Crack users are quite familiar with what crack withdrawal. This is because each hit is followed shortly by a ‘mini’ crack withdrawal leading to the next dose.
Smoking crack cocaine gives a quick rush (within 1 or 2 minutes) followed by a “come-down” (10 to 15 minutes later). One of the hallmarks of the drug wearing off is a powerful urge to take more.
This is similar to the cravings that come with a longer crack withdrawal period. Users who are binge style addicts – those that use for hours to days at a time and then crash—undergo crack withdrawal between each binge event.
Some develop a routine of extended sleep to avoid the effects. When the long-term symptoms become too much to bear, they simply go back to using. Addicts who are serious about stopping crack altogether can expect: Weight Gain An increased appetite and weight gain. This is usually positive as the body starts to recover. Severe fatigue This is an early onset symptom.
Afterwards, sleep disturbances may lead to insomnia (from nightmares and ‘crack dreams’). The improper sleep then shows up as daytime fatigue and a loss of energy. Depression From moderate to severe. This is partly from not having the drug, and partly from the realization of what their life has become in service to crack. Some addicts feel they will never improve and may even become suicidal. Anhedonia This is the medical term for an inability to feel pleasure.
This adds to depression and is a consequence of crack cocaine ‘rewiring’ the pleasure circuits in the brain. Eventually, this passes, but it may take months before other activities (besides drug use) can be enjoyed fully. Cravings These can hit without warning and be quite powerful.
They can make the recovering addict act against their own interests and can produce quite complex behaviors. Just as animals instinctually follow some programmed sequence of behavior, the addict can find themselves operating without much thought and repeating drug acquisition and use acts.
Call to Speak to a Specialist Call 877-649-8160 any time to discuss treatment options if you or a loved one has a problem with addiction. An interesting aspect of the crack withdrawal symptoms is that acquiring and using crack is the default. Recovering addicts have to constantly choose not to use instead of choosing to use.
Crack has already made the choice to use. For addicts, it is as if the behavior is always there, lurking in the background, just waiting for their guard to drop. This is the insidious and true evil they confront when they undertake to withdraw and stay clean for the long haul.
After some months, the cravings ease and gradually lose their power. But even years of abstinence can be lost if an addict in recovery acts on a triggering event. In this sense, crack withdrawal is a process that goes on for quite a long time.