- Article SummaryPrint
- The importance of crack cocaine addiction treatment
- Recognizing the need for crack cocaine addiction treatment
- How to encourage a loved one to get treatment
- How crack cocaine addiction treatment works
- Choosing a facility for crack cocaine addiction treatment
- Ensuring a successful recovery from crack cocaine use
Crack cocaine addiction treatment can help an addicted individual stop using crack cocaine and start living a drug-free life once again. Crack cocaine is a form of cocaine that has been processed so that users can smoke it. It has the appearance of soap shavings but is brittle and hard to the touch. Crack cocaine has a stronger effect than the powder form of cocaine because it is more concentrated and reaches the brain more quickly. However, the high from crack cocaine doesn't last as long as the high obtained by the powder form of cocaine, so users often take multiple subsequent hits to keep the high going.
Crack cocaine users also frequently develop tolerance, a condition in which the brain's ability to get high off the drug diminishes over time until a larger dose of the drug is required to get the same effect. Crack cocaine is also extremely addictive. You can even become dependent on it the first time you try it.
The importance of crack cocaine addiction treatment
Crack cocaine is an illegal substance, so individuals who use it are at risk of legal reprisals, including arrest and incarceration. In addition to being illegal, crack cocaine is also extremely dangerous. Some of the health issues associated with crack cocaine include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Upper respiratory infections
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Weight loss
- Heart attack
- Respiratory failure
- Loss of sexual function
Crack cocaine use is especially dangerous for pregnant women because this drug can cause serious birth defects and addiction in the newborn. Another problem associated with crack cocaine use is the risk-taking behavior that many users display. The user may make poor decisions that put his or her health and safety at risk. This can include activities such as driving under the influence of crack cocaine, engaging in unprotected sex, and sharing contaminated drug paraphernalia. Sometimes, the crack cocaine user becomes violent and endangers others. It often takes a serious event before the user becomes aware that he or she needs to enter into a crack cocaine addiction treatment program.
In addition to the potential health complications while using crack cocaine, a user might also experience depression when coming down from a crack cocaine high. Some users continue to take additional hits of crack cocaine in order to alleviate those feelings of depression. Crack cocaine can also cause a condition called anhedonia, in which the user loses the ability to feel pleasure without the drug. If the individual does not enter a treatment program, he or she may not be able to enjoy life to the fullest. If you or someone you know needs help overcoming the depression and anhedonia associated with crack cocaine use, call 1-800-928-9139 to learn more about crack cocaine addiction treatment.
Crack cocaine creates a high by stopping brain cells from recycling dopamine, effectively increasing dopamine levels in the brain. This can cause long-term changes that make the brain less responsive to normal dopamine.
Recognizing the need for crack cocaine addiction treatment
Because of its highly addictive nature, crack cocaine often affects the life of the user in extremely negative ways. Some signs that a person might need to enter into a crack cocaine addiction treatment program include:
- A loss of control over crack cocaine use
- A loss of interest in family, friends, and formerly enjoyable activities
- A feeling of needing crack cocaine in order to function normally
- Extreme cravings for crack cocaine
- Spending excessive amounts of money on crack cocaine
- Spending excessive amounts of time thinking about crack cocaine
- Doing illegal or unsafe things to obtain more crack cocaine
People who abuse both crack cocaine and alcohol put themselves in even more danger than people who use only one of the two substances. Alcohol and crack cocaine combine in the liver to create a compound called cocaethylene. Cocaethylene increases the high felt by the drug abuser, but it also increases the risk of sudden death.
How to encourage a loved one to get treatment
If someone you care about needs help with a crack cocaine addiction, there are some things you can do to encourage the person to get help and enter into a crack cocaine addiction treatment program. Here are some steps to take if you want to intervene to help a crack cocaine addict:
- Stop covering up for the person if he or she is having trouble meeting work, school, or family commitments. The addict must face the consequences of his or her actions in order to recognize the need for treatment.
- Avoid lending money to the user, and encourage other family members and friends to also stop supporting the addiction.
- Get the support of other friends or family members who are also concerned about the individual's crack cocaine use. Have a discussion with those people about your plans to intervene and try to get as many people as you can to participate.
- Gather information about treatment programs so that you have that information available when your loved one decides it is time to get help. You can call our free helpline at 1-800-928-9139, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to get more information about private crack cocaine addiction treatment facilities.
- Inform the drug user that you and the other concerned individuals have been discussing his or her drug use. Invite the drug user to join the conversation. Issuing an invitation to a discussion helps prevent the defensiveness that can occur if you confront the individual directly.
- If the user is ready to accept help, offer him or her the information you have gathered. If the user remains resistant to the idea of getting treatment, reiterate that you and the other concerned individuals will be there for assistance when he or she is ready to seek help.
