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Using crack cocaine one time is enough to spark an addiction that will last long-term. Cocaine is a commonly abused drug, which comes from the coca plant and can be found in rock and powder forms.
The rock form is very often called crack or crack cocaine. It gives the consumer a much faster effect and it can be more intense. With the drug being smoked, it can develop an addiction that will last a long time and that can be very difficult to quit. Therefore, it is important to seek help as soon as possible to make sure no irreversible effects occur.
What is Crack?
Crack cocaine is the rock crystal form of the drug known as cocaine. It is an addictive stimulant drug, one that can give a much quicker effect than the powdered form of cocaine. The drug can also give the consumer a very intense high. Because it is extremely addictive, it can be very dangerous. According to the Manual of Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment, this is the most addictive cocaine form.
The drug first started being used as a recreational drug in more impoverished neighborhoods across Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia back in late 1984 and 1985. “Crack epidemic” was the name of the fast increase in availability and use.
Crack cocaine is made by using baking soda and cooking cocaine powder with it. Afterward, the result is broken into small rocks. It looks like tan or white pellets, similar to dry cat food. The name “crack” comes from the fact that when it is being heated and smoked, it crackles. It is sometimes also referred to as hard, raw, or freebase cocaine.
Because it is so addictive, there were around 800,000 Americans aged 12 years old or older who had used the drug in 2019. Moreover, over 1 million Americans aged 12 years old or over had a hard time with cocaine use, including crack cocaine.
How It's Different From Cocaine
Smoking crack cocaine makes the drug reach the brain much faster, which can bring more intense and immediate high effects. While this is the case, the high sensation lasts for a very short time, only about fifteen minutes. But smoking instead of snorting can cause an addiction to develop faster. Therefore, even if the individual smokes it for the first time, they can already become addicted.
Cocaine in its powdered form is very pricey, and for this reason, many people call it the “rich man’s drug”. Crack cocaine is different, though. It is sold at very low prices, so anyone can buy it, including teenagers. This applies at least at the start of their crack use. As someone becomes addicted to the drug, they will need more crack to be able to support their addiction, leading to high expenses.
Crack is also different from cocaine in different ways. For example, the effects of the drug last for a short time, while powdered cocaine will cause effects that last much longer. The withdrawal effects are also different. Cocaine withdrawals may last longer and be more intensified.
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The Effects of Smoking Crack
Crack use can be very concerning long-term because of how addictive it can be. Whether the addict consumes a small or large amount of Crack, the addict will do anything to get their drug. They are even willing to break the law to obtain it. Therefore, it is very important to get help for the addiction so you could save your own life or the life of someone you love.
It will not be easy to convince an addict to stop abusing the drug, because their brain is now linked to crack abuse. If they try to stop, they may deal with severe withdrawal symptoms that will make it even harder for them to stop. Convincing them to start treatment will not be easy, therefore an intervention may be necessary.
Symptoms of Crack Use
The effects of crack will be different for each person. The drug’s content is very unpredictable, so the effects of smoking crack will vary from a person to another. The effects can be physical, psychological, or both. Also, the more the person smokes, the worse the effects can get. Here are some of the possible immediate effects of crack cocaine:
- Paranoia and nervousness
- Dilated eyes
- Pressured speech
- Appetite loss
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Higher alertness
- Heart failure
- Contracted blood vessels
- Bad sleep patterns
- Respiratory failure and potential death as a result
- Strange behavior
- Cravings for more crack cocaine
- Higher body temperature
- Hallucinations of bugs burrowing under the addict’s skin often called “Coke bugs”
What Crack Does is The Long Term
Crack is dangerous because it causes bad immediate effects, as well as some long-term effects. These can be detrimental to one’s health as they may affect vital organs, like the heart, kidneys, and liver. What makes it worse is the fact that the immune system’s response worsens as an effect of crack cocaine use, which makes the addict more susceptible to infections.
Some of the long-term effects of crack include:
- Bad tooth decay
- Liver damage
- Heightened blood pressure
- Irreversible damage to the blood vessels
- Lung damage
- Kidney failure
- Heart attack
- Paranoid behavior
- Respiratory failure
- Increased likelihood to engage in risky behavior more often
How To Get Help
If you or someone you care about needs help for a crack cocaine addiction, Real Deal sober living has a medical detox program that can help you return to the right path. The medical detox will help the addict get the drug out of their system by waiting for the drugs to wear off. To help keep the patient off the drug, they will be in a safe environment without access to the substance.
But because medical detox doesn’t address the underlying causes of the addiction like depression, anxiety, stress, and trauma, you can also start a sober living program with Real Deal while learning new coping skills and going to therapy.
Crack cocaine is dangerous, so it is essential to stop using it as soon as possible. Reach out to us to improve your life!