Tuesday January 24th 2017

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How to treat crack addiction

Ready to treat crack addiction?

The first step in treating crack addiction is recognizing that you have a problem with crack. How long crack stays in the system is a matter of minutes, but can be detected for days or weeks after last use.  You should look for signs and symptoms of crack addiction like bloodshot eyes, insomnia, noticeable mood changes, weight loss and constant alertness and nervousness.

Treating crack addiction is usually a combination of pharmacological and behavioral therapies, but crack treatment lends itself more to behavioral approaches. There are also many sources of help for treating crack addiction. Doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed clinical social workers, detox clinics and crack addiction treatment centers can help. More on how to treat crack addiction here. And a section at the end of the article for your questions about crack.

Crack addiction treatment: Are you even addicted?

Addictive qualities of crack compel frequent and chronic use.  In fact, when you’re addicted to crack, signs and symptoms are present which indicate addiction. These signs and symptoms cover both the mental/emotional spectrum as well as the behavioral spectrum. You know you need crack addiction treatment if you’re constantly experiencing:

  • abrupt loss of weight
  • always needing money
  • bloodshot eyes
  • carelessness about personal grooming
  • constant alertness and nervousness
  • constant sniffing
  • insomnia
  • looking tired
  • loss of interest in friends, family and pleasurable activities
  • lying and denial
  • obvious mood changes
  • runny nose

Treating crack addiction

To treat crack addiction,  specialists use both pharmacological and behavioral approaches.  A combination of both is preferred.  The main ways to treat crack addiction include:

1. Medications for crack addiction treatment

No medications are currently available to treat cocaine dependence and withdrawal. In fact, detox clinics offer mainly emotional and social support during withdrawal from crack. Over the long term, however, post acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) from cocaine can be treated with antidepressants.

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2. Behavioral treatments for crack addiction

Cognitive-behavioral therapy can be tailored to those addicted to crack. This therapy approach teaches crack addicts to spot and then correct problem behaviors through the application of an array of skills designed especially to stop crack use.  The community reinforcement approach includes vocational, social, familial and recreational reinforcers and is based on a 24-week outpatient model. Another behavioral treatment option used to treat crack addiction is voucher-based reinforcement. The use of vouchersis a community-based treatment approach wherein each drug-free urine sample is rewarded with vouchers. Vouchers are then used to purchase food or other goods.  Finally, the Matrix Model involves the use of a specific framework for motivating patients to engage in therapy and stop using crack. Crack addicts will learn about factors crucial to addiction and relapse, get help from a therapist and become educated about self-help programs.

Treatment for crack addiction

Here is a list of the main sources for finding treatment for crack addiction.

Crack addiction treatment center. Treatment centers, a.k.a. rehab, are inpatient program sthat can last from 30 days to a whole year. You can find these treatment centers on the Internet or the phone book.

Crack detox clinic. This type of crack addiction treatment begins the recovery process by putting the crack addict through detox. Physicians will keep tabs on the patient, monitoring the severity of his crack withdrawal symptoms in a controlled environment. Information about your nearest clinic is available on the Internet.

Clinical psychologist or psychiatrist specializing in crack addiction.  Licensed psychologists and medical doctors have trained for years to help people with crack addiction overcome their dependency. These mental health professionals are easily found through the phone book or the Internet.

Crack addiction support groups.  These support groups can be based on the 12-step program made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous. They help crack addicts by offering them a large community of resources that includes education and assistance. Non 12-step alternatives include SMART Recovery and Rational Recovery.

Licensed clinical social workers.  Social workers both evaluate and treat people who are crack addicts. This can include group/individual therapy, case management, crisis intervention, prevention and education efforts.

Your physician.  Sometimes, starting with your own doctor can be the first step on the road to recovery. He can often refer you to the right sources (detox, rehab, etc.) for help, and he already knows you, which is a plus.

A trusted religious or spiritual leader.  Spiritual intervention can get the ball rolling in overcoming a crack addiction. A priest, pastor, rabbi, imam, or spiritual mentor has the connections and the standing in the community to refer you to a reliable drug therapy program.

How to treat crack addiction questions

Still have questions about how to treat crack addiction? Perhaps you have your own advice on getting over crack that you want to share. If you do, just leave your comments and questions below, and we’ll reply back as soon as we can.

Reference Sources: Crack & Cocaine: Just the Facts
NIDA: Principles of drug addiction treatment
NIDA: Crack Abuse

Photo credit: VinothChandar

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6 Responses to “How to treat crack addiction
Irma Santillan
12:28 am February 5th, 2015

I strongly suspect my husband being a crack user and does it about once a month longest wait time of using it has been up to two months. Is he considered an addict? The bigest sign of use is mood swings that last up to 2-3 days of bad temper and isolation. When he uses it, its usually when he has been drinking more than just a 12 pack of beer and he also does cocaine also when drinking which leads to taking off for one whole night and all day til 7pm calling me to meet him because he runs out of money and can’t get back home because he runs out of gas. He usually pawns his wedding band or cell phone to buy this junk. Please help me if he is considered an addict what can I do to help him also he has made the first step by stop drinking.

2:48 pm February 12th, 2015

Hello Irma. Addiction = continued use of a substance despite negative life consequences. I think your husband applies. Seek help from a doctor, a psychologist, or even a social worker. You may want to get to an Narc/Al-Anon meeting, too. Hang in there, you are not alone, Irma.

7:30 pm March 18th, 2015

hello Irma, my name is Brad and I am addicted to crack .I have been battling this for years its very hard to overcome.I have put toghther several years without it before but it always seems to call me back.Ive been threw several treatment centers and im currently back in school to become a drug counselor.My best advice for you is to get him into treatment.But if he want go he has to give up drinking,that is a major trigger.My prayers are with you.

10:33 pm May 18th, 2015

I’m working a 12 step program with a woman who has been crack free for about 4 weeks. She still suffers from insomnia and is very hyper. What is the average length of insomnia? I am encouraging her to seek medical and psychological. My drug of choice was not crack so I want more information in order to be better able to support and encourage her.
Thank you for this blog.

4:27 pm May 19th, 2015

Hi Kim. Unfortunately, insomnia can last for different periods of time in different individuals. I agree that medical and psychological assistance can help her cope with sleep problems. Support her and encourage her to go see a doctor. After she’s examined, an adequate treatment can be applied.

5:14 pm March 16th, 2016

My Son is Crack addicted

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