Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Substance use in the United States includes various substances and affects all types of people. Having treatment options available for all issues is necessary to help people recover from addiction. Gateway Foundation offers multiple substance use disorder treatments, including treatment for crack cocaine addiction.

Crack cocaine use has severe effects on a person’s health. Accessing treatment for this substance use disorder is crucial to one’s health and safety. Treatment facilities can provide patients with adequate care and resources to help them reach sobriety and gain control over their lives.

Gateway Foundation explains the details of crack cocaine addiction treatment and how you can find the best crack cocaine rehab centers in Illinois.

What Is Crack Cocaine?

Cocaine is derived from coca leaves in South America. Cocaine was first collected over 100 years ago, and doctors began using it in the 1900s to treat various illnesses. It was even an original ingredient in the early stages of Coca-Cola. After numerous studies of its effects on the brain and addictive qualities, it’s now a Schedule II drug. This title describes a substance with highly addictive properties and has potential for abuse, but doctors can administer the substance for legitimate medical use.

Cocaine appears in powder and rock form. The powdered version is cocaine or coke, while the rock form of cocaine is crack cocaine. People create crack cocaine by mixing the powder hydrochloride salt, or baking soda, with water and another substance, usually baking soda. After combining the ingredients, the mixture boils until a solid rock is left. The creators break the rock apart after it cools down and sells it as crack cocaine.

The substance gets its name from the crackling sound cocaine makes when it heats up. People who use crack cocaine will smoke and feel the effects instantly, and these effects can last between five to 10 minutes. This quick timeframe of feeling high can cause a dangerous cycle of using and crashing that damages a person’s health. Crack cocaine is cheaper than regular cocaine because it is less pure but still provides a “high” effect.

Crack cocaine can be cut or mixed with many other substances to allow dealers to make a substantial profit or provide additional symptoms. Some of these agents can be dangerous and have adverse effects. Some cutting agents include:

  • Corn starch
  • Flour
  • Ritalin
  • Amphetamine
  • Heroin
  • Procaine
  • Talcum powder

Crack cocaine can be cut or mixed with many other substances

Signs and Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Addiction

Like all substance use disorders, there are various telling signs and symptoms of crack cocaine use. This dangerous substance can have noticeable changes to a person’s body and behavior. Many users exhibit warning signals that they may be suffering from crack cocaine addiction.

Signs of Addiction

Some of the signs to watch for to spot a crack cocaine use problem include:

  • Substance paraphernalia: Individuals using crack cocaine will typically have various types of substance paraphernalia. The main items that people will use to smoke crack cocaine are metal or narrow glass pipes with round bulbs on one end. Sometimes, people will make homemade pipes with glass bottles, drink cans, plastic water bottles, asthma inhalers or lightbulbs.
  • High energy levels: Crack cocaine is a stimulant, which can cause people who use the substance to feel bursts of energy. This level of energy is significantly more intense than usual. People may start to talk fast, seem on edge, have high anxiety, or act aggressively and erratically. The effects of crack cocaine last from five to 10 minutes, so that’s around how long people will exhibit this short burst of energy.
  • Appetite changes: Some users might begin losing weight quickly and refrain from eating, or they might have short windows of eating more food than usual.

Appetite changes

  • Drowsiness or exhaustion: A common symptom of crack cocaine is fatigue after people come down from the high. After all of the effects subside, people may be completely exhausted and sleep most of the time between uses.
  • Oral health issues: Crack cocaine can have serious effects on a person’s oral health. You may be able to tell if someone is using crack cocaine based on the state of their dental health. Some symptoms include bleeding mouth, tooth decay and gum recession. Crack cocaine has a significant impact on oral health because of the method of use.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: A common symptom of crack cocaine use is withdrawal. Withdrawal happens when a person stops using crack cocaine and their body experiences pain, fatigue, weakness and more. Withdrawal symptoms are a common reason why people may be hesitant to seek out treatment.
  • Spending money: A person experiencing a crack cocaine addiction may start spending most of their money on the substance and paraphernalia.
  • Poor hygiene: Someone with substance use disorder for crack cocaine may show signs of poor hygiene and grooming.
  • Hallucinations: Crack cocaine can bring psychological symptoms to a person, such as hallucinations or other psychological problems. One of the common hallucinations that people who use crack cocaine may experience is “coke bugs,” or seeing bugs crawling on or under the skin.
  • Wasting time: A person using crack cocaine may spend all of their time searching for, purchasing and using the substance. This time spent on crack cocaine can take away the necessary focus on family, work or school obligations. People may see a decline in their success at work or school or feel themselves distancing from their family or loved ones.

