Find crack addiction help in England and Wales
*This page was medically reviewed by Dr Robert Lefever on 9th April 2021.
Just like regular cocaine, crack is an addictive substance. Addictive substances draw us in with highs, only to take all our money, damage our health long term, and drive away those that love us most. If you have a crack addiction, this is your calling: it’s time to stop smoking crack and get help.
This article will talk you through all you need to know about crack addiction and how you can get treatment for it.
What Is Crack?
Crack is a common form of cocaine. As such, it is either referred to as crack or crack cocaine as well as a variety of other slang terms. If you find it in the room of a family member or a loved one, it would look like tiny, smashed, pieces of soap. It is incredibly popular because it is one of the fastest working forms of the substance. When you get high from crack, the substance reaches the brain in about ten seconds.
Crack is known by a variety of names on the street. This includes:
- Rock Candy
The drug comes in a crystal form and is often sold as a power. It can also be sold in solid blocks which are either yellow, rose pink or white. To take crack cocaine a user will heat the substance and then smoke it. When heated it makes a cracking noise and this is where it gets its name. Crack cocaine has become popular for a variety of reasons and as such, crack addiction is incredibly dangerous.
Difference Between Crack And Cocaine
As already mentioned one of the main differences between crack and normal cocaine is how quickly it provides the effect users are looking for. It is also the most potent form of this particular drug. It can be anything between 75% and 100% pure. This is far stronger than the typical cocaine that you might purchase on the market. Unlike other forms of cocaine, crack will be smoked, rather than snorted or injected. It is powder cocaine mixed with baking soda and water. In contrast, regular cocaine is hydro-chloride salt in a powder form.
Another key difference is the cost of the drug. Cocaine is often considered a rich man’s drug because it is incredibly expensive. Crack on the other hand is a lot cheaper. Unfortunately, this means that virtually anyone can buy it and get the high that they want. It is indeed possible for teens to be able to afford this drug with their lunch money. That’s how cheap it is.
What are the Main Causes of Crack Addiction?
Crack can be addictive for a variety of reasons. As a drug, crack cocaine provides one of the highest levels of psychological dependency. There are other factors that influence your likeliness to become a drug addict, though, crack or otherwise.
The environment you grew up in, the people you surround yourself with, and the places you frequent, will all impact whether you become addicted to crack cocaine. Even things like racial and socioeconomic environmental factors in childhood can attribute to your drug use, as some studies suggest[vii]. Other studies have shown multiple environmental factors that can contribute towards addiction, with stress[viii] being a notable factor.
Some babies can be born already addicted to drugs. This isn’t the true meaning of genetic propensity towards drug abuse and addiction, though. If your DNA is programmed a certain way, studies have shown you are at greater risk of becoming addicted that those without your genetic markers[ix].
Gradual Tolerance Building
People don’t often start with crack. Instead, they may begin with a lower class of drug and then build to crack as they search for greater highs. This can be due to peer pressure or even mental health issues. Many individuals do develop a drug addiction because they are looking to cope with a problem in their life. Since it is so cheap, crack is often considered one of the best possibilities available.
“Feel good Factor”
Crack is a stimulant. Upon taking it, the drug provides a strong feeling of euphoria. The fact that it is short lived makes the substance more addictive because individuals want to take another hit immediately. The other problem is that the drug quickly causes tolerance to build. As such, the second hit may not provide the same high. Instead, users will need to up the dosage to get the same kick that they experienced before. This happens with every few uses and each time, the addiction grows.
What are the Tell-Tale Signs of Crack Addiction?
You might be worried that your loved one or family member has an addiction to this drug. Here are some of the signs of crack addiction that you should watch out for. People who are on this drug or who have used it multiple times may have:
- Dilated pupils
- Dry mouth and nose
- Bad breath
- Muscle spasms
If you’re worried, they have been smoking it in the house, you might notice an unpleasant smell. This is like burning plastic, mixed with chemicals.
Long Term Effects of Crack Use
If you continue to take crack, you can expect the following long term effects:
- Not interested in food
- Suffering from trouble sleeping
- Unable to maintain focus on a conversation
Symptoms of a loved one being on Crack
If you are worried about a loved one using crack cocaine, there are symptoms of using crack that can help you be certain. Some common side effects of being high on crack are:
- Enlarged pupils
- Increased anxiety
- Unpredictable behaviour
- Temperature spikes
- Trouble breathing
- Severe depression and anxiety – due to an inability to get the drug they crave
- Suicidal thoughts – again often due to inability to get the drug they need.
- Vivid hallucinations – this can cause self-mutilation
- Parkinson’s Disease – this condition becomes far more common after taking crack
- Difficulty functioning sexually
- Malnourishment – food becomes less important, and the drug becomes the focus of their life
Even after one use, it’s possible that you will suffer from a stroke, seizures or even a heart attack. It’s not uncommon for individuals to enter into a coma after using the drug for the first time.
How is Crack Addiction Treated?
Crack addiction can be treated if you spot it. The first step in any addiction is recognising you have a problem. The second step is to find the right rehab clinic for you – which we can help you with. Later, rehab will get you over the worst of the crack withdrawal symptoms and will help you get back to normal.
Detoxing from Crack
The first step is always going to be a full drug detox. This is completed in a safe environment as drug withdrawal symptoms can be severe. It also ensures that users get through the painful depression that comes after even one use. Symptoms of withdrawal can last anywhere from several days to multiple months. Symptoms can also disappear and then emerge at any time.
Crack Withdrawal Symptoms During Detox
The length of symptoms will typically depend on how long the drug is used; how much is used as well as a full medical history. You may experience number of Crack withdrawal symptoms including:
- Severe levels of anxiety
- Abdominal pain
This is all part of the crack rehab process and experts will be there every step of the way helping you to avoid relapse.
Detoxing from Crack starts between 1 hour and 2 days after your last use. It will continue for up to ten days.
Medically Assisted Detox
Although there are no medications known to stop withdrawal symptoms from crack cocaine, the doctor may prescribe Buspirone as it reduces anxiety in crack patients.
Rehab for Crack Addiction
Rehab treatment is the second stage of recovering from a crack addiction. It will typically include cognitive behavioural therapy as well as support groups. Group therapy is effective as it provides individuals who you can lean on for support and advice.
Usually, a full rehab treatment will last between 30 and 90 days. However, if the addiction is more serious it can be significantly longer. The main idea is to ensure that you are prepare and ready for the challenges that you will face when you return to society.
What Happens After Rehab?
Even after the first stages of rehab recovery are complete, it’s likely that you will need additional help and support. This often includes ongoing telephone support or counselling where individuals must tackle their addiction over time. After rehab, you go through secondary treatment. This is to give you the best chance at relapse prevention in future.
Crack Addiction Treatment Timeline
The crack addiction detox process lasts around two weeks, with rehab taking anything up to 90 days. You will feel the crack withdrawal symptoms intensely for the first 3-10 days, but if you can get through this period, it will get better.
How much does rehab for crack addiction cost?
You might be worried about the cost of crack rehab. Well, we’re here to say that it can be more affordable than you think. In exceptional cases, it can even be provided for free by the NHS. The issue here is that if you reach the emergency room due to a crack addiction, you will already have probably suffered life-changing injuries. There is also typically a long wait during which relapses are common. As such, it’s best to opt for private treatment. Standard costs are currently between £2000 and £6000 for private facilities. It’s also possible to find considerably cheaper options that are far more budget-friendly.
What sort of therapy will I get in rehab for Crack addiction?
There are several types of therapy that you can get in a rehab clinic to help you recover from your crack addiction. It is likely that you will undergo a variety of therapy types while you recover. Some common techniques are:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – a talking therapy that explores past actions and reactions
- Dialectical Behavioural Therapy – DBT is CBT specially designed for the emotionally attuned[x]
- Motivational Interviewing – helps you examine your past motivations and set future goals[xi]
- Group therapy – will help you gain the shared experience of your group.
Other therapy types include 1-on-1 sessions with a psychologist and specialist sessions offered by unique clinics. Examples might be animal-assisted therapy or holistic practises.
Free Crack Addiction Consultation
You can get a free consultation for crack addiction to examine your options in rehab clinics. Follow the instructions at the top of the page to get started. Alternatively, you can give us a call. After providing advice, we’ll find the right rehab centre for you in the UK and make sure that you are immediately put in contact with them. There’s no wait, no delays, no issues and absolutely no judgement here. Stop suffering in silence and start getting the crack treatment you need with our help and expertise, call 0203 955 7700 and speak to an expert.
Frequently Asked Questions