Cocaine that is processed with either baking soda or ammonia is known as “crack” cocaine. This form of cocaine is frequently smoked, and it tends to crackle during the process. Crack cocaine is the most dangerous form of the drug, as it is consumed quickly and reaches the brain very fast. Smoking crack brings a strong, nearly immediate high that is very short lived. This means that addiction to crack cocaine develops very quickly, as users are constantly seeking the next strong high.
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, a person can become addicted to crack cocaine after only one use. If you or a loved one has become addicted to cocaine, a drug rehabilitation center or a crack cocaine abuse hotline may be able to offer help.
Methods of Use
After it has been processed, crack cocaine looks like discolored white rock. The crack is typically broken into smaller rocks for resale on the street. The drug is usually smoked through a glass pipe and may be combined with other drugs. Crack cocaine may also be injected or snorted, but these delivery methods are less common. Most crack cocaine users smoke their crack quickly through simple glass pipes, as this is the easiest and least expensive way to achieve the desired high. Users may take multiple hits of the drug to achieve the desired high, putting them at risk of accidental overdose. If you struggle with crack cocaine addiction, a crack cocaine abuse helpline will be able to provide you with detox information.
Short-Term Crack Effects
- Cocaine can cause an increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure.
- Using cocaine can cause your breathing rate to increase.
- Cocaine can cause a sense of intense euphoria, leading users to seek out the sensation again and again.
- Users may experience decreased appetite leading to weight loss.
- Cocaine can cause severe depression, which may last until the drug is used again.
- Using cocaine can cause anxiety, paranoia, and aggressive behavior.
- Cocaine use can cause sudden death from stroke, heart attack, or overdose.
Long-Term Effects of Abusing Crack Cocaine
- Cocaine use can cause severe depression that may lead to self-harm or dangerous behavior.
- Users may experience irritability, disturbance in mood, anxiety, or aggression.
- Cocaine can cause addiction after only one use.
- Cocaine abuse increases the risk of heart attack and heart disease.
- Users of cocaine may experience reproductive damage or sexual dysfunction.
- Crack users may participate in dangerous or risky behavior to acquire the drug.
Cocaine is extremely addictive. Crack cocaine, when smoked, is even more addictive than cocaine, due to its quick action on the brain. Crack users develop a tolerance very quickly and end up needing more of the drug to achieve the same level of euphoria, or the same “high.” For this reason, it’s common for users to smoke crack repeatedly, often spacing doses hours apart. This serves to accelerate the addiction process and can lead to crack cocaine overdose. Crack alters the brain’s method of providing rewards to stimuli so users do not receive the same high from a typical dosage of the drug and end up using it in larger and larger quantities. Crack users may be resistant to helpful gestures from loved ones, and it may take several attempts before the user is willing to call a crack cocaine abuse helpline.
When users attempt to stop smoking crack, the brain’s punishment system kicks in as the drug’s effects decrease. Users begin to experience irritability, fatigue, strong cravings, anxiety or panic attacks, and severe depression. Often, crack cocaine users will continue to use the drug on a daily basis only so they don’t have to experience the strong effects of withdrawal. For this reason, help from medical or addiction professionals may be necessary in order for an addict to make a full recovery. A crack cocaine abuse hotline will be able to put you or your loved one in contact with professionals who can help.
Treating an Addiction to Crack Cocaine
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are no FDA-approved medications to treat crack cocaine addiction. This means that addiction treatment is primarily focused on cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral interventions, and developing a strong network of social support. The first step in any addictions treatment is to ask for help. If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, speaking with a professional at a crack cocaine abuse hotline can help you learn about your options for recovery. Call us today at to start your journey toward a clean, sober life.
- Poly-drug use — the use of more than one drug at a time — is especially common among crack cocaine users. An addiction professional can help you work through all addictions, clearing the way for a sober lifestyle.
- Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the coca plant, and it is one of the most powerfully addictive drugs on the street today.