What is Crack?
Crack cocaine is an impure form of freebase cocaine. It is manufactured from powder cocaine by chemical transformation that makes it more volatile than cocaine.
“Crack addiction has been prominent in inner city America for decades. Crack Cocaine or rock cocaine has been around since the early 1980s.”
It is consumed in four basic ways; orally, intranasal (snorting), intravenous and inhalation. Following the initial highs the user gets a strong urge to repeat the process, aiding in the addiction elements of the drug itself.
Crack Addiction Overview
The crack cocaine process of addiction is heightened when it is smoked. Fumes given off during the inhalation process of smoking crack cocaine increases the potency of the drug into the brain. By inhaling the smoke, the chemicals pass through the inhalers lungs and is rapidly spread throughout the body.
Whether an addict chooses to inject, snort or inhale the drug, crack can become a highly addictive drug even after first use. After repeated use of the drug the dopamine system within the human body can become numbed and the addict will require more and more injections to satisfy cravings for the drug.
Upon first use of cocaine common side effects can include euphoria, confidence, energy, and increased alertness within the user. The length of the effects of the drug can vary from user to user and is dependent on how often the addict has ingested the drug. Once the euphoric side effects where off, crack can lead to many harmful side effects.
The physiological states of the addict may be altered to incur an overall decreased energy level for abnormal periods. Crack can also cause a dangerously high heartbeat leading to heart attacks as well as high blood pressure levels and serious long term health issues.
Some short term effects include:
- Immediate feeling of intense exhilaration
- Exhilaration fades quickly and the addict repeats use in order to feel the high again
Long term effects of crack use:
- Mood disorders and irritability
- Risk of heart disease and strokes
- Lung issues from inhaling crack
- Psychosis and other mental problems
Ready to get help?
Crack Addiction Statistics
There is minimal research on crack addiction. Sadly, because it is a social problem that typically affects very low income areas and our society leaders see it as a problem that is not worth researching. Regardless there are a few stats
- 1 million people rely on crack everyday in the United States
- Approximately 4 million people try it each year
- The most highly addictive recreational drug
- Crack is the most popular drug amongst homeless Americans
Crack Addiction Symptoms
Many crack users do not immediately seek treatment. A major factor in many avoiding the treatment is the legality factor. Since the drug is illegal addicts believe they will face punishment by coming forward. In addition, crack addicts refuse to admit addiction because they are embarrassed to admit it.
Early signs of crack addiction include: seizures, heart palpitations and hypothermia.
Crack Addiction signs include:
- Alternating periods of euphoria and depression
- Intense agitation
- Weight loss
- Strong chemical smell where used
- Discovering a crack pipe
Crack Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms
Since crack is highly addictive, stopping the use of the drug is very difficult and almost always requires some form of professional help.
- The brain becomes dependent on crack to function daily and without the drug it feels that it can no longer function. That’s why the symptoms of withdrawal can be severe and difficult to cope with. Typical crack withdrawal symptoms are:
- Insomnia or sporadic sleeping patterns
- Intense cravings to use crack again
If you or a loved one has an addiction to crack it is important to get treatment immediately. Professionals are trained to help cope with these withdrawal symptoms and inpatient rehabilitation for crack addiction can make full recovery possible.