Crack Cocaine Addiction & Abuse

Struggling with crack cocaine? We’re here to help!

Admitting that you might have a problem and seeking help is the first great step on your road to recovery. In spite of how you may feel right now, addiction recovery and learning to live without crack cocaine is the path towards a healthier, happier future for yourself. At Sanctuary Lodge, we provide a safe, luxurious space for you to recover with a team of addiction specialists that are always on hand to offer guidance and support, 24 hours a day.
As all-encompassing and scary as your addiction may seem, feel assured that you are capable of overcoming it. Here we will explain a bit more about how it works.

Crack cocaine directly affects the pleasure receptors in your brain. After prolonged use, this makes it very difficult to derive pleasure from what normally be considered the everyday joys of life. The good news is that this is reversible. There is hope for a happy, healthy future. No one is condemned to a life of crack cocaine addiction.

How Crack Cocaine Affects the Body

Crack cocaine is very potent and carries a high risk of causing you harm. It is highly addictive, primarily due to how intense and immediate the effects of its high are, but also because of how it directly affects your brain. The drug, usually inhaled, enters the bloodstream immediately and causes an influx of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain which causes intense pleasure as well as the strong desire to repeat the experience again.

When the brain is flooded with dopamine, you feel energetic, euphoric, sensitive to stimuli and alert. The high from crack cocaine is relatively short and lasts only for around 5 to 15 minutes. Strong cravings come on quickly once the high is over, leading to a cycle of highs and cravings that puts the user at very high risk of addiction. It’s difficult to hide crack cocaine use, so if it apparent to others, and you finding yourself losing all the things that you hold dear, it’s time to seek help now (1).

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What Causes Crack Cocaine Addiction?

There are wide and complex range of risk factors that could lead someone to becoming addicted to crack cocaine. There is not just a gene that means a person will go on to become addicted or not, and the environmental factors are varied. Remember, you are an individual, and your circumstances are unique. We make sure we take this into consideration when we formulate your unique treatment plan at Sanctuary Lodge to ensure that best and most comfortable path to recovery.

Environmental factors

Most scientists are in agreement – the foundations that form an addiction start with people at a young age taking addictive substances, such as nicotine or alcohol. The biggest cause of using and relapsing on crack cocaine is emotional pain and interpersonal stress. Peer pressure is another major risk factor that can drive you to pick up the drug in the first place. Sanctuary Lodge understands this, and prides itself by allowing access to our support network to its residents. You will likely find others there that have shared experiences similar to yours who will be able to help provide you the tools that you need on your journey to recovery. Most people suffering from crack cocaine addiction have either experienced trauma, isolation or deprivation. If you find that you might be in denial, do not worry, this is common. Sanctuary Lodge understands it is very difficult to reflect and to take the first step of acceptance. We will help you, should you have a problem, to overcome your crack cocaine addiction. If you are realising your problem for the first time now, congratulations! You have taken your very first step on the road to recovery. (2)

Studies have shown that, with some simple modifications to your environment, you can reverse the effects of cocaine addiction (3). Sanctuary Lodge knows this through experience. We have helped countless people overcome their crack addictions. You no longer have to struggle on your own.

Genetic factors

Genes also play a large role when it comes to an addiction. They account for about half of the risk when becoming addicted to a substance, such as crack cocaine. There are usually several known of genes present common across individuals whom suffer from addiction. These genes influence personality, i.e. how impulsive you are as well as how likely you are to pursue sensation-seeking behaviour. Not everyone with these personality traits becomes addicted, but when combined with social and environmental factors, their presence significantly increases the risk. (5)

Scientists are still trying to completely understand exactly how and why addiction develops. It is such a complicated affliction and requires sensitivity, knowledge and experience to treat properly.

Repeat exposure

Drug cravings, and recall of the euphoria, are strongly linked to continual addiction of crack cocaine. The effect it has on the brain’s reward centre makes your cravings feel like, even after just one hit, they are more intense and extreme. In some cases where people are already addicted to crack cocaine, they are forever chasing the feelings felt from their initial high from the first few times of having smoked it. After continued use, the brain develops tolerance, making less and less of the reward chemical being available to the brain, meaning you need more and more to get the same feeling – which ends up as a never ending perpetual cycle.

Breaking the cycle of drug use is the first step to getting better. At Sanctuary Lodge, we will give you a full crack cocaine detox and then provide you with a range of treatments and activities to help you fight this, what appears to be hopeless, battle and win.

Signs and Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Addiction

This is one of the most difficult drugs to hide from the people that are around you. It’s short, intense highs, and the fact that you need to smoke frequently, makes it difficult for you to keep making excuses. Crack cocaine also has a profound impact to your personality. It causes obsessive behaviour and a host of physical and psychological symptoms.


