Crack Addiction Treatment
As a powerful central nervous system stimulant, crack affects numerous neurotransmitter systems, but, through its interaction with dopamine in the brain, it produces its most important effects including reinforcement of use.
Relapse potentials are high because many individuals who, although they have been abstinent for years, cravings can easily be triggered by cues or stimuli such as seeing substance using friends, locations associated with use, paraphernalia, emotions, moods, stress, or the use of other substances such as alcohol. When relapse occurs in a crack addict, there is a high probability that they will descend back to into their hard-core addictive state rapidly.
Treatment for a crack cocaine addiction must be able to address the unique aspects of the person with comprehensive treatments to cover their physical, emotional, and psychological health issues as well as any environmental or personal factors that would inhibit their recovery.
Withdrawals from crack are more profound psychologically than they are physically including cravings, anxiety, paranoia, depression, suicidal tendencies, or psychosis. Detox safety is a primary concern that addresses both the physical and mental states with compassionate care providing the medical, psychiatric, and pharmacological interventions whenever necessary.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Presently, there are no FDA-approved medications to treat cocaine addiction.” However, adjunct medications may be used to help reduce pain, anxiety, seizures, or other problems.
Counseling and Psychosocial Services
Crack addicts are exposed to many environmental issues that impact their abilities to live normal, satisfying, lives. They may be poly substance abusers, homeless, unemployable, have family, legal, medical, psychological, or social problems that need to be addressed for them to maximize their treatment opportunities.
Individual, family, and group counseling are important elements of treatment to help the addict to identify problematic behaviors and to provide guidance and support for their personal goals of recovery.
Psychosocial services can help to decrease the negative aspects of the crack addiction, increase functioning abilities, and sustain abstinence. They may involve medical and psychiatric services, or assistance with vocational, educational, employment, domestic, legal, housing, financial, or social issues.
Many of the reinforcing aspects of crack addiction involve learned and practiced behaviors combined with the physiological changes that cause ongoing cravings and uncontrollable use. Behavioral interventions can help the addict identify, avoid, and cope with situations where they may be likely to use and to avoid the high risk situations to prevent relapse.
Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the interactions between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors to help the addict identify and change maladaptive thoughts to positive and appropriate ones, consequentially changing their behaviors.
Contingency management therapy helps the addict achieve abstinence while promoting treatment retention by providing rewards for behaviors and goal achievements or accomplishments throughout the treatment progress.
Support groups help to prevent relapses by bringing people who share common interests of addiction together to share concerns, learn, and help sustain each other as they continue in their long term recovery efforts.