You can also join a support group for family members of addicts to help you plan an intervention and offer ideas for other ways to encourage an addict to enter into a crack cocaine addiction treatment program.
How crack cocaine addiction treatment works
"The first step in crack cocaine addiction treatment is detoxification."
The first step in crack cocaine addiction treatment is detoxification. During this phase of treatment, the recovering user abruptly stops using the drug. There is no need to wean off of crack cocaine, so most treatment facilities encourage halting the drug use completely all at once. There are currently no medications available to help with crack cocaine detoxification, although several promising medicines are currently under study. Withdrawal symptoms are common during crack cocaine detox. They usually begin a few hours after the person stops taking crack cocaine. Withdrawal symptoms can include nervousness, agitation, strong cravings for crack cocaine, and depression. These symptoms generally do not last longer than one week, although the person may experience other lingering effects for a while longer. In particular, anhedonia may persist for months or years after halting crack cocaine use.
Once the individual has gotten through the withdrawal phase, the long-term work of staying drug free begins. This long-term crack cocaine addiction treatment might encompass a variety of different treatment methods, depending on the specific facility and the needs of the recovering user. Most programs include individual and group counseling to discuss and uncover the underlying psychological issues that led to drug use in the first place. Cognitive behavioral therapy is also common. This type of therapy teaches the crack cocaine addict how to avoid situations where he or she might be tempted to use the drug. It also teaches the person how to effectively replace drug use with other, more productive activities. Another type of treatment available at some facilities is the use of motivational incentives. This type of treatment provides rewards for successfully remaining drug free during the treatment program and follow-up period.
If the individual has underlying medical or mental health issues that have contributed to the drug use, these may also need to be addressed before the person can fully recover. Mental health issues and physical ailments can contribute to a relapse if left untreated. If the individual is also addicted to other drugs or alcohol, these addictions can typically be addressed at the same time as the crack cocaine addiction. To learn more about how crack cocaine addiction treatment works, call our free helpline at 1-800-928-9139 or fill out a contact form to have someone contact you with more information.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been proven to be an extremely effective method for treating drug abuse and addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Choosing a facility for crack cocaine addiction treatment
Crack cocaine addiction treatment is typically offered by inpatient rehabilitation clinics. When choosing a facility for crack cocaine addiction treatment, you should first consider whether you want to go to a private or public facility. In general, a private crack cocaine rehab facility offers more privacy and a more personalized experience than a public facility. However, a private facility also tends to be higher in cost than a public facility.
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If you choose a private facility, you might want to consider one that caters to a specific group. For example, you can receive crack cocaine addiction treatment at a female-only facility if you are a woman. Private inpatient crack cocaine rehab programs also exist that cater to men, executives, teens, and celebrities. Another option available in private inpatient facilities that is not available in public facilities is the possibility of including holistic treatment options in your recovery plan. Some private crack cocaine addiction treatment centers use a completely holistic approach, while others incorporate conventional drug treatment options as well as alternative approaches such as meditation, animal therapy, music therapy, art therapy, yoga, acupuncture, and reflexology.
Some people opt to undergo detoxification at an inpatient facility and then switch to an outpatient program for follow-up treatment. Others may prefer to attend a full-time inpatient program for the entire course of treatment. A typical treatment program for crack cocaine addiction lasts six to 12 weeks, although an intensive long-term program can last up to 12 months. Therapy to help the patient overcome anhedonia is often a long-term part of treatment.
With so many options, choosing where to get treatment for crack cocaine addiction can seem difficult. You can contact a treatment advisor at 1-800-928-9139 who can answer your questions about crack cocaine addiction treatment or fill out our contact form for more information.
Ensuring a successful recovery from crack cocaine use
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are a few key components to making a successful recovery from drug addiction. One major factor is the length of treatment, so be sure that your crack cocaine addiction treatment program is long enough to provide a lasting effect. For many people, this means that follow-up treatment lasting six months or more past the initial stay in a treatment facility is required. Another important factor in a successful recovery is a treatment plan that addresses all aspects of the recovering user's life, not merely the specific problems associated with crack cocaine use. This might mean finding a treatment program that also includes family therapy or a 12-step program that provides peer support after treatment is concluded. It is also important to monitor the recovering addict for signs of drug use during treatment in order to quickly respond to any relapse that occurs. This typically involves frequent drug testing to determine whether the recovering addict is sticking to the treatment plan.
While the ultimate goal is to avoid a relapse, many people do experience setbacks after returning to normal life after treatment is finished. A relapse does not mean that treatment is a complete failure, however. Many people can return to a drug-free lifestyle after a relapse. In some cases, you may have to return to a treatment facility for another round of detoxification and crack cocaine addiction treatment.
Recovering from crack cocaine addiction can be difficult, but many people successfully complete a crack cocaine addiction treatment program and go on to live a drug-free life.