Crack cocaine, a CNS stimulant, is one of the most highly addictive substances available today. It is a smokable form of cocaine made by adding baking soda and water to pure cocaine and cooking it to form little smokable rocks. It is a freebase form of cocaine and produces a very quick, short-lived, intense euphoria when it is smoked.

Crack cocaine stimulates dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain, to produce pleasure and an intense euphoric feeling. Since the high you get from crack cocaine is very short-lived, intense cravings begin after the first hit is taken. The withdrawal symptoms from crack cocaine are a lot harder to manage with than regular cocaine.

Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Withdrawal

Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Withdrawal

Symptoms of crack cocaine withdrawal occur after someone uses the drug and then abruptly stops, and symptoms can even begin occurring when there is still some drug left in one’s system.

The National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus “Cocaine withdrawal” publication says the following:


Cocaine produces a sense of euphoria (extreme mood elevation) by causing the brain to release higher than normal amounts of some chemicals. But, cocaine’s effects on other parts of the body can be very serious, or even deadly. When cocaine use is stopped or when a binge ends, a crash follows almost right away. The cocaine user has a strong craving for more cocaine during a crash. Other symptoms include fatigue, lack of pleasure, anxiety, irritability, sleepiness, and sometimes agitation or extreme suspicion, or paranoia. Cocaine withdrawal often has no visible physical symptoms, such as the vomiting and shaking that accompany withdrawal from heroin or alcohol. (MEDLINEPLUS.GOV)

Crack cocaine is more of a psychologically addictive drug than anything, but the withdrawal can still be absolutely debilitating. Some of the symptoms of crack cocaine withdrawal can include:


  • Body aches
  • Paranoia and hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Severe fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Intense cravings
  • Lack of motivation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depression
  • Increased appetite
  • Feeling of discomfort
  • Vivid and unpleasant dreams

The duration and severity of the withdrawal symptoms depends on a number of factors. The longer a person has used the drug, the more difficult and intense the withdrawal symptoms can be. Also, long-term crack cocaine use can cause depression and cravings that can continue for months.

PAWS or post-acute withdrawal syndrome can occur in someone that has used crack cocaine long-term. Protracted withdrawal is a group of psychological symptoms that can occur for months after a person’s last use. Depression, cravings, trouble coping with emotions, impulse control issues, and difficulty managing emotions are all symptoms of PAWS. Some people can even experience suicidal thoughts during this time.

What Causes the Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Withdrawal?

As stated above, crack cocaine is a stimulant. It causes a flood of dopamine to be released in the brain when used. This surge of dopamine creates intense feelings of pleasure, increased energy, alertness, and euphoria, and over a period of time, a tolerance is developed.

This tolerance means the individual needs more and more of the drug to experience the initial high they got. Once they stop using, dopamine levels drastically decrease causing extreme fatigue, depression, and feelings of discomfort. This is typically referred to as a “crash”.

Signs of Crack Cocaine Detox

Since crack cocaine is predominantly a psychological addiction, a lot of people attempt or think they can quit by themselves, so they don’t seek out treatment. Crack cocaine is an extremely difficult addiction to beat on your own. Detox and treatment are best done under the care of medical professionals and those licensed in addiction treatment.

Doctors in treatment facilities are equipped to handle the detox by prescribing medications to offset the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Some of the medications that are commonly given during detox may include clonidine for sleep, anxiety, and high blood pressure, gabapentin for seizures, anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness, propranolol for anxiety, Trazodone for sleep, Seroquel for sleep, Vigabatrin for anxiety, and Vistaril for anxiety.

Treatment for Crack Cocaine Addiction

If you or someone you love are looking for a brand-new life free from a crack cocaine addiction, our Crack Abuse Resources are the helpline to call for crack cocaine addiction help. This website provides resources to overcome cocaine and crack addiction.

You don’t ever have to go through this process alone, there are people with valuable resources that can help you. Get in touch with a professional at, and they will help you find the best course of action or treatment for your situation.

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Cocaine Addiction Help and Recovery Resources

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