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Crack Withdrawal Symptoms

Crack withdrawal is common in those who become addicted to the drug. It is very easy to become addicted to crack “as the drug is far more potent [when compared with cocaine] and is smoked,” according to CESAR. Crack addicts will normally experience crack withdrawal which is uncomfortable and often frightening. Knowing the symptoms of crack withdrawal, as well as the crack withdrawal process, can help during this difficult time.

The Initial Phase Symptoms

Crack withdrawal, like the withdrawal syndrome of most stimulants, normally has three phases. The initial phase will be difficult, and a person will likely experience many of the well-known symptoms of crack withdrawal. According to the CHCE, “Following binge use, individuals may initially experience a ‘crash’ period, which is characterized by” these symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Intense drug craving

This crash stage is common in crack withdrawal. According to CESAR, these effects can be so intense that “users will often keep using crack cocaine simply to avoid” them. If a person has been abusing crack for a long time, this phase can also contain symptoms of crack induced psychosis. This syndrome can be concurrent with withdrawal and can involve symptoms of:

  • Irritability
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia

In many cases, people who have been abusing crack for a long time must be strapped down during the initial phase if they are experiencing crack induced psychosis at this time.

The Intermediate Phase Symptoms

crack withdrawal

Depression and drug cravings are signs of withdrawal from crack.

The CHCE states, “During the intermediate withdrawal phase, individuals may experience fatigue, a loss of physical and mental energy, and decreased interest in the surrounding environment.” This will often be a particularly long phase for individuals who are working through crack withdrawal, sometimes lasting several weeks. They will be tired and depleted of energy all the time, uninterested in other activities, and experiencing dull cravings. This phase is not easy, but often the most frustrating part is the length of time one spends in it.

The Late Phase Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms during the late phase are few. In fact, only “brief periods of intense drug craving” are described by the CHCE. This phase, however, can last for months after the other withdrawal symptoms have ended. “Objects and people in the addicted person’s life can become a conditioned trigger for craving and relapse, ” and the individual must be very careful not to let this possibility occur if they can help it. Of course, relapse does not mean failure when it comes to recovery, but it can be dangerous and should be avoided whenever possible.

Crack Withdrawal Symptoms

Like with cocaine withdrawal, crack withdrawal “often has no visible physical symptoms like the vomiting and shaking that accompanies the withdrawal from heroin or alcohol” (NLM). This has caused people in the past to believe that crack, cocaine, and all stimulants do not have strong withdrawal symptoms.

This could not be further from the truth. In fact, “the level of craving, irritability, delayed depression, and other symptoms produced by cocaine [and crack] withdrawal rivals or exceeds that felt with other withdrawal syndromes.” Crack does create a more short-lived high than cocaine, but its withdrawal symptoms can last a long time and be very devastating to the individual psychologically, especially if a good treatment program is not attended.

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