Crack Addiction & Treatment

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Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment

We give patients the therapeutic tools they need to stay abstinent and live fulfilled lives.

Beating Crack Addiction

Crack cocaine addiction continues to be a problem worldwide due to the growth in the popularity of the drug and ease of access.

Crack is popular due to its incredibly quick-acting high, with users experiencing euphoria in as little as 10 seconds after inhaling it.

Another reason for its popularity is that it’s relatively inexpensive to produce and buy – especially compared to pure cocaine.

What is Crack Cocaine?

Crack cocaine is the street name given to the form of cocaine that has been processed from powdered cocaine, and combined with water and another substance, typically baking soda, to form a smokable substance. The substance was dubbed ‘crack’ due to the crackling sound heard when the mixture is smoked.

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Why Is Crack Cocaine So Addictive?

Because it is smoked (rather than snorted through the nose), the drug reaches the brain more quickly and produces an intense and immediate high. This high, however, is short-lived. Since crack is so highly concentrated, it is extremely addictive.

Crack forces a release of excess dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s pleasure and reward centres. As early as the first time you smoke Crack, your brain has already started rewiring itself because it finds the resulting “high” pleasurable.

Many continue taking crack cocaine in search of replicating their first high. But this is detrimental, as many fail to achieve as much pleasure as they did from their first experience – leading to repeated abuse, and in search of this rush, many users will frequently increase their doses to intensify and prolong the euphoric effects. 

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What Are the Effects of Taking Crack Cocaine?

A range of studies has evidenced the intensive effects that crack cocaine can have on the brain and body. Crack cocaine induces significant behavioural, neurological, and physical alterations in the user – which can lead to a range of effects.

The effects of Crack Cocaine include:

  • Euphoria
  • Hyperactivity
  • Tension
  • Confidence

Due to its potency, there is a high risk of fatal overdose from using Crack Cocaine. Even someone using the drug for the first time can overdose.

An overdose is typically preceded by dilated pupils and sweating. Someone who has overdosed may exhibit:

  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Seizures
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Hallucinations
  • Overdose may even result in a stroke

Furthermore, kidney problems or high blood pressure have a higher risk of fatal complications caused by smoking crack cocaine.

This happens because crack cocaine sets off excess amounts of the happiness-inducing chemical, dopamine, in the brain. With regular crack cocaine use, the natural production of dopamine is diminished as the body becomes dependent upon the drug.

The long-term effects of abusing crack can be detrimental. Long-term crack cocaine abuse can cause damage to most of the body’s vital organs, such as the liver, kidneys, and heart. Additionally, crack cocaine users are more susceptible to infections because the drug compromises the immune system. 

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Signs of Crack Cocaine Addiction and Abuse

Crack cocaine is far more potent and addictive than regular cocaine. An addiction to crack cocaine, therefore, develops rapidly, and some people can even become addicted after their first instance of crack cocaine abuse. Because the high they experience is so pleasurable — and so short — they need more of the drug to maintain it. Eventually, an addiction is born; with the user needing to consume the drug to feel normal.

Other signs of crack cocaine abuse to look for include:

  • Frequent disappearances (to get high)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Irritability
  • Inability to sit still
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Shirking responsibilities
  • Burns on fingers
  • Cracked or blistered lips from smoking out of a hot pipe
  • Becoming withdrawn

How is Crack Addiction Treated?

Crack addiction is a deeply unpleasant experience for any user. The addictive qualities of the drug are so strong that it induces a significant physical response. It’s important to treat the addiction in a medically supervised environment, to ensure that the user is being treated effectively and can be monitored during the withdrawal process.

Despite crack addiction being so debilitating, life without the drug is possible, and Castle Craig has efficacious treatment programmes, with a patient satisfaction rate of 98%. We pride ourselves on dedicated inpatient care, working with a wonderful team to provide a treatment programme that delivers long-lasting results.

Crack addiction is typically treated through an intensive rehab programme, which includes detox followed by a range of psychological therapies such as CBT, DBT, individual and group therapy as well as holistic treatments like meditation and mindfulness.

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Detox and Therapy

Detoxing from crack cocaine can be hard. Users tend to experience a drastic come-down, due to stopping the intense high that the drug delivers.

The detox phase can be challenging, as their cravings for crack cocaine will be so intense.