  • Physical
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Shaking
  • Respiratory problems
  • Twitching
  • Dilated pupils
  • Cracked lips
  • Hypotension
  • Burns on fingers
  • Itching or the sensation of crawling skin
  • Forced speech
  • Frequently disappearing
  • Presence of coke cans/glass pipes/other paraphernalia


  • Aggression
  • Restlessness
  • Irresponsibility
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Preoccupation with getting high
  • Hyper excitability
  • Loss of appetite/weight loss
  • Euphoria
  • Cravings

Getting Help for Crack Cocaine Addiction

If you are worried about your use of crack cocaine, and the frequency of which you use it has spiralled out of control, you are doing the right thing by researching how Sanctuary Lodge can help you to get better. We understand that addictions, such as these, are all-consuming. It is for this reason, we would recommend having inpatient rehab.

During inpatient crack cocaine rehab, you are removed from your environment to stay in a safe location. With our dedicated, on-hand help, you can rest assured you are on the right path forwards to your long-term recovery.

To achieve this healthy, long-term recovery, you need to be gentle, kind and forgiving to yourself. Sanctuary Lodge also understands that person is different, and requires a unique mixture of therapies, that take into account your specific circumstances. The most effective form of treatment for addiction is inpatient rehab, followed by attendance to support groups and family therapies.

Sanctuary Lodge provides, free of charge, 1 year’s aftercare alongside our unique Alumni programme. Not only do we provide you with professional and comfortable rehab care and treatments – for entire duration of your stay – we will also provide you exclusive access to all of our support networks to help keep you on your path to recovery post treatment with us, for the long term.

Despite outpatient treatment being offered free by the NHS, there are several drawbacks to this that you should be made aware of for this type of treatment. GP should always be your first port of call when seeking treatment, however, referrals through the NHS often take several months to complete. This with the added fact that meetings and therapy sessions take place during the day, it can often be difficult to manage those cravings at weekends and in the evenings. This means that in some cases, free NHS treatments may not be suitable for your individual case/needs.

Inpatient crack cocaine rehab

Inpatient crack cocaine rehab ensures you are thoroughly looked after, right from the moment you step through the door right all the way through to long after you have left our facilities. Our Sanctuary Lodge philosophy is to help you to recover mind, body and spirit. We will show you the numerous methods of coping with your cravings and even aid the development of new coping mechanisms. When you learn to master these mechanisms, when the triggers that cause you to use present themselves in life again, you are able to quickly identify them and not fall a victim to their control.

When your journey begins at Sanctuary Lodge, you are assessed by psychiatrists who will determine your medical needs as well as finding out whether or not you require dual diagnosis treatment. This occurs if you have underlying mental health conditions such as depression or if are using any other drugs or alcohol. We always tailor each and every treatment programme to your specific individual needs, not any one of them are the same. Once your treatment has been individualised, you will begin your detox phase.

Detox is the stage whereby we purge all traces of the crack cocaine substance from your body. This prepares you for the next stage of treatment: rehabilitation. With a clear body and mind, you can then focus your energy on a mixture of holistic and traditional therapies. These take place both individually and in group settings to ensure you get the most from your stay with us here at Sanctuary Lodge. Once you have finished your residency, we will offer you free outpatient treatments for up to one year post treatment and will enrol you in our unique UKAT Alumni scheme.

Outpatient NHS services

NHS outpatient treatment is funded by the government, which makes it much easier to access as it is free of charge. You will also have the flexibility of attending treatment in a way that allows you to continue with day-to-day life and to stay close to your loved ones. If you’ve been suffering from crack cocaine addiction long-term, you may not find this to be the most effective option to you. There are both pros and cons to outpatient treatment that we will run through with you now. These include:


  • There is usually no cost to outpatient treatment on the NHS
  • Often, there are flexible options that allow you to attend meetings around commitments such as work, school or university
  • You can apply the lessons and methods you learn during therapy to your life straight away, without needing to adapt to different settings
  • A range of therapy options are offered, including group therapies and individual therapies


  • Detox is unsupervised, so if you feel insecure or have a medical emergency, there is no support team on hand 24 hours a day.
  • In a residential setting, you build stronger bonds because you live in close proximity to other that share or have similar experiences to yours.
  • Inpatient rehab provides unique opportunities to build positive relationships with your care workers
  • Holistic therapies are often important parts to rehabilitation, but you may not have access to them or their wider range of activities within NHS-funded treatments
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between crack cocaine and cocaine?
Crack cocaine is a concentrated, high-strength compound of cocaine, bicarbonate of soda and water. When ‘cooked’, this mixture forms rocks that are heated in glass pipes or other paraphernalia and the vapour is then smoked. While cocaine produces a rush of the reward chemical in your brain, it is nowhere as near intense as the sensation brought on to you by smoking the crack version of cocaine.
How is crack cocaine taken?
Crack cocaine is usually smoked through a pipe. A piece of mesh is placed over the end of the pipe, and a ‘rock’ of crack cocaine is placed on top and heated with a lighter. These fumes are inhaled, which is a powerful and fast-acting method of taking the drug. This method has been proven to be very bad for you.
How long does crack cocaine stay in your system?
Crack can be detected in urine from anywhere between one to three days after use. It can be detected in saliva from between 24-48 hours. In the blood it can be found from around one day and in your hair for up to 90 days. Exactly how long depends on your metabolism and how heavily you have been using it for.
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