The Culture of Crack
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted in 2010 revealed that nearly nine million Americans over the age of 12 reported abusing crack cocaine during their lives. About one million said that they had indulged in the drug in the past year. Though not everyone who abuses crack and other forms of cocaine will go on to form a psychological and physical dependence upon the drug, many will fall victim to the vicious cycle of craving more of the drug set off by the first hit.
Many, in fact, find it impossible to stop abusing crack and ultimately develop an addiction that dismantles their life piece by piece. The safest and most effective way to handle the situation once it develops is to enroll in a rehabilitation program that focuses on providing patients with the medical and psychotherapeutic care they need to create a new life for themselves based on healthy choices that facilitate moving forward in a positive direction.
If you or someone you care about is living with a dependence upon the drug, don’t wait to contact us. Our counselors are standing by to assist you in the process of finding a drug rehab that is best suited to your needs. Call now for more information.
Who Needs Help
A variety of behavioral signs and patterns can indicate that abuse and addiction is an issue. In many cases, these issues can become a recognizable problem relatively soon after the onset of drug abuse. According to an article published in the Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry [1999 August; 1(4): 109–113], psychological signs and symptoms are often the most serious issues experienced by patients that are addicted.
The Signs and Symptoms of Crack Addiction
- Financial problems. One hit is inexpensive when compared to the cost of other drugs, but most users crave more of the substance within just a few minutes of smoking that one hit. Many users spend hundreds of dollars a day on the drug and, as a result, rarely have any money.
- Legal problems. A lack of money puts many patients in the position of needing to commit illegal acts like stealing, prostitution or selling drugs in order to get more of what they need.
- Nocturnal patterns of behavior. Many patients abuse it all day and well into the night and early morning. The stimulant effect of the drug can cause disruptive sleep patterns long after the initial effects of the drug wear off.
- Weight loss. Few who use regularly eat well or often. The stimulant also boosts metabolism and the combination of the issues can mean a noticeable weight loss in a short period.
- Obsession with the drug. Those who are addicted pursue little else. Their primary focus is on getting more of the drug, staying high, and avoiding events and people who would get in the way of that.
- Paranoia. Many who abuse the drug are paranoid and suspicious of the motives of others.
- Violent or erratic behavior. Many under the influence react violently or unexpectedly to any perceived threat.
- Suicidal or homicidal thoughts or behaviors. Due to the combination of irrational thoughts, delusions, hallucinations and other signs of psychosis, some patients addicted to crack may become suicidal or homicidal.
The Intake Process
The first step that patients will undergo upon entering a rehab facility involves a process known as “intake.” Patients and/or their loved ones will complete any necessary paperwork and logistical concerns will be handled as the patient is admitted to the program. If it is a residential program, patients may have their bags checked to ensure that they are complying with house rules and have no contraband items in their possession. Once the intake process has been completed, patients generally receive a room assignment and facilities tour as they settle in and acclimate themselves to their surroundings.
Diagnostic and Drug Testing
Diagnostic testing may be performed in order to obtain a baseline for treatment, including drug testing and mental health assessments.
In order to provide safe, effective medical treatment, new patients may meet with a psychiatrist as well as a physician in order to discuss their drug and mental health history. Where a diagnosis already exists, the medical team can work to provide continuity of care or to create a new program that includes treatment for underlying issues when no treatment exists. If no diagnosis exists but symptoms indicate a co-occurring disorder, the diagnostic team can provide the patient with everything they need to begin the process of treating the issue in addition to treating the issue of crack addiction.
Crack cocaine is very psychologically addictive, due in part to the fact that most users feel an intense depression and craving for more of the drug as soon as it starts to wear off, according to the NIDA International Program.
In order to fight psychologically addictive, feelings, many patients simply take more of the drug, which starts them on a cycle of use and abuse that often ends in addiction.
The first step in treatment is detox. Medication can be given during the detox process to help with the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. The physical issues can include fatigue, anger, sleep problems, muscle pain, nausea, anxiety, irritability, depression and more. It may take several days before a person is well enough to join a treatment group. Ideally, a rehab program will have an in-house detox facility. This creates a seamless connection between detox and treatment.
Effective 12-Step Programs
The 12-step philosophy of addiction recovery has been around for decades. It focuses on helping patients to remain personally accountable, focus on spiritual growth, make amends to those they hurt during active addiction, and admit a lack of control over the addiction. Those struggling with dependence upon crack may benefit from Cocaine Anonymous meetings, the 12-step program dedicated to those fighting an addiction to this substance specifically, but any 12-step meeting including those sponsored by Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous can help.
Many rehab programs base their treatment approach upon the 12-step philosophy. Addicts are encouraged and sometimes required to attend 12-step groups during and after treatment. The use of a 12-step approach makes the transition from rehab to real life a little bit simpler.
Holistic and alternative therapies are often incorporated into traditional programs or used as the primary foundation of many high-end treatment facilities. Addiction treatment services like acupuncture, acupressure, meditation and other options have been shown to aid in the healing process and help patients to create a more well-rounded foundation in recovery, according to a study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs [2003 Apr-Jun;35(2):247-51]. The exploration of the authentic self also helps patients to be more open and honest in the psychotherapeutic aspect of their treatment program and can be effective in helping them make greater strides overall in treatment.
