Crack Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Crack cocaine withdrawal can be miserable and very uncomfortable.

Crack cocaine withdrawal can be miserable and very uncomfortable.

Many people who abuse crack cocaine do so simply to ward off the withdrawal symptoms that persist when the drug is no longer present in the system. Crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms are mostly psychological in nature but there are also some physical symptoms to deal with as well making the process of detoxifying and staying sober when addicted to crack a difficult process. Users are likely to feel a number of different symptoms that make staying sober a challenge.

Effects of Crack Cocaine

Users who smoke crack will instantly feel the high. Unfortunately, this high will wear off in a matter of about ten minutes leaving the user “chasing the dragon” in an effort to get his or her next hit of crack cocaine. The effects of crack cocaine include:

  • increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • headaches and increased hallucinations
  • lack of appetite and weight loss

When crack abuse stops abruptly, the user will often feel the symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms make staying sober difficult for the user because intense cravings quickly take over causing the crack addict to desire nothing more than additional drugs to get high on.


Craving more drugs is one of the most common symptoms of crack cocaine withdrawal. People who are addicted to crack cocaine and who suffer from withdrawal symptoms report the intense cravings for the drug as the primary reason that they go back to the drug time and time again. Intense cravings can stick with a crack cocaine user for many years after they make the decision to stay sober and this leaves the recovering addict vulnerable to relapse for the rest of his or her life.

Additional Crack Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

Aside from the intense cravings that a user will have when he or she stops using crack cocaine, there is also a great risk for other withdrawal symptoms to derail the abstinence and recovery process. Smoking crack can lead to the following withdrawal symptoms when the user quits:

  • heightened anxiety and increased risk of paranoia
  • psychosis which may not go away even after a user remains sober for many years
  • lethargy and increased tiredness
  • shaking and tremors which could also lead to seizures
  • heart attack or stroke
  • weakened vital organs or organ failure

For most recovering addicts, the most difficult to cope with symptoms of crack cocaine withdrawal are those related to the psychological desire to continue to use drugs. Users may find that they want to stay sober but every time a stressful situation arises they feel the desire or urge to smoke crack. These intense cravings can persist for the user long after they have been sober and remained abstinent. Unfortunately, the withdrawal symptoms associated with crack cocaine addiction, though not the most difficult to cope with physically, are very difficult to cope with mentally and they are equally as difficult to treat. Treatment for crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms takes time and it takes added commitment from both the addict and the counselor or treatment professional involved in his or her recovery process.

If you or someone you know is addicted to crack cocaine or if withdrawal symptoms have caused you to relapse instead of staying sober, it may be time to seek professional help. There are treatment options available to assist you in recovery from withdrawal and the addiction to cocaine itself. Help is always just a phone call away.

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