Crack cocaine is an extremely addictive illegal drug which is formed from the mixture of powdered cocaine, water and other substances to create chunks of crystalised cocaine known as ‘rock’. Crack is typically sold in small quantities and is ingested by heating and then smoking the drug, giving users an immediate and intense short-lived high. The body becomes tolerant of the drug extremely quickly which leads to an increased use and dosage needed to achieve the same initial high, causing an addiction to the drug sometimes immediately. Addiction to the drug is also so prolific because of the instant euphoric sensation users experience after the initial use of crack cocaine. Users can be left wanting to recreate the feeling (sometimes described as “life changing”) instantly, causing the cycle of addiction and dependence to start rapidly.

The drug has caused mass social upheaval amongst communities throughout the United Kingdom and United States and is usually associated with criminality. Crack cocaine is much more potent than its powdered counterpart due to the way that it is absorbed, as smoking the crack reaches the bloodstream and the brain much faster. The drug has a huge negative physical impact on the body, as the drug accelerates the central nervous system which puts the heart under major stress. It can cause major personality changes and often causes physical and mental health problems. It is important to seek medical help for a crack cocaine addiction and Ocean Recovery Centre provides a rehab programme for help.

Signs of crack cocaine addiction

Addiction to crack cocaine can cause devastating physical and psychological effects on the user, have a huge impact on their everyday life and it can also be difficult for the user to accept that there is an addiction at all. If a person using crack cocaine becomes dependent on the sensation that it provides, becomes agitated without access to the drug or needs increasingly higher dosages to experience a high, this is a substance addiction which will require detox to overcome. As crack cocaine increases the levels of dopamine in the brain (which causes a sensation of pleasure and satisfaction), when crack cocaine is no longer in the users’ system, the user experiences negative feelings and emotions. This is what starts the cycle of addiction for a crack cocaine user and the need to “chase the high”.

The main sign of crack cocaine addiction is the experience of withdrawal symptoms. Often when withdrawing from crack cocaine, the symptoms are so uncomfortable that the drug is a way to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal. If symptoms such as powerful cravings, depression and insomnia are experienced when crack cocaine use is stopped for a period of time, it is extremely likely that the user has a substance abuse problem which needs immediate medical intervention.

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Admissions to rehab

For people seeking treatment for a crack cocaine addiction, Ocean Recovery Centre will undertake an initial assessment of the user. The assessment takes place entirely over the phone and after an initial discussion the patient will then receive a date to enter Ocean Recovery in person.

Upon arrival at the rehab centre the patient will receive a full physical and psychological medical examination by a qualified staff member to determine the treatment plan and needs of the person suffering from addiction. The clinical team at Ocean Recovery will then create a personalised treatment plan which is designed to meet the likely challenges that clients may face during their rehabilitation.

What happens at crack cocaine rehab at Ocean Recovery?

The first stage of crack cocaine rehabilitation is detox. The patient will be treated by the team at Ocean Recovery for their withdrawal symptoms and will receive 24/7 medical attention throughout this period. A typical programme begins with a medically observed detox where crack cocaine is flushed from the patient’s system. In order to ease painful withdrawal symptoms a number of prescription medications are offered.

As rehab at Ocean Recovery is residential, clients have meals and cleaning provided by the centre’s support staff, enabling the full attention of each patient to be solely on recovery and wellbeing. The needs of each individual are monitored, and treatment is personalised to ensure patients find their detoxification transition as comfortable as possible.

Crack cocaine detox process

The withdrawal period is necessary to flush out the toxins from a crack cocaine user’s system and can be difficult to manage without professional medical support. Particularly during the acute withdrawal phase of detox, symptoms can be hard to manage and so uncomfortable that the crack is a way to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal. The staff are available 24/7 to provide medical attention to patients during this difficult period and are able to prescribe medications to ease the detox.

Physical withdrawal symptoms of crack cocaine detox include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Headache

Psychological withdrawal symptoms of crack cocaine detox include:

  • Powerful cravings for crack cocaine
  • Suicidal intentions
  • Severe depression
  • Paranoia

How is medicine used to treat crack cocaine addiction?

Opiates cause painful and hard to manage withdrawal symptoms which can often stop users from becoming sober outside of a monitored rehab facility. Particularly as crack cocaine is so readily available and inexpensive to buy, it is important that the detox process is managed carefully to give the patient the best chance of maintaining sobriety upon finishing their treatment at Ocean Recovery Centre. As a result of the large amount of information known about crack cocaine as an opioid, the withdrawal symptoms are easily managed with other non-addictive medications which can ease the pain of detoxification.

Certain medications known as opioid agonists and antagonists are able to balance the effect of opioids in the brain. These types of medications are prescribed by medical professionals to make the detox process more comfortable for patients and increase the likelihood of managing sobriety.

Therapy for crack cocaine addiction

The detox period of crack cocaine is typically between seven to ten days depending on the severity of the addiction. Once the detox has concluded, clients are encouraged to attend therapy and counselling services to address the psychological effects of crack cocaine addiction. These therapy sessions are conducted by qualified psychotherapists, psychiatrists or psychologists. Cognitive behavioural therapy is employed, and powerful coping strategies are taught to clients to prevent relapse. It is an important aspect of the recovery process and is necessary to provide patients with the tools needed to stay sober.

Are you a family member of a crack addict?

If you are a family member of an addict, we offer an intervention service. Call today on 01253 847 553 to enquire about the rehab services that are available at Ocean Recovery Centre.

Alternatively, complete the enquiry form and a member of the team will respond shortly.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: May 11, 2022

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

Dr Alexander Lapa - Clinical Reviewer at Ocean Recovery

Dr Alexander Lapa (Psychiatrist) - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed:

MBBS, PG Dip Clin Ed, OA Dip CBT, OA Dip Psychology, SCOPE Certified

Dr Lapa graduated in Medicine in 2000 and since this time has accrued much experience working in the widest range of psychiatric settings with differing illness presentations and backgrounds in inpatient, community and secure settings. This has been aligned to continuation of professional development at postgraduate level in clinical research which has been very closely related to the everyday clinical practice conducted by this practitioner as a NHS and Private Psychiatrist.
He is fully indemnified by the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) and MIAB Expert Insurance for Psychiatric and Private Medical practice. He is fully registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK with a licence to practice.

Dr Lapa is approved under Section 12(2) of the Mental Health Act (1983)

Member of Independent Doctors Federation (IDF), British Association for Psychopharmacology (BMA) and The Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO)

Dr Lapa’s extensive experience has also concentrated on the following areas of clinical practice:
– Assessment, Diagnosis and Pharmacological Treatment for Adults with ADHD.
– Drug and Alcohol Dependency and maintaining abstinence and continued recovery
– Intravenous and Intramuscular Vitamin and Mineral Infusion Therapy
– Dietary and Weight Management and thorough care from assessment to treatment to end goals and maintenance
– Aesthetic Practice and Procedures