Crack Cocaine Withdrawal and Detox

Withdrawal from crack cocaine may cause symptoms like depression and anxiety, as well as intense cravings for the drug. The process is best managed with a medical detox.

Start the road to recovery

(877) 746-0480

    Call Now

    Treatment Center Locator

    What is Crack Cocaine Withdrawal?

    Withdrawal from crack may cause a lack of motivation and inability to feel pleasure.Someone addicted to crack cocaine has developed a physical dependence on it, and will experience withdrawal symptoms when quitting.

    Crack cocaine is a more concentrated form of powder cocaine. Because of crack’s potency, withdrawal from it is often more intense. Crack cocaine use causes changes in the brain and the body’s nervous system. When someone addicted to crack stops using, their body must go through an adjustment period to relearn how to function without crack cocaine in their system.

    During withdrawal, the former user will often experience many uncomfortable symptoms, such as depression, paranoia or agitation. The physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal will vary depending on many individual factors, such as the user’s tolerance, metabolism, and length of addiction.

    Get started on the road to recovery.

    Symptoms of Withdrawal

    Crack cocaine is both physically and psychologically addicting. Because addiction to crack can be so hard to overcome, users are generally advised to go through detox in a supervised drug treatment center program. There are two phases of withdrawal: acute withdrawal, which refers to the immediate symptoms, and protracted withdrawal or post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS), which refers to the extended psychological symptoms that may occur weeks or months after quitting use.

    Common acute withdrawal symptoms include:

    • Anxiety
    • Exhaustion
    • Unpleasant dreams
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Irritability
    • Mood changes

    Protracted withdrawal symptoms may include:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Agitation or shaking
    • Cravings
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Lack of motivation
    • Inability to feel pleasure
    • Anger or emotional outbursts
    Questions about treatment?

    Get confidential help 24/7. Call now for:

    • Access to top treatment centers
    • Caring, supportive guidance
    • Financial assistance options
    (855) 826-4464

    Duration of Withdrawal

    How long withdrawal from crack cocaine takes varies for each user and is based on a number of different factors. These include the user’s body chemistry, tolerance and the severity and duration of the addiction. Withdrawal can begin anywhere from an hour to 72 hours after the last crack cocaine dose. Physical symptoms of crack withdrawal typically last anywhere from 1 to 3 months, although there is no exact timeframe for how long symptoms will last. There have been reports of psychological withdrawal symptoms lasting as long as 6 months.

    During the first week of crack cocaine withdrawal, the former user has generally recovered from the extreme physical symptoms and may feel as if they have been cured. Many people have unintentionally let their guard down and become vulnerable to relapse during this time. In order to avoid relapse during the withdrawal process, it is important to detox in a drug treatment facility and have a support system in place to help with difficult days and future cravings.

    Background image

    Ready to get help?

    Our phone number is available 24/7 to help you or your loved one find a treatment center that suits your needs. It only takes one call to start your new life in recovery.
    Don’t waste another second. Call now to speak with a compassionate treatment expert.

    Speak with an expert (855) 826-4464

    - OR -

    Let us call you
    (877) 746-0480

      Crack Cocaine Withdrawal Timeline

      24-72 hoursDuring the first 72 hours of withdrawal, users may experience symptoms such as paranoia and body aches. There have also been reports of visual and auditory hallucinations during this period. It is not uncommon for extreme paranoia to set in during the first 24 hours. After this initial period, hallucinations and paranoia generally subside.
      Week 1During the first full week of withdrawal, other symptoms often set in, including irritability, extreme fatigue, trouble sleeping and a general lack of motivation.
      Week 2During week two, cravings for the drug become more intense and depression often sets in. The brain is still reacting to the withdrawal process, and typically will not produce enough dopamine for strong positive emotions. Anxiety may return during this period.
      Weeks 3-4During weeks three and four, the body’s chemistry is still changing and mood changes are fairly frequent. Though the physical craving for crack has subsided by this time, the psychological cravings generally remain through the first month. Feelings of anxiety or depression may remain as well.

      Crack Cocaine Detox

      Physicians at drug treatment facilities develop detox strategies based on the person’s unique body chemistry and medical history. Unlike some other drugs, including prescription anti-anxiety medications, crack isn’t tapered down during detox. Users quit cold turkey under medical supervision, with medications to help counteract uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

      Two drugs that may be used during crack detox include:

      • Gabapentin

        Officially used to treat seizures and restless legs syndrome (RLS), gabapentin is sometimes used during the detox process to reduce withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and insomnia. The drug attaches to GABA receptors in the brain and may neutralize some of the neurological effects of an extended crack addiction until the former user is able to fully recover.

      • Vigabatrin

        An antiepilectic drug, vigabatrin may be used during detox to curb feelings of anxiety, which may help prevent relapse.

      See how Jerry
      overcame his
      Jerry Lawson sitting in a chair

      Treatment for Crack Cocaine

      Individuals addicted to crack cocaine often have the best chance of recovery while detoxing at a drug treatment facility. Treatment programs are run by therapists and physicians who personalize recovery based on each patient’s needs. Group therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy can help patients recognize and change the behaviors that led to their addiction. In fact, many researchers have found that the social aspect of crack use may be the single most difficult part to overcome. Overcoming a crack addiction starts with finding new surroundings, healthy relationships and a positive support system.

      Crack addiction can be treated…the key is that the addict must be given a place in family and social structures where they may never have been before. Habilitation more than rehabilitation.

      - Substance abuse specialist Dr. Herbert Kleber, The New York Times, 1989

      The relationships and support groups in drug treatment facilities are vital in helping addicts through the recovery process. If you are looking for a crack cocaine addiction treatment program, please contact us today.

      Get help today

      Don't go through the process of recovery alone. Get in touch with someone who can help.

      (877) 746-0480

        What does it mean that this site is brought to you by Beach House Center for Recovery?

        We strive to be fully transparent in all of our relationships. To that end, we want you to be aware that AddictionCenter is compensated by Beach House Center for Recovery for the work AddictionCenter does in the development and operation of this site. Beach House Center for Recovery was carefully vetted and selected to be a trusted provider and partner with AddictionCenter, based on the quality of treatment that Beach House provides and their rigorous commitment to ethical practices. Learn more about why Beach House Center for Recovery is a trusted provider with AddictionCenter.

        All calls to numbers on individual facility listings will always go to the facility listed. All calls to general contact numbers and contact us forms on this site are routed to Beach House Center for Recovery. If Beach House Center for Recovery is unable to assist with a particular need they are committed to providing direction and assistance in finding appropriate care.

        Get 24/7 help now. All calls free and confidential.

        (855) 826-4464

        Take control of your life

        Our treatment specialists offer 24/7 assistance.

        • Access to top treatment centers
        • Caring, supportive guidance
        • Financial assistance options

        Call now:

        (855) 826-4464


        Have us call you:

        (877) 746-0480

          Where do calls go?

          Calls to numbers dedicated to a specific treatment center profile will be routed to that treatment center. All other calls will be routed to Beach House Center for Recovery.

          Rehab experts are available 24/7/365 to answer and return calls routed to Beach House.

          All calls are private and confidential.

          How do we choose our partners?

          About Beach House

          Beach House Center for Recovery is a leading drug and alcohol treatment center that combines the latest medical, clinical, and spiritual treatments to combat addiction.

          Find out more about AddictionCenter.

          A treatment facility paid to have their center promoted here. Learn more about how to be featured in a paid listing.