Crack cocaine is a both physically and psychologically addictive central nervous system stimulant. Crack produces a rapid onset of effects that are short lasting, but intense. As a relatively cheap high, crack is often sought by cocaine addicts who are looking for a less expensive addiction. However, the development of addiction from crack abuse is very quick, and the addiction is extremely powerful.
Crack Withdrawal and Detox
Crack addiction can be seemingly hopeless, as the addict often feels as if they cannot quit even when they are trying to. The withdrawal effects of crack addiction are mostly psychological, although physical symptoms may be present as well. Symptoms generally include, but are not limited to anxiety, irritability, muscle weakness, nausea, and depression. The intense discomfort created by crack cocaine withdrawal can be overwhelming to the addict. Without proper medical attention, the detoxing addict often returns to crack abuse in order to ease the pain.
Crack detox facilities are the best first step towards a healthy recovery from crack addiction. At detox facilities, medical professionals assess the severity of withdrawal symptoms, based on frequency of use, general dose, and last dose. Doctors may prescribe anti-anxiety or sedative medications such as benzodiazepines or painkillers. The goal of a crack detox facility is to guide the addict through their withdrawal symptoms with the lowest level of discomfort possible.
Crack Drug Rehab Centers
A crack drug rehab center provides the highest level of care for crack addicts. At an inpatient facility, the individual goes through a variety of processes which aim to lead them toward a healthy life after treatment. Conventional drug treatment facilities provide cognitive behavioral therapy, generally with family and individual therapy sessions and group counseling. They also may require participation in twelve step programs.
Holistic crack drug rehab centers provide a program of treatment that treats every aspect of the addict. Generally including services such as acupuncture, massages, yoga or meditation, exercise, and healthy nutrition, holistic drug treatment centers treat the person as a whole, not just the addiction.
Crack treatment is most effective in an inpatient setting, where the addict is free from the temptation of use, and surrounded by full time staff. Some people may choose an outpatient clinic, as they wish to carry on with their daily obligations. Outpatient clinics are also helpful, but patients may be exposed to drugs in their early sobriety. At such a vulnerable stage of their recovery, the simple exposure to crack may be enough to take them out on another binge.
Although crack drug rehab centers provide a good foundation for recovery from crack addiction, continuing care is highly recommended. The ongoing care for the crack cocaine addict may include individual or group therapy, attendance of alumni support groups, or living in a transitional living house for a period after treatment. Some recovering crack addicts participate in twelve step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or Cocaine Anonymous. Transitional living situations are facilities that provide a residence for recovering.