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Old 08-23-2003, 08:59 AM   #1 (permalink)

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What are the withdrawal symptoms of Crack

My husband used cocaine 20 years ago, long before I met him. He said he was a heavy user but managed to stop. We have been together for over 13 years. For the first 8 years he used alchol & pot moderately. In the 2 years his use use of alchol & pot has been steadily increasing. I found that I was drinking far too much & went into detox & started going to AA. On New Years eve he went partying with friends & family (I stayed until midnight then took my daughter home). He decided that he didn't want to end the night & decided to go looking for crack. Of course he came home in the morning with a BS story but later confessed everything that had happened with the promise that he would never do it again.

Needless to say it didn't stop, instead in the last 8 months it has escalated into a full blown addition. I was blind to a lot of it, now I have learned to recognize the signs he can't hide it from me. I finally left & started to give up the apartment. He hit a bottom then, no place to go, no family (me, our daughter, his sisters), maxed out his job credit cards, hocked all his work tools & equipment. The end result is that we sat & talked, he admitted he had a problem & was willing to do whatever it took to solve it. Now his work knows & he is on a month suspension ( thank God his job isn't totally lost). He called NA and they suggested he try meetings 1st before going into treatment. He went to one meeting - I went with him. This is in the last week, on Wed. he pawned his tool box & bought $50 of crack - said that was it - he slipped. Last night he said he thought he could wean himself off by using $20 & going to bed -- I told him there is no such thing as weaning but he had to try. Now he agrees that there is no weaning & wants to go to 2 meetings today. He dosen't think the meetings will help but is willing to try it.

My question is - what are the withdrawal symtoms of crack, what can I expect & how can I help him get through them. He wants to try this way first, if it fails then he will go to a treatment center but his not working for a month will put a heavy financial burden on us. Any info & help you can give will be wonderful.
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Old 08-23-2003, 12:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well I never went through any withdrawals symptoms really when i used it..and i never went to rehab either but thats cause after a year of doing that I graduated and did heroin..And that is a drug that u definitly go through withdrawals..But I been in detoxs with crack users..and When I was using it..Most of it is mental addiction..He will probably feel extremely depressed..tired..he will sleep ALOT..and he will be jumpy..He might feel like he going a bit off the wall,,and will wanna be busy all the time so he can get the obssession off he mind of wanting to get and use more coke,..My suggestion is though..it seems he has a big problem..It seems he never really recovered since the first time he used before u met him..so basically hes been an addicted to it for more the 20 something years..The only thing he did is replace it with pot and alcohol..And finally he couldnt surpress it anymore and with his foggy thinking from being drunk and high it was easy for him that new years..to go and get high on crack..I think NA meetings was a good thought but i think if he really wants to stop u should put him in an intense rehab..He needs to find why he hungers to use it and what in hes life and personality he needs to change..He also needs a break from the people and places where he gets and uses crack..I believe its the only way and the only way I've seen people stay off of it..This will be his life long fight and when he comes back from rehab if u do choose that route, you have to know that when the real recovery starts,...Even though I said rehab is great, its a safety net..When your their you have counselors peers that are supporting you..And u dont have dealers and things that would trigger your use..So its not until u come home that its the real test if u wanna keep on staying clean or u arent ready..If you are gonna stick by him you have to be really patient and supportive..But be tough too and dont let him manlipulate which us addicts are real good at doing..I wish you luck...and hope that your husband has gotten to the point of just wanting and needing recovery..Cause even though you and he thinks he cant go anymore lower, HE CAN..And will if he doesnt stick to his recovery..and does what hes sponser/counselor tells him to do..When you surrender to this disease, you are giving up totally to the thought that u can fight this thing..That Crack has gotten you and theres no way he can live and use...And it will probably take him awhile, he didnt get to where hes at over night..and im telling you he wont get better in a day either...You can private message me anytime if u want..I am here to hear you vent to tell you the truth and give u advice that you need..In helping others it helps me stay sober and gives me a break in the chaotic life i live to..Even though ive been sober for a year..I still have problems..the drug goes but the messes that u made cause of it doesnt..and its hard when u realize that..I pray that your husband is strong enough and stubborn enough to not let that crack crap take his life...Jacqueline
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Old 08-23-2003, 04:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome to Sober Recovery

I think the best thing about rehab is that it would jump start his recovery.He'd get some supervised and safe clean time,and also some tools to work towards getting better.It's a long hard road any way you go about it.Meetings can be very helpful.But if he has real difficulty getting and staying clean, rehab may be a good investment.Better a month off work than the long slow descent into hell,with maybe no return.Ultimately it has to be his decision though,and he will have to be willing to work hard.You may want to post on the Nar Anon forum,so you can get the support from people who have been in your shoes.Good luck and take care.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

- Mother Teresa
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Old 08-24-2003, 08:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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sounds familiar...

From my experience watching my husband, they get really agitated,depressed, jumpy, paranoid, constipated and a real pleasure to live with. They forget lots of things, become arguementative and convince themselves that they can do it on their own.Not much different from when they are using. The biggest "symptom" was that the self-talk of addiction is speaking louder than the TV, stereo, train, co-dependent, boss, wife, mother...It's possible that they will not hear anything else, so take care of yourself somewhere in there. When they come home in a great mood that is usually an indicator that the voice talked louder than anything that day. (From my experience)
I would recommend treatment of some sort if for no other reason than to get him into a safe place where he can fiend for it and get over it, while learning new skills to help him cope with the voice.