Symptoms to Watch for

Physical symptoms of crack cocaine addiction include:

  • Red eyes
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Breathing troubles or fast breathing
  • Seizures
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle twitches
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blistered lips
  • Nosebleeds

Psychological and behavioral symptoms of crack cocaine use include:

  • Mood swings
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Euphoria
  • Loss of interest in hobbies

Psychological and behavioral symptoms of crack cocaine use

Being aware of every sign and symptom of crack cocaine use could help someone struggling with addiction. These signs and symptoms show that the person needs treatment to help improve their lives and wellbeing. Crack cocaine use can impact anyone, so it’s helpful to refrain from stereotypes when determining whether someone is exhibiting signs of substance use.

What Causes Crack Cocaine Addiction?

Understanding substance use disorder and how people can form an addiction to crack cocaine is complex. Researchers haven’t narrowed down one leading cause of addiction because numerous factors can lead people down paths of substance use.

Substance use disorder is far more involved than a lack of willpower or weakness. It’s a disease that impacts a person’s brain to become dependent on a substance and have difficulty stopping usage. Addiction makes quitting challenging, even for individuals who want to recover.

Substances like crack cocaine will impact the person’s reward circuit in the brain, causing an overwhelming amount of positive or euphoric feelings to encourage the person to continue drug use to repeat these feelings. More aspects that the reward system control is a person’s eating or social interactions. As a person continues to use crack cocaine, the reward system will respond less and cause the individual to use more of the drug to feel the same effects.

What Causes Crack Cocaine Addiction?

A person will continue to regularly use the substance while knowing the adverse effects of crack cocaine because the use impacts the brain to crave the substance. Addiction is a chronic condition, which means that individuals can relapse after they reach sobriety. While relapse can happen, treatment can still be successful with various programs and ongoing care.

What Factors Makes Someone More Susceptible to Addiction?

A single factor doesn’t determine someone’s likelihood of substance use disorder. This disease can impact any person regardless of gender, race, age, occupation or religion. A combination of factors can potentially lead to someone using drugs and developing an addiction, including:

  • Genetics: Some individuals are genetically more likely to develop substance use disorder. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly half of a person’s risk for substance use is genetics. If someone has a parent or family member who has a history of addiction, they might be more likely to develop a substance addiction.
  • Dual diagnosis: A person may have a mental health condition and substance use disorder simultaneously. Sometimes their mental health condition can come before the substance use, making this another factor that leads to a person developing an addiction. People may also turn to substances to reduce the symptoms of their mental health condition, leading to regular use of the substance and addiction.
  • Environment: The environment that a person grows up in may increase their chances of substance use disorder. This is especially prevalent for adolescents and children. Growing up without parental involvement may lead them to experiment with substances at a young age. Adolescents are also susceptible to peer pressure to fit in or make friends.
  • Trauma: Individuals with a history of trauma or abuse may use substances like crack cocaine to deal with their emotions.
  • Method and drug choice: Some substances are more addictive than others, depending on their potency or use. Crack cocaine is more potent than many other substances, and with its quick onset of effects, the cycle of usage is fast.

Short and Long-Term Effects of Untreated Crack Cocaine Addiction

Short and Long-Term Effects of Untreated Crack Cocaine Addiction

Crack cocaine is a highly addictive and harmful substance. From the moment someone tries it, they have a chance to become addicted because of its intense and sudden onset of symptoms. Some of the effects of crack cocaine can impact various parts of a person’s health in the short and long term.

Individuals must find treatment programs for crack cocaine addiction to lessen the short and long-term effects of crack cocaine. Without treatment, this substance can take control of a person’s life and quickly deteriorate their health. While short-term effects might not seem serious, dealing with the potentially permanent long-term effects can alter a person’s life.

Short-Term Effects

Many people using crack cocaine don’t intend on losing control and developing an addiction. After trying crack cocaine, the euphoria or “high” that a person feels may persuade them to continue using to feel the same effect. Smoking crack cocaine provides an instant onset of effects, but they only last around five minutes. This might make people try and maintain their high by continually using the drug.

The short-term effects of using crack cocaine can be more intense than the effects of powdered cocaine. The method of use makes a difference in the strength of the drugs.

People will first experience these short-term health effects when using crack cocaine:

  • Euphoria or high
  • Intense energy or hyperactivity
  • Mania
  • Talkativeness
  • Increased confidence
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Drowsiness or exhaustion
  • Paranoia or anxiety
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Intense cravings for crack cocaine
  • Dilated pupils
  • Red eyes
  • Extreme emotional highs and lows
  • Increased breathing
  • Headache

Short-Term Effects

The onset feeling of euphoria can quickly turn to paranoia when the high begins to fade. The crack cocaine-induced paranoia can cause individuals to become aggressive and potentially become a danger to others.

