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Crack cocaine can be a serious and deadly problem for many individuals, requiring treatment to recover and prevent adverse effects. That includes overdose and death. However, people lack faith in the effectiveness of using individual therapy to treat substance use disorder (SUD). Before experiencing the benefits of individual therapy, people must recognize the signs of crack cocaine dependency within themselves. Once they do, they can seek treatment and begin to heal and recover. 

Professionals can help determine the signs, symptoms, and long-term effects of crack cocaine. If you or someone you love is struggling, professional help is critical. Crack cocaine can be lethal, and the proper treatment services are life-saving. Consider West Coast Recovery Centers to help you through this difficult time and begin your healing journey. 

What Is Crack Cocaine?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NDIA) describes cocaine as a “powerfully addictive stimulant drug.” Though it can be administered by a doctor for legitimate medical uses, it is typically bought on the street for illicit use. Furthermore, many drug dealers will cut cocaine with other substances – such as heroin – making it even more dangerous. 

Crack cocaine causes a number of effects, including: 

  • Feelings of euphoria 
  • Rapid breathing 
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure 
  • Extreme alertness and high energy 
  • Insomnia or other sleep disturbances 
  • Appetite loss 

Crack can also cause potential long-term effects that can be dangerous and life-threatening, such as: 

  • Severe damage to the lungs and respiratory system 
  • Increased risk of obtaining infectious diseases 
  • Malnutrition from appetite loss 
  • Mouth burns caused by smoking a hot pipe 
  • Damage to other parts of the body, including major organs like the heart, liver, or kidneys 

Preventing these long-term consequences and seeking treatment requires people to understand the risks of the substance they are using. We often hear the term “crack cocaine,” but some may be unaware of whether or not there is a difference between the two.  

Cocaine, Crack, and Crack Cocaine: What Is the Difference?

Crack is a crystal form of cocaine that people commonly use by heating and smoking it. Whereas cocaine is typically used in powder form, smoking crack creates a quicker and more intense high. Crack is not only the most powerful form of cocaine, but it is also the most dangerous. It is highly addictive because it causes such an intense high quickly. Even just a single use can cause individuals to become dependent. 

Crack and cocaine are distinguished because of the difference in the type of high produced. But, at the end of the day, both can be highly addictive and extremely dangerous, with cocaine being involved in almost one in five overdose deaths. So, how can treatment help? 

How Is a Crack Cocaine Dependency Treated?

Crack cocaine dependency can be treated through several clinical modalities and holistic techniques. That includes inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), group therapy, yoga, and mindfulness and meditation. The key is creating a treatment plan individualized to each client. 

Cocaine addiction, in general, can be treated through medication-assisted treatment (MAT), too. Specific medications help manage withdrawal symptoms and can potentially improve the long-term outcomes of treatment for many clients. But at the core of treatment is behavioral interventions. 

Behavioral interventions can be effective in outpatient programs and more effective in combination with MAT. Some evidence-based modalities may include motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and contingency management (CM)

In any case, behavioral interventions do take a lot of time, energy, and persistence. You will not see results overnight, so it can be somewhat discouraging to go through the process. But the end results can prove beneficial for your long-term recovery. 

What Is Individual Therapy?

Individual therapy is when a client meets with a therapist, but it looks different for everyone. At West Coast Recovery Centers, our clients meet with one upon intake to complete a personalized assessment. These evaluations assess for depression, trauma, anxiety, and other concerns.  

Upon completion of these assessments, clients will begin individual therapy at least once a week. Clients receive an individualized treatment plan and work toward goals that address their crack cocaine dependency and mental health symptoms. 

Treating Crack Cocaine Dependency Through Individual Therapy

As mentioned, CM and CBT are effective looks in helping people recover from crack cocaine dependence. CM can help clients remain in their treatment programs and stay sober. CBT can help clients identify negative thinking patterns and change them. It also teaches clients how to cope with triggers and emotions that lead to substance use. 

Some of the other benefits of individual therapy are:  

  • Allows clients to better understand themselves 
  • Helps individuals identify and cope with triggers 
  • Improve communication skills 
  • Offers opportunities to practice mindfulness 
  • Teaches coping skills to help clients manage triggers and mental illness symptoms 

Crack cocaine dependency is when someone becomes addicted to a crystal form of cocaine that is highly dangerous. Because it is so addictive, a single use can cause someone to become dependent on it, and if left untreated, it can cause a number of problems with your mental and physical health. Treatments for crack cocaine vary from medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to behavioral interventions. Though some may not have faith in the effectiveness of individual therapy, treatments like contingency management (CM) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are proven effective in treating crack addiction. Call West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509 to learn more about our individual therapy programs and seek treatment for crack addiction today.  

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