Candy, rocks, base, cookies; there are many different street names but they are all referring to the same dangerous drug: crack. Crack is a powerful stimulant drug that gives the user a euphoric high that starts and ends very rapidly. The effects of the drug can be felt immediately and last for only 5 or 10 minutes. This can be known as a hastened abuse cycle. Because crack’s effects are felt and then dissipated so quickly crack runs a greater risk of causing the user to fall victim to a cycle of addiction and dependency. The drug is known to increase energy, the ability to focus and the user’s attention span. Crack is used to gain all these increased feelings in addition to the sense of escaping reality and the pure euphoric feeling the drug provides. This makes stopping without crack dependence treatment almost impossible.
What is the difference between crack and coke?
The difference between crack and coke (or cocaine) is the removal of a chemical component hydrochloride. The removal of this chemical is what allows users to be able to smoke the drug which essentially turns cocaine into crack. This process is usually completed by adding baking soda and water to the cocaine over a flame which separates the hydrochloride and allows the cocaine to dry into a rock like substance or crack. In a scientific aspect, crack and cocaine are almost identical.
So… what is the crack drug? What makes crack such a more potent drug than cocaine is the method in which it is used. Cocaine is used by either snorting or injecting the drug. However, crack is only used by smoking and inhaling the drug. This method of ingestion creates a quicker and much more intense high. Similarly while this form of use allows the user to experience the drug more quickly and more intensely, it allows comes with dangerous side effects.
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Is cocaine physically addictive?
Cocaine is a powerful drug that has a powerful effect on the mind and body of those that use it. Once a person begins to use cocaine or crack their body grows to expect this drug on a regular basis in order to keep up with the euphoric feeling crack provides. Once a user begins using cocaine or crack the body builds up a tolerance to the drug and therefore the person needs to use more and more in order to experience the same feeling. This is why cocaine is so addictive. Yet, the question of how addictive is crack remains. The answer can be found in how crack makes a person feel and how crack enters the body and completely takes a person over. Once the drug is introduced, it becomes extremely difficult to eliminate it from a person’s life.
Crack Drug Effects
Crack is a deadly drug that has many different effects on the mind and the body both in the short-term and long-term aspects. Because crack offers a short yet intense high it is immediately followed by the exact opposite feelings of euphoria. Depression and extreme cravings for more the drug occur right after first use. Those who begin using crack will begin to notice their health slowly deteriorating, they will not sleep or eat as they should which causes more problems on the body. In addition, users will experience muscle spasms, convulsions, increased heart rate and mental issues as well such as paranoia, agitation, hostility and other feelings of the like. All of these short-term symptoms can occur even when the person is not actively using crack and they are not high. Finally, users have a much, much greater risk of stroke, heart attack or respiratory failure which can result in death.
The long-term effects of crack abuse only get worse the longer a person is using crack. Severe damage to the lungs from smoking crack can cause bleeding of the lungs, shortness of breath, and insistent coughing. In addition to the lungs, the kidneys are also at great risk for damage as well as the liver and heart which result in the user being less immune and more at risk for infectious diseases.
Crack also has a lasting impact on the user’s brain. Drugs alter the brains chemistry and effectively change the chemical balance in the brain. Those who use crack will notice that areas of their lives they once enjoyed no longer hold any interest to them. They will also see an increase in depression, paranoia, aggression, agitation, and a complete change of self. Often times, people who abuse crack are known to do things completely out of character in order to obtain more of the drug. Certain cases have shown people who have hurt their loved ones, robbed businesses and even commit murder or suicide.
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Crack Dependence Treatment- Where do we go from here?
Once a person has begun using crack it is almost certain that they will end up with an intense drug addiction. The only way to move on from this stage of life is to seek proper help and treatment. The addiction recovery process can be broken down into three steps. The first step is often the hardest, it is the detoxification step in which withdrawal from crack occurs. This step causes the addict to experience severe physical and mental side effects from the drug leaving the system. These can include anxiety, mood swings, nausea/vomiting, fever/chills and run the risk for more serious symptoms such as seizures. Often times, a controlled detox is performed in which the person is monitored by a doctor.
The second step is drug treatment. In most cases, addicts need help in order to readjust to life without the aid of crack or other drugs. Residential rehab centers are in place to offer a structured environment in which therapy is offered. Rehab centers offer one-on-one therapy, group sessions, family sessions and other support groups. Through one of these centers, people suffering from crack dependence will get the help they need to no longer allow crack to control their lives.
The third and final step is aftercare. Crack dependence effectively takes control of a person’s life and changes them. Only through continued, life-long care will a person be able to remain free of the drug. After-care includes a form of support either from family or loved ones or even 12 step programs offered within the community. Support is very important in the recovery process. An addict needs to feel that they are not alone and not being judged for their addiction. Having a safe place to go and talk with others is an important aspect of the recovery process.
Crack might be a dangerous and deadly drug that takes over the lives of millions of people, but the most important thing to know about this drug is that it can be beaten and those that suffer from this addiction are not alone.
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