Generally speaking detoxing from most stimulants takes from about 2-4 days. The mental stuff lasts longer. You can try to piece together some answers by searching medical publications online and then drawing your own conclusions. [Ex.Cocaine binds D3-dopamine receptor sites (dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is sends messages of feeling good, movement etc.) it interferes with the re-uptake of dopamine and then the normal levels your brain produces (prolonged use-individual results vary) gets out of whack. Sometimes your body can re-grow new neural tissue, or rebalance it's chemistry-sometimes it can't.]

You can help, but you can't do it for him.
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:35 PM   #5 (permalink)

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Thank you to everyone. It's like looking into a mirror & seeing exactly what he is doing & going through. I think the only way for him to have a chance to beat this is rehab. The hard part is getting him to go. When he gives in to it & is hating himself for it he promises everything -- he'll go to meeting, he'll go into rehab "tomorrow".

He says "it's hard to stay away, I wasn't going to, I didn't even want it, But.....". I told him that if thinks that is hard he should try it from my side. Most of the time I do pretty good inside, some days like today I get down & feel hopeless. I'm finding that my focus is shifting & centering more & more on our daughter & myself. I feel that I need to push his problem to the sidelines of my priorities, I can't do anything for him other than suggest he go for the treatment he needs. I been looking for information on the Marchman act and weighing it's benefits and drawbacks to our situation and family. Any feedback on this?
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Old 08-29-2003, 02:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There are no withdrawal symptoms for crack - no withdrawal. That is why you can't stay in the 'detox unit' for more than 1-3 days when you go to treatment - there are no symptoms to treat.

They say it is out of your system in 3 days - the rest is mental. It is so hard to combat something that controls your every thought but it is possible. The only way I have found is through the NA program. It saved my life and it is the only way that I can live at all.

The first 7 days I had to pray for God to take the cravings away - it is your mind that takes you out with that stuff. I call it thought stopping. Here - read a couple of things: the first is advice to someone who wanted to stop:

Go to a NA meeting - no harm in it and a wealth of good can come
from it. There are cool people there who like to hang out, do things and have a good time in addition to recovering from active addiction. Just get to a meeting and check it out.

When I was 27 - that is when it hit me. I'd been partying my whole life 'successfully'. I thought I was grown by 27 but then I started smoking crack. I never knew what a monkey was until that happened. I didn't even realize what was happening until I looked back and saw that the things you hear about coke - the things that happen in your life - I looked back and realized I was on that road. I was losing everything and I knew what came next according to what I'd always heard.

Well, to make a long story short - here it is and I am 32. I have been asking why me for so long and that sh*t has stolen everything from me. I am trying my damnest to rebuild through the fellowship and friends I have in Narcotics Anonymous. I hang on for dear life and try not to die each day. It is a tough road and I never thought it could happen to me. I never knew that cocaine was different. I never knew what hit me. College educated, great jobs up until that point and just a partying chic. Man, life changes and there are things to come on the road you are traveling that you just don't want to see and don't need experience in. You don't have to lose everything - you can get off that ride right now through the help of NA. Run as fast as you can whether you think you need it or not. I cannot begin to describe to you the suffering that lies ahead.

Look for a meeting here at this site: http://www.na.org/

Then this was advice to a friend having trouble staying clean for more than a few days:

You said it yourself several times about knowing that it won't be different. You can play the tape through right now. Are you trying to use that Thought deal about saying the cravings are not welcome? Give that a try. (He would say everytime he had a using thought - You are not welcome, all using thoughts are being handled by my Higher Power) Sounds like you are like me in the fact that you just think too damn much. My mind just takes me back out. What I have found is that if I turn on the radio - not on songs that say "I'm a loser or try to stay sober feels like I am dying or I'm f*cked up cuz you are" - that is my favorite music - the top alternative, I guess, yet I have been putting on Classic Rock as it all seems pretty positive like "Let the Good Times Roll" etc. Anyway, I find if I put on music loud enough and that doesn't mean too loud just loud enough that it distracts me - I can't run with my cravings. I read something the other day about a lady saying she sings because you can't sing and think about using at the same time. Try to 'thought stop' as our minds take us back again and again which I guess is just our disease talking to us.

Lastly, the book says "You never have to use again". That is a tall order so it also says just don't use today. Try to stay in the moment as I mind f*ck myself with that one too by thinking Yeah and then at midnight just do it again, huh? That sounds like eternity which it is but I have no business thinking about the past too much or the future. I need to be right where I am right now and that's all. I'm in the right place and so are you. And if we just Shut Up and Listen, God won't give us anything we can't handle. I think we sit here saying...but I can't, I just can't. We list all the reasons we can't...I'm depressed, I'm unique - no I really am! ...look at my track record, I just can't do it and all the while God and everyone else we let talk to us and most of them are doing the deal, are saying just SHUT UP and listen. Stop Thinking, Keep it Simple Stupid...we think too much so we need to find ways to shut that down. The book says that All feelings will eventually pass. They are just feelings. If we could just find a way to truly live for the moment as being clean right this moment is obviously all we are asked to do and isn't that freakin' simple enough? Don't use no matter what...not right now.

The book says (In Relapse & Recovery) that we are never forced into relapse - we are given a choice. It also says it is important to remember that the desire to use will pass - we never have to use again, no matter how we feel. I can't find where it is in my book but somewhere the NA Program says, We have NEVER seen a person who lives the program relapse. The trick there is learning to live the program but once we stop trying to 'justify our using' we do have a choice today.

Well, there's you a little meeting since you can't get to one right now. The answer is in NA. Period. Stop thinking, take suggestions. Period.

Theresa A.
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Old 09-03-2003, 12:01 PM   #7 (permalink)

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right on Theresa! "We have never seen a person who live's the Narcotics Anonymous program relapse." Thats in Recovery and Relapse too.. top of page 76.
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