Millions of young adults each year turn to crack cocaine use. There are 7 stages of crack cocaine abuse that individuals’ experience, each with its own degree of intensity, depending of the amount of the drug abused; how often they have been abusing crack cocaine and how long they have been abusing the drug.
Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Abuse
There is no detoxification for crack cocaine abuse because crack is a water soluble substance; therefore there are no physical withdrawal symptoms. However, the psychological withdrawal symptoms, depending on the abuse, can last up to a couple years. It is not uncommon for individuals with crack cocaine abuse to have other substance abuse which may require detox and rehab to overcome. It is best that you consult with your doctor to see if you need medical detox program. While the individual is in active crack abuse, they may experience hallucinations in which they may hear sounds that are not really happening. Individuals reported hearing sirens, people talking, music and cars. They may imagine bugs crawling on their skin and because they become paranoid, they may hide out while abusing crack, refusing to answer the phone or door.
1. Panic Stage
In the panic stage, the individual becomes consumed with the ability to purchase more crack. They become worried about having enough money, finding their source and being able to get the drug. Additionally, they may pawn or sell items. Or, they may outright steal items or money to buy more crack. They may even sell or trade sexual favors to get the drug. This stage usually begins within a few hours of the last time the drug was used.
2. Crash Stage
The individual will begin to crash within 24 hours after the last time they used crack cocaine. During the crash, the individual may experience deep despair and depression. It is not uncommon for crack cocaine users to have suicidal thoughts.
3. Honeymoon Stage
Within 1 to 5 days after the last time the individual used crack cocaine, they may begin to feel as if they have beat their crack cocaine abuse. They may be able to deny the cravings or the cravings are diminished. Individuals in the honeymoon stage will see an increase in their self confidence and if they are enrolled in a program such as NA, they may leave the program thinking that they are cured and no longer need treatment.
4. Return of Craving
Between 5 to 14 days after the individual last abused crack cocaine, they begin to crave the drug again. This is largely due to the fact that the dopamine/serotonin that the body naturally produces has created enough to stir the cravings.
5. Emotional Intensification
Between 14 to 28 days and up to 2 years, the individual will experience heightened responses to stress and trauma of normal life. The individual may go from being extremely happy to deeply sad and depressed. They will over dramatize events that ordinarily people just deal with and move on. As the body tries to repair and compensate for the areas of the brain damaged by crack cocaine abuse, it replaces the chemicals responsible for emotions and moods. In order to be successful in sobriety, they need to be actively involved in a support group or surround themselves with a healthy environment with positive energy and not drug energy. Becoming physically active by walking, jogging, aerobics or dance; as well as maintaining a well-balanced diet will also help this stage pass. It is normal for individuals in this stage to experience nightmares, mood swings, anxiety and irritability and depression.
6. Secret Cravings
Between 28 to 35 days the individual may make a series of counterproductive decisions. The individual may experience some cravings and they may begin to feel guilty if they have slipped back into some old habits. Staying in a program or returning to healthier lifestyle habits can prevent a relapse.
7. Symptom Conditioning
From 35 days after the last time crack cocaine was used and onward, the individual may experience some circumstances or situations (triggers) that could cause cravings. Anything or any activity that the individual once associated with crack cocaine abuse can stimulate cravings. To continue sobriety the individual needs a support plan or a healthy activity to replace for the craving. If you or someone you know are struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction and are in need of detox services, Gallus Detox Centers can help. Gallus Detox Centers specializes in IV therapy medical detox, a safer and more effective method for detox from alcohol and drugs and will provide you with a customized plan to meet your individual needs. Call Gallus Detox Centers today at 888-228-9114, to see if our addiction detox programs are right for you.