Thursday March 30th 2017

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Crack detox timeline: How long to detox from crack?

Are you or a loved one using crack? Do you wonder how to quit? You’re in the right place.

To begin, you’ll need to remove cocaine from your body. But how long does crack detox typically last? What happens during the process? We address these questions and cover the positive steps you can take following detox in this articles. At the end, we invite your questions and comments about treatments for crack detox. We try to respond to all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Crack detox duration and length

The duration of time it takes to withdraw from crack and the intensity of symptoms varies from person to person. Generally, the first withdrawal symptoms appear within couple of hours after the last dose and persist for few days, peaking about 72 hours after last dose. Following the first week or two after stopping, the brain struggles to regain normalcy and produces intense cravings. And it is common for protracted – or post-acute – withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) to persist for months after initial detox.

The total time you spend during acute crack detox will depend on a number of factors including:

  • amount of use
  • duration (over time) of use
  • frequency of use
  • level of cocaine dependency
  • your general health

Another determining factor is how psychologically ready you are to quit using. The first few weeks of crack detox ar, perhaps, the most critical point for slipping into relapse due to intense cravings. However, while detoxing is not easy, it is a necessary part of the whole recovery process. Remember, detox is only a beginning and will not resolve an addiction to crack; psychological and behavioral treatments are necessary.

Crack detox timeline and schedule

Once a person stops using crack there are predictable patterns that characterize the post-cessation period:

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0-72 hours

The period between the first hours to 3-4 days after the last dose is known as the “crash” period and is characterized by the presence of symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, sleepiness and intense cravings. The individual may also feel depressed and have suicidal thoughts, so being surrounded by medical professionals and/or close friends and family is highly recommended.

Weeks 1-2

Compulsive behavior persists in the first two weeks after cessation, but decreases as days pass by. During this period, the brain is struggling to adjust to the absence of cocaine and severe cravings can be triggered by thoughts, behaviors, or even smells. Individuals may manifest hostile and impulsive behavior and feel irritated and moody. They could also have trouble concentrating, increased appetite and experience vivid dreams.

Weeks 3-4

This phase is known as the honeymoon phase. Cocaine cravings gradually reduce and mood improves. Individuals feel energetic, confident and full of optimism. They want to go back to normal life feeling as if they have kicked the habit. However, it has been estimated that two-thirds of relapse in drug abuse cases takes place within 3 months post-treatment. Further, the treatment of protracted withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) should not be disregarded as this is another critical point when relapse is very likely to occur. For these reasons, ongoing psychological treatment is imperative after acute detox occurs.

How long to detox from crack?

It can take months to fully detox from crack and manage cravings for cocaine. How long crack withdrawal can last is highly individual. Crack damages brain functions and it may take three to six months after acute detox is finished for the brain to restore normal functioning. The symptoms that occur in the phase are known as Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) and in most cases these decrease over time. The most common symptoms of PAWS usually include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • insomnia

Further, it is important to understand that each person’s detox will be different. The duration of crack detox will depend a great deal on the level of a dependency and a person’s individual needs. While the physical withdrawal symptoms from crack detox are most severe within the first week after the last use and reduce with each passing day, the psychological withdrawal symptoms may persist for weeks and even months after cessation.

Crack detox scheduling questions

Still have questions about crack detox or scheduling? Feel free to share your questions in the comments section below. We will try to get back to you with a personalized and prompt reply.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Cocaine and Psychiatric Symptoms
NIDA: Monographs Cocaine Treatment: Research and Clinical Perspectives
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
VRIS: Substance Use Disorders

Photo credit: Alan Becker Capuya

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32 Responses to “Crack detox timeline: How long to detox from crack?
12:58 am March 12th, 2015

I’ve been clean for 7 years I had a relapse I’ve smoked Crack rock for 3 weeks stright!! I’m done an I’m so ashamed of the amount of money I’ve spent in this time. Over a 1,000. $ maybe $1,500 dollars. I’ve got a urine test coming up in 10 days will I fail it? Today was the last time 3-11-15 my test is 3-23-15 I’m drinking a ton of water I can not fail this test please advise me. I AM DESPERATE I NEED TO KNOW ASAP I’M NEVER EVER SMOKING IT AGAIN. YOU THINK I WILL PASS IT? I’M SO SCARED I WILL FAIL THE TEST. HELP PLEASE

1:53 am March 12th, 2015

Hi Tami. Cocaine can be detected in urine for 1-4 days after use. You can read more info here:

6:00 pm May 31st, 2015

My boyfriend has been on crack since the late nineties and he tells me he wants to stop but does nothing to do so. I get frustrated because he spends money on that crap. If I get upset and try to tell why,he says I don’t understand because I’ve never used any drugs or dealt with anyone that had an addiction. He says he just can’t stop after using all those years that he is doing better that he did but if he smokes it 1 time a day I feel he is not trying to give it up. Please give me some advice on how to help him

4:09 pm June 29th, 2015

Hello ML. I apologize you had to wait for a response. I’d suggest an adequate addiction treatment program for him, and then you can both attend counseling sessions, or you can go to therapy to learn ways you can support him through recovery and truly understand the addiction process.

