Can you get addicted to crack?
Yes, crack is an addictive drug.
Addiction to crack happens after repetitive use over a period of time. So, the more you take crack, the higher the probability for getting addicted. Learn what crack is made of, what it does to your body and brain, and how you get addicted to it here.
Plus, we’ll review what signs to look and how to treat addiction. At the end, we invite you to ask questions about crack. We try to respond personally and promptly to all legitimate comments.
Crack chemistry and use
Crack is basically pure cocaine heated and mixed with other substances such as baking soda, ketamine, and many others which solidify and turn the mixture into rock-like form. Technically, crack is a freebase version of cocaine which comes in rock crystal form. Purer than cocaine, crack is somewhat stronger and produces quicker and more intense effects. Further, crack is a Schedulle II substance, meaning that it has a highly abusive potential.
Today, crack is obtained illegally and used only recreationally, whereas decades ago it was used for treating anxiety and pain. People generally use crack for its pleasurable effects such as increased energy and alertness, heightened perception or in conjunction with alcohol for a more intense euphoric effect (feeling high). However, getting high on crack has devastating effects of your mind and body.
What does crack do in the body?
When inhaled, crack is quickly delivered to the brain where it targets the dopamine neurotransmitters. Dopamine controls the feelings of pleasure. When crack crosses the blood-brain barrier, it interferes with the reabsorbption process of catecholamines; it effectively blocks dopamine from be reabsorb, resulting in alleviated mood, sensation and euphoric rush known as the “high”.
Crack also constricts the blood vessels, disrupting the blood distribution to the heart and causing rapid increase in heart rate and blood pressure which could be pretty dangerous. When the effects wear off, what happens is that the person becomes lethargic, feels drowsy, drained, and irritable. Regular users often seek crack again and often administer new doses to maintain the state of being high, becoming dependent on crack physically and psychologically.
Who gets addicted to crack?
The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse reports that in the U.S., about 150,000 people aged 12 to 17 and another 1 million people aged 18 to 25 have tried crack at least once. But people of all ages can get addicted to crack, since the drug has a powerful addictive potential. In fact, you can become addicted to crack even after one use. While treatments for crack addiction can be successful, early intervention has shown best results.
Signs of crack addiction
If you suspect that someone you know is addicted to crack, keep an eye out for potential signs of addiction which may include:
- anxious behavior
- becoming angry or energetic very quickly
- loss of interest for important things
- lying to get money
- red, bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils
- running nose
- tired and neglected personal appearance
- unpredictable behavior
- weight loss
How to avoid crack addiction
Simply, stay away from crack and people who use it. Hanging out with crack users, especially if you have a proven track record of activities related to addiction is a risky business if you do not want to get hooked on crack.
Having already explained the addictive properties of crack, the likeliness of getting addicted after using it for only few times is still high. If you just started taking it, immediately seek medical assistance to help you quit and treat potential withdrawal symptoms. The earlier you quit, the less severe the withdrawal and the more chances you have of recovery and maintained abstinence.
Questions about crack dependency
If you still have questions about getting addicted to crack, please write us in the comments section below. We will be happy to answer your questions or refer you to someone who can.
Reference sources: NIDA: Cocaine Facts
Photo credit: DEA