Crack Addiction: Signs, Symptoms & Treatment
What is Crack Addiction? Crack is the most powerful form in which coke or cocaine appears and is the riskiest of all forms of cocaine. It is between 75-100% pure, more powerful, and far stronger than normal cocaine. It became popular in the 1970s when a shift occurred in the coke market that leads to the development of a more profitable form of cocaine. During this time, the market was flooded with coke to a point that the supply exceeded demand. This led to a price reduction of up to 80%, which meant that there was less income for cocaine dealers. In their quest to make more money, the dealers started to transform cocaine into small chunks that could be burned and smoked which came to be known as crack cocaine.
What is Crack Drug?
Crack drug is a derivative of the highly stimulant and addictive drug coke. It is developed by mixing cocaine, water, and baking soda or ammonia, then heating the mixture to solidify it. The mixture produces a cracking sound when being heat; hence its name. The resulting product turns into a salty rock. The drug was developed to reach more people as the original form of cocaine was quite expensive. Other street names include Tornado, Sleet, Gravel, Hail, Dice, Rock, Candy, and Crumbs.
Is Crack Addictive?
Yes, crack is an addictive substance. Getting addicted to this form of coke is an excepted result of long-term abuse and this is based on how the drug works. The drug is listed as a Schedule II drug, just like the powdered form of cocaine, meaning that it has a high potential of being abused, leading to addiction which causes physical and psychological dependence.
How Addictive is Crack?
It is a highly addictive drug because of its powerful and rapid results that arise due to its method of use and how it works. When the drug is heated and the resulting vapor inhaled or smoked, the active coke element crosses almost instantly from the lung to the blood where it is quickly taken to the brain.
Nasally inhaled or insufflated powdered coke moves at a slower rate – producing results that are long-lasting but less intense. Crack provides an instant, pain-reducing, and intense euphoric high that last for a short time, about 5 minutes. The combination of its intense high and faster onset of action leads to the drug’s potent addictive potential.
Once it reaches the brain, the drug blocks neuronal uptake or acceptance of dopamine, a neurotransmitter chemical that is responsible for mediating positive feelings and pleasurable sensations in the body, from the gaps between the brain cells, successfully amplifying its effect in other parts of the brain. Crack enables more dopamine to be present in the brain and even to connect to receptors where it interferes with the uptake. This desirable and rewarding feeling associated with surplus dopamine encourages a second use as well as dangerous binges, which involves continued, high dosage use of the drug until it is no longer obtainable or available.
As abuse of the drug continues, the user becomes tolerant to its effects, at which level a higher frequency or quantity of use will be required to produce the desired high. The risk of developing a crack addiction becomes extremely high at this stage.
Crack Addiction Drug Effects
Crack abuse can lead to a number of undesirable side effects that can impact the user’s health.
Short-term effects include:
- Delusional thinking
- Higher breathing rates
- Bizarre or odd behaviors
- Cardiovascular risks such as high blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate
- Panic or anxiety
- Hallucinations including feeling, hearing, and seeing things that are not there
Long-term effects include:
- Marked cognitive decline
- Damage to teeth, mouth, and lips
- Persistent psychotic symptoms
- Malnutrition due to weight loss
- Major anxiety, depression, and irritability.
- Long-lasting cardiovascular problems that might include stroke, damaged vessels, and heart attack
Crack Withdrawal Symptoms
A person can experience withdrawal symptoms over a long period of time. These symptoms include:
- Intense cravings
- Increased appetite
- High levels of depression
Unlike alcohol and other drugs, crack addiction withdrawal does not have clear physical symptoms. However, addition can be determined by the following physical signs:
- Being secretive or lying
- Mood swings
- Constantly needing cash
- Neglecting duties
- Red, bloodshot eyes
- Indifference about family, friends, and hobbies
- Neglecting personal hygiene and physical appearance
- Weight drop-down
- Weary looks
- Trouble sleeping
Crack Addiction Treatment
A drug rehab center can be a life-saving institution for dealing with crack addiction and the accompanying withdrawal symptoms. The drug addiction treatment center should offer a full continuum of care to assist the person in addressing the need and use of this drug.
Behavioral therapies and psychotherapies can help the user to deal with drug addiction as well as other life problems which might have emerged due to the use of this drug. Effective treatments also involve diagnosis and treatment for re-occurring problems such as mental health concerns that might developed after a long-term use of the drug.
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Who is Abusing Crack?
Having no medical benefits and despite the hundreds of negative effects that it has brought over the decades, crack continues to be produced and misused at a high level in the United States and other countries.
- High abuse is reported in the US with low usage being reported in Canada.
- High abuse is reported in South American nations of Argentina and Chile.
- High abuse is reported in Australia.
- Dispersed usage is reported across Europe with Italy, Denmark, England, Spain, and Ireland leading.
Difference between Crack and Coke
There are major differences between crack and coke.
- Coke is a powdered hydrochloride salt while crack is a derivative of coke (coke mixed with water and baking soda or ammonia).
- Coke is found in a white powder form while crack is found in a rock form that is tan, light brown, cream, or white.
- Coke is injected or snorted while crack is smoked or inhaled.
- It takes longer to feel the effects of coke and it offers long-lasting effect while it takes shorter to feel the effects of crack and its effects are short-lived.
Conclusion – How to Start?
If you or your friend is looking for a drug addiction rehab center, do not hesitate to contact us. We encourage you to give us a call using our hotline numbers or leave your details in one of our online forms and we will get back to you.