8:19 pm November 12th, 2015

hi my partner suffers from server depression and his medication had just started to eork after 2 week of living hell but we got thru it I noticed that hed stopped taking the pills that the doctor had gave him but he was calm n nice witch isnt him at all then he start have low quite periods n lining about wer he wos n n wer he wos going sad to say I soon discovered he wos smoking crack as heart broken as I am we talked about it n he promised me hed not do it again but that promise as be cum his famous last words hes now usin every day and can easily speend 400 500 pound its the lies n the state of him n amount hes takin daily thats scaring me to death I carnt see an end its snow balling faster and faster iv screamed and shouted iv attacked him av tried everything a just get more broken promises n lies I just don’t know what to do or where to get eny help from its ripped ar world apart wen he sees me crying n pleading with him he says that it no more its you an our family I want help me then two seconds later hes on the phone for 4/5 more stones im not sleeping its affecting me at work and at home iv followed him an smashed his phone and its me that’s like a raving loony and have no one I can ask for help I know that its only going to get worse if eny one can help with eny advice I would be so greatfull x

9:12 pm December 1st, 2015

Hello April. It seems you’re having a hard time with your partner. I hope everything will be fine soon. I’d suggest that he should consider an adequate addiction program. Also, both should think about attending counseling sessions together. Family therapy, especially the CRAFT model for intervention, can help you understand addiction better AND can help get him into treatment (high success rate after several weeks of practice).

12:27 pm December 14th, 2015

Iam so tired of smoking cracks and spending all my money on it I really need alot of help do you know how I can stop this bad drug b4 it kill me I have a son that really need me please help

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
12:09 am December 15th, 2015

Hi, Hiklyn. If you have questions about addiction treatment and your options, immediate assistance is available. Call our free hotline to speak with a trusted treatment provider.

James E
7:43 am January 24th, 2016

I have been doing crack for about two years every day. Approximately 100$ a day habit. That was combined with a heroin habit for the past year and a half. Kicked opiates two months ago. Toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I didn’t think crack would be that tough. I was away from it a couple times for two weeks and affected two negatively. I was a rock climber so I’m heade to my brothers in N C For six weeks.

3:29 pm February 12th, 2016

I’m paraplegic for my waist down and have a using crack addict thousand hours a day I have stopped today I have surgery coming on the 27th how can i detox completely come back okay before my surgery

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
5:22 pm February 19th, 2016

Hi, Felix. I suggest you speak with your doctor about your concern. Or maybe seek help from a detox clinic.

11:14 am March 10th, 2016

ASAP….. I smoked crack today 3-9-16 about 8 rocks it was no good I have a drug test on the 16th of this Month which is March. How long will it stay in my urine and salvia? In other words should I take the test on the 16th?

8:58 pm April 12th, 2016

I have two weeks clean.I only get the urge to use when I get paid. what can I do to get through this period?

3:11 am April 17th, 2016

I last use crack cocaine on tuesday 4/12/16 i have a urine drug test on tuesday 4/19-/16. Would ill b clean by them i weight 185 pnds and my height is 5/8. Thank u.

10:03 am May 7th, 2016

Hello Addiction blog, I’m trying to go to treatment but I don’t want anybody to know my health insurance is Molina. Do you know if they will accept my insurance at a out of town treatment Center?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
6:21 pm May 11th, 2016

Hi Nikki. Call the helpline you see on the site to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find a program that fits your needs.

7:35 am June 9th, 2016

Im 18 years old and trying to quit this habbet for good ive been smoking for almost 6 months at first it was very bad minimum 500 a night i ended up losing my job as a mechanic for mercedes benz because i would rather get high but then i was able to control it for a while i didnt smoke for weeks but just last night i relapsed and i know if i dont get help soon i will be back in the position i was a few months ago and im really really in neeed of some help im so ashamed to admit the mistakes ive made to my friends yet because im worried about what they will think of me of even if they would still be my friends i dont wanna be addicted to this drug from the gates of hell themself i dont like the feeling and it is a huge waste of money but i just cant get over this alone so if there is anyone out there in the same boat at me plase reply to this i need a support group because im too ashamed to get one from my friends and i know there are others in the same boat

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
6:21 pm June 22nd, 2016

Hi Ty. You may find some support groups other that hold meetings in your area. You also have online options available, which may be more convenient for you. Check the web pages and enter your geographic area of living to see what fits your needs:

– SMART Recovery® Meetings
– Secular Organizations for Sobriety Meetings
– Face-to-Face LifeRing Meetings
– Online LifeRing Meetings
– SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services

5:14 am August 17th, 2016

My sister has been clean from crack cocaine about 18 years, and my boyfriend has been cleaned of it for 11 years. One thing I noticed when you have a conversation with them, why do they talk so much at times; I try and get a word in, but they have this habit of cutting me off my speaking at times why?