Long-Term Effects

As the use of crack cocaine continues, the euphoric feelings become more challenging to obtain, and the health effects become more pronounced. The long-term effects of crack cocaine range in severity and impact their entire body. A person’s tolerance builds up over time, and they will begin to consume more crack cocaine. The high amounts of crack cocaine they use can impact their ability to stop using on their own.

A person must seek out crack cocaine treatment as soon as possible to prevent the long-term effects of substance use. Some long-term effects can become permanent health issues or potentially be life-threatening. Learn more about the specific areas in the body that these long-term effects impact and how a crack cocaine addiction can take a major toll on a person’s wellbeing.

Cardiovascular Effects

The effects of crack cocaine can take a toll on a person’s heart health. Increased risk of cardiovascular health problems can come just after a few uses of crack cocaine. This dangerous stimulant can alter the function quality of a person’s heart and blood vessels.

The cardiovascular effects include:

  • Hardening arteries: Crack cocaine use can cause the arteries and capillaries to harden. This condition isn’t noticeable right away, but it can cause heart disease and other heart issues in the long term.
  • Inflammation of heart muscles: Crack cocaine can inflame the heart muscles. When inflammation continues over time, the muscles can begin to harden. This makes the process of pumping blood difficult and can lead to life-threatening cardiovascular problems like heart failure.
  • Blood pressure: Crack cocaine use causes the heart to beat faster immediately. The substance also narrows the blood vessels and capillaries, putting more stress on the cardiovascular system. This combination increases blood pressure because the heart pumps harder to move blood throughout the constricted vessels and capillaries.
  • Heart attacks: All of the negative effects that target the cardiovascular system can lead to a cocaine-induced heart attack. The heart attack risk significantly increases with high blood pressure, hardened capillaries and blood vessels, inflamed heart muscles and other problems.

Cardiovascular Effects

Brain Problems

Crack cocaine can cause brain damage even after minimal use. This brain damage can potentially lead to addiction and other long-term effects on brain health.

The most significant aspect of the brain that crack cocaine impacts is a person’s mental health. The most common effects that people experience are changes in their moods and emotions. Some of the changes a person can experience include:

  • Restlessness
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Severe mood swings
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Psychosis

Mental illness goes hand in hand with substance use as a co-occurring disorder. Treatment facilities like Gateway Foundation can offer specific programs that help treat both crack cocaine addiction and mental health conditions. We can help with conditions that developed because of the addiction and those that occurred beforehand.

Crack cocaine use can also create physical changes in the brain. Since cocaine use impacts the cardiovascular system, those effects can cause problems in the brain like:

  • Headaches from restricted blood flow caused by damage to the arteries and veins
  • Seizures or seizure disorders from prolonged crack cocaine use
  • Blood clots, which can potentially cause a stroke
  • Dying neurons because of reduced glucose metabolism levels

Lung Problems

The primary use of crack cocaine is smoking. Smoking of any substance can damage the lungs and an array of issues, but the effects of crack cocaine can cause significant problems with the respiratory system.

When a person smokes crack cocaine, numerous changes in the lungs start happening quickly, like:

  • Blood vessels constrict in the lungs.
  • Oxygen has trouble entering the bloodstream because of damage to alveolar walls.
  • Capillaries break down and limit the amount of oxygen traveling throughout the body.

These changes cause a person to have a higher risk of getting various lung illnesses like tuberculosis or pneumonia. People who use this substance also experience a condition known as “crack lung.” Some of the symptoms of this condition include:

  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Increased body temperature
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Black sputum

Lung Problems

Kidney Damage

Crack cocaine can cause kidney failure and other complications with continual use. The substance’s effect on other areas — like the cardiovascular system — impacts blood flow, which can also cause issues with the kidneys.

Gastrointestinal Problems

The body’s gastrointestinal organs can suffer from repeated crack cocaine use. Ulcers can form as the pH level shifts from the cocaine, or the large intestine can experience inflammation, leading to serious digestive issues or death.

Weakened Immune System

With substance use disorder, a person’s health can begin to decline, and their immune system can weaken overall. Combining a weak immune system with a riskier lifestyle can introduce more illnesses.

How to Know What It’s Time for Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Taking the step to seek recovery is the best decision a person can make when they start struggling with substance use disorder. People may be hesitant about entering a treatment program because they don’t think their condition is serious enough or something terrible hasn’t occurred in their life yet. Any time is the right time to seek out help if you can’t control your urges for using crack cocaine.

