Crack cocaine Addiction Treatment, Effects & SympToms

Crack cocaine, also known as crack or stone, is a free base form of cocaine which can be smoked. Crack offers a brief but extreme high for smokers. The Manual of Adolescent Substance Abuse Therapy requires it the most addictive form of cocaine.


Introduction to Crack Cocaine

When someone uses crack, even for a very short period of time, they are likely to become psychologically addicted to it. The artificially-stimulated flood of dopamine in the brain creates a reward response and triggers certain brain activities.

This reward response can lead to the brain of the person using crack to feel compelled to keep using it, in order to achieve the desired effects. This becomes a reinforcement response in the brain, which is ultimately what addiction is. Addiction changes the function and the chemical makeup of the brain.

Addressing Mental Issues Caused by Usage

Crack rehab has to address these brain changes, and also the social, psychological, and physical elements of addiction for it to be most effective. It’s not uncommon for crack to trigger certain psychological symptoms that can mimic other mental health disorders.

For example, someone may experience symptoms of bipolar disorder or mania if they use crack. Crack addiction treatment has to address these symptoms, in addition to the addiction itself.

Crack rehab will often begin with a detox program. Following detox, crack rehab can take place in an inpatient setting, or a partial hospitalization program. There are also crack outpatient programs available.

Beginning the Steps to Recovery

For most people, crack rehab is a series of steps. They begin with detox, move into inpatient treatment, and from there step down into a partial hospitalization program. Following partial hospitalization, the person may then participate in outpatient care outside of an inpatient drug rehab center, and finally, aftercare planning may include participation in a program like Narcotics Anonymous.

Crack Detox: Dealing with Withdrawal Symptoms

Drugs like crack are psychologically addictive, but also create physical dependence. Physical dependence to crack indicates that a person’s brain and body have become used to the presence of the drug to function “normally.” If the person suddenly stops using crack after a period of time, they may experience withdrawal symptoms.
During crack detox, patients can receive medical care and monitoring as the remnants of the drug leave their system. Crack detox should be focused on helping the patient be safe and comfortable during this time. Crack withdrawal symptoms that need to be managed during a medical detox can be physical and psychological.

What Should You Expect with Crack Inpatient Treatment?

Crack inpatient treatment is the most intensive type of rehab care. Inpatient rehab for crack addiction will typically begin with a medical detox. Once someone has fully detoxed from crack and any other substances used, they will begin the actual treatment process. Crack inpatient treatment will often include a combination of therapy modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and supplemental treatments to help reduce and manage stress, and re-enter daily life.

A drug rehab program offering any kind of addiction treatment should be private and confidential. Addiction treatment should also address the needs of the whole person. A person is more than their substance abuse, and it’s important to look for rehab centers and addiction treatment programs that take this into consideration.

What is a Crack Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)?

A partial hospitalization program is somewhat in the middle between inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. While someone might begin their crack rehab journey with partial hospitalization, what more often happens is that following residential treatment, a patient moves into partial hospitalization.

Partial hospitalization requires patients to continue participating in intensive day treatment. However, at the end of each treatment day, patients can return home.

Because of the gripping nature of crack addiction, in most cases, it’s not recommended someone participate in a PHP program until they have gained the tools and coping mechanisms of inpatient rehab. Otherwise, the freedom of being able to return home each night might contribute to the likelihood of a relapse.

What Is Outpatient Crack Treatment?

Crack outpatient rehab is flexible and doesn’t require participants stay in a residential facility. Outpatient rehab can be drug education, group counseling, individual counseling or a combination. With some addictions, if a person hasn’t been experiencing addiction symptoms for a long period of time, they may begin with outpatient rehab.

With crack, this isn’t typically recommended. Crack is extremely addictive and can cause severe psychological and physical symptoms. Outpatient rehab should be something a person enters into only after first completing more intensive treatment, with regard to crack addiction.

Choosing a Treatment for Crack Addiction

Many different factors play a role in selecting a crack treatment program. A few considerations include:

  • Are other drugs being used simultaneously to crack? This can require intensive and specialized treatment if so.
  • Has the person tried other crack treatment programs previously and relapsed?
  • Does the addicted individual have co-occurring mental health disorders that need to be addressed during treatment?
  • How long has the person been using crack, and will detox likely include very intense symptoms?
  • Is there psychological damage from ongoing or long-term crack usage?

What Types of Therapy Occur at a Crack Facility?

When someone seeks treatment for crack addiction, there are likely to be many different therapy modalities that are often combined into one program. These different forms of therapy are important to help combat the complexity of an addiction to a substance like crack.

  • One form of therapy often used at a crack facility for addiction is cognitive behavioral therapy. The objective of cognitive behavioral therapy is to help retrain people to stop their negative or detrimental thoughts or behaviors.
  • With cognitive behavioral therapy, patients learn how to recognize negative thoughts as they’re starting. They then learn new ways to approach life as opposed to returning to negative thought patterns and behaviors.
  • Another type of therapy often introduced at a rehab facility for crack addiction is motivational interviewing. This involves helping patients stop using substances but providing positive reinforcement to show how their life will benefit without the use of drugs.

The Benefits of Crack Residential Treatment

As has been touched on, it’s very frequently recommended that someone struggling with an addiction to crack seek residential treatment. Crack is a particularly dangerous and addictive drug, and it’s very difficult to break the compulsion of usage without proper treatment. Some of the benefits of residential treatment for someone who is addicted to crack include:

  • The environment is very structured and supervised, which is in contrast to the environment of chaos that often surrounds the use of crack.
  • Residential treatment provides a high level of emotional and physical support.
  • Most residential crack treatment programs include a medical detox protocol within the same facility. This is helpful because it reduces the need to transition to a new facility following detox.
  • Residential treatment facilities are better equipped to handle all of the many complex elements of crack addiction and dependence.

Help is Available for Crack Addiction

If you’re interested in learning more about crack addiction as well as available treatment options, contact Amethyst Recovery. Our team of addiction and intake specialists can help you explore the options available, whether you’re struggling with crack or your loved one is. We’re available anytime at (888) 447-7724.

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