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Crack rehabilitation: How long?

Crack is one of the most addictive stimulants used today.

In fact, many people who get addicted to crack find that rehabilitation can take a little longer than an “average” 28-day stay in rehab. Cravings for crack can last for months after last use, and a change in environment can be super helpful. So, how long do people usually stay in rehab for crack problems? And how can you quit crack safely?

We review the factors that play into that decision here. Then, we invite your questions or comments about crack-specific rehabilitation programs at the end. In fact, we try to respond to all legitimate questions personally and promptly.

Crack rehabilitation: How long does it take?

Crack is an illegal street drug that is the rock form of cocaine. Unlike cocaine, which is snorted, crack is smoked. This delivery method brings an incredible euphoric high to the brain almost instantaneously, and can cause extreme craving as well as psychological dependence. Like cocaine, crack is highly addictive, and overcoming a crack addiction generally requires a rehabilitation program.

Q: So, when it comes to crack rehabilitation, “How long does it take?” is one of the most common questions asked. Unfortunately, it is one of the most difficult questions to answer with any accuracy.

A: The length of time spent in a crack rehabilitation program will typically be determined by an addict’s individual needs. Addiction specialists typically evaluate addicts to determine the extent of their addiction and try to complete an individualized treatment plan based on this evaluation.

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Crack rehabilitation duration

There are a number of different types of programs for getting off crack for good. The duration of each different type of program is different and generally reflects the needs of the addicts in the programs.

Short-term inpatient crack rehabilitation duration = 1 to 3 months

Programs that are between a month and three months in length are generally considered to be “short-term programs”. These types of programs are designed to help treat mild to moderate crack addictions, such as those present in casual users.

Long-term inpatient crack rehabilitation = 3 months to 2 years

Long-term crack rehabilitation programs generally take three months or longer to complete. Some of these programs may even last as long as a year or more, and are designed to treat individuals with moderate to severe addictions or who need a drastic change in environment in order to begin working a program of recovery.

Outpatient crack rehabilitation = 12 to 16 weeks

Outpatient crack rehabilitation programs do not require recovering addicts to reside in treatment facilities, but they do require them to attend several weekly treatment sessions. The length of time it takes to complete an intensive outpatient rehab program ranges from 12 to 16 weeks.

Crack rehabilitation: Short-term vs. long-term

For individuals in need of any type of drug rehab, short-term vs long-term treatment decisions should be made with the help of a qualified addiction specialist. These medical professionals have the knowledge and experience to create an addiction plan tailored to each individual addicts’ needs. People who assess duration needs can include:

  • Certified addiction counselors or professionals
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • Medical Doctors who specialize in addiction
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists

Short-term crack rehabilitation can be effective for some crack addicts, such as casual users. However, since crack is such a highly addictive drug, it often requires long-term treatment. The majority of crack addicts, including casual and everyday users, will benefit more from long-term crack rehabilitation programs.

Crack rehabilitation average time

Traditionally, inpatient rehabilitation programs take around one month to complete. However, when it comes to crack rehabilitation, average times for different programs can vary from a month to a year or more. These longer average times spent in treatment benefit crack users in a number of different ways.

1. Removal from environment

While in inpatient rehab, recovering crack addicts will reside in a treatment facility and participate in daily individual and group therapy sessions and education sessions. Physically residing in a treatment facility during treatment is one of the biggest advantages of inpatient rehab compared to outpatient crack rehabilitation. This give recovering addicts a much needed change of environment that is often a crucial part of crack rehabilitation.

2. Access to therapy

Inpatient crack rehabilitation programs also give recovering addicts the chance to participate in much needed intensive therapy on a daily basis, which is used to treat addictive behaviors as well as underlying mental illnesses.

3. Peer support

The therapeutic community helps support former addicts through social and emotional support in recovery. This unique opportunity helps people develop their personal strengths in a group, without having to go the road alone.

Crack rehabilitation timeline

Individuals undergoing treatment for a crack addiction will typically go through the same basic steps and stages, no matter which program they participate in. A basic crack rehabilitation timeline is listed below.

First, Screening and Assessment – The first step during rehabilitation is the initial drug screening and assessment. This process usually takes a few hours to complete, and is conducted to create an individualized treatment plan.

Second, Medical Detox – Addicts who stop using crack suddenly will go through withdrawal, which can include symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, depression, irritability, and an extreme craving for the drug. To help minimize the chances of relapse and help ensure a safe detox, crack addicts are generally encouraged to enter a medical detox program. Medical detox ensures 24-7 supervision to address major issues, especially related to suicidal thinking, during withdrawal.

There are no medications at the moment that are specifically approved for treating crack addiction, either during acute detox or in the months as you deal with cravings. However, some medications that are intended to treat other diseases and medical conditions may sometimes be used to treat crack addictions and it’s worthwhile asking about the short term use of antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication from a  prescribing doctor.

Then, Psychological Treatments – Individual therapy and group therapy are two of the main psychological addictions used throughout crack rehabilitation. Family therapy is also encouraged in order to help rebuild family bonds, and help loved ones better understand addiction and learn how to support addicts during their recovery.

Finally, an Aftercare Program – An addiction aftercare program is usually a necessary step for a successful transition from rehab to ongoing recovery. During the aftercare stage, patients will continue their psychological and pharmacological treatment, but on an outpatient basis. Rehabilitation facilities will also typically help recovering addicts remain drug-free by offering supportive services or referring recovering addicts to organizations that offer relevant supportive services.

Crack rehabilitation time

Overcoming a crack addiction is never easy, but it is possible, with a lot of hard work, dedication, and time. Just how much will be determined by a mental health professional based on standard criteria.

If you still have questions about crack rehabilitation time, we’re here to help. Simply leave any questions or concerns you may have about crack rehabilitation in the comment section below. We’ll do our best to give you a personal answer as soon as we can, or we’ll refer you to someone who can help.

Reference Sources:  NIDA: How lond goes drug addiction treatment last?
University of Maryland: CESAR Reports on Crack
NIDA: Treatment approaches to drug addiction
NIDA: What treatments are effective for cocaine abusers?

Photo credit: josealbafotos

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