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Crack Withdrawal and Crack Detox
31 Jan 2021

Crack Cocaine Withdrawal: What to Expect During Crack Detox

What is Crack Cocaine?

Cocaine, a hydrochloride salt in its powdered form, is a commonly abused drug derived from the coca plant. Crack cocaine, also known as crack or rock, is a more concentrated form of cocaine. Powdered cocaine is often mixed with water and other substances, usually, sodium bicarbonate to form crack cocaine. The mixture is then boiled to form a solid, which is cooled and broken into smaller pieces, which street gangs and dealers sell to users as crack.

According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, the name crack is derived from the crackling produced when the drug is heated. The use of crack greatly alters the function of the body's nervous system and the brain.

Cocaine Withdrawal

After bingeing on a substance, the body reacts as it returns to its normal homeostasis. It is like a miniature form of withdrawal. Because crack cocaine is highly addictive, the withdrawal symptoms are often very intense. When a crack cocaine addict abruptly stops using the drug, the body goes through an adjustment period as it relearns how to function with the absence of crack in the system.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

Users of crack cocaine can be both physically and psychologically addicted. Crack addiction is very difficult to overcome, and therefore, users are advised to join a drug detox treatment program for a medically supervised detox. Withdrawal has two phases; acute withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Acute withdrawal refers to the immediate symptoms, while post-acute withdrawal (PAWS) refers to the prolonged psychological symptoms that may continue weeks or months after a person quits using a substance.

Acute withdrawal symptoms that are commonly experienced include:

•        Nightmares

•        Restlessness

•        Mood swings

•        Anxiety

•        Fatigue

•        Paranoia

•        Irritability

•        Difficulty concentrating

Post-acute withdrawal is characterized by:

•        Agitation and shaking

•        Depression

•        Insomnia

•        Severe anxiety

•        Intense cravings

•        Inability to feel pleasure

•        Lack of motivation

•        Emotional outbursts and uncontrollable temper

The intensity and duration of withdrawal symptoms vary depending on many individual factors such as:

•        Presence of other addictions

•        Severity of addiction

•        Underlying mental health issues

•        Length of addiction

•        Metabolism

•        The user’s tolerance

Crack cocaine withdrawal can begin anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 days after the last dose of the drug. These symptoms can last anywhere from 1 month to 6 months or more.


If you are tired of living with an addiction, medical assistance may be necessary to ease the potentially life-threatening symptoms. As the patient undergoes detox, they are also educated on how to readjust to life without abusing the substance.

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