Crack is such a powerful and damaging drug that it hurts more than just the patient struggling with the addiction.
Addiction to the substance can shatter families, destroy the health of babies born to addicted mothers, and put an undue burden on the community at large. The financial devastation and emotional trauma that occurs when close family members are forced to deal with the erratic behavior, paranoia, theft, and other problems related to addiction can be difficult to come back from – unless family therapy is provided during the course of treatment. This allows family members to express their concerns and fears, address specific past issues, and learn how to more effectively interact and request what they need in preparation for when the recovering patient returns home.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is often the therapeutic model of choice at recovery programs and applied during the personal therapy and counseling sessions, according to A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach: Treating Cocaine Addiction. These sessions are integrated into an overall treatment program and repeated once or twice a week, providing patients with a constant in their recovery that allows them to continually address underlying issues and check in to make sure that they are making progress.
The patient-therapist relationship is vital to progress in drug treatment.
Counselors take time to work with the recovering patient on his or her recovery plan, discuss family issues, and make sure their drug rehab experience is personalized. Addicts need this safe place to share, learn to trust, and be genuine with someone. When they trust that someone can understand and accept them right where they are, they can truly move forward in their recovery.
Group counseling is a staple of drug addiction treatment, providing patients with a forum to practice their new skills of positive interpersonal relationships while gleaning additional guidance and advice from peers who are undergoing the same struggles with family, addiction, and building a new life for themselves. According to TIP 41Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), many patients isolate themselves during their addiction, and group sessions offer them the opportunity to be genuine, be personally accountable, and to provide support for others.
Like everything in treatment, patients are expected to follow the rules established by the counselor and the group. They can choose when to share and when to just listen – this choice empowers them to create healthy personal boundaries in social relationships at their own pace.
Fitness and Nutritional Guidance
Healthy living is an important emphasis in any well-rounded treatment program.
Patients who learn how to make every choice a positive one more quickly achieve a balanced content that serves their continued abstinence. From group sports and personal training to activities such as yoga and Pilates, many treatment centers provide fitness instruction for patients. Additionally, nutritional guidance is provided in addition to the balanced and nutritious meals prepared and served in group dining settings. Sometimes, nutritional assessments aided by the use of natural supplements will be offered, aimed at restoring the body’s natural chemical balance and promoting healing during recovery from crack addiction.
Life Skills Training
In order to guard against relapse, life skills training is often offered by treatment centers to facilitate healthier coping mechanisms for the future. This training can involve stress reduction strategies, meditation and visualization techniques, anger management training and nonviolent communication skills. Time management skills instruction and organization methods may also be implemented in order to facilitate productivity and reduce daily pressures.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Dual Diagnosis treatment is now offered in some traditional drug rehabs in order to provide care for those diagnosed with both addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder. Some specialty rehab centers focus exclusively on Dual Diagnosis clients. Mental illness and drug addiction are treated simultaneously as best practice guidelines recommend.
Licensed counselors who specialize in Dual Diagnosis treatment coordinate each person’s treatment.
Mental illness treatment can involve individual counseling, medication, and sometimes group therapy, according to an article published in the American Journal on Addictions [2007 Sep-Oct;16(5):343-51]. Crack addiction treatment includes drug detox when necessary, individual and group sessions, and 12-step activities.
Sober living homes are about helping addicts transition from drug rehab to independent living.
This can be especially difficult for some, particularly those with a crack addiction. Crack is so strongly addictive, so life-altering, a recovering addict may need time to figure out their life direction.
Sober homes require an addict to hold a job, pay rent, take care of their belongings, pitch in with cleaning responsibilities, and demonstrate compliance with the rules. The freedoms that come along with a sober home arrangement are paired with clear responsibilities. Residents are also expected to attend 12-step support groups and other treatment as necessary.
An addict’s drug rehab experience can affect them for years after they’ve left the program. Many want to give back to the recovery community that helped them so much and reconnect with people important to their recovery.
More drug rehab programs are offering alumni activities and associations. Drug rehab alumni can socialize, reconnect with their mentors and renew their spirit of addiction recovery. Alumni involvement perpetuates the concept that recovery is for a lifetime.
Triggers, relapse risks, health problems, financial problems – all of these can be incorporated into an addict’s personal recovery plan.
Crack addiction can turn a person’s life around completely. Thankfully, drug counselors spend time talking with recovering crack addicts about how they can live a sober life after rehab. Recovery planning is vital to anyone dealing with a crack addiction.
Patients do not have to come up with a plan on their own. Drug counselors and addicts collaborate on recovery plans at drug rehab. By the time a crack addict is ready to leave the drug rehab program, they have a good roadmap for following a sober path through life.
Find Out More About Crack Rehab
About 8.1 percent of those admitted to drug rehabs in the United States seek treatment for crack addiction specifically, according to the National Institutes of Health. If you or someone you care about is struggling with crack addiction, a rehabilitation program can help.
Contact us at the phone number listed above in order to learn more about your treatment options and be matched with a program that provides the amenities you need to begin a new life after addiction.