How to Know What It's Time for Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment

You can tell if it’s the right time to seek treatment when you experience any of these 10 signs:

  1. Physical health problems: Any physical health effects can make visible changes to a person’s wellbeing. When serious health changes start happening, a person should reach out for treatment.
  2. Dependence on crack cocaine: A person needing treatment may show complete dependence on crack cocaine. They might not last an entire day without using the substance.
  3. Distancing oneself from loved ones: Distancing from family members, friends or partners because of crack cocaine use is a reason to seek treatment for substance use disorder.
  4. Losing interest in hobbies or likes: Disinterest in interests or hobbies and spending more time using crack cocaine is a reason to get treatment. Hobbies and activities provide satisfaction and happiness for many individuals, and losing that source of positivity is harmful for a person’s overall health.
  5. Lying about substance use: Trying hard to hide substance use or lying to loved ones about their whereabouts or crack cocaine use is a sign to seek treatment. Not feeling comfortable about sharing information on your substance use is a sign that you need to stop.
  6. Poor work or school performance: Important parts of a person’s life, like their job or schoolwork, can diminish with crack cocaine use. A person might start to miss deadlines or forget school assignments, resulting in poor grades or job loss.
  7. Experiencing legal troubles: If a person has multiple run-ins with the law because of their crack cocaine use, it is time to find a treatment center for their substance use disorder.
  8. Missing important obligations: Major life events like birthdays, graduations or significant work meetings are obligations that people wouldn’t miss if it meant a lot to them. Substance use disorder can cause individuals to prioritize substance use over events.
  9. The inability to quit on your own: People can lose all control over using crack cocaine, and getting treatment can help them take over their life again.
  10. Loved ones telling you to get help: When friends or family approach a person using crack cocaine and express their concern over their condition, seeking treatment can help get someone on the right track.

Types of Treatment Available for Crack Cocaine Addiction

Every person should receive unique treatment plans to handle their substance use disorder. Everyone has different backgrounds and lifestyles, so finding treatment services that benefit them the most can help make the treatment process more effective.

Gateway Foundation has various clinical treatment services and programs to care for patients struggling with crack cocaine addiction. Treatment services can help people understand why they developed a habit, teach healthy coping strategies and provide a safe space to express themselves. The staff is trained to offer excellent care and an environment that supports recovery and growth.

We have a few different styles of treatment services and programs that are available for crack cocaine addiction.

Types of Treatment Available for Crack Cocaine Addiction

Trauma Therapy Program

It’s common to see individuals with substance use disorder that stems from a history of trauma. People may choose to self-medicate with substances like crack cocaine to numb intense feelings or emotions surrounding their trauma. Participating in the Trauma Therapy program can help make the overall recovery process more effective by caring for all aspects of a person’s wellbeing.

Trauma Therapy programs are also beneficial to those dealing with co-occurring disorders. A person can progress down the path to recovery when they experience treatment that cover their crack cocaine use, mental health condition and underlying trauma.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program

A person’s behavior can influence their substance use disorder and how they handle the recovery process. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy program can help them learn techniques to understand and manage their behaviors in different situations.

The goal of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is to develop an open and accepting state of mind by practicing mindfulness. A person will learn ways to handle intense emotions and big life changes that can make them upset. People can benefit from this type of therapy by being aware of their feelings, controlling their behaviors and balancing their needs with everyone else’s.

Mindfulness-Based Sobriety

Learning how to accept the current situation and progress forward through tough times is the basis of the Mindfulness-Based Sobriety service. It’s a helpful service for people with a crack cocaine addiction who need to learn how to handle triggers and stay in control by recognizing what is happening in the moment.

Emotions, feelings and thoughts are all things that happen as a response to a trigger. Triggers may occur when a person is in recovery and gets a reminder about using crack cocaine. Mindfulness-Based Sobriety can help them react differently in the moment.

12 Step Facilitation

Diving into new treatment programs is a big step for some patients. It’s helpful to learn how certain processes work and how they can benefit a patient’s life. One of the programs they can participate in to help them learn about the curriculum of the 12 Step Program is 12 Step Facilitation.

The 12 Step Facilitation is beneficial to patients in multiple ways:

  • Counselors inform patients on the 12 Step concept and the program’s success.
  • The program provides the space to talk about experiences in the meetings.
  • Patients can benefit from quality support by attending meetings.
  • Each patient has a chance to ask questions or express concern about 12 Step meetings.
  • Facilitation reduces anxiety surrounding 12 Step meetings.

