Crack Addiction Is Medical In Nature
Battling with crack addiction is difficult. We know this. But before you can do something about a problem, you have to admit to yourself that there is one. A drug problem is nothing to be ashamed of. Drug dependence and addiction are medical conditions that can be successfully managed in a medical environment. Once you ask for help, professional treatment can help you live a happy, satisfying life.
So, if you are:
- being promiscuous and having unprotected sex on crack.
- having unpleasant physical consequences of crack.
- feeling paranoid, aggressive, or otherwise unhinged.
- repeatedly arguing with your loved ones about your crack use.
…then it’s definitely time to reach out for help.
More here on the stages of crack recovery and how it’s treated medically. In fact, we review crack addiction treatment options PLUS inform you about medication therapy for crack relapse prevention . Then, we invite your questions at the end. We try to respond to all real life questions with a personal reply.
How Do I Know I’m Ready For Rehab?
Even if you are able to admit to yourself that you’ve got a serous crack problem, it does not necessarily mean you are ready to do something about it. You may be well at a point that where, despite of your recognition of unpleasant consequences, the pleasure you derive from crack overshadows the down side of crack. However, becoming aware of the link between your crack use and problems in your life just might mean that you are ready for help.
Some signs that you’re ready for rehab include:
- Wanting to feel normal again.
- Wanting to repair relationships.
- Feeling tired of the merry-go-round.
Sometimes, suicidal thinking even comes into play. Know that this is common, especially with crack. Additionally, these extreme thoughts will pass. Reaching out for help may be just the thing that you need.
Why Crack Cocaine Is So Addictive
Crack is basically cocaine in rock form, and it is usually smoked. Because this drug gives users an intense and immediate rush of euphoric feelings, it’s no wonder that people get addicted to crack very easily.
The initial rush produced by the drug spikes the levels of dopamine in your brain, a mood enhancing chemical. Unfortunately, the feelings from this drug do not last long, and most people crash a very short time after initially smoking it. Withdrawal symptoms, including:
- depression from the dopamine crash
…each of these are also quick to set in after a person stops using crack. Getting professional help can ensure that you get through the process safely…without hurting yourself or others around you.
Rehab for Crack: What’s it Like?
Rehab for crack addiction is recommended on either on an inpatient or an outpatient basis. While treatment for crack addiction does not fit neatly into a one-size-fits all formula, the majority of crack rehab programs are inpatient. This is because crack is such an addictive substance that cravings can last for weeks or months after your last use. More inpatient programs offer several or all of the following services.
STAGE 1: Assessment
When entering rehab, a person will go through an initial assessment by a qualified medical professional. Screening usually involves both a series of interviews and medical exams. This assessment is used to evaluate the patient’s chemical and mental dependency on cocaine, as well as determine an initial addiction treatment plan. Mental illnesses that may contribute to a addiction are also diagnosed during this assessment. Additional assessments throughout the rehabilitation are then performed to determine how well the addiction treatment is working. At times, an addiction specialist may need to update an addiction care plan in order to make it more effective.
STAGE 2: Medical detox for crack
Detoxing from crack is uncomfortable, with withdrawal symptoms ranging from fatigue to tactile hallucinations, but it can also be dangerous for some as well. Because of the drastic decrease in dopamine, extreme depression can set in at this time, which can drastically increase the possibility of suicide in some patients. During medical detox, you will be monitored and attended to by doctors and nurses, reducing the possibility of relapse and self-injury.
STAGE 3: Psychotherapy
Mental health services are extremely important during rehab for crack addiction. During therapy and counseling sessions you’ll learn how to overcome your addiction, as well as work on the underlying mental illnesses that contribute to your crack addiction. Crack addiction can be very devastating to your loved ones as well. Family counseling may be necessary to repair these bonds and help an addict’s loved ones understand and help during rehab for crack.
STAGE 4: Educational classes
Patients often attend several education sessions during rehab that are designed to help them understand the brain and central nervous system and the way they react to cocaine physically. By fully understanding the mechanism of substance abuse and addiction, participants are better equipped to overcome it, making their rehabilitation more effective. Additionally, educational sessions teach you more about the theories of addiction, including the disease model. According to the disease model of addiction, an addiction is considered to be a disease, with biological, environmental and genetic causes.
STAGE 5: Support services
During rehab, having a strong support system in place is essential. Programs typically offer a number of supportive services or can refer you to organizations that offer these services. Anyone looking to check into rehab should make the most of financial, social, education, and vocational services and assistance.
Reputable rehab for any addiction should involve a combination of psychotherapy and medications. There are no curently FDA aproved medications for the treatment of cocaine dependence. Still, recent medical studies have identified several medications that can help. Many of these have already shown promise in double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trials, and all of them have undergone confirmatory testing in one or more medical trials. It is very likely that any of these medications are included in the medical treatment for cocaine dependence.:
Baclofen is GABA B agonist used as a muscle relaxant. This medication is effective in reducing the amount of dopamine released into the nucleus accumbens as a result of crack craving.
Tiagabine is also a GABAergic medication currently approved for the treatment of seizures. This medication can be effective for the treatment of crack dependence.
Topiramate can be also used for crack relapse prevention based on its effects on both GABA neurotransmission and glutamate neurotransmission. Topiramate increases cerebral levels of GABA and facilitates GABA neurotransmission.
Disulfiram is an already established medication used for the treatment of alcohol dependence. It works by causing an unpleasant reaction when alcohol is ingested due to blockade of alcohol enzymes. Besides the enzymes from alcohol, Disulfiram also blocks the enzymatic degradation of dopamine which leads to extremely high dopamine levels when crack is ingested. This does not increase the crack-induced high, as you might expect, but rather it makes the high less pleasant by increasing the associated anxiety.
While specific medications are not always used during detox, some over-the-counter medications can be useful to help you ease some of the withdrawal symptoms. For instance, stomach medications can be used to ease nausea and vomiting. Doctors may also prescribe medications to help address protracted crack withdrawal symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and irritability.
Don’t let fear hold you back.
Start on a mission to get healthy.
Call us on the hotline number listed above.
You can do it!
If you or a loved one is struggling with a crack addiction, it’s never too soon or too late to get help. While it can be intimidating entering a rehab program, it could save your life or the life of one of your loved ones.
Questions and comments about crack are welcomed below, and we’ll do our best to reply as quickly as possible.
Reference Sources: BOT: Signs and Symptoms of Drugs and Alcohol
DEA: Drug Fact Sheets
NIDA: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)
NIDA: DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
State of New Jersey: Division of Addiction Services
NCBI: New Medications for the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence