As the freebase form of cocaine, crack cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs in existence. Since the addiction is primarily psychological, and not physical, it can be hard to know when you're addicted - which can make recovery even more difficult. If you're spending money you can't afford on the drug, doing things to obtain it that you wouldn't normally do, and using it to deal with your problems, you may need to seek treatment.
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About Crack Cocaine Addiction
Since an addiction to crack cocaine is mental and not physical, it can be far more serious than many other drugs. Crack cocaine is a stimulant that causes your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to constrict. This can cause high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. Statistics suggest there is no correlation between how many times you've used the drug and whether or not you will have a heart attack or stroke as a result of using it. This means there is no predictability as to the severity of the body's reaction. You may have a heart attack or stroke during your first use, or this may not happen even if you use the drug for years. As there are different states of addiction, addicts may not believe they are addicted - and this can be a problem for treatment. It is not uncommon for crack cocaine addicts to have a comorbid alcohol abuse problem. Because it lowers inhibitions, alcohol consumption can be an issue for the user because it can make them more susceptible to cravings.
Treatment of Cocaine Addiction
Strong cravings and acute withdrawal will persist for about 3 days up to 1 week after the last use of crack cocaine. Most of the symptoms of addiction will be alleviated within about 35 days, but it's important for the user to have care after this period of time is up, as cravings can persist at a lower level. Options for treatment can include being part of a therapeutic community for 6 to 12 months as well as community based recovery that utilizes a 12-step program. Generally, the first few days of treatment are when the user is most likely to leave treatment, as the craving is not noticeable. Within 5-14 days, the cravings may worsen and with the emotional mood swings that come after, it will be necessary for the user to have a support network like AA, NA, or a recovery support group.
Post Rehabilitation of Cocaine Addiction
Since cravings may persist for up to 2 years, it's important that the user stays completely drug free. Good nutrition and exercise may assist in alleviating cravings. It's important to stay away from friends that might use the drug or even friends who drink frequently, as this is a gateway to losing inhibitions and can lead to stronger cravings. Also, the user should avoid involving themselves in situations where the craving might be heightened or could be satisfied. It's important to maintain a support group you can talk to and share the issue with as this will be helpful in avoiding a relapse.
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