12 Step Facilitation

12 Step Support

The 12 Step Support program helps patients by offering access to lifelong support to continue succeeding over addiction.

The 12 Step Support program gives people the routine or structure to continue living a sober lifestyle. Substance use disorder is a chronic condition. Having the support and resources to continue living a life of control is precisely what some patients need to stay away from crack cocaine.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program

The root of some patients’ substance use disorder can be their values or thoughts. A program that can help individuals progress through recovery by targeting their values, thinking and beliefs is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program.

The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program will help patients change how they think about certain things and improve their behaviors. This short-term program can provide helpful coping skills for any life situations a person may face that impact their recovery.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivation is a helpful tool in numerous aspects of life, especially in recovery. One of the treatment services that can help a person find the encouragement to continue through the recovery process is Motivational Interviewing therapy.

Motivational Interviewing therapies are helpful for all patients, but the group that can benefit the most from the service is individuals who aren’t 100% sold on the thought of treatment. Motivational Interviewing can help them see the benefits of the treatment process and encourage them to stick with recovery.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance can be challenging during the recovery process. While it seems like a simple task, individuals overcoming substance use disorder may require more help accepting their feelings or processing what they’re going through. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy can give people the tools or space they need to feel comfortable taking in what’s going on throughout recovery.

The Process of Treating A Crack Cocaine Addiction

The treatment process that patients experience at Gateway Foundation for their crack cocaine addiction will follow a similar outline. Individual treatment plans will differ based on the severity of their addiction and their life schedules.

Withdrawal Management

Patients typically don’t show physical symptoms on withdrawal with cocaine, but mental withdrawal is challenging in the first stage of treatment. The cycle of using the substance becomes so routine, and patients will crave the effects of the substance.

Withdrawal Management can help patients handle the first couple of days without the substance. After withdrawal, they can dive into all of the other treatment programs that will help them through recovery.

Inpatient Treatment

Residential inpatient treatment is an excellent option when patients need 24/7 supervision and immediate access to medical care. Patients who need additional support getting through recovery can benefit from the immersive experience of residential treatment for crack cocaine addiction. Individuals will benefit from the comfort knowing they have access to mental health professionals and medical care whenever they need it during recovery.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

Partial Hospitalization Programs

For those who need structure in their treatment plan but have a stable support system at home, partial hospitalization programs can be a great option for recovery. Partial hospitalization programs have a similar schedule to work or school — the patient is at the treatment facility for most of their day, then returns home for the night. Patients can recover from a crack cocaine addiction without having to give up the comfort of their home or being away from their support system.

Outpatient Treatment

Participating in outpatient treatment provides patients with the opportunity to pursue recovery without having to put their life on the backburner. Patients can still attend work, school and other obligations while going through treatments. Many individuals appreciate outpatient therapy because they still receive support, and it allows them to have flexibility with their treatment schedule.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Similar to outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment provides patients with the opportunity to continue their obligations while making recovery a priority. These programs require patients to attend more treatment programs throughout the week to continue fighting hard to progress through recovery.

Sober Living Programs

Stepping into the world after treatment can happen too soon for some patients, so sober living programs are available to help ease the transition. Sober living homes can provide patients with a structure living situation after treatment, keep them safe, reduce stress and provide privacy to ease back into society on their own.

The Benefits of Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Participating in crack cocaine use treatment is the best decision to improve your lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Some benefits that people will experience from treatment include:

  • Stopping the cycle of addiction
  • Figuring out underlying issues of addiction
  • Learning about substance use disorder and the causes
  • Developing new habits
  • Creating healthy boundaries

Frequently Asked Questions About Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Frequently Asked Questions About Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Want to learn more about the process for crack cocaine rehabilitation? We answer some of the most common questions people have regarding crack cocaine treatment.

Can You Recover from a Crack Cocaine Addiction?

Yes. Crack cocaine treatment programs can help individuals overcome their substance use disorder.

Can You Treat Crack Cocaine Addiction with Medication?

There are currently no medications that help treat cocaine addiction.

How Do I Find a Crack Cocaine Treatment Center?

You can find the 16 Gateway Foundation crack cocaine rehab centers in Illinois and determine which location is closest to you for treatment.

Contact Gateway Foundation for Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment in Illinois

Contact Gateway Foundation for Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment in Illinois

Receive crack cocaine addiction treatment in Chicago, Illinois, with Gateway Foundation. Our rehabilitation centers provide numerous treatment services to help you or a loved one conquer their crack cocaine use. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and services.