A crack cocaine addiction can completely change a person’s life and have severe effects on their mental and physical health. To overcome it, one must commit to treatment from a rehabilitation facility. Fortunately, rehabs in North Carolina and other places across the U.S. offer a variety of beneficial treatment plans, including intensive outpatient programs (IOP). IOPs offer those living with a crack cocaine addiction a way to become sober along with several other benefits.  

Crack Cocaine vs. Cocaine

Crack cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant. It comes from the leaves of the coca plant found in South America. Crack cocaine is a rock crystal form of cocaine. This form is typically smoked by drug users. 

The Effects of Crack Cocaine on the Human Body

Crack cocaine can have several negative effects on the human body. 

In the short term, crack cocaine can cause:

  • Increase in energy 
  • Alertness 
  • Sensitivity 
  • Irritability 
  • Paranoia 
  • Higher body temperature 
  • Higher blood pressure 
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of appetite

The long term effects of a crack cocaine addiction often include:

  • Coughing
  • Lung damage
  • Asthma
  • Poor nutrition
  • Weight loss

According to research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the worst effect of a crack cocaine addiction occurs in the brain. When a person ingests crack cocaine, the drug causes their brain to release large amounts of the chemical, dopamine. Although this chemical causes a person to feel pleasure, the large releases caused by drug use damage this part of the brain. In doing so, it can make it harder for the brain to release dopamine naturally or with the use of drugs like crack cocaine.   

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program? 

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is one of the many programs offered by rehabilitation facilities to those living with an addiction, including a crack cocaine addiction. IOPs are designed as programs where a patient does not have to check in and reside in a treatment facility. Typically, inpatient programs require a patient to reside within the facility for a period of at least 30 days; however, they can last up to 12 months.

With an intensive outpatient program, patients can continue to reside where they please but are required to visit the facility around three to four times per week for treatment. However, these specifics vary from patient to patient, depending on the level of care they require.     

The Benefits of an Intensive Outpatient Program

An IOP can provide significantly beneficial treatment for those living with a crack cocaine addiction. The benefits of an IOP include:

1. The Ability to Maintain Everyday Life

Unlike an inpatient program, an IOP allows a patient to continue their everyday life and routine. They can maintain their employment and continue to live in their own home. All that an IOP requires is to check in at a rehab facility for scheduled appointments, meetings, therapy, and more.  

2. Professional Detoxification

One of the most difficult parts of recovering from a crack cocaine addiction is becoming sober. This can only be done through detoxification. This process occurs naturally within the human body. However, because the body adapts to the consistent presence of crack cocaine, it will inevitably fight back when a person stops using. This can make the detoxing process anywhere from uncomfortable to painful or even life-threatening. Many facilities that offer IOPS can also provide detox or detox referrals, making the detoxing process less painful, more comfortable, and most importantly, safe.  

3. Greater Support from Friends and Family

Many inpatient programs will limit the amount of contact a person can have with the outside world. While this is often done for a patient’s safety or to ensure sobriety, it can sometimes be damaging to a patient’s mental health. With an IOP, a patient is free to see and receive support from their friends and family whenever they choose. 

4. A Lower Cost for Quality Treatment

Because an IOP does not require a patient to live in a rehab facility, IOPs are almost always more affordable while still being a highly effective option for those wanting to overcome a crack cocaine addiction.  

Looking for a Rehab in North Carolina?

A crack cocaine addiction can have serious negative effects on the human body. To become sober and avoid these effects, a person living with a crack cocaine addiction should seek out an intensive outpatient program for treatment. IOPs can assist a person in becoming sober while allowing them to continue their everyday life, detox safely, surround themselves with family and friends, and even save money on treatment.  

If you or a loved one are looking for treatment for a crack cocaine addiction in North Carolina, our team of addiction specialists is here to help. At Asheville Recovery Center, we offer several helpful treatment programs, including an intensive outpatient program for crack cocaine addiction. Contact us today for more information!    

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