Friday August 1st 2014

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.

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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