Detox and withdrawal from crack cocaine do not happen the exact same way for everybody, but many people find they have some things in common over roughly one month.
Withdrawal begins up to 72 hours after last using crack cocaine and can include symptoms such as aching, anxiety, depression, mood swings and paranoia. Over the rest of the first week, many people have trouble sleeping or finding energy or motivation too.
In the second week, it is common to experience strong cravings for crack cocaine and ongoing depression. Over the third and fourth weeks, the cravings may have reduced but depression and anxiety may still be present. Some people experience mood swings too.
While this may sound like it would be difficult to go through, you do not need to do it alone. Proper medical supervision can help make you more comfortable and encourage you to stay with the process.
Crack cocaine is an extremely dangerous and addictive drug. In physical terms, using it can put you at risk of heart attacks, serious damage to the heart, lungs or liver and even coughing up blood. In psychological terms, crack cocaine can often lead to paranoia, anxiety and hallucinations and put you at increased risk of outright psychosis. Sustaining a crack cocaine habit can also cause severe disruption to your life and make you unable to hold down a job or meet your normal responsibilities, which can lead some people to turn to a life of crime. As crack cocaine is often mixed with other substances, these may have other toxic effects that can do even more harm too.
It can be for some people, yes, but the best way to beat a crack cocaine addiction is by going through a full medically supervised detox programme in addition to therapy customised to you to help you successfully deal with what led you to becoming addicted in the first place. Many people find that the social side of using crack cocaine is the hardest thing to change, so being able to develop more healthy relationships in new surroundings can help a great deal with preventing relapses.
Crack cocaine detox begins with quitting cold turkey rather than tapering off. The part of the process that involves medical supervision lasts up to a month and takes place in a safe, controlled environment. Therapy that runs alongside this process can take longer, although exactly how long will depend on a number of factors that are unique for each individual.
This may sound like a long time, but crack cocaine addiction is a serious, complicated problem and it is essential to make sure your treatment is effective and safe. Rushing it or leaving it incomplete could put you at risk of a relapse and ending up right back where you started.