Author: Gary Jackson

Crack Cocaine: Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline & Detox Treatment

Some people choose to stop smoking crack without any medications and without tapering. People can experience severe withdrawal symptoms even with medical supervision, but nurses and doctors can monitor how the body reacts and treat symptoms as they occur. When people attempt the cold turkey strategy at home or without medical assistance, it can be dangerous if complications arise.

  • At first, the former user will likely experience headaches and irritability, so loved ones can offer support by minimizing loud noises and staying patient when possible.
  • Approximately 1.3 million people in the United States over the age of 12 have a cocaine use disorder, which means they use cocaine or crack.
  • There’s no one standard medication prescribed to help detox from cocaine, but medications can help treat symptoms such as depression or fatigue.

Beta-blockers such as Propranolol can reduce anxiety and restless symptoms that follow withdrawal from crack or cocaine. Propranolol may also reduce the euphoric effects of cocaine, which can discourage future use. The fourth phase is referred to as the “extinction” phase and may last up to 28 days. While physical cravings are mainly gone by then, the psychological ones remain. This period is characterized by depression, anxiety, and dysphoria.

Cocaine withdrawal explained

By having medications that lessen the cravings’ intensity, the patient is more likely to continue to avoid relapsing and complete the detox process. Some people undergoing crack withdrawal will experience severe effects, while others may not experience as many symptoms. Much of this depends on how much a person was taking and how often they were taking it. Other factors include personal medical history, body weight and height, age and family drug history. When a person cuts back on their cocaine use or stops cocaine use completely, symptoms of withdrawal occur.

crack withdrawal symptoms

The advantage of going to a detox center is that medical assistance is readily available. A detox center will place you in comfortable surroundings where you can be assured of help in case of emergencies. These clinics also provide medications to ease some of the symptoms. Crack is a crystallized, free base form of cocaine that is incredibly potent and addictive.

Where to get help for cocaine addiction or withdrawal symptoms

Cocaine and crack are powerful stimulants that give users a euphoric feeling and increased energy, says Dr. Tetrault. Crack is a freebase form of cocaine that is processed using water and either ammonia or baking soda, until it forms a rock crystal that can be smoked. Crack cocaine is also known as “rock,” because it looks like small, hard shards of rock. People typically smoke crack by heating it in a glass pipe; however, they may also add it to tobacco cigarettes or marijuana joints. The term ‘crack’ refers to the crackling sound the crystal makes when it is being heated to smoke. Approximately 1.3 million people in the United States over the age of 12 have a cocaine use disorder, which means they use cocaine or crack.