12:20 am August 19th, 2016

Well this is my clip, I have met this guy who I’m truly in love with when I frist met him all was good until I started seeing changes how he dressed and features stated changing, before he move in with me we went to bed one night when I woke up after he lift I couldn’t find my watch, I work away from home and day I went home all my stuff in the house was gone such as shoes and clothes etc all because I turned up unexpectedly that same night he came in behind me took my purse with all my documents and a check god know how he changed it but yes he does, since then I haven’t seen but he texted me 20 days ago saying that he’s sorry for what he did and he needed help and he is gonna go to 8 east 3rd Street in Manhattan I hope he’s there and trying to get the help he needed I heard that he had been going back and forth since over 30 years and kept relapsing it’s really sad to see what people can do to their good self unknowingly so sad

2:53 pm November 9th, 2016

I’ve been on crack and I haven’t been able to break 3 months without going back. Intense stomach pains after 9 days

3:00 am December 16th, 2016

I need help. I first used when I was 18 only for about 3 months. Then again after around 24 this time for two years plus. I then used sporadically like months between times. Now I’m using every day have been for at least 6 months. I just want to be able to not succumb to the craving. It’s like when everything is going well all I wanna do is use. Until things start going bad. I’m trying really hard but I’m alone. I can’t tell anyone. I don’t have anyone I trust. Help

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:18 pm December 23rd, 2016

Hi Moi. I suggest that you call the helpline displayed on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant.

4:03 pm January 29th, 2017

What if you got hook in crack and you didn’t know but found afterwards how you deal with the effects after it come back and hunt you

5:36 am February 3rd, 2017

Hi I’m currently in recovery for heroin addiction, I’m going to a methadone clinic and tapering off successfully and haven’t relapsed on heroin. However I’ve experienced a new problem. I’ve been struggling wt cocain and crack use. I’ve talked to the counsellors at the methadone clinic and they are not much help. Basically say we don’t treat cocain addiction maybe you need further level of care. Heroim was the hardest thing to beat and tho I’m still in the process what steps can I take and what holistic medications could help beat this entirely once and for all thanks Budrow

9:06 am February 14th, 2017

Friday my bestfriend relapseded. She claims she spent $50 worth of coke however I think it may have been cooked. I’m a recovering addict and my drug of choice was dope. So I dont know the difference of how long coke or cooked last in drug test. She was interviewed, they want to hire providing a drug screen. She took drug screen monday 2pm…claims her last use was friday evening. Do you think she will be tested positive? She’s really a good person. I love her so much. Would hate to see her loose a good job, from one day mishap. She said she put water in her urine test. Guess that’s suppose to help get negative result. She’s about 225-240pds I believe. She got a big boodie lol I’m asking because if she text positive, I just want to be with her for moral support. I don’t want her to use again. But these are the consequences. Help me, to help her. Thank you

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
7:02 pm February 16th, 2017

Hi Loo. Generally cocaine stays in your system for about 2-4 days. However, chronic or heavy cocaine users may have a much longer detection window. If you want to learn more about drug testing, download our e-book for FREE:

2:31 pm March 4th, 2017

My name is cartons and I want to stop doing crack but it’s so hard when you have a mother who puts you down it’s like I can never do nothing right in her eyes and the only time I get I love from her is when I’m paying for my car and rent them there my brother who she worship so dearly cause he’s in church I did prison time cause I took someone’s case I really think of I wasn’t started on this drug by my dad I really would have been ok now it’s messing with my life I have two beautiful boys and my fiance that I have to think about now so please help me I’m not doing it for them but mainly me

7:24 pm March 4th, 2017

Im 4 months off crack since my last relapse in October and depression and fatigue the feeling of being mentally retarded is at an all time high. Crack addiction is weird and their are stages to getting clean the symptoms seem to come in waves. I just hope things will be normal again. I try to stay as healthy and hydrated as possible but im always reminded of crack. The demons don’t leave but I’ll never go back. One thing I’ll add is the addiction is 3x worse once you quit crack then pick it back up again even once. I’ve relapsed 2 times after smoking everyday for a couple months. I started by thinking if I smoke it every once in a while I could get away with it. Fuck that! Go get into healthy mind body and spirit before you crush it all with crack.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
7:37 pm March 9th, 2017

Hi Catrina. Call the helpline you see on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find a suitable program for you. Also, you may download our free e-book ‘The Definitive Guide to Rehab’ that can help you choose the best rehab:

3:09 am March 25th, 2017

Does taking a bath n cool water help ur craving for crack cocaine

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
6:07 pm March 27th, 2017

Hi Shannon. Bath can help you with the physical withdrawal symptoms from crack. I suggest to consider therapy sessions and group meeting to give you support in order to manage with the cravings.

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