Crack Cocaine Withdrawal: Symptoms, Duration and Side Effects

Crack Cocaine Withdrawal

What Is Crack Cocaine Withdrawal?

Crack is a much more concentrated form of cocaine, and hence its withdrawal symptoms are more severe. When one has grown used to the influence of drugs and is heavily dependent on it, physically and mentally, their body takes some time to adjust to its absence when they quit. The body has to relearn to perform without the presence of this substance in their system. This is what crack withdrawal refers to. The withdrawal period varies from person to person, owing to one’s tolerance, a period of drug usage, metabolism, etc.

Symptoms of Crack Withdrawal

The symptoms can range from mild to deathly. Crack withdrawal has two phases characterized by the symptoms listed below.

Acute SymptomsProlonged Symptoms
Mood swingsDistractionIrritabilityDisturbing dreamsExhaustion and fatigueVomitingBody aches
InsomniaDepressionAnxietyAggressionAgitation CravingsLoss of motivation Dehydration AnhedoniaPanic attacks

Duration of Withdrawal

There is no definite or set time for the withdrawal symptoms to show. It can take from an hour to 72 hours for the body to react to the absence of crack. The symptoms can last from a month to three and in some cases, to even six months. The following table illustrates the timeline of crack withdrawal.

TIME PERIODWITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
24-72 hoursDuring this time, the user may experience extreme cases of paranoia and body aches. He may also encounter visual and auditory hallucinations.
Week 1During the first week, the user is prone to irritability, extreme fatigue, insomnia and loss of motivation and will.
Week 2This is the time when the craving for crack sores and the user slips into depression. The lack of dopamine production in the brain prevents the user from feeling any positive emotions. Anxiety returns.
Week 3-4In the later weeks, the cravings subside although anxiety and depression remain.

Treatment and Rehab

Crack addiction is curable. A little bit of determination, love and care is all one needs. Depending on the severity of the situation, the person has to be given the required care. Detox under the certified drug treatment center programs are highly recommended. Various types of group therapy, 12-step programs, and cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful. Both inpatient and outpatient programs are available for the users. It is very much possible for the addiction to relapse, but that does not make the user a lost cause. After detoxifying the body of the poison, when the body starts to function normally, counseling and educating the addicts about drug abuse can be helpful for them to come out of their past, live a healthier and happier life.