decay
- Serious, life-threatening depression
Steps to Overcoming a Crack Addiction
Overcoming an addiction to crack cocaine is extremely difficult, and should not be attempted without help. The best methods for quitting the addiction involves a medically monitored detox followed by complete immersion in a rehabilitation center for several months.
Detoxing from a drug addiction can be extremely dangerous and lead to serious withdrawal side-effects, but medical intervention can help ease some of these symptoms. Once the drug detox is complete, behavioral therapy is absolutely essential to fully overcoming the addiction. Rehab centers can provide the therapy and motivation needed to stop using.
Behavior therapy can look different depending on the individual patient and the counselor, but a motivational approach tends to work well with those recovering from an addiction to crack. This type of therapy often uses gifts and prizes to reward positive changes in behavior. When a user smokes crack, it releases a large amount of dopamine into the brain. Winning a price or receiving a gift releases a small amount of dopamine, replicating the effects of crack in a safe and drug-free manner. This reinforces the positive behavioral changes, so this process can be extremely effective in recovery.
What to Expect When Recovering From a Crack Addiction
Overcoming an addiction to crack doesn’t happen overnight. It takes perseverance and a solid support team to get through the recovery. The following withdrawal symptoms are common when detoxing from a crack cocaine addiction:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Body tremors and physical pains
- Intense mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
Some of these symptoms can be eased through medicines administered by medical professionals. They might use small doses of things like acetaminophen to help with physical pain, and they can provide social support during difficult periods of withdrawal.
Contact Steps Recovery Centers
Recovering from a crack addiction is a long road, but it’s one worth travelling. Steps Recovery Centers are here to help you and your loved one along the way. We offer a holistic approach to recovering from drug and alcohol addictions, and we believe that treating the root of the addiction is an important part of treating the addiction itself. We have centers located across the state of Utah, from Salt Lake City to St. George. Contact us today to take the first step to a drug-free life.