Safely Remove Cocaine From the Body
During the process of detox, cocaine leaves the body. While withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, they are rarely life-threatening. But what happens in the brain and body during detox? How can you manage its symptoms? And what can you do to be more comfortable?
More on the medical process of crack detox here. Then, we invite your questions about withdrawal in the comments section at the end. We try to respond to real-life reader questions personally and promptly.
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Detox: What Exactly Is It?
Medical detoxification from psychoactive drugs is a set of medical interventions that help manage acute intoxication and provide support for withdrawal. Specifically, it is the first step in medical treatment of addiction involving abstention from drink or drugs until the bloodstream is free of toxins. To be clear, detox is separate from addiction treatment. However, it is crucial if you want to live a drug-free life.
Because crack withdrawal can provoke extreme ideas of suicide or self-harm, MEDICAL EXPERTS RECOMMEND THAT YOU COME OFF CRACK UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION. Detoxification specialists at licensed detox clinics are trained to help you successfully treat withdrawal symptoms. They will provide you with symptomatic support as symptoms occur, often providing emotional or psychological support.
Detox staff should also create a treatment plan individually designed and accustomed to your specific addiction case. Because detox does not solve the emotional, social, psychological, and cognitive issues associated with crack addiction, it is highly recommended that you pursue a long-term treatment plan.
Symptoms Of Crack Detox
Crack is a cocaine based drug. It is usually smoked and directly affects the pleasure centers of the brain, causing stimulating, euphoric effects. Because of the intense effects it produces, crack is a highly addictive drug.
For users who develop physical dependence on crack, withdrawal symptoms can begin shortly after the effects diminish. This is the reason why those who use crack will often do anything to get another dose. During the process of detox, though, cocaine starts to leave the body and brings on withdrawal symptoms such as:
- increased appetite
- intense drug craving
- sleep disturbances
- slow thinking
These symptoms are actually the brain’s way of seeking balance. When you use cocaine regularly, the brain adapts to the stimulation by “slowing down” some processes in order to operate. Cocaine speeds up the brain abnormally, so it counteracts the stimulant effects chemically. When you remove or lower doses of cocaine suddenly, the chemical balance is disturbed. What actually manifests is the brain’s “slow down” signals and the processes that have been triggered.
The physical problems and emotions you experience during detox eventually resolve in time. However – when it’s happening – detox can be uncomfortable and difficult. Still, it’s better to resolve crack dependence under medical supervision. Don’t try to detox from crack at home. Time, effort, and energy can result in relapse.
Been through withdrawal before?
Medical treatment can make the process more bearable.
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How Long Does Crack Detox Last?
The length of crack detox varies from one person to another. Most people need a few days to a week rt detox from crack. For other more extreme cases, it may be necessary to spend up to 4 weeks in a detox clinic to complete the whole process. Factors which determine the length of crack detox are:
- The level of a person’s addiction.
- The age, gender and psychological preparedness.
- The frequency of crack use.
- The presence of mental or psychological co-occurring disorders.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms
Acute detox from cocaine usually peaks after a few days, and generally resolves within the first week. However, some symptoms may go on for a few months. These “protracted” or “post-acute” symptoms most often include:
- Mood problems
- Sleep problems
- Difficulty experiencing pleasure, or dysphoria
PAWS, or post-acute withdrawal syndrome, occurs as a result of severe brain damages due to chronic crack use. Many of those who abuse crack cocaine are likely to experience a relapse during this time because they cannot handle the stress of PAWS. Symptoms of PAWS can last for three to six months after crack cessation. Commonly reported PAWS are:
- Agitation or shaking
- Anger or emotional outbursts
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lack of motivation
Crack Detox Complications
Generally, crack detox is not associated with medical complications. But sometimes during detox, people may experience complications. The most commonly reported conditions that occur at the same time as detox from cocaine include:
Angina pectoris = A condition marked by severe pain in the chest, often also spreading to the shoulders, arms, and neck, caused by an inadequate blood supply to the heart.
Cardiovascular complications = Heart abnormalities.
Gastric ulcerations = Sores in the lining of the stomach or duodenum.
Gastrointestinal tract perforations = A hole in the wall of part of the gastrointestinal tract.
Intestinal ischemia = Slowed or interrupted blood flow through the major arteries that supply blood to your intestines.
Retroperitoneal fibrosis = A disease characterized by the development of extensive fibrosis throughout the retroperitoneum.
Crack Detox Methods and Setting
Detox follows one of two models: a medical or social model. Medical models use physicians and nursing staff, while social models rely on counseling and supportive therapy. The most effective way of treating detox from crack involves establishing a period of abstinence from cocaine. This means that while ‘cold turkey’ withdrawal is possible, it can also an obstacle to the acceptance and accomplishment of abstinence as a long-term outcome. Heavy crack users may need to taper off their drug in a safe manner or as prescribed by the addiction specialist or physician.
Detox is usually provided in special clinics on hospital grounds or within inpatient programs. During detox, a clinic’s medical staff and physicians monitor and supervise withdrawal 24 hours a day on an inpatient basis. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can last for a week or more, but the withdrawal can vary based on cocaine dosage, frequency, and total time of use.
Crack Detox Protocol: The Three Basic Components
Crack detox is not an easy process, so constant medical supervision is highly recommended to ease the risk of relapse. Like all detoxifications, crack detox consists of three essential stages. All three stages of crack detox include treating the patient with understanding and compassion.
1. The evaluation
Evaluation starts with testing for the presence of cocaine in the blood, measuring its concentration, and tracking medical and physical conditions of the patients. Next, evaluation entails a comprehensive review of a patients entire state to help determine the right level of treatment. Actually, this stage serves as the basis for the primary addiction treatment after a person has withdrawn from cocaine successfully.
Stabilization involves the psychological and medical processes of helping a person through acute withdrawal to the achievement of a medically stable and crack-free state. This stage is usually accomplished with medication, but until now, no medication has been developed for treating stimulant withdrawal. However, some medications may help in cases with special withdrawal symptoms. For instance, amantadine is helpful for reducing cocaine use in patients with severe withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, antidepressants such as desipramine or a combination of phentermine and fenfluramine, may be used. Also, one research group is currently studying modafinil, an anti-narcolepsy agent, as a cocaine detoxification agent.
Further, stabilization helps patients to understand the process of crack addiction treatment, what to expect from the treatment, and what their part in the recovery is. During this stage practitioners seek an involvement of family and friends.
Accessing the need for longer term care is the last stage of the crack detox. During this stage, clinicians prepare patients for entry into residential or outpatient drug abuse treatment by emphasizing follow through. In other words, if you really want to live crack-free, you need additional help!
Crack Detox Considerations
Bear in mind that detox is only the first point of addiction treatment. It is an acute period and should be carefully monitored by medical staff. Quality supervision is extremely important because it may prevent potentially life-threatening complications. Moreover, patients undergoing crack detox need to know that someone cares for them, and respects them. It is important that a crack detox must include all three components (evaluation, stabilization, and fostering patient) to be successful.
Crack Detoxification Questions
Every detoxification is a struggling process, and we hope that we manage to give you some information on crack detox. However, if you have still have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to post them in the comments section at the end. We will do our best to respond promptly.