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Crack Addiction Treatment

Crack addiction can affect individuals of all ages, races, and backgrounds. Breaking free from the physical and psychological effects of this powerfully addictive drug requires having the right skills and resources to manage your recovery.

Using crack cocaine can lead to severe and even deadly health consequences. Those ready to undergo cocaine addiction treatment can find comprehensive support and care through Next Step Recovery in Asheville, NC. Our multi-therapy approach gives patients the tools they need to conquer crack cocaine addiction.

What Is Crack Cocaine?

Crack cocaine is a derivative of cocaine, a stimulant drug that doctors used in the early 1900s to treat illnesses. However, as the negative consequences of cocaine became apparent, it earned classification as a Schedule II drug. Schedule II drugs are known to be highly addictive and have an increased potential for abuse.

While regular cocaine appears in powder form, crack is a rock or crystal. Crack cocaine combines baking soda, water, and cocaine. The mixture is boiled down until it forms a solid rock. The resulting substance earned its name from the crackling noise it produces when heated.

Crack cocaine is often consumed by heating the rock in a glass pipe and smoking the vapors. However, some users inject the drug after dissolving the rock in an acidic solution. Both methods offer instant euphoria, as the drug’s chemicals reach the brain faster and more directly than powdered cocaine.

However, the high resulting from crack cocaine use only lasts five to ten minutes, so people tend to return to the drug to recreate its initial effects repeatedly.

How Does Crack Affect the Body?

Crack targets the dopamine system, increasing the production of the neurotransmitter. Since dopamine is part of the brain’s reward and pleasure response, the dopamine dump results in euphoria.

In addition, cocaine use stops the brain’s breakdown of dopamine, increasing the euphoric feelings even more and serving as a powerful draw for addiction.

The Effects of Crack Cocaine on Your Health​

Crack has severe short and long-term effects on your health and your life.

Short-Lived Effects of Crack Use

The method of cocaine use impacts the intensity of the drug. The initial effects of using crack cocaine include:

  • Euphoria
  • Increased activity and energy
  • Talkativeness
  • Reduced appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • Extreme confidence
  • Insomnia
  • Dilated pupils and red eyes
  • High body temperature and blood pressure
  • Paranoia
  • Engaging in risky behaviors


The initial high of crack cocaine can quickly turn to paranoia. Those experiencing crack-related paranoia may become aggressive or engage in violent behavior.

Long-Term Effects of Crack Addiction

Through continued use, individuals can build a tolerance to crack cocaine, requiring more of the drug to experience the initial high of early drug use. As a person uses increased amounts of crack, the drug addiction leads to permanent or life-threatening consequences. These negative consequences affect entire systems of the body and include:

  • Permanent blood vessel damage from increased blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Organ damage, especially to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys
  • Respiratory issues
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures


Crack cocaine is often mixed with other drugs and substances known as cutting agents to increase a dealer’s profit. Therefore, those who use crack may also be consuming other substances, including heroin, amphetamines, fentanyl, and more.

What Are the Symptoms of Crack Addiction?

Those who develop an addiction to crack cocaine experience physical and psychiatric symptoms. Once you identify the signs of crack cocaine addiction, it’s critical to seek treatment immediately.

Physical Symptoms of Cocaine Use Disorders

The physical symptoms attributed to crack cocaine addiction include excessive, manic energy bursts and times of significant fatigue. Sleep habits become irregular, and those who use the drug may become unable to maintain other obligations like school or work.

The increased neural stimulation of cocaine abuse can cause tremors or jittery shakiness in the extremities that can persist after the effects of the drug wear off.

Psychiatric Symptoms of Cocaine Use Disorders

The symptoms of crack cocaine addiction that affect mood, emotions, and mental health include unpredictable, violent mood swings, severe depression, paranoia, anxiety, and hallucinations.

Crack Cocaine Withdrawal

Due to the intensity and severity of crack addiction, it’s essential to seek the help of a professional qualified to treat cocaine addiction. Crack cocaine abuse can lead to permanent physical and psychological damage and death.

Crack addiction treatment begins with ceasing the physical need for the drug. As withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous, initial addiction treatment should begin in a hospital or treatment facility under medical care.

Crack addiction withdrawal symptoms can include aches and pains, fever, diarrhea, desperation, chest pain, and suicidal tendencies. A medical facility can ease symptoms with medications approved to reduce the stress of withdrawal.

Crack Cocaine Outpatient Addiction Treatment

After thoroughly detoxifying from crack cocaine addiction, some patients may be candidates for outpatient programs and therapies that foster recovery and reduce the risk of drug abuse relapse.

Next Steps Recovery offers multiple options for patients seeking to break the cycle of addiction. Each of our programs offers a different level of care to meet each person fighting addiction at the proper point in their recovery.

IOP offers those who struggle with substance abuse a transitional step between inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment. The 12-week program gives patients extra support when substance abuse relapse is most common.

IOP at Next Step Recovery offers group and individual therapy and 12-step immersion to reduce the risk of relapse or further drug abuse. Housed within our transitional living program, this comprehensive program provides support for those struggling with the complications of addiction.

Next Step Recovery’s SACOT program helps those who struggle with addiction and mental health concerns. While SACOT is as intense and immersive as an inpatient program, participants can return home daily.

SACOT meets five days a week, allowing clients to receive the treatment and therapy needed while maintaining relationships with family members and supportive friends.

The outpatient treatment program at Next Step Recovery meets on weekday mornings for thirty days to provide patients with various therapies that foster healthy habits and behaviors.

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Sandy Stader

Medically Reviewed By Susan Stader MS, LCMH, LCAS, CCS

Susan Stader is the founder and director of Next Step Recovery and NSR of Asheville, an Intensive Outpatient Program and a Long-term Extended Care program in Asheville, NC. She received her Master’s in Community Counseling in 2004 at Western Carolina University and went on to get her licensure in addictions and mental health counseling. Susan believes that treatment should be gender-specific and offered in a small setting. Small recovery communities, such as hers, are more intimate and effective in overall client satisfaction and care.

Reach Out Today

Recovery is a lifelong journey, but you don’t need to take it alone. At Next Step Recovery, we give you the tools and support you need to get through early sobriety and find lasting healing. It is our goal to empower our patients to be their best selves and live the life they deserve.

If you have any questions about our programs, methods, insurance, or anything else, reach out to us today. We look forward to helping you to get started along the road to recovery!

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Our goal is to help you overcome your addiction and develop the tools you need for a sustainable recovery. Give us a call to learn more about our addiction treatment programs for men.