Crack Addiction- Withdrawal And Length Of Rehabilitation

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Crack is the common street name for Cocaine. It is a more concentrated form of the powder cocaine. The drug is made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America.

According to the European Monitoring Centre on Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction, cocaine ranks as the second most widely used drug in Europe. Among adults aged 15 to 34 years, an estimated 7.5 million have used cocaine at least once in their life, 3.5 million in the past year and 1.5 million only last month.

Other street names for cocaine are coke, C, flake, snow and blow. It is extremely addictive and the recreational use is illegal worldwide.

Crack is a stimulant, meaning it enhances alertness and liveliness. It affects the neuropathways in your brain, causing you to be more talkative, energetic and euphoric. Cocaine addiction can be developed quickly, even after taking it only a few times.

Types Of Addiction


This means a person becomes so dependent that certain physiological body functions can’t perform normally without the drug. Examples include chest pains, headaches, and nausea.


In this situation, the body develops a strong mental craving for the drug due to its euphoric effect, and as a result leads to psychological defects such as paranoia, hallucinations, irritability.

Causes of Crack Addiction

Cocaine alters the neurological systems in your brain. Its repeated use can alter systems connected with pleasure, memory and decision making. When a person becomes a dependent user, their ability to resist cravings becomes impaired, making it more difficult to quit.

All stimulants act to increase the extracellular concentrations of endorphins. Stimulant drugs can hinder the transmission of these neurotransmitters.

Repeated use of cocaine can cause neuroadaptation; this is the sensitization (enhanced drug response) and de-sensitization (decreased drug response). Cocaine tolerance can happen after just a few trials. This causes the need for repeated use to get a euphoric effect.

What Is Cocaine Withdrawal?

When a person who has become extremely dependent on the drug decides to quit, they will experience severe withdrawal symptoms. This is generally followed by acute feelings of

  • Anxiety
  • Exhaustion
  • Vivid dreams and hallucinations
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings

More protracted withdrawal symptoms include depression, shaking, cravings, insomnia, demotivation and emotional outbursts.

How Long Does Rehabilitation Take?

While symptoms may be generally characterised, users will experience different effects depending on the severity of their addiction and how long they have been using. Likewise, the recovery process from crack or cocaine is not specific for everybody.

Other factors that affect length of withdrawal include body chemistry and tolerance levels. However, withdrawal can begin anywhere from 72 hours from the last exposure. The physical symptoms of crack or cocaine can last from 1 to 3 months, although there isn’t any precise duration for how long the symptoms will last. In certain cases, there are reports of users experiencing discomforts lasting up to 6 months.

During the first week of cocaine withdrawal, the previous user may feel as if they have recovered from the more debilitating symptoms. There is a general feeling of being cure but it could be misleading. It is always advisable to detox in a medical environment where professional physicians can attend to you adequately.

The first few weeks are the most excruciating, but the discomfort soon passes. Ensure you have the support of loved ones during this period.

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