Crack cocaine is the rock or crystal form of powder cocaine. It comes in solid blocks or chunks and is usually white or a pale yellow. Crack received its name because of the sound it makes when it is heated to be smoked. It makes a sizzling and popping sound similar to pop rocks that you throw on the ground around Fourth of July. It is more potent than cocaine because it is cooked to its purest form. Smoking crack cocaine allows the drug to reach the brain extremely quick which gives the addict an exceedingly intense high. You can become addicted to crack cocaine after just one hit. That is how intense crack cocaine addiction is. It is addictive both physically and psychologically.
When you smoke crack you are essentially messing up your neurotransmitters. Smoking crack releases so much dopamine, our pleasure neurotransmitter, at once, that an addict will spend the rest of their life chasing that feeling. Or as you could ironically call it, chasing the dragon. Crack interferes with the normal absorption of dopamine in the brain cells which causes the dopamine to just hang in limbo building up between the cells in the brain. This stimulates the addict for longer periods of time than a person who doesn’t smoke crack, but it is short-lived. Crack is a very short high and you have to continue to increase the amount you do each time to ever even feel satisfied.
Psychologically, crack cocaine is usually, not always, but usually associated with a certain lifestyle. Most times it is one that is carefree with no responsibilities. It may not start out that way, but it for sure ends that way. A person who uses crack cocaine will see nothing wrong with certain behaviors, but may start to isolate themselves and only associate with those who do crack cocaine also. Birds of a feather flock together. When an addict can get their drug, they become extremely volatile, hostile, angry, irritable, and lash out for no reason. It completely takes over their frame of mind and the only thing they can focus on is getting more.
When an addict doesn’t have their crack cocaine, as mentioned before, they get very hostile for no reason. Their moods may be completely uncontrollable and usually uncalled for. They also get physically sick. Withdrawal symptoms can include:
When an individual using crack cocaine is going through withdrawal it is both a physical and psychological one. Depending on the amount of crack they use, detoxing in a facility is the best way to go to ensure that nothing happens to them. They can also receive medicine from a licensed professional to make the transition from using to sobriety a lot smoother.
Drug abuse is sometimes hard to spot because in the beginning, an addict will do anything to cover their tracks. It’s an embarrassing time in their life, and they are metaphorically chained and bound to an inanimate object. While it’s important to notice the signs and symptoms, you don’t want to judge them or come off as aggressive, because you will just push them further away from you.
Some common signs of a crack cocaine abuser are:
Often people tend to use crack cocaine because it is a cheaper alternative to cocaine. It also produces a faster high than cocaine, but the high lasts for a shorter period of time. Crack cocaine starts out cheaper than cocaine, but in the long run, it ends up costing just about the same, if not more, because you continuously need more and more of it to get and stay high. You can become addicted to crack cocaine within the first use of the drug because of how fast it reaches your brain when smoked. It gives an immediate high that addicts chase after for years trying to achieve the same high again, never realizing that they’re only chasing a dragon.
Crack cocaine can cause a host of problems physically. It can cause heart attacks, stroke, sexual dysfunction, respiratory failure, and even death. Using crack cocaine will cause damage to the cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, and digestive systems even if there are no symptoms present. As described in one of our other recent articles about crack cocaine addiction, “Long-term use of crack can also result in damage to the heart, liver and kidneys. Daily use may result in malnutrition, loss of appetite, increased blood pressure, increased body temperature, disturbed sleep patterns, and nausea.”
There is hope for people who suffer from a crack cocaine addiction. There are both partial hospitalization and outpatient treatment options available. The first step to recovering from a crack cocaine addiction is admitting that you have an addiction and then seeking treatment. Contact Northeast Addictions Treatment Center today to end your crack cocaine addiction.
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