Crack detox timeline: How long to detox from crack?


Crack or crack cocaine is crystallized the form of cocaine.  When it is heated and then smoked, it causes cracking or popping sounds…hence the name crack.  It is the most potent form that cocaine appears, which causes it to be even more addicting.  Smoking crack will reach the brain faster, but is a very short-lived high, about 15 minutes.  A crack addict can be formed from the first time smoking it.  But this article from is not about the during, it is about what happens to your body when you are ready to detox from crack and how long it will take.

Crack detox duration and length

The duration of time it takes to withdraw from crack and the intensity of symptoms varies from person to person. Generally, the first withdrawal symptoms appear within couple of hours after the last dose and persist for few days, peaking about 72 hours after last dose. Following the first week or two after stopping, the brain struggles to regain normalcy and produces intense cravings. And it is common for protracted – or post-acute – withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) to persist for months after initial detox.

The total time you spend during acute crack detox will depend on a number of factors including:

  • amount of use
  • duration (over time) of use
  • frequency of use
  • level of cocaine dependency
  • your general health

Crack detox timeline and schedule

Once a person stops using crack there are predictable patterns that characterize the post-cessation period:

0-72 hours

The period between the first hours to 3-4 days after the last dose is known as the “crash” period and is characterized by the presence of symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, sleepiness and intense cravings. The individual may also feel depressed and have suicidal thoughts, so being surrounded by medical professionals and/or close friends and family is highly recommended.

Weeks 1-2

Compulsive behavior persists in the first two weeks after cessation, but decreases as days pass by. During this period, the brain is struggling to adjust to the absence of cocaine and severe cravings can be triggered by thoughts, behaviors, or even smells. Individuals may manifest hostile and impulsive behavior and feel irritated and moody. They could also have trouble concentrating, increased appetite and experience vivid dreams.

Weeks 3-4

This phase is known as the honeymoon phase. Cocaine cravings gradually reduce and mood improves. Individuals feel energetic, confident and full of optimism. They want to go back to normal life feeling as if they have kicked the habit. However, it has been estimated that two-thirds of relapse in drug abuse cases takes place within 3 months post-treatment. Further, the treatment of protracted withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) should not be disregarded as this is another critical point when relapse is very likely to occur. For these reasons, ongoing psychological treatment is imperative after acute detox occurs.

How long to detox from crack?

It can take months to fully detox from crack and manage cravings for cocaine. How long crack withdrawal can last is highly individual. Crack damages brain functions and it may take three to six months after acute detox is finished for the brain to restore normal functioning. The symptoms that occur in the phase are known as Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) and in most cases these decrease over time. The most common symptoms of PAWS usually include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • insomnia

To read more here.

The detox from crack is not going to be the easiest thing you will ever do in your life, but the results can be life saving!  If you would like to speak to someone about getting help from your addiction, please contact Bridgeway Behavioral Health at 866-758-1152 or visiting us online

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