How To Detox From Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine detox can be challenging due to long-term psychological withdrawal symptoms. The good news is that medically monitored detox and psychological support programs exist to help you through each step of the withdrawal and recovery process.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Detox, or detoxification, is the process of removing harmful substances from your body. During the crack cocaine detox process, your body will process the cocaine in your system and slowly expel what remains.

When you begin a detox program, complete cessation of drug use is the fastest option. However, that isn’t always possible or safe.

Depending on the severity of your dependence and the drugs you have been using, you could experience serious withdrawal symptoms that require a more tapered approach.

To safely detox, you should seek medical support at a qualified detox center. When you go through medically monitored detox, trained staff can watch you closely and treat withdrawal symptoms as they arise.

Is Crack Cocaine Detox Necessary?

Detox is usually necessary if you have formed an addiction to crack. If you have a crack addiction, detox is needed to prevent further damage to your internal organs and your personal life.

Both dependence and addiction are likely to result in withdrawal syndrome. The major difference between the two is that addiction results in the disruption of your professional and personal life.

In either case, all forms of cocaine withdrawal are unpleasant. You might find that your withdrawal symptoms are more severe if you have primarily used crack cocaine over other forms of cocaine.

Withdrawal Symptoms You May Experience During Crack Cocaine Detox

You can go into withdrawal if you suddenly decrease your usage or stop using crack entirely.

Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may start to experience crack withdrawal symptoms as early as a few hours after your last use.

The early stages of cocaine withdrawal feature acute symptoms such as:

  • agitation and restlessness
  • intense cravings
  • depressed mood
  • discomfort
  • fatigue
  • increased appetite
  • paranoia
  • psychosis
  • vivid nightmares

Acute withdrawal usually resolves in a matter of seven to 10 days. Unfortunately, post-acute withdrawal symptoms can last for months after the physical symptoms finally subside.

Post-acute withdrawal from cocaine is characterized by mostly psychological symptoms. Prolonged cocaine use increases your resistance to the effects of dopamine and offsets your natural brain chemistry.

When you stop using drugs, your brain will take time to adjust. In the meantime, you may experience anxiety, depression, mood swings, and insomnia.

A qualified treatment program will provide targeted therapy options to help you heal your mental health as you emerge from your detox program.

How To Detox From Crack Cocaine

Detoxing from crack cocaine can be particularly challenging. Crack cocaine is a more concentrated substance than powdered cocaine.

The difference in concentration can make your crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms more intense.

It is always a good idea to detox with medical supervision. It is especially important to seek assistance if you’re detoxing from crack cocaine, alcohol, or opioids.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-assisted treatment is a great way to offer support through a difficult situation.

Depending on the nature of your substance use disorder, there may be medications available to help ease your cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.

Currently, there are no medications approved to treat cocaine addiction. However, there are medications that can help with the psychological symptoms of post-acute withdrawal.

Medically Monitored Detoxification

Medically monitored detoxification is absolutely necessary to ensure that you detox safely.

Cocaine withdrawal is relatively mild in comparison to withdrawal from alcohol addiction or opioids, but that doesn’t mean emergencies can’t arise.

Cocaine is often cut with other substances, including opioids, that can make withdrawal far more dangerous.

To protect yourself, you should always go through detox under the observation of a medical professional.

How Long Does It Take To Detox From Crack?

On average, the timeline of crack cocaine detox takes seven to 10 days, but there will always be a few exceptions.

Factors That Influence Crack Cocaine Detox

Your personal withdrawal timeline to complete detox from crack cocaine will depend on a number of factors.

Length Of Time Using Crack

Short-term cocaine use leading to dependence or addiction does not usually require a longer detox.

If you have been using cocaine for a prolonged period of time, you can expect the detoxification process to take longer.

Severity Of Addiction

The severity of your drug addiction will be one of the most important factors that determines the length of your detoxification.

As your tolerance increases, you require more of the drug to get the same effect. That means there is more in your system and detox will take longer.

Amount Of Crack Used

The severity of your addiction and the amount of crack you use are often related. In cases where they aren’t, the amount of crack will have a major effect on the length of your detox.

Underlying Health Conditions

Cocaine has the ability to damage your heart, brain, and liver. Any condition affecting your major organs could complicate your detoxification process.

The same goes for any other existing medical issues. When you go through medically monitored detox, make sure your healthcare team is aware of any physical or psychological complications.

Post-Detox Addiction Treatment For Crack Cocaine Abuse

Post-acute withdrawal symptoms can last for months, if not years, after your initial detoxification. To prevent relapse and protect your health, post-detox addiction treatment is highly recommended.

A qualified treatment center will provide a plethora of options allowing you to find whatever crack cocaine addiction treatment plan works best for you.

Recover programs may include inpatient treatment, outpatient services, cognitive behavioral therapy, support groups, and more.

Find Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

At Bedrock Recovery Center, we offer a wide range of addiction treatment options for people who are recovering from crack cocaine addiction.

Thanks to our flexible approach, you can choose from inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment options to find a treatment plan that fits your life and your needs.

If you’re ready to detox from crack cocaine, call our Massachusetts treatment facility today.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  3. National Library of Medicine

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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