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Crack Addiction Withdrawal and Detoxification:

It is an accepted fact that crack addiction is very hard to give up on. A lot of factors are needed to make a recovery possible, such as willpower, determination, patience, treatment, supportive family and so on. However, all of this starts with a simple decision of quitting the drug. The road ahead is long and difficult but not impossible to cover. The process of treatment can be very difficult and physically and mentally challenging. It is important to stay strong and bear the pain to return to a healthy life.  The first phase of recovery is detoxification which can be highly uncomfortable. The symptoms produced during detoxification may push the patient towards relapse.

Crack Addiction Withdrawal and Detoxification

Table of Contents:

  • 1.Withdrawal Symptoms for Crack Abuse and Addiction
  • 2.Detoxification Process for Crack Abuse and Addiction
  • 3.Is Home Detoxification Possible for Crack?
  • 4.Withdrawal Timeline for Crack Addiction
  • 5.Is it Possible to Die of Crack Withdrawal?
  • 6.Medications Used to Facilitate the Process

Withdrawal Symptoms for Crack Abuse and Addiction:

As soon as the drug is quit, physical and mental withdrawal symptoms are produced. It is the brain’s way to push the user back to the drug since it cannot function normally in the absence of drug. It is important to endure these symptoms patiently to make a recovery. Withdrawal symptoms may last for a couple of weeks depending upon the conditions. A number of physical and mental signs and symptoms are associated with crack addiction.

Physical signs and symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High sex drive
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Nightmares
  • Hypersomnia/ Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Exhaustion
  • Restlessness
  • Respiratory problems
  • Increased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Black phlegm
  • Seizures

Psychological signs and symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Aggression/ Violent behavior
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Loss of motivation/ Hopelessness
  • Severe cravings

Detoxification Process for Crack Abuse and Addiction:

Detoxification is a natural process by which the body gets itself rid of harmful chemicals accumulated due to drug abuse. It is natural reaction of the body to cleanse itself of the drug. The detox process starts as soon as the drug is quit. It is characterized by the appearance of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms tend to be most severe during detoxification process. It is recommended to go through detox process at a specially designed detox center, hospital or rehabilitation center to avoid any complications. It is possible to complete detox at home but it is not a wise choice because of the severe mental and physical symptoms associated with the process. The patient needs expert supervision and medical aid to go through the process successfully. Also, the doctor may prescribe a number of medications to the patient to make the withdrawal symptoms bearable. The chances of success increase a deal when detox is carried out under professional care.

Is Home Detoxification Possible for Crack?

Detoxification is a natural process carried out by the body, so it is possible to go through detox process at home. However, it is not recommended because of the dangers associated with it. The body cleans itself of chemicals by all the possible means such as excessive sweating, vomiting and diarrhea. So there is a great chance for the patient to become dehydrated and nutrient deficient. To ensure the safety and health of the patient during detox process, a detox or rehab center is a must.

Withdrawal Timeline for Crack Addiction:

Withdrawal symptoms start to appear within a few hours of the last drug use. Crack is quick to produce its effects and just as quick to fade away. Here is a withdrawal timeline for crack addiction:

  • First 72 hours:
    A number of withdrawal symptoms appear such as hallucinations, paranoia and depression. These symptoms kick in with all their intensity leaving the patient in very uncomfortable condition. Usually, paranoia disappears after 24 hours while hallucinations may last up to 72 hours. These psychological symptoms are the reason why expert supervision is important.
  • First week:
    Physical symptoms like fatigue, lethargy, irritability and aggression are present. They become better with time and as the week ends, most of the symptoms start to subside. It may feel like the process of detoxification is over but it is not so.
  • Second week:
    Extreme cravings for the drug start to kick in. psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression also exist. As the brain is learning to work without the drug, other psychological symptoms like mood swings and feeling low also persist,
  • Third and fourth week:
    Most of the withdrawal symptoms decrease in intensity or disappear by this time. However, anxiety, depression and severe mood swings may persist. Cravings for the drug are also common.

Is It Possible to Die of Crack Withdrawal?

It is highly unlikely to die of crack withdrawal but it is not impossible. The physical and mental symptoms can sometime aggravate to such a level that death is possible. For example heart attack, seizures and severe dehydration can be life threatening. Also a patient suffering from extreme paranoia may end up killing himself.

Due to these reasons, seeking professional help and admitting in a detox center is highly recommended.

Medications Used to Facilitate the Process:

Medications may be used by the doctors to make withdrawal symptoms less severe. A number of medications have been developed specifically for the treatment of narcotics. The researches are under way to discover similar medications for cocaine withdrawal. Some of the suggested drugs for the treatment of cocaine withdrawal include

  • Propranolol: It has been found to be helpful which the treatment of anxiety, agitation, angina and hypertension.
  • Baclofen: This drug is a muscle relaxer and it has also been found to helpful for reducing cravings.
  • Tiagabine: It is an anticonvulsant drug that may help the user successfully resist the drug.
  • Modafinil: A medication used for the treatment of narcolepsy, has been found to be helpful to prevent a relapse.

The researches show that these drugs have very positive effects on cocaine withdrawal process. Other than these, a number of OTC drugs are often recommended by the doctors to ease down other symptoms such as insomnia, body aches etc.

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