Crack cocaine dramatically alters the pleasure receptors in the brain, meaning that the withdrawal process can induce particularly depressive symptoms in the user, which they may find very overwhelming.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Intense cravings
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Severe depression
  • Nightmares
  • Intense cravings

However, in a guided treatment facility, such as Castle Craig, our team will help you manage your withdrawal symptoms through personalized treatment plans, and round-the-clock care and support. Addiction can make you feel isolated, but our team is here to remind you that you are not going through this alone, and we will support you on your initial recovery journey, and beyond.

A safe environment is of the utmost importance when attempting to detox, and Castle Craig has been providing treatment of the utmost quality for over 30 years. The duration of a substance-abuse detox period will depend on how long, you were using crack cocaine and the level of frequency. Once the detox is completed, the patient will join the treatment programme and begin a comprehensive treatment plan to begin their journey to recovery.

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Rehab for Crack Addiction

Inpatient rehab for crack cocaine addiction is one of the best ways to ensure a complete recovery from crack addiction. The road to recovery is a long process, but rehabs have varying treatment plans, rehabilitation for crack cocaine addiction tends to focus on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), support groups, and personal therapy to focus on the individual recovery journey.

Aftercare

As crack cocaine addiction tends to be so deep-rooted, there is no quick fix for recovery. Focussing on the longevity of recovery is essential for a successful rehabilitation journey, and that’s why Castle Craig puts so much emphasis on aftercare.

We implement a strong aftercare programme that consists of supporting patients by providing a 6 month continuing care plan, weekly drop-in therapy sessions, and teletherapy. We highly encourage patients to join a community support group, to facilitate their recovery by being supported by people who are going through the same journey.

Castle Craig and You: Beginning Your Journey to Recovery

Addiction is an incredibly hard and challenging time for yourself and those around you. Castle Craig recognizes how scary it can be to seek help and we pride ourselves on providing an entirely non-judgemental environment. Our staff gives the highest level of support and care, as they are trained and equipped to focus on more than just the addiction, providing a holistic approach to your recovery and aftercare.

If you’re ready to seek support, do contact us to begin your road to recovery. We’re here to help.

Crack Cocaine FAQ

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Crack Cocaine Abuse?

Crack cocaine can have a profound impact on the brain and body. The long-term effects will ultimately depend on the method of use. Injecting crack cocaine can lead to collapsed veins, the risk of contracting blood-borne diseases. The long-term effects of smoking crack cocaine include severe heart damage, as well as damage to the liver and kidneys. Users are more likely to have infectious diseases.

How Long Does Crack Stay In Your System?

The half-life of crack cocaine is very short, lasting only 15 minutes. However, depending on how much crack cocaine is used it can be detected in hair for up to three months. It is typically detected in the urine for one to four days after use but can be detected several weeks after. Crack cocaine can be detected in saliva for up to 24 hours after use, and up to 2-12 hours after use in blood.

Can Crack Cocaine Kill You?

An overdose of crack cocaine can be fatal. If the drug is laced with other substances, your chances of suffering an adverse reaction increase.  

How Is Crack Cocaine Addiction Treated?

Crack cocaine addiction is treated through a combination of detox and intensive psychological therapy, such as CBT, DBT, and group counseling.

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Twenty years ago today I entered the Castle, despondent, hopeless and at times suicidal.
I have never stopped working on my recovery and today I’m still as grateful to Castle Craig as I was those twenty years ago. 🥰 it’s been an amazing journey.
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How Can Castle Craig Help?

How Do I Pay For Rehab?

One concern we sometimes hear from people is how they will fund their rehab treatment. The cost of rehab varies depending on what kind of accommodation you choose. You can pay for treatment at Castle Craig privately, or through medical insurance, and some people receive funding through the NHS.

How Long Is the Rehab Programme?

Residential rehab treatment starts at 4 weeks and can go up to 12+ weeks. Research shows us that the longer you stay in rehab and are part of the residential therapy programme, the longer the likelihood of continued abstinence and stable recovery.

Who Will I Speak to When I Call?

When you call you will reach our Help Centre team who will give you all the information you need to help you decide whether to choose treatment at Castle Craig. Once you have decided that you would like to have a free screening assessment you will be put in touch with our admissions case managers who will guide you through the admissions process.

What Happens at the End of My Treatment?

Castle Craig thoroughly prepares patients before departure by creating a personalised continuing care plan which is formulated following discussions with the medical and therapeutic team. We offer an online continuing care programme which runs for 24 weeks after leaving treatment, in order to ensure a smooth transition back into your everyday life. Patients leaving treatment automatically join our Recovery Club where they can stay connected via our annual reunion, events, online workshops and recovery newsletters.

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