Addiction to crack cocaine is one of the most dangerous and most difficult to overcome. Those who have experienced cocaine highs speak of an intense feeling of euphoria and pleasure followed by a bout of hyperactivity that they cannot control. Once the high begins to wane they will have feelings of agitation and irritability. This is mostly caused by the high levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin that have been released into the system. Addiction to these neurotransmitters can affect your biological, psychological, and social acuity.
Withdrawal symptoms can also be quite acute with increased levels of irritability, suppressed appetite, insomnia, and more. Add to that the lack of ability to control societal and sexual behaviors and an increased risk of suicide, homicide, domestic violence and you’re looking at a major uphill battle. (Withdrawal symptoms can be mitigated through medically supervised detox)
It may come as a surprise to some that there is no definitive test that will determine if an individual is addicted to crack cocaine. The determination is usually one through an assessment by health care professionals through analyzing detailed medical records, family history, and mental health information. Physical examinations and lab tests are also a significant part of the assessment process.
Treatment Phase 1: Abstinence
When it comes to getting treatment for this life threatening condition the solutions often sound much simpler than they are to undertake. The first step in treating this type of substance abuse involves abstinence. No longer taking any more of the drug is an obvious choice however once you stop your body will then begin to experience withdrawal symptoms that will make it very difficult to no longer reach for it again. You may find that you need help to lessen the powerful effects of the withdrawal symptoms.
Learning how to abstain involves much more than not taking it anymore but going through a process of detoxification. The sooner the drug is completely out of the body the less the effects of the withdrawal symptoms will be. This step is usually done under a doctor’s care either in a hospital or a detox center where they can be monitored closely and carefully. Medication may be administered if necessary to help with the process.
Treatment Phase 2: Relapse Prevention
The next phase will be the relapse prevention. In some ways this type of treatment can be more difficult than the detoxification process because the success of this phase will be only when the patient has broken free from the psychological dependency they have on the drug. Depending on the level of addiction you may be admitted to an inpatient clinic if it is more severe. Those whose dependency is not as strong may be cared for through outpatient services. Some have been required to remain in a sober living environment to avoid exposure to social situations that could draw them back into the habit again.
Treatment Phase 3: Recovery
The final stage is recovery. Often this phase will involve family members and friends of the addicted person teaching them how not to be codependent in supporting their addictive habits. Codependent tendencies could originate from providing them with financial support, excuses or any number of other practices that could be contributing to the addictive behavior.
There’s no doubt that crack cocaine dependency is a dangerous habit but it is far more dangerous